Yesterday, Speaker Ryan spoke to employees at a New Balance factory in Lawrence, Massachusetts to make the case for pro-growth tax reform. The facility is one of five New Balance operates in New England. In his remarks, he argued that permanent tax reform will help create jobs and grow our economy.
Here are the top five moments:
Companies are fleeing the US and taking good jobs with them. This must change. Made in America should be the rule—not the exception. pic.twitter.com/vomxTKbRWa— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 20, 2017
We must reform our business tax system to bring good-paying jobs back from overseas and increase our economic competitiveness. pic.twitter.com/ScQWPYVgbV— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 20, 2017
We’re going to cut taxes, making it easier for families to get ahead. That’s what this is all about. Helping folks in small towns get ahead. pic.twitter.com/eYzyS9zq49— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 20, 2017
We can’t continue to have one of the worst tax codes in the industrialized world. Our businesses aren't able to compete globally. pic.twitter.com/mSF5IjebA7— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 21, 2017
There are a lot of people who say it can't be done. But we will get tax reform done in 2017. We'll get this done for the American people. pic.twitter.com/POMo38TCQO— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 21, 2017
Bonus Clip: Speaker Ryan also spoke with Fox News’ Peter Doocy about why, after 31 years since we last reformed our tax code, it’s time to get this done in 2017. Click here or below to watch the interview.Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com Read More
Thursday afternoon, Speaker Ryan visited New Balance’s factory in Lawrence, Massachusetts—the only major athletic shoe company to mass produce out of American factories. After the tour, he spoke with Fox News’ Peter Doocy about the need for transformational tax reform. Parts of the interview aired last night on Special Report and this morning on America’s Newsroom.
Tax reform is coming in the fall: “We still can do tax reform regardless of what happens with health care reform. We’ve already put in a contingency plan for that, so we will do tax reform no matter what happens with respect to any other issue like health care reform—because we know we have to do tax reform. It’s a once in a generation opportunity.”
Bipartisan progress on important issues: “Most of what we do in Congress is bipartisan. We just passed a huge overhaul of our military, a big upgrade in our military the other day, with a huge bipartisan vote, we overhauled the veterans administration, we just passed an overhaul of our career technical education system, a bill out of the house, about a month ago, big bipartisan vote.”
In his remarks, Speaker Ryan talked about the benefits of simplifying our tax code for workers and families:
“Imagine filling out your taxes on a form the size of a postcard. That’s what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about simplifying this thing so much that it’s so easy. You don’t have to go to a tax preparer, you don’t have to navigate all these rules and all these deductions, and all these loopholes, not knowing what it’s going to look like until you’re done with the process. Make it easy. Make it simple. Keep more of what you earn. And get the special interests out of it. And give people a postcard-type tax return. That’s what we’re talking about. That makes it easier for families. That makes it easier for workers. That helps grow the economy. That helps people in small towns like Janesville, Wisconsin or Lawrence, Massachusetts.”Read More
Recently, the House passed Kate’s Law, which cracks down on criminal illegal immigrants and the cities that shield them from prosecution. This law is important, not just for Kate, but for thousands of people across the country who are victims of violence from people who should not be here in the first place.
One of them was from my home district: Deputy Sheriff Frank Fabiano of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Ten years ago, Frank was doing his job. He pulled over an individual that was driving recklessly and was endangering the lives of others.
What happened next is the nightmare of every police officer’s spouse: The driver, who was driving under the influence of both drugs and alcohol, shot Frank several times at point-blank range. Frank did not survive his injuries.
That driver was Ezeiquiel Lopez, an illegal immigrant with a significant criminal history. He should not have been in the United States. He fled the scene but was captured by local law enforcement. Lopez is now serving a life sentence in prison, but that will not bring Frank back to his wife, Amy, or his daughter, Angelina. She was just eight years old at the time, and just recently graduated high school. Her father couldn’t be there to see it. They deeply miss him every single day, and my heart goes out to both of them.
Frank was a local hero. A native of Kenosha, he was an eighteen-year veteran of the police force. He also served our country in the Marines. He saved a woman from a burning building. He received a Department Purple Heart for wounds he sustained from a gunshot while responding to a domestic abuse call. He should not have died at the hands of an illegal criminal.
This story haunts me and deepens my resolve. We must stop needless tragedies like this from taking place. We passed Kate’s Law in the House. The Senate must now take action. Kate’s Law— and other laws like it—must become the law of the land for Frank, his family, and countless other victims of such senseless tragedy.Read More
LAWRENCE, MA—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered remarks on the need for pro-growth tax reform to employees at New Balance’s factory in Lawrence, Massachusetts—one of the company’s five athletic shoe manufacturing facilities in New England. Below are Speaker Ryan’s full remarks as delivered.
“Let me just say a few things. First, I’m thrilled to be here because I’m kind of a gym rat, and I’ve never seen what my shoes look like being made. So that’s actually a really cool thing to see. It’s just amazing—the skill and the craftsmanship that goes into each shoe, and the fact that you can now customize. Just amazing. So you should be really proud of the work that you put into this, and really proud of what you achieve right here in our country. So thank you for that.
“Look, the reason that I think this is a special place is because what you have built here, this is the American idea, this is the American dream, this is what this country is built on.
“This is a business founded by an immigrant more than a century ago that has been built into a multibillion-dollar leader in the industry worldwide. That is a great American story.
“It’s a business that is headquartered right here in Lawrence, right here in the United States, that employs thousands of Americans.
“It’s a business that proudly labels many of its products Made in America. I see the signs all over here.
“Here’s the problem: Today, places like this, this is more the exception than the rule. That’s our problem.
“Companies are not flocking to the United States—companies are fleeing this country and taking their good jobs with them. They are not storing up their profits and their capital here—they are keeping them offshore. They are not making any of their products in America—they are making them in China. They are making them in India.
“In 1992, New Balance had an ad—I don’t know if you remember this—you had an ad that posed: ‘If we can make great athletic shoes in America, why can’t our competition?’
“Remember that ad?
“Well, here is one big reason why: Because we have the worst business tax code in the industrialized world. We are doing it to ourselves.
“The problem is we haven’t really done anything about it. It really is just what you said, Jim. It wasn’t since Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan. We haven’t addressed this issue since then. 1986. It’s the year I got my driver’s license. This is the last time we addressed our tax system, and whether or not it’s being competitive or not, and whether or not we are helping or hurting American businesses and American manufacturers.
“Here’s how crazy this system is. Right now, big businesses like this one, they pay a tax of at least 35 percent. Successful small businesses—that’s 8 of out 10 businesses in America—file their taxes [as individuals]. Successful small businesses, their top tax rate is 44.6 percent. So we’re taxing businesses, jobs creators, between 35 and almost 45 percent.
“Well, you know what overseas is like? Overseas, which were I come from means Lake Superior, I’m from Wisconsin. You know what they do overseas in Canada? They tax their businesses at 15 percent. Ireland is 12.5 percent. England is going down to 18 percent. China: 25 and going down. The rest of the world taxes their businesses at an average tax rate of 22.5 percent. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot. This is America saying we’re going to tax our job creators, our businesses, between like 35 and 45 percent. How can we possibly remain competitive with a tax code that actively works against us? And the answer is we can’t.
“So our plan is really simple. It is to get businesses competitive again.
“We are going to slash the corporate tax rate to level the playing field, and the businesses tax rate for all businesses, to level the playing field for companies like this. We’ve got to get these tax rates down. Because when we’re taxing our businesses at much, much higher tax rates than our foreign competitors are taxing theirs, we’re not going to win in that exchange.
“So what we need to do is we need to throw out those complicated loopholes, those deductions, those special-interest loopholes. And then we are going to create a new, lower tax rate specifically for manufacturers, for small businesses, for companies like this, for businesses across America, so they can actually compete.
“This will help bring good-paying jobs back from overseas and it’s going to increase our economic competitiveness.
“We are going to get rid of the ridiculous system that we have that tells American companies: Keep your money overseas. I mean literally what happens is companies that sell products like New Balance shoes overseas, they’ve got to keep that money overseas. They can’t bring it back. It’s ridiculous. We are the only country in the industrialized world that does this now.
“We literally have trillions of dollars parked overseas to avoid our tax system. This is money that could—and this is money that will—be reinvested in the American economy once our reform is in place. Let and encourage those companies to bring that money back home, reinvest in this country, reinvest in our people. Reinvest, pay taxes, build roads, get things done right here in America. That is so essential and so critical.
“So that is the business side of tax reform. Get our rates down. Make us competitive. Encourage companies to come back from overseas. We’ve got to reform that code because it is costing us jobs.
“Let’s talk about workers. Let’s talk about families.
“Right now, we got tax code that basically no one truly understands enforced by an agency no one really likes: the Internal Revenue Service. “Think about that sense of dread that you have not knowing how much you are going to pay. That feeling you get thinking about navigating all those forms and all those deductions. That feeling you get from the mere thought of having to deal with the IRS.
“We are going to simplify all of this. “First and foremost, we’re going to cut your taxes.
“You work hard, you work long, and the government’s quite honestly not making the best of it. I think you can do a whole lot more with your own money, keeping more of it in your own pocket, doing what you will with it, investing in your life, investing in your family. That helps grow this economy. “Next, we need to eliminate harmful and burdensome taxes like the death tax that makes it harder for families to pass businesses on to the next generation. “And finally, we will consolidate these deductions and we need to double the standard deduction, just to make the whole thing simpler—so that you can save and make your life less stressful come tax season.
“Imagine this. Imagine filling out your taxes on a form the size of a postcard. That’s what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about simplifying this thing so much that it’s so easy. You don’t have to go to a tax preparer, you don’t have to navigate all these rules and all these deductions, and all these loopholes, not knowing what it’s going to look like until you’re done with the process. Make it easy. Make it simple. Keep more of what you earn. And get the special interests out of it. And give people a postcard-type tax return. That’s what we’re talking about.
“That makes it easier for families. That makes it easier for workers. That helps grow the economy. That helps people in small towns like Janesville, Wisconsin or Lawrence, Massachusetts.
“So that is basically a quick overview of what we want to achieve. And the reason we want to achieve this is it’s high time to do it.
“It’s ambitious. There are a lot of people who say oh gosh this can’t be done. I mean, not since 1986 has it been done. You’re going to see a lot of talk like that. That’s what the cynical talk in Washington is like these days and just about every day I’ve seen in Washington. Don’t fall for it.
“We’re going to get this done in 2017. We’re going to get this done because we have to get this done. The competitiveness of our economy. The viability of our jobs. Making sure that we can be competitive. That we can grow. That we can create. That we can raise families and have faster growth, and not just the economy, but our wages, our standard of living.
“We cannot miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is a once-in-a-generation moment.
“It is time to cut taxes and simplify the code.
“It is time to create jobs and grow our economy.
“It is time to restore this nation to its full potential.
“It is time to get this done for our fellow citizens, the American people.
“And I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve been so fantastic. You’re working hard. You’re making a difference. You’re raising your families. You’re making us proud. You’re showing what a true American success story looks like. So thank you very much for having me. I really appreciate it.”Read More
This afternoon, Speaker Ryan will deliver remarks on the need for pro-growth tax reform to employees at New Balance’s factory in Lawrence, Massachusetts—one of the company’s five athletic shoe manufacturing facilities in New England. The speaker will discuss how tax reform will create jobs and grow our economy.
To learn more about our efforts to reform the broken tax code, visit speaker.gov and check out the links below.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act:
“Created in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security works to protect our nation. Today, Congress ensured that the Department of Homeland Security has the resources it needs to keep terrorists, traffickers, and smugglers out of the United States. This legislation is the first reauthorization of DHS since its creation, and it addresses the ever-evolving threats of our dangerous world. It also supports our nation’s first responders who put themselves in harm’s way every day. I applaud the overwhelming bipartisan passage of this legislation.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on Senator John McCain:
“John McCain has always been a warrior. It’s who he is. I know John is going to fight this with the same sheer force of will that has earned him the admiration of the nation. And all of us, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans, are behind him. The prayers of the whole House are with Senator McCain and his family.”Read More
“If you turn on the TV it says Russia this and Russia that and countdown clocks and all this stuff. We’re doing a lot of other things here in the Congress, we’re not letting that stuff distract us. We have done so much of our agenda already in the House in the first six months. Welfare reform and tax reform are the two big things we’ve got to do to complete our year for our fall agenda and infrastructure. We passed the biggest increase in border security, that’s already in law. We passed the biggest pay raise for our military in 8 years. We’ve passed landmark VA reform, overhauling the Veterans Administration. The day Jim Comey was testifying in the Senate, nobody knows this, but we passed in the House our repeal and replace of the Dodd Frank Law. We’ve passed Kate’s Law, sanctuary cities reform, we’ve repealed in law 14 Obama era regulations. We’ve passed obviously our repeal and replace. We’ve advanced new pro-life protections. We’ve restarted the school choice program in DC. We’ve done a lot of energy legislation, opening up American energy production. So we’ve done all of those things in the first 6 months.”
“We’ve got this chance, it’s a chance of a generation to get our country back on track, to get us off this progressive path we were on and we just cannot screw it up. We’ve got to get it done.”Read More
Here’s a quick update on our work to replace the broken tax code with a system that increases American competitiveness and cuts taxes for American families:
READ the House Republican budget, which not only balances in ten years and tackles our debt crisis, but also paves the way for transformational tax reform, at balancedbudget.gop. The Budget Committee will markup the budget at 10:00 a.m. ET this morning.
WATCH Speaker Ryan’s remarks at New Balance in Lawrence, Massachusetts tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. ET on how tax reform will make America the greatest place in the world to do business. Tune in at speaker.gov/live.
LEARN more about how tax reform will raise wages, boost income, and simplify the tax filing process for hardworking Americans. The Ways and Means Tax Subcommittee will hold a hearing at 2:00 p.m. ET, which you can watch live here.
WASHINGTON—On Thursday, July 20, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will be in Lawrence, Massachusetts, to visit the New Balance factory—one of the company’s five athletic shoe manufacturing facilities in New England. Speaker Ryan will participate in a business leader roundtable, tour the factory, and promote the historic tax reform plan currently being developed by the House, Senate, and Trump administration.
Members of the media are invited to cover the top of the roundtable, a brief segment of the factory tour, Speaker Ryan’s remarks, and to participate in media Q&A.
Details: Speaker Ryan to Tour Massachusetts New Balance Factory 5 S. Union St., Lawrence, MA 01843 Thursday, July 20, at 2:00 p.m. ET
2:00–3:10 p.m. ET PHOTO SPRAY/B-ROLL: New Balance Roundtable, Factory Tour Members of the media are invited for a pooled photo spray at the beginning of the roundtable and during a brief segment of Speaker Ryan’s factory tour. Portable, off-the-shoulder cuts cameras only; no tripods.
3:15 p.m. ET REMARKS/Q&A: Speaker Ryan’s Update on Tax Reform Following the tour, members of the media are invited to cover Speaker Ryan’s remarks and participate in a brief Q&A.
Due to space limitations, RSVPs will be accepted until at capacity. Media must RSVP to Molly Edwards at email@example.com by 9:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, July 20, and receive confirmation to gain entry. Media must present valid press credentials upon arrival. For safety reasons, all attendees must wear closed-toed shoes to be allowed on the factory floor.
Doors open at 12:00 p.m. ET sharp. As this is a working factory, this time will be strictly enforced. All media with large equipment must be pre-set by 1:00 p.m. ET for the security sweep. Satellite trucks may park on the southwest corner in the rear parking lot/loading dock area.
NOTE: Speaker Ryan’s remarks will be live-streamed on speaker.gov/live.Read More
Today on the Speaker’s Balcony, we welcomed students who have received a quality education with the help of school choice programs. Here from around the country--including Wisconsin, of course--they are on Capitol Hill to share their stories about the difference these initiatives have made in their lives. Their message is simple: school choice works.
This spring, Congress took action to expand school choice, increasing support for charter schools, and saving the groundbreaking DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. It is the only program in America where the federal government empowers parents to pick the schools that best meet their kids’ needs. The Washington Post reported that advocates for the program “were relieved after spending years fighting for its survival.” We have turned the page on years of uncertainty, and most importantly, put a better education in the reach of more children.
“When we give more families a choice, more students succeed.” -Speaker RyanRead More
Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed America’s energy potential, tax reform, and the budget introduced today by the House Budget Committee. Opening Remarks:
“Every day, we are pressing ahead on addressing the problems that Americans face in their everyday lives. That is why we continue to take action to free up America's energy potential. The potential we have in this country for energy is limitless. It’s exciting. And that’s why we’re taking action this week. And I want to also thank Markwayne Mullin for his hard work on this particular issue. “For families, this means lower prices. It means more jobs. It means more opportunities for our manufacturers, more opportunities for small businesses to grow and create. That is why we are working on also reforming our tax code. “Tomorrow, the Ways and Means Committee will hold another tax reform hearing. This one focuses the need to simplify the tax code for families. Under the status quo, we’ve got this complicated system where you have to navigate all these forms, all these deductions, not to mention deal with the Internal Revenue Service. “It’s too confusing. It’s too expensive. And we want to simplify the tax code and bring down rates to give people real relief and real peace of mind. And to set the stage for tax reform, we’re working on a balanced budget.
“This morning, Chairman Black released a budget that balances the budget in 10 years and tackles our debt crisis. I want to commend her for her leadership, and I want to commend the members of the Budget Committee for putting this bill together. This plan will mean more jobs and more growth, a stronger national defense, and real reforms to the way the federal government serves taxpayers. We look forward to the Budget Committee continuing their action and moving the bill through committee this week.
“These are just a few examples of how we are pressing ahead to address the problems that people face in their everyday lives.”Read More
At 3 p.m. ET today, President Trump will host an event at the White House showcasing products that are Made in America. All 50 states will be represented, including Pierce Manufacturing from Appleton, Wisconsin. The president will use this as an opportunity to stress the importance of keeping businesses in the United States and bringing jobs back home from overseas.
So how do we actually get there?
It starts with enacting commonsense, pro-growth tax reform. Speaker Ryan discussed this in a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers last month:
"Today, U.S. companies are leaving to become foreign companies, when it should be the other way around. We want foreign companies to become U.S. companies. We must think differently, so that once again we make things here and export them around the world. There are a number of ways to achieve this—we in the House have our own idea—and that is one of the things that we are discussing with the administration. But the bottom line here is this: We cannot accept a system that perpetuates the drain of American businesses overseas.”
As we speak, the House, Senate, and White House are working on a plan to fundamentally fix our broken tax code. And here in the House, the Ways and Means Committee is holding open hearings to discuss the benefits of tax reform for individuals and businesses. The next one will take place on Wednesday afternoon.
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimates that our blueprint will leapfrog our economy ahead of our competitors, create 1.7 million new full-time jobs, and raise average household incomes by 8.7 percent after taxes.
That’s why we are so committed to delivering a Made in America tax code in 2017. This is the promise we made to the American people, and we intend to keep it.
To learn more, visit speaker.gov or check out the links below:Read More
Over the last few days, Wisconsinites in southeastern Wisconsin—particularly Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth counties—have suffered from devastating floods. Last night, Speaker Ryan toured the area with Burlington Mayor Jeannie Hefty and first responders to assess the damage firsthand.
First responders from counties all over Wisconsin, and even some from Illinois, have come to help people in Burlington. When our friends and neighbors face crises, it’s important to come together to support one another. As Speaker Ryan said:
“I just want to say how impressed I am with this community. I am so impressed with our first responders. I want to say ‘thank you’ to our first responders. I am just so thankful that there has not been a loss of life.”
LIVE: House Speaker Paul Ryan talks to reporters after floods soak parts of his districtPosted by TODAY'S TMJ4 on Thursday, July 13, 2017
The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act is important for many reasons. It takes steps to rebuild our military for the 21st century. It increases funding for missile defense research and development. And it reforms our acquisition process to make it leaner and more cost-efficient.
One more thing: This bill fully funds a well-deserved pay raise for our troops—the largest in eight years. It also extends special pay and bonuses. More from Federal News Radio:
"The House Armed Services’ Personnel Subcommittee is recommending a 2.4 percent pay raise for those in the military, and it wants to add 17,000 troops to the Army."
Indeed, our servicemembers and their families make enormous sacrifices to defend this country. These brave men and women risk their lives on the frontlines to ensure we can live freely and safely here at home. They don’t ask for much, but this is the least we can do to say thank you.
As Speaker Ryan said this week, “With this defense bill, we are working to make sure that our Armed Forces have the tools and the resources that they need to defeat terror. This is the next step in keeping our promise to rebuild our military for the 21st century and the threats that it encapsulates. It includes support for military families, and honestly, a really well-deserved pay raise for our troops.”
Republicans and Democrats recently joined together to pass this bill out of the Armed Services Committee by a vote of 60-1. We hope that, in the spirit of supporting our troops, that bipartisanship will continue on the House floor today.
BREAKING NEWS → The House just voted 344 to 81 to give our troops a well-deserved pay raise—their largest increase in 8 years. pic.twitter.com/4is7wMWyZM— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 14, 2017
Today, Speaker Ryan discussed the myriad of issues the House is tackling this week, like human trafficking legislation, tax reform, and the annual national defense bill.
“The House continues to take action on issues that affect people in their everyday lives. “Yesterday, the House passed three more bipartisan initiatives to combat human trafficking. “Today, the Ways and Means Committee is holding another hearing on tax reform. This one focuses on the struggles that small businesses are facing under the current tax code. Under this crazy system we have, successful small businesses pay a top marginal tax rate as high as 44.6 percent. They cannot compete like that. This is one of the reasons this is so important that we reform our tax code: to level the playing field for more jobs and for more growth. This is essential if we’re ever going to get our economy growing at its potential. “Then tomorrow, the House is set to take action on our annual national defense bill. This is the next step in keeping our promise to rebuild our military for the 21st century. And this will give our troops a well-deserved, fully-funded pay raise. “So these are just a few big issues we’re making progress on this week.”Read More
Got plans this morning? If not, we hope you’ll tune in at 10:00 a.m. ET to a key Ways and Means Tax Subcommittee hearing on how tax reform will help small businesses grow, invest, and create new jobs.
Lawmakers will hear from small business owners about the struggles they face under the current tax code. These small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. While Washington should be making it easier for them to raise wages and hire, we’re actually doing the exact opposite. That’s why we must enact commonsense reforms that help our small businesses and grow our economy.
As Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) said, “Americans continue to witness how our current tax code stifles opportunities for small businesses and their workers in communities across our nation. . . . Their personal experiences and practical advice are essential as the House, Senate, and the White House work together to deliver comprehensive, permanent tax reform this year.”
The hearing follows another constructive meeting this week with House, Senate, and White House leaders. Republicans are more committed than ever to getting permanent, pro-growth tax reform done in 2017.Read More
Today, Speaker Ryan and several members of Congress held an event to discuss bipartisan legislation passed by the House to end human trafficking. Below are Speaker Ryan’s opening remarks:
“Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world. It’s a sinister enterprise that strikes at the very heart of our communities.
“Here with me today are Republicans and Democrats from all walks of life in our country. This is truly a national problem, and that means it’s going to take a national effort to solve it.
“We want law enforcement to have every possible resource to protect our citizens. And we want to give real support—and a voice—to the victims of these awful crimes.
“So today the House is taking more action to end human trafficking. And we are going to keep at this, because it is about the safety and security of our children and our country.”Read More
I think of our country as this beautiful idea. We call it the American idea—liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination, government by consent of the governed—that’s the awesome thing we have here.
We have stressed it, and we have stretched it, and our political dialogue has gotten worse. So what do we do about it?
We control our own actions.
Let’s be more civil. Let’s improve our tone. Let’s have a great debate on ideas and principles and solutions instead of ad hominem attacks against one another. Let’s make sure that when we’re debating somebody, we treat them civilly.
That is, I think, our duty to our country—to help improve the tone of debate and make our shared goal of finding solutions more civil.
Last year, we made a promise. We promised to the American people that, if given the opportunity, we would rebuild our military. This week, we are taking action to make good on this promise.
Later today, the House will begin consideration of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed out of committee by a bipartisan vote of 60-1.
The point of this bill is simple: to keep Americans safe.
Here are three key ways it does this:
First, it boosts defense spending by 10 percent from last year’s level to $696.1 billion, including $621.5 billion for base spending. This will give our troops the tools they need to complete their missions safely and efficiently.
Next, the bill provides the Army, Navy, and Air Force with their request for thousands of additional personnel. Following the depletion of our military under the Obama administration, this will help restore our forces to full strength.
And finally, it increases missile defense funding by $2.5 billion to help ensure we can protect the homeland from threats posed by advanced, long-range missiles.
This NDAA builds on the progress made in our most recent government funding bill to ensure our military is equipped to confront the threats and challenges of the 21st century.
Stay tuned for more NDAA updates at speaker.gov, and click here to learn more about the bill.Read More
Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed two initiatives on the House floor this week: the annual defense bill and a trio of bills to combat human trafficking.
“First—what you saw with these bills, you know what it’s about? It’s about keeping Americans safe. When people see what’s going on in the world—like the recent series of attacks in England—it renews those worries about something terrible happening in your own backyard.
“Every day, we talk about how important it is that we have the resolve to protect our country and to confront the threats that we have overseas and right here at home. Our actions need to match our resolve. “With this defense bill, we are working to make sure that our Armed Forces have the tools and the resources that they need to defeat terror. This is the next step in keeping our promise to rebuild our military for the 21st century and the threats that it encapsulates. It includes support for military families, and honestly, a really well-deserved pay raise for our troops. “With the trafficking bills—and I, too, want to thank Chris Smith for his just tireless determination to combat human trafficking. With these trafficking bills, we want law enforcement to have every possible resource at their disposal to fight this growing problem. That means protecting victims, who really are and should be the focus of this work. And it also means going after the perpetrators to the fullest extent. “I want to note that these are all ideas with broad, bipartisan support. The Republicans and the Democrats on these committees—they are the ones who work together closely on the issues. The defense bill, of course, has a decades-long bipartisan tradition. And I know that this is not the kind of work that attracts most of the attention around here. But we think this work is vital. “And so we continue to act on our agenda, and we continue to come together for the safety and security of the American people.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso:
“Today was a great opportunity to reaffirm the important relationship between the United States and Mexico. We also discussed many issues of mutual concern for our nations, including trade, border security, and counter-narcotics cooperation. I want to thank Secretary Videgaray Caso for his time and friendship.”Read More
Human trafficking. When we hear these two words, our minds often wander to distant places or stories of fiction. Surely, children aren’t really being sold into slavery in America. Surely, women aren’t being captured and used as slaves in our very own communities. Surely, we would be naïve to think such was the case.
This is the reality: Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received 145,764 reports of trafficking in America. In 2016, 7,572 cases were reported. The majority of these victims are women and children forced into heinous acts like prostitution, child labor, and pornography. And that only includes what’s on paper.
Unfortunately for the countless victims left voiceless, there isn’t a comprehensive system in place to measure the expansive reach of human trafficking—the children being forced into labor, the women being held captive in brothels. Many victims are brainwashed, or trained to fear law enforcement—meaning they, and the perpetrators, go completely undetected—invisible to society.
This is an epidemic—a human rights crisis—that must come to an end.
Tomorrow, the House will vote on three bipartisan bills to continue its efforts to crack down on human trafficking and implement a stronger detection system in the U.S.:
With the passage of these three bills—in addition to the 13 bills passed earlier this summer—we’ll begin to see a more effective system that can put a stop to human trafficking. Agencies will be better funded, officials better equipped, and communities better informed to apprehend these barbaric offenders.
Tomorrow, we move one step closer to an America that is safer for our women, children, and those most at risk of falling victim to such unspeakable crimes.Read More
(Photo credit: Jack Zellweger, Journal Times)
Speaker Ryan spent this week back in Wisconsin meeting with constituents and making the case for pro-growth tax reform.
Yesterday, the speaker held an employee town hall at Burlington Graphics System in Racine, where he spoke about the need and urgency to fix our broken tax code.
“Our job and our goal is to get tax reform done in 2017, so that when we roll into the new year in 2018 we roll into having a new tax code,” Speaker Ryan said.
At WPC Technologies in Oak Creek, Speaker Ryan explained how our corporate tax rate—the worst in the industrialized world—has allowed America to lag behind our foreign competitors in economic competitiveness.
“The top tax rate on WPC is 44.6 percent. So, if you have a good year, you’re paying a 44.6 percent federal tax rate. Guess what the Canadians would be taxing themselves? Same kind of company—15 percent.
“One of the reasons that we’re doing tax reform this year is to not just have more jobs and faster economic growth, but to put American businesses and manufacturers at a competitive scale globally.”
The town halls followed Speaker Ryan’s first major speech on tax reform last month to the National Association of Manufacturers. Click here or below to watch a one-minute recap of his remarks, or visit speaker.gov and the links below to learn more.Read More
Every generation or so, there is an opportunity to do something truly transformational—something that will jumpstart our economy, grow jobs, raise wages, increase American competitiveness, and put more money in your pockets.
That moment is now here, and are going to meet it. It’s time to fix our broken tax code
The last time we got this done was in 1986—the same year Speaker Ryan got his driver’s license. Over the last 31 years, our tax code has grown more complicated and less competitive, and it has stopped working for taxpayers.
This needs to change, and 2017 is the year we get this done. Why now? Why the urgency? Because we don’t have a choice.
America is losing good-paying jobs as businesses move offshore to foreign competitors with more competitive tax systems. Trillions of dollars—literally, trillions—are being stranded overseas as a result. And hardworking families continue to struggle under a tax code that is far too confusing and expensive.
Speaker Ryan stressed the urgency for tax reform in a recent speech to the National Association of Manufacturers:
“I am here to tell you: We are going to get this done in 2017. We need to get this done in 2017. We cannot let this once-in-a-generation moment slip by. Yes, the defenders of the status quo—and there are many—are counting on us to lose our nerve, to fall back, or put this off altogether.
"But we will not wait for a path free of obstacles, because it does not exist. And we will not cast about for quick fixes and half-measures. Transformational tax reform can be done, and we are moving forward. Full speed ahead.”
This unified Republican government—the House, the Senate, and the White House—are putting together a plan that will grow our economy and create jobs.
Our plan will simplify the code so you can file your taxes on a form the size of a postcard. And it will overhaul or corporate tax system—the worst in the industrialized worlds—in order to stop the drain of American businesses overseas.
To learn more, visit speaker.gov or check out the links below: Here's Why Tax Cuts Must Be Permanent: Top 5 Moments from Speaker Ryan’s First Major Tax Speech Speaker Ryan on Tax Reform: 'We are going to get this done in 2017' Full Text: Speaker Ryan's First Major Speech on Tax Reform Four Things Before Today's Tax Reform Speech Tax Reform: More Jobs, Higher Wages, and Renewed ConfidenceRead More
Tax reform is happening. Not next year or next Congress. It is happening now, in 2017.
We're not talking about some rinky-dink, watered-down version of reform where the status quo basically remains as is. No, instead, imagine transformational tax reform that closes decades of loopholes, shakes up the IRS, and actually encourages businesses to stay and grow here in America.
Now is the time. Make your voice heard as we move full speed ahead to simplify our tax code and make America competitive on the world stage once again.Read More
This Fourth of July, let's remember the blessings that we've been given in this amazing country. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from. In America—because of freedom of choice— you can do what you want to do, worship who you want to worship, and achieve whatever you set your mind to achieve.
There is no limit to what you can do with your life; it's not predetermined or government-ordained. That is what is so unique about America, and so often, we can all take it for granted.
So let's take this day together to remember and be grateful for the people who put their lives on the line each and every day to protect this privilege we have of being Americans.Read More
High-drama hearings and partisan sniping. That’s all that goes on in Washington these days, right? Not exactly.
Every day, there are hundreds of small, but important moments that don’t make headlines. Here are eight such moments from June that show, regardless of political affiliation, we’re all united in our humanity.
1. “You ready?” – Speaker Ryan, surrounded by Members from both sides of the aisle, is all smiles as he prepares to sign legislation that ensures our veterans get the care and treatment they deserve.
2. “You were just released from the hospital today?!” – Special Agent Crystal Griner surprises the crowd, and the speaker, when she shows up at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game to throw out the first pitch, the very same day she was released from the hospital after taking a bullet in the Alexandria shooting.
3. “That guy is unbelievable.” – Special Agent David Bailey, one of the heroes of the Alexandria shooting, shows off his million-dollar-smile before throwing out the first pitch at the annual Congressional Baseball Game.
4. “I’ve got to say ‘hi’ to the Sisters!” – Three Catholics share a laugh at a Faith and Freedom Summit.
5. “And YOU get a pen!” – Most of the bills passed in Congress are actually bipartisan. Speaker Ryan hands Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) one of the pens he used to sign legislation combatting agro-terrorism.
6. “We’re all Team Scalise.” – In a show of unity, Members and staff were seen around the Capitol sporting Team Scalise stickers in the Whip’s favorite color combo—LSU purple and gold.
7. “You are my hero.” – At an event honoring Congress’s three Korean War veterans, the Speaker greets Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and thanks him for his service.
8. “Say cheese, Jim!” – The bunny ears seem to be the Speaker's go-to when posing for pictures with friends. Here, he presents fellow Wisconsinite Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner with a custom Packers jersey for his birthday.Read More
“It would be hard to fault the average American for thinking all that’s going on in Washington these days is high-drama hearings and partisan sniping. But amid the countdown clocks and cable news chatter, something important is happening: Congress is getting things done to help improve people’s lives.” –Speaker Ryan, IJR op-ed
The House continues to take action to improve people’s lives and address the problems they face every day. You may not hear about these things when they happen, but here are some of the ways we are delivering on our agenda for the country.
Signed by President Trump
Passed by the House
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after hosting a bipartisan meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in:
“We were honored to be joined by President Moon on his first visit to the United States since his election. The relationship between our nations is underpinned by shared values and strong economic and military cooperation. That is why we must work hand-in-hand to address the threats posed by North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. South Korea is one of our most important allies in the world, and it’s clear President Moon shares our desire to strengthen our bilateral relationship.”
NOTE: Today’s meeting took place in the Speaker’s office in the U.S. Capitol. Participants included:
· House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
· House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
· House Chief Deputy Majority Whip Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
· House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
· Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA)
· Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY)
· Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX)Read More
Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan was joined by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Republican Conference Vice Chairman Doug Collins (R-GA), and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Raul Labrador (R-ID) at his weekly press conference. The leaders discussed two bills designed to keep Americans safe.
“I want to thank the leaders of our Judiciary Committee, and of course, I want to thank Secretary Kelly, for being here with us today. “This afternoon, the House will take action on two initiatives to keep Americans safe. The first is Kate’s Law.
“As you know, this is named after Kate Steinle, who was murdered two years ago in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant who had been deported several times. He should not have been here. And she should not have died. So this initiative? This initiative will toughen penalties for illegal immigrants who repeatedly re-enter the country.
“The second measure gives the government the authority to withhold grants from cities that fail to cooperate with federal law enforcement. By flagrantly disregarding the rule of law, sanctuary cities are putting lives at risk. And we cannot tolerate that. “Every day, Secretary Kelly leads professionals around the country—and around the world, quite frankly—who are charged with keeping our homeland safe. They make incredible sacrifices. Our job here is to make sure that those professionals have the tools that they need and the resources that they need carry out their work and protect our communities. “That is what these measures are all about. And we look forward to their passage in the House today.”Read More
We have much work to do to make our immigration system work better for America, and Congress is taking the first step this week. pic.twitter.com/EqkZZPZ6CU— House Judiciary (@HouseJudiciary) June 27, 2017
Kate Steinle was a 32-year-old woman living in San Francisco, working at a medical company. This very weekend, two years ago, her life was suddenly cut short when she was shot and killed by a convicted felon.
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez was an illegal immigrant with a rough criminal record of seven felonies. Not only that, but he had been caught already by authorities and deported—not once, not twice, but five times. This man should not have been on the streets. But on July 1st, he was roaming free around San Francisco. He stole a gun out of a federal officer’s car, fired shots in public, and shot Kate Steinle in the back.
Every murder is horrible, but perhaps the most haunting aspects of this crime was that it was so preventable.
San Francisco is a so-called “sanctuary city.” But this sanctuary city was not a sanctuary at all—not for Kate it wasn’t. By shielding criminal illegal immigrants from federal authorities, sanctuary cities are disobeying the law. And these actions have had fatal consequences. These cities are letting criminals like Lopez-Sanchez run free.
Sadly, Kate is just one of many victims. Sarah Root is another. She was killed in January of last year by an illegal immigrant who was drunk behind the wheel. In January 2015, Grant Ronneback was murdered at a convenience store by a convicted felon facing deportation who was free on bond.
This cannot stand. This week, the House will take action on two initiatives to protect law-abiding citizens.
One of these bills is named for Kate Steinle. H.R. 3004 is Kate’s Law and it will toughen the punishment for illegal immigrants who re-enter the country.
The second bill is H.R. 3003, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which cracks down on sanctuary cities and protects the public from dangerous criminals. In particular, it withholds federal grants from the cities that don’t cooperate with federal law enforcement.
We have a duty to protect our citizens. Let’s pass this legislation for Kate. Let’s pass it for Sarah and Grant. Let’s pass it to stop more people from becoming victims of senseless, preventable tragedies.Read More
Earlier this week, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade spent some time with Speaker Ryan and joined him inside an elected leadership meeting. The leaders reflected on Majority Whip Scalise’s empty seat and then got to work on this week’s agenda. Watch the full piece here and see excerpts from the transcript below.
Brian Kilmeade: “My big question to you guys obviously the big difference is the Majority Whip is not here. And just your thoughts right now, is it possible to have a normal every day meeting, despite what you are doing legislatively and knowing that Steve is battling like this?”
Speaker Paul Ryan: “This is where he normally sits. We are keeping his seat right here vacant until he returns. Most of us have gone to see him or we have spoken with him. He is making a very good recovery. We are -- our prayers are being answered.”
Leader Kevin McCarthy: “I have known Steve 10 years before he ever got here. This is one of the strongest men you will ever meet. It’s a very difficult obstacle. But I was just with him on Friday. Even the doctors will tell you how strong he has been through all of this.”
Kilmeade: “Very few viewers at home ever get a chance to see this. This is what you would normally wear and this is how you would normally sit. You are not doing this for us, right?”
Speaker Ryan: “This is our elected leadership team. We start the week this way, where we are planning the week. You will see our agenda. It’s all of the things we're doing this week. We are doing our medical malpractice reform bill. Two immigration bills. Kate’s Law, sanctuary cities. The Senate is busy with health care as well. We are all blocking and tackling and getting our agenda done.”
<p>Earlier this week, <em>Fox &amp; Friends</em> co-host Brian Kilmeade joined Speaker Ryan inside an elected leadership meeting. The leader&rsquo;s reflected on Majority Whip Scalise&rsquo;s empty seat and then got to work on this week&rsquo;s agenda. Watch the full piece <a data-cke-saved-href="http://video.foxnews.com/v/5485650062001/?playlist_id=930909787001#sp=show-clips" href="http://video.foxnews.com/v/5485650062001/?playlist_id=930909787001#sp=show-clips" target="_blank">here</a> and see excerpts from the transcript below.</p> <p><em>Brian Kilmeade: &ldquo;My big question to you guys obviously the big difference is the Majority Whip is not here. And just your thoughts right now, is it possible to have a normal every day meeting, despite what you are doing legislatively and knowing that Steve is battling like this?&rdquo;</em></p> <p><em>Speaker Paul Ryan: &ldquo;This is where he normally sits. We are keeping his seat right here vacant until he returns. Most of us have gone to see him or we have spoken with him. He is making a very good recovery. We are -- our prayers are being answered.&rdquo;</em></p> <p><em>Leader Kevin McCarthy: &ldquo;I have known Steve 10 years before he ever got here. This is one of the strongest men you will ever meet. It&rsquo;s a very difficult obstacle. But I was just with him on Friday. Even the doctors will tell you how strong he has been through all of this.&rdquo;</em></p> <p><em>Brian Kilmeade: &ldquo;Very few viewers at home ever get a chance to see this. This is what you would normally wear and this is how you would normally sit. You are not doing this for us, right?&rdquo;</em></p> <p><em>Speaker Paul Ryan: &ldquo;This is our elected leadership team. We start the week this way, where we are planning the week. You will see our agenda. It&rsquo;s all of the things we&#39;re doing this week. We are doing our medical malpractice reform bill. Two immigration bills. Kate&rsquo;s Law, sanctuary cities. The senate is busy with healthcare as well. We are all blocking and tackling and getting our agenda done&rdquo;</em></p>Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with a delegation of speakers from Nordic and Baltic states:
“It was a pleasure to host my counterparts from these important Nordic and Baltic partners. After visiting with some of these speakers earlier in the year, it was good to confer with them again, especially after yesterday's vote in the House to reaffirm America's commitment to NATO and Article 5. Interparliamentary cooperation is a bedrock of our transatlantic alliances. Together, we are determined to work toward a more safe and secure future for this generation and the next.”
NOTE: Today’s meeting took place in the Speaker’s office in the U.S. Capitol. Participants included:
· Speaker Urban Ahlin (Sweden), Delegation Lead
· Speaker Olemic Thommessen (Norway)
· Speaker Eiki Nestor (Estonia)
· Speaker Ināra Mūrniece (Latvia)
· Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis (Lithuania)
· Speaker Maria Lohela (Finland)
· Speaker Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir (Iceland)Read More
As the news on Obamacare gets more dire by the day, it’s more important than ever to repeal and replace. You’ve heard a lot about the American Health Care Act, which the House passed in May. It repeals Obamacare and replaces it with a truly patient-centered system that increases coverage choices and lowers premiums. It reforms Medicaid, uses refundable tax credits, and expands health savings accounts—all while protecting pre-existing conditions.
The reforms in the AHCA take advantage of the reconciliation process, a tool that allows the Senate to avoid filibuster and vote with a simple majority.
But our plan to reform health care reform doesn’t end there. We promised that we would take up more bills that will further increase access and lower costs for consumers. They’ve been called phases, they’ve been called buckets, but here’s the important thing: We are fulfilling that promise.
In the past two weeks, the House has passed three bills that make important reforms to our nation’s health care system—reforms that can be used now and after Obamacare is repealed.
Verify First Act: Under Obamacare, health care subsidies were handed out without verifying the recipient’s status as a U.S. citizen. This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), protects taxpayers by making sure the refundable tax credits under the AHCA are given to U.S. citizens only.
VETERAN Act: This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), ensures that veterans will be able to take advantage of health care benefits, including the refundable tax credits under the AHCA.
Broader Options for Americans Act: Under Obamacare, Americans who have lost their job have access to health insurance they received through work—COBRA coverage—but still have to pay inordinately high premiums. Sponsored by Rep Pat Tiberi (R-OH), this legislation will give those people access to the AHCA’s refundable tax credits so they can weather the hard time.
Last but not least, the House will vote on the Protecting Access to Care Act this week. This legislation addresses the rampant medical malpractice lawsuits in our health care system—a feature that drives up the cost of health care exponentially. This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-IA), is targeted at health care as part of a federal program, subsidy, or tax benefit. It caps non-economic damages at $250,000 (while keeping economic damages uncapped) and puts new limits on contingency fees on lawyers, so patients can keep more of their damage awards. This all means lower health care costs for families.
As Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said, “Achieving all of the President’s goals to reform healthcare will require more than what is possible in a budget reconciliation bill.”
Phases, buckets, whatever you want to call it—the House is following through on our commitment to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a new, strengthened patient-centered system.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after House passage of H. Res. 397, his bipartisan resolution reaffirming Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty:
“Congress has a long bipartisan tradition of building and strengthening our overseas alliances. Earlier this year, I led a delegation of Republicans and Democrats to key NATO allies in Europe to deliver a clear message that NATO is absolutely essential to our national security and global stability. And today, lawmakers from both parties came together to reaffirm the principle of collective defense and urge our allies to meet their defense spending obligations. The United States must remain the world’s leading force for good, but we cannot confront the challenges of the 21st century alone. With all the threats we and our partners face around the globe, a strong and secure NATO is more important than ever before. I thank my fellow House leaders and colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting this important resolution.”
NOTE: H. Res. 397 is co-sponsored by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), and Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY).Read More
This morning, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox & Friends in a sit-down interview with co-host Brian Kilmeade. The two discussed how, despite what you may or may not see on TV or Twitter, the House is delivering wins for the American people. Here is video from part one of the interview, along with a couple of excerpts from the transcript.
“We're doing so much here in Congress, knocking down our agenda, our list of items to do, but a lot of people aren't paying attention to it or the media is not paying attention to it. Nevertheless we are still charging ahead.”
“We laid out with the president a plan for this term of Congress. 2017-2018. How do we keep our promises? How do we improve people's lives? How do we enact an agenda? We are well on our way in doing that. Remember the day Jim Comey was testifying in the Senate? That's all anybody paid attention to. Guess what the House did that day. We repealed and replaced Dodd Frank. This week we are doing medical liability reform. We’re doing two immigration bills. Kate's Law, sanctuary cities.”
Part two of their interview will air tomorrow on Fox & Friends, as Brian joins the Speaker inside a House GOP leadership meeting.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Trump administration’s withdrawal of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule:
"The West has finally won in the battle over the Obama administration’s WOTUS rule. This regulation would have been a disaster for the West and rural communities across the country, giving Washington near-total control over water resources. The livelihoods of American farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs were at stake. I applaud the Trump administration for siding with American jobs and rescinding this harmful rule.
Summary: This morning at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed legislation the House is working on to better enforce our laws and keep the American public safe.
“Keeping Americans safe is the highest priority of our government. That, more than anything, is what these enforcement bills are all about. This is about protecting law-abiding citizens and getting criminals off of our streets, plain and simple. “We are not just dealing with a problem of lax enforcement or looking the other way. This is a flagrant disregard for the rule of law. And it’s putting American lives at risk. Families want to know that their communities are safe. They deserve to know that. “As you just heard, the members of our Judiciary Committee—Martha Roby, John Ratcliffe—they’ve taken a long look at this. They’ve heard testimony from law enforcement officials: ‘What do we need to do to keep people safe?’ And they have heard the heart wrenching stories of the families that have been hurt by these crimes. “So this week, we will take up responsible legislation to protect public safety. These enforcement initiatives deserve the House’s strong support. “Look, we cannot bring back those that we’ve lost. What we can do—what we must do—is take action to protect public safety and prevent these senseless crimes. That is why the president made a promise to act. And that is why we have made a promise to act. “We must enforce our laws. We must keep our citizens safe. And that is what the House is doing this week.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with UN Ambassador Nikki Haley:
“It was great to see my good friend Nikki Haley this afternoon. Ambassador Haley has already taken significant steps to restore sanity to the United Nations. We discussed her efforts to counter Russian aggression, combat the delegitimization of Israel, and confront the threats posed by North Korea. I also thanked Ambassador Haley for being a strong voice for American values by promoting human rights and democracy abroad. Together with President Trump, we will restore America as a leading force for good.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, ruling that it is unlawful to deny a church an otherwise available public benefit on account of its religious status:
“This is an important ruling for religious liberty with profound significance for America’s civil society. Religious liberty is a fundamental right; it means much more than the ability to worship freely. Our religious institutions must be able to contribute to education and the public good—that is part of their core mission. When the government places special burdens on churches specifically because they are religious institutions, that is discrimination, plain and simple. I commend the Supreme Court for standing up for religious institutions and the Constitution.”Read More
So this is an anti-roundup. It is a compilation of things we did not get to e-mail out to you. All in all, the team tells me we took more than 1,600 photos this week. We do this not just to capture the business of the House, but also all the moments in between. Here is a bit of both:
1. On Wednesday, the Capitol Hill community took part in the Congressional Women's Softball Game for charity. The highlight of the night occurred before the game, when Special Agent Crystal Griner, injured in last week's shooting in Alexandria, threw out the first pitch. We tried to pack it all into this 33-second video.
2. The next day, Speaker Ryan signed commemorative resolutions for all five of the victims of last week's shooting. Here is the text of the resolution, in which the House “stands firm in its belief that violence has no place in a pluralistic society where differences are settled through debate, ballots, and a legislative process, which rests at the bedrock of our representative democracy.”
3. Shortly before leaving his for big tax reform speech on Tuesday, Speaker Ryan met with leaders of Disabled American Veterans. Pictured to the Speaker’s right is David Riley, the first Coast Guard veteran and the first quadruple amputee to lead the organization.
5. A nice moment on Thursday afternoon, when Speaker Ryan signed the bipartisan Securing Our Agriculture and Food Act. The Speaker gave pens to the three lawmakers who helped make the bill a reality, including Rep. Donald Payne Jr., (D-NJ.)Read More
Today, at 11:30 a.m. ET, President Trump will sign the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act into law.
This legislation, which passed the House last week with strong bipartisan support, is a major victory for our veterans and their families. Finally, after years of corruption and mismanagement, we’re bringing sanity back to the VA. That’s why the country’s leading veterans organizations support these critical reforms to restore accountability and protect whistleblowers.
Click here to learn more about the bill and check out some of the latest news clips below:
“Congress approved long-sought legislation Tuesday to make firing employees easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs, part of an effort urged by President Donald Trump to fix a struggling agency serving millions of veterans.” (AP)
“The legislation follows several high profile scandals that included veterans dying waiting to get appointments at VA hospitals and one top manager at a Wisconsin facility who widely distributed narcotics got a bonus, even after a patient died of an overdose.” (CNN)
“Reforming the VA and increasing accountability on VA employees was a consistent theme of Trump’s during the campaign. The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act would protect whistleblowers within the department and make it easier to fire federal employees.” (NBC News)
“VA Secretary David Shulkin has called on lawmakers for months to grant him greater authority over the firing of employees who are guilty of misconduct. Shulkin's case received a boost of urgency in March after the department struggled to fire a VA worker who was caught watching porn while with a patient.” (Free Beacon)
“The bill includes new protections against retaliation for VA staffers who expose corruption. It establishes an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection within the department and forbids the VA secretary from retaliating against whistleblowers who have filed a complaint with the VA general counsel's office. It was whistleblowers who helped expose the nationwide scandal over long waits for care three years ago.” (NPR)
“The bill would allow the department’s secretary to fire, suspend or demote an employee with only 15 days' notice. Employees would be able to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board in an expedited timeframe. MSPB would have 180 days to issue a decision, a much longer period than the 45-day timeline set up in the House bill. Employees would maintain the right to appeal an MSPB decision to federal court.” (GovExec)
“The reform bill would make it easier to fire employees for cause, adds some protections for whistleblowers and puts more power in the hands of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. Dan Caldwell, director of policy for Concerned Veterans for America, an advocacy group, said the bill will replace a system he said is too bureaucratic, too slow and too lenient on employees, sending the message that the ‘days of employees who engage in flagrant misconduct’ are over.” (LA Times)
“The department’s reputation was also tarnished following a wide-reaching scandal three years ago involving VA employees manipulating data to downplay how long veterans were waiting for medical appointments. Then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned as a result. . . . The bill now heads to Trump’s desk, where he is expected to sign it. Trump repeatedly vowed on the campaign trail that he would increase accountability at the VA and tweeted his support of the bill after the Senate passed it last week.” (The Hill)
“The House voted 368-55 Tuesday to send President Trump legislation to ease worker protections at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The legislation, written in response to recent scandals at the department over manipulation of waiting lists and poor conditions at hospitals, will make it easier to fire VA workers over such problems.” (Washington Examiner)
“A veterans affairs accountability bill described as ‘desperately needed’ landmark legislation that makes it easier to fire employees for misconduct and encourages whistleblowers to call attention to wrongdoing passed the House on a lopsided vote Tuesday evening. The vote was 368 to 55. The same measure passed the Senate last week on a voice vote and is now headed to the White House for signing into law by President Donald Trump.” (USA Today)Read More
Thirty one years after the last tax reform, Republicans are determined to finally replace our broken tax code with a system that benefits all Americans. And we're determined to go big.
As the nonpartisan Tax Foundation argues in a recent study, “a temporary cut to the corporate income tax rate is substantially less effective than a permanent one.” That’s because short-term tax relief disincentivizes job creators from making long-term investments in their businesses. While temporary cuts may provide a brief uptick in economic growth, these effects would fade in a matter of years. In fact, a temporary rate cut could actually result in economic decline rather than growth.
Look and see for yourself:
Speaker Ryan stressed this very point in a major address to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) this week:
"There is one last piece to this puzzle, and it goes back to the idea that all of this is about looking down the road, and planning for the future. These reforms—these tax cuts—they need to be permanent.
“Every expert agrees that temporary reforms will only have a negligible impact on wages and economic growth. Businesses need to have confidence that we will not pull the rug out from under them. They need the certainty from permanent tax cuts to hire more workers, invest in their businesses, and plan for the future.”
So here’s the reality: If we truly want to raise wages, create jobs, spur economic growth, and build the confident America we know is possible, key elements of our tax plan must be permanent. Now is the time to get this done.
To learn more, visit speaker.gov or check out the links below:
Top 5 Moments from Speaker Ryan’s First Major Tax Speech Speaker Ryan on Tax Reform: 'We are going to get this done in 2017' Full Text: Speaker Ryan's First Major Speech on Tax Reform Four Things Before Today's Tax Reform Speech Tax Reform: More Jobs, Higher Wages, and Renewed ConfidenceRead More
Summary: Today at his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan discussed two ways the House is delivering for the American people: VA reform and career education legislation.
“This has been a busy week delivering on our agenda for the country. “Yesterday, for those of you who may have missed it, Republicans and Democrats came together to send important Veterans Administration reform legislation to the president’s desk. We’ve all seen the scandals of the last few years. We saw the waiting lists. We saw the scandals. Things clearly need to change at the Veterans Administration. And this bill is going to help deliver the kind of fundamental reform that is needed to solve these problems. It will help our veterans get the world-class care and treatment that they deserve, and that they have earned. “We still have a lot of work to do, but we are going to keep at it until we—as a country—can say that we are really and honestly keeping our promises that we have made to our veterans. “And then later today—today, we expect a big bipartisan vote for Glenn Thompson’s bill to improve career and technical education. This initiative is going to make it easier for people to get the skills they need to fill better, higher-quality, higher-paying jobs. A good technical skills job can mean everything. It can be the foundation of a successful career and a great future. I see this everywhere I look in my own home state of Wisconsin. This bill can make a real difference for American workers. “So, bottom line: Every day here, we are working to address the problems that people face in their daily lives. These are just two more examples of coming together and delivering on our agenda.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the first hearing of the Speaker’s Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs, chaired by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT). Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“I want to start by thanking Leader Pelosi and all the members on both sides of the aisle who have agreed to serve on the Task Force. I also want to thank the witnesses here today and those who have volunteered to serve on the Advisory Board to the Task Force.
“I want to especially thank Chairman Bishop. We are here today because of his commitment to a bipartisan dialogue on federalism that is truly driven from the bottom up.
“The way I see this is: Federalism does not belong to one party or the other—it is a founding principle that we all cherish. It embodies the genius of genuine self-government, because government works best when it works from the bottom up, when it is accessible and accountable to the people it serves and is responsive to their needs. But in recent years, the principle of federalism has slowly eroded under an overreaching federal government.
“In Congress, we may not always see things the same way, but there is no question we can all work as better partners with state, local, and tribal leaders. We know we have so much to learn about how state and local leaders are solving the problems of the day. And of course Washington does not know best, and one size does not fit all. More partnership, less arrogance, and a willingness to listen and learn will go a long way.
“Under Chairman Bishop’s leadership, this Task Force will study ways to restore the proper balance of power between the federal government and states, tribal, and local governments. And it will look at how we can reduce needless regulatory burdens facing communities across the nation.
“Look, I have always believed that we are at our best here when we are debating ideas, and that is what this is all about. It is about having two ears and one mouth, and using them in that proportion. So I am really looking forward to what this task force produces. I want to again thank Chairman Bishop for his leadership, and thank you all for being here today.”
WASHINGTON—This afternoon, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)—joined by House Republicans and House Democrats who serve on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee—signed major bipartisan VA reform legislation. The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act is a direct response to the VA scandals of the last three years. It now heads to the president’s desk for his signature. At today’s signing, Ryan was flanked by House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN), House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-MN), and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-GA). Speaker Ryan said: “I want to thank the members of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee for bringing this very important legislation through. We all saw the scandals at the VA. We need to make sure something like this never happens again, and that the veterans get the care and treatment that they deserve, that they have earned.” Chairman Roe said: “I think it’s one of the most important pieces of legislation that we’ve passed as far as reforming the VA since we’ve been there.” Ranking Member Walz said: “You see standing behind us the bipartisan members of the VA Committee. We pride ourselves on being a committee that focuses on delivering for our veterans.” Chairman Isakson said: “We formed a team that finally realized we needed to do what was right for our veterans, and right for our country.” Here are more resources on this important bipartisan legislation: Real Action to Help Our Veterans Key Veterans Organizations Back Major Bipartisan VA Reform ‘One of Our Most Important Promises’: Speaker Ryan Talks VA Accountability
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after hosting a bipartisan meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko:
"It was a privilege to welcome a friend of the House, Petro Poroshenko, back to the Capitol. Solidarity with Ukraine transcends party lines in Congress because Republicans and Democrats agree that this relationship is critical to our national security and our shared values. Today, we discussed ways to build on this partnership and counter threats posed to both of our nations by Russia. I reaffirmed my support for a united front against Russian aggression, including support for additional sanctions. We were encouraged to hear additional details of the president’s reform agenda, and look forward to that process continuing. We stand with President Poroshenko and the people of Ukraine as they work toward a more secure and prosperous future."
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after Anthem announced that it will reduce its offerings in Wisconsin next year to one plan in one county:
“Because of Obamacare, many Wisconsinites will now have to scramble to find new plans and new doctors. This law has failed our state, where average individual market premiums have skyrocketed by 93 percent since 2013. Obamacare is clearly collapsing, and we have to step in before more families get hurt. We are on a rescue mission to replace this collapsing law with a better system so that people have lower costs, more choices, and real peace of mind. We need to get this done.”Read More
Summary: Today at a press conference with House Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed closing the skills gap with policies that encourage skills-based education.
“As you know, the president visited Wisconsin to highlight this very issue that we’re talking about—that GT and Carlos brought to us. He was at Waukesha County Technical College.
“Ours is a state with a very low employment rate. In fact, the unemployment rate in Wisconsin is the lowest it’s been since 1999. So we’ve got jobs.
“But the challenge that we have, where I come from, is we need workers with the right skills to fill those in-demand jobs. We have to close this skills gap. This is huge in the Midwest. It’s something I hear about every single time I tour a business. So, we’ve got to make sure we can get people with the right skills. And while we talk a lot about college, there is just no one-size-fits-all solution here.
“We need to renew our emphasis on trades, on apprenticeships, on career and technical education. This is how we help get people into jobs that will double and triple what they’re already making, and put them on a steady career path. You can do really well in Wisconsin and have a great life and a good future for your family with a good technical skills job.
“So the work that Carlos Curbelo, Glenn Thompson, and the people at the Education and the Workforce Committee—the work that they’re doing is all about making sure that it pays to work, and getting people out of poverty and onto the ladder of opportunity. This is one of the most important contributions we can make in this Congress to improve people’s lives.
“But if you look back over the last month or so—whether it is sending regulatory reform to the president’s desk; whether it’s passing the CHOICE Act to help community banks help these small businesses get the capital they need to grow and hire; or, taking the action to expand career and technical education.
“We are in the midst of delivering on our agenda to address the problems that people face in their daily lives. That’s why we were elected. That’s what we ran on. And that’s what we’re doing.”Read More
Yesterday, Speaker Ryan delivered his first major address on tax reform at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 2017 Manufacturing Summit. The speech focused on the need to get permanent, pro-growth tax reform enacted in 2017.
Watch the full speech here, and check out the top five moments below:
We Are Going to Cut Taxes
A Once-In-A-Generation Moment
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will hold a ceremonial swearing-in for Representative-elect Greg Gianforte (R-MT) today, June 21, at approximately 1:30 p.m. ET. Members of the media are invited to cover the photo spray. Immediately following, Rep.-elect Gianforte will be sworn in on the House floor.
Details: Ceremonial swearing-in of Rep-Elect Greg Gianforte Wednesday, June 21, at approx. 1:30 p.m. ET, pending votes H-217, the speaker’s ceremonial office
Media may pre-set no earlier than 1:10 p.m. Carts and gear must be stored in H-320. For more information, please contact House Radio-TV Gallery staff at 202-225-5214.Read More
Today, Speaker Ryan made the case for commonsense, pro-growth tax reform in a major address to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 2017 Manufacturing Summit. “We are going to get this done in 2017,” the speaker said. “We need to get this done in 2017.”
Click here to watch the full speech, and check out some of the latest news clips below.
“House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) expressed confidence Tuesday that Republicans can ‘fix this nation’s tax code, once and for all’ this year. . . . Mr. Ryan’s speech to the National Association of Manufacturers, sandwiched between cable news appearances, was meant to build momentum and public support for the party’s aims. Republicans see a tax overhaul as a political necessity that would deliver on one of their core campaign promises.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Speaking at the National Association of Manufacturers 2017 Manufacturing Summit in Washington, Ryan vowed to repeal the estate tax, consolidate America's seven individual tax brackets to three, reduce the tax burden on business and disincentivize companies from reincorporating overseas and shielding international earnings from the taxman. And he promised he and his colleagues on Capitol Hill would accomplish that by the beginning of 2018.” (US News and World Report)
“[Ryan] delivered a high-level endorsement of lowering tax rates and bringing back cash that corporations currently have stashed overseas to avoid the 35 percent corporate tax rate. In his address, he also touted the GOP agenda on health care and financial regulation. And he discouraged the audience from overreacting to the news of the day about the status of tax reform talks.” (Washington Examiner)
“Rewriting the tax code is a goal that is dear to Mr. Ryan’s heart, and he is preparing to push through the headwinds that have stymied lawmakers for the last 30 years. ‘Transformational tax reform can be done, and we are moving forward,’ he will say. ‘Full speed ahead.’” (New York Times)
“Paul Ryan, the top Republican lawmaker in Congress, has warned his party against accepting half measures on tax reform. . . . Mr. Ryan said: ‘These reforms — these tax cuts — they need to be permanent. Every expert agrees that temporary reforms will only have a negligible impact on wages and economic growth. Businesses need to have confidence that we will not pull the rug out from under them.’” (Financial Times)
“Mr. Ryan used a highly anticipated speech at a National Association of Manufacturers event to try to deliver a unifying pitch and urge proponents not to let a ‘once-in-a-generation’ opportunity slip from their grasp, as lawmakers work behind the scenes to hammer out the details of a plan.” (Washington Times)
“Tuesday's remarks will build upon themes raised in his previous ‘Confident America’ speech delivered shortly after taking the role as House Speaker. . . . The Speaker chose the National Association of Manufacturers as the venue for the speech, his office said, because ‘few industries have demonstrated so much resilience or have as much stake in our economic debate as American manufacturing.’” (CBS News)
“He also pushed for adoption of a territorial tax system for multinational corporations. Currently, the United States is one of only a handful of countries that tax businesses on worldwide earnings once they are brought back into the country—encouraging companies to shift their headquarters and profits overseas.” (CNBC)
“To deal with the constraints of reconciliation, Ryan and the leaders of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee have been pushing for revenue-neutral tax reform that is permanent. Business leaders who testified at a Ways and Means Committee hearing last month also said that permanency of tax changes is important to provide certainty.” (The Hill)
“Four days before the one-year anniversary of the release of his tax blueprint, House Speaker Paul Ryan delivered a pep talk seeking to assuage growing doubts about the prospects for a major tax overhaul. . . . Ryan’s speech urged Republicans not to squander an opportunity to ‘do something transformational’ for the economy and overhaul the tax code permanently.” (Bloomberg)
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered his first major speech on tax reform at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 2017 Manufacturing Summit. Below are Speaker Ryan's full remarks as prepared for delivery. Watch the speech live now.
"Thank you very much, Jay. "It is such an honor to follow my dear friend, our Vice President, Mike Pence. "Together, we are working on a bold agenda for the country. Regulatory reform. Health care reform. Tax reform. Rebuilding our military. And after years of talking about these problems, we are finally doing something about them. "But I do not view this as a simple checklist of government. Or just turning the page on the policies of the recent past.
"This is much bigger than that. And it goes back to something I talked about not long after I became Speaker, but something that is as relevant as ever today. "It is about building a confident America. An America where people are confident they can get a job that pays well in an economy that is growing. An America where people are confident that their children will grow up with real security and opportunity. "And we want an America where people are confident we can withstand any challenge, and emerge even stronger. "This, to me, is the great task before us.
"Because these are anxious times. We all feel it. "It is not something we often think about in the rush of our daily lives, but we are being tested. Our capacity to come together and to always move forward toward a better, stronger nation is being tested. "That is what defines us as Americans. It is not about our struggles. It is about how we overcome them—how we bounce back.
"So this is what drives me every day as a policymaker: How do we build up our country’s antibodies? What I mean by that is, how do we fill up that well of resilience we can call on when things get tough? "I believe I have come to the right place to talk about how we get there. "How many times in recent years have the so-called experts told us that American manufacturing is never coming back? That its best days were in the rear view mirror. "But right now, there are nearly a million more Americans working in manufacturing than there were at the beginning of this decade. Manufacturing is thriving across the country. "Now you know as well as anyone how quickly things can change. And when they do, will we be able to say that we are ready? Will our workers be ready to take on jobs that do not even exist yet? Will our economy be ready to handle disruptions that we cannot fathom yet? That is our test.
"And that is why, working with President Trump, we are delivering on an agenda to create jobs and grow our economy. "To begin fixing our regulatory system, we have repealed Obama-era red tape with a legislative tool known as the Congressional Review Act.
"Before this Congress, this tool had only been used successfully once. Once in the 20 years it has been on the books. "But since January, 14 Congressional Review Acts have been signed into law. It is estimated that these actions could save families and businesses more than $36 billion. "And we are just getting started. "To revitalize Main Street, earlier this month the House passed the Financial CHOICE Act. "You have seen as much as anyone the hit that community banks have taken from the countless costly rules coming out of Washington. These banks are the very lifeblood of credit for small business across our country.
"Our plan will give real relief to community banks, and make it easier for small businesses to get the capital they need to grow and hire. "Another thing we need to do to make our workforce more resilient is close the skills gap. This is so important. We need to connect people with the skills they need to get good-paying, in-demand jobs. "That is why, on Thursday, the House will be taking action on critical legislation to expand career and technical education. This has strong support from both sides of the aisle, and we need to get it to the president’s desk. "And our work continues to repeal and replace Obamacare. Because this law is clearly collapsing.
"Americans nationwide face rising double-digit premium increases.
"And coverage choices are disappearing.
"In 30 percent of the counties throughout America, people have one or no plans to choose from.
"This month, Anthem decided to quit the Obamacare exchange in Ohio, leaving 18 counties with zero coverage options next year.
"Last month, Blue Cross Blue Shield decided to quit the Missouri exchange, leaving 25 counties with zero coverage options.
"And also last month, Medica signaled it will quit the Iowa exchange, which would leave 94 of 99 counties in the state—70,000 people—with zero coverage options.
"So this is the story across the country. Higher premiums. Little or no choice. A death spiral.
"We are engaged in nothing short of a rescue mission to finally bring relief to Americans struggling under the law, and give everyone access to the care they need.
"So in just five months, we have made some real progress getting government out of your way. And your support has been a big reason why. Thank you. "But once in a generation or so, there is an opportunity to do something transformational—something that will have a truly lasting impact long after we are gone. "That moment is here and we are going to meet it. "Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to fix this nation’s tax code once and for all.
"You may recall that the last time we did this was three decades ago—the same year I got my driver’s license. Yes, a lot has changed since then. Our economy is more interconnected with the rest of the world than ever before. The Internet has transformed the way we do business and go about our lives.
"But as the world changed, our tax code has remained stuck in neutral. It has ballooned to 70,000 pages of rules and regulations that few people today actually understand. There is an old line about this: our tax code is about five times as long as the Bible, but with none of the Good News.
"President Trump recently introduced a set of principles for tax reform, and right now we—the House and Senate—are working with the administration to turn them into a transformational tax reform plan. Chairman Kevin Brady and our Ways and Means Committee members are holding open hearings and meeting with stakeholders on this right now.
"I want to take a few minutes to walk you through what that kind of reform will look like.
"Let’s start with families and individuals.
"At some point along the way, our tax system started working for the tax collectors rather than the hardworking taxpayers.
"Look at what happens during tax season. I could describe the complexity of the code all day, but what really defines our tax code is that sense of dread that you feel. You know that feeling?
"You have to navigate long, complicated forms to file your returns. You need to wade through a seemingly endless amount of deductions and credits, each with its own rules and eligibility requirements.
"And then, after you tally up those deductions, you are placed in up to seven different federal tax brackets based on your income level.
"And at the end you hope—I mean really hope—that you do not owe a bunch this year. You hope, because you do not really know ahead of time. How could you? This whole system is too confusing, and just too darn expensive.
"We have got to stop this madness. Don’t you agree?
"So let’s start over.
"First, we will eliminate harmful, burdensome taxes including the death tax and Alternative Minimum Tax.
"Next, we will clear out special interest carve outs and excessive deductions, and focus on keeping those that make the most sense: home ownership, charitable giving, and retirement savings.
"We will consolidate the existing seven brackets into three, double the standard deduction, and simplify things to the point that you can do your taxes on a form the size of a postcard. Wouldn’t that be nice?
"And finally—and most importantly—we will use the savings from eliminating these loopholes to lower tax rates.
"Let me say that again: We are going to cut taxes.
"But if we are going to truly fix our tax code, we have to fix all of it—both for individuals and businesses. Why? Because this will create jobs.
"That is what this is all about: jobs, jobs, jobs. Good, high-paying jobs.
"As a matter of fact, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation has estimated that our blueprint would create 1.7 million new full-time jobs.
"How do we do it?
"Well, right now, we have the worst business tax system in the industrialized world.
"Most people do not realize this, but here in America, 8 out of 10 businesses file their taxes as individuals. In fact, most of our jobs come from these new and small businesses. And under our crazy system, successful small businesses pay a top marginal tax rate of 44.6 percent.
"Look, you all know this. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million Americans and adds more than $2 trillion to our economy every year. And the overwhelming majority of these companies are small businesses.
"At the same time, our corporate tax rate—for the rest of American companies—is 35 percent. "To put this into a global perspective, overseas—which where I come from means Lake Superior—companies in Canada pay just 15 percent. Heck, the average tax rate on businesses in the industrialized world is 22.5 percent. Yet our corporations pay 35 percent and our successful small businesses pay 44.6 percent. "How can we compete like that? We can’t. "But it actually gets worse.
"You see, the status quo encourages companies to move operations overseas, to make things abroad, and to then sell them back into the U.S. "This makes no sense, and it is costing us jobs.
"We are actually very unique in the world in the way we discourage capital from coming back to America and how we incentivize off-shoring jobs. This is not the kind of exceptionalism we should aspire to.
"Today, U.S. companies are leaving to become foreign companies, when it should be the other way around. We want foreign companies to become U.S. companies.
"We must think differently, so that once again we make things here and export them around the world. There are a number of ways to achieve this—we in the House have our own idea—and that is one of the things that we are discussing with the administration.
"But the bottom line here is this: We cannot accept a system that perpetuates the drain of American businesses overseas.
"My view is this: We should not just try to play catch up with the rest of the world.
"We should not just aim for the middle of the pack.
"Let’s not accept following in any other country’s wake.
"Let’s be the best once again.
"Part of this is moving to what we call a territorial system that reverses this trend of corporate inversions, and enables businesses to bring back cash stranded overseas without being taxed.
"Right now, if an American company makes money overseas, it gets taxed over there. But we also tax it again if the company tries to bring that money back to the U.S. Almost no other country does this. And as a result, it is preventing many companies from bringing that money home. They just keep it over there. It is literally stranding trillions of dollars that could come into our economy. We have to fix this. And we will.
"And of course, real tax reform means slashing our corporate tax rate as low as possible.
"This means eliminating special-interest carve-outs and replacing them with lower tax rates for all businesses.
"And this means creating a new, lower tax, specifically for small businesses, so they can compete fairly, on a level playing field.
"There is one last piece to this puzzle, and it goes back to the idea that all of this is about looking down the road, and planning for the future.
"These reforms—these tax cuts—they need to be permanent.
"Every expert agrees that temporary reforms will only have a negligible impact on wages and economic growth. Businesses need to have confidence that we will not pull the rug out from under them.
"They need the certainty from permanent tax cuts to hire more workers, invest in their businesses, and plan for the future.
"So that is an overview of our plan, which will we begin to turn into legislation to put before the Congress.
"It is ambitious, yes, but it has to be.
"Now I know that the cynics and naysayers are out in full force.
"You will hear that tax reform is coming along. You will hear that it is dead. Then you will hear it is back on track. Then you will hear it is on life support.
"Sometimes you will hear all of this in the same week, the same day, or heck, even the same hour. Do not be surprised by any of it.
"But I am here to tell you: We are going to get this done in 2017. We need to get this done in 2017. We cannot let this once-in-a-generation moment slip by.
"Yes, the defenders of the status quo—and there are many—are counting on us to lose our nerve, to fall back, or put this off altogether.
"But we will not wait for a path free of obstacles, because it does not exist.
"And we will not cast about for quick fixes and half-measures.
"Transformational tax reform can be done, and we are moving forward. Full speed ahead.
"I promise you that we will give it all we have.
"Today, I am asking you to do the same.
"Get in this fight. Help us get this done.
"Help us make this difference.
"Help us build the confident America that our children deserve.
"Thank you all."Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will deliver his first major speech on tax reform at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 2017 Manufacturing Summit. The following are excerpts from the address, which will be live-streamed on NAM.org and speaker.gov/live at 12:45pm ET: On a more confident America
"We want an America where people are confident we can withstand any challenge, and emerge even stronger. This, to me, is the great task before us. Because these are anxious times. We all feel it. It is not something we often think about in the rush of our daily lives, but we are being tested. Our capacity to come together and to always move forward toward a better, stronger nation is being tested."
On the importance of this moment
"So in just five months, we have made some real progress getting government out of your way. And your support has been a big reason why. Thank you. But once in a generation or so, there is an opportunity to do something transformational—something that will have a truly lasting impact long after we are gone. That moment is here and we are going to meet it. We are going to fix this nation’s tax code once and for all."
On the need for individual AND business reform
"Finally—and most importantly—we will use the savings from eliminating these loopholes to lower tax rates. Let me say that again: We are going to cut taxes. But if we are going to truly fix our tax code, we have to fix all of it—both for individuals and businesses. Why? Because this will create jobs. That is what this is all about: jobs, jobs, jobs. Good, high-paying jobs."
On keeping jobs here in America
"We are actually unique in the world in the way we discourage capital from coming back to America and how we incentivize off-shoring jobs. This is not the kind of exceptionalism we should aspire to. Today, U.S. companies are leaving to become foreign companies. It should be the other way around. We want foreign companies to become U.S. companies. We must think differently, so that once again we make things here and export them around the world. There are a number of ways to achieve this—we in the House have our own idea—and that is one of the things that we are discussing with the administration. But the bottom line here is this: We cannot accept a system that perpetuates the drain of American businesses overseas." On the need for permanence
"There is one last piece to this puzzle, and it goes back to the idea that all of this is about looking down the road, and planning for the future. These reforms—these tax cuts—they need to be permanent. Every expert agrees that temporary reforms will only have a negligible impact on wages and economic growth. Businesses need to have confidence that we will not pull the rug out from under them. They need the certainty from permanent tax cuts to hire more workers, invest in their businesses, and plan for the future."Read More
A confident America
“We have to do tax reform in 2017 if we're going to get a confident America and if we’ll rebuild our country's resilience and get the economy we need so people can get good-paying jobs that are careers and get this growth rate up.”
To make it simpler to pay your taxes
“Tax reform is really important. Look, hardworking taxpayers in America deserve a break. They don't want a tax code working for the tax collectors. They want a tax code that is simplified and makes it easier for taxpayers to comply with.”
To create jobs, increase wages, and grow the economy
“We’re pushing businesses overseas. We’re telling U.S. companies, ‘stay overseas and if you make something overseas and make money there keep it there.’ That's crazy. We need to make it so that companies can be successful on a worldwide basis and bring those dollars back home. .. We want to clean up the tax code. We really believe tax reform, getting our rates down so they're competitive globally, is the key to economic growth. What our goal here is: higher take home pay, more jobs, faster economic growth. You can't get that without tax reform. That's why we're really serious about getting on with tax reform.”
To make America once again the greatest place in the world to do business
“We haven't done this since 1986. The rest of the world has passed us by, and now we have one of the worst tax systems in the industrial world in this 21st-century global economy. Our tax rate on corporations is 35%. Our top tax rate on successful small businesses, it’s as high as 44.6%. The average tax rate of businesses around the world is 22.5%. In Canada, it’s 15%. In Ireland, it’s 12.5%, England ‘s going to 18%. China is at 25 and going down. And we are taxing American businesses 35 to 45%. It's ridiculous, it’s costing us competitiveness, it’s costing us jobs. . . . This is holding us back and we know we need to clean up the tax code. Streamline the IRS. Make the system simple for families and small businesses. And make us more competitive globally so we can have faster economic growth.”Read More
One of the top priorities of this Republican Congress is to enact transformational tax reform that would make it easier for Americans to get ahead and make America once again the greatest place in the world to do business. With more jobs, higher wages, and a stronger economy, American workers and families would be the greatest beneficiaries of this reform. That’s why, following the principles outlined earlier this year by President Trump, the House, Senate, and administration are working together to meet this historic opportunity. And tomorrow, in a major address, House Speaker Paul Ryan will talk about what this kind of tax reform could look like and how it would lead to a more confident America.
FOR FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS: To make it easier to get ahead and simpler to pay your taxes.
Our plan provides lower tax rates and a larger standard deduction for American families.
It will also eliminate the death tax and the burdensome Alternative Minimum Tax.
To help lower tax rates for families, tax reform will eliminate many of the loopholes used by the wealthy and well-connected.
At the same time, we will protect deductions for home ownership and charitable giving that have become a bedrock part of our society.
Under our plan, we will reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three, while vastly reducing the complexity taxpayers face.
Our plan will simplify our system so greatly that a family can file its taxes on a single postcard.
FOR AMERICAN BUSINESSES: To create jobs, increase wages for workers, and level the playing field.
America has fallen behind our foreign competitors and our outdated tax code is one of the primary reasons. Our plan is designed to once again make America the best place to invest and do business, which will lead to more jobs and higher wages for American workers.
Overall, this kind of tax reform, according to one estimate, could provide 1.7 million more jobs, raise wages by nearly 8 percent, and grow the economy by almost 9 percent.
LOWER RATE FOR SMALL BUSINESS
Currently, most small businesses pay their taxes through the individual tax code, which can be as high as 44.6 percent and makes it hard to compete with larger businesses.
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and that’s why we will create a new, lower tax rate for small businesses—more in line with what bigger businesses pay.
CORPORATE TAX REFORM TO SAVE JOBS
The United States currently has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, which is driving companies and job overseas. Our plan will reduce that rate so that we can compete on a level playing field and create more jobs.
To help pay for that lower rate, we will eliminate many of the special interest carve-outs that litter our tax code.
MAKING IT IN AMERICA
Today, our tax code encourages companies to move operations overseas, make things over there, and sell them back into the United States. At the same time, more American companies are converting to foreign businesses simply to avoid our tax system. We have to reverse this trend.
Our plan will level the playing field by removing incentives to ship jobs overseas and discourage foreign and domestic companies from using loopholes to avoid paying their taxes here at home.
Our plan will bring also eliminate the tax that punishes American companies from bringing back profits made overseas, allowing trillions of dollars currently stored overseas to come home and be invested in our economy.
These reforms, taken together, would provide the United States an enormous economic boost and allow workers and families to feel more confident about their lives. Right now, House and Senate tax writers are working with the Trump administration to turn these ideas into a unified Republican plan that we can all rally behind. And this effort, as Speaker Ryan will make clear tomorrow, is full-speed ahead.Read More
WASHINGTON—On Tuesday, June 20, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will deliver his first major speech for tax reform during an address at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 2017 Manufacturing Summit. Following his speech, Speaker Ryan will participate in a Q&A moderated by NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. The address will begin at 12:45 p.m. ET and will be live-streamed on NAM.org and speaker.gov/live. Speaker Ryan’s address will follow that of Vice President Mike Pence.
Details: Speaker Ryan at NAM 2017 Manufacturing Summit: The Resilience of the American Economy Grand Hyatt Washington Tuesday, June 20, 12:45–1:25 p.m. ET
MEDIA: Media interested in covering Speaker Ryan’s remarks must RSVP to Jennifer Drogus at firstname.lastname@example.org with full name, name of outlet, and contact information by Monday, June 19. Press must present valid media credentials on-site to gain entry.Read More
My life changed the day I became a father. Liza, Charlie, and Sam changed my focus in life from career to family—they are my highest priority.
Now, as my kids enter their teens, I'm learning that you've got to find hobbies that keep you engrained with them. Whether it's riding bikes, hunting, or just hanging out around a bonfire, spending time with your kids is just the most peaceful, loving, beautiful feeling that a dad can have.
For all the dads, this is the most important job we will ever have. I hope you have a very happy Father's Day.Read More
During last night’s Congressional Baseball Game, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Democratic Leader Pelosi (D-CA) sat down for a joint interview—their first ever—with CNN’s Jake Tapper. Here is the full transcript, and excerpts from the interview:
1. “Tonight, we’re all Team Scalise.”
Speaker Ryan: “We're all praying for Steve, and the family is getting the support they need and he's going to recover. It's going to take some time.”
Leader Pelosi: “We're all close to Steve Scalise, he's a lovely person. But this game is a game where we always come to have fun, root for everybody to do their very best and hope that our team wins. Tonight, we're all team Scalise.”
2. “What we’re trying to do is tone down the rhetoric.”
Speaker Ryan: “Well, it's a tough age. It’s a partisan, polarized country. What we're trying to do is tone down the rhetoric, lead by example, and show people we can disagree with one another and we can have different ideas without being vitriolic, without going to such extremes. And so, that's what we're trying to demonstrate here.”
Leader Pelosi: “I think that people feel very strongly in their convictions and some people -- I always say you can be passionate about your beliefs, but you have to be dispassionate on how you proceed.”
3. “Most of what we actually pass is bipartisan.”
Speaker Ryan: “By the way, there is a lot that we do together. We just passed landmark veterans legislation last week. We worked together on the funding bill for government to help the military. Most of what we actually pass is bipartisan. It's the stuff that's controversial or very much in disagreement with one another that gets all the press attention.”
Leader Pelosi: “That’s right. . . . What's newsworthy is what is controversial.”
4. “I think we need to find more opportunities for us to work together.”
Leader Pelosi: “Sometimes, it's sad, but it takes a tragedy to come back in touch with the humanity of people on the other side of the aisle.”
Speaker Ryan: “ I think we need to find more opportunities for us to work together. We actually know each other well and many of our members do.”
Leader Pelosi: “Yes.”
5. “Her grandkids actually like me. Go figure.”
Leader Pelosi: “I thought you were going to brag about how much my grandchildren are a big fan.”
Speaker Ryan: “That's right. Her grandkids actually like me. Go figure.”
Leader Pelosi: “I just think when families get to know each other, we're proud of differences of opinion.”Read More
On Thursday, Speaker Ryan paid a visit to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he testified in support of former Rep. Mark Green (R-WI) for his nomination to be administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID.) Here is his testimony, as prepared for delivery:
Chairman Corker and Ranking Member Cardin:
Thank you for having me this morning.
I know it is not often—or ever, really—that the Speaker of the House addresses a Senate committee. But I appreciate the opportunity to say a few words about an old friend.
In a sense, Mark Green needs no introduction to this panel. He has long been a forceful advocate for American leadership in global development. He undoubtedly possesses the expertise and experience to lead USAID and fulfill its mission.
And he will deliver the utmost transparency and accountability for American taxpayers. So the president has certainly made an outstanding choice.
Just as critical, I think, is the passion that Mark will bring to this post.
I have known Mark for about 20 years now.
We were both elected to the House in 1998. We had neighboring offices. We went to Bible study together.
And it was just clear to me that Mark had a higher calling, and that his heart was set on making a difference for people in need. You could see it when he talked about his time in the Peace Corps, or when he was working on PEPFAR and the Millennium Challenge Act.
This is someone who thinks every day about what he can do to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. That is his North Star.
That said, my endorsement of Mark’s nomination is not merely personal.
As this committee knows well, it is this Congress which fulfills the commitments that our country makes abroad.
The work done by USAID—funded and overseen by this Congress—is critical to advancing security and democracy around the world, even more so in this time of unrest in critical regions.
Mark understands as well as anyone that the strength and clarity of America’s leadership is vital to our interests and overall global stability.
We will be fortunate to have Mark Green as our voice and representative to the developing world.
As administrator of USAID, he will do what he has always done: bring people together to improve and transform the lives of others.
With that, I urge this committee and the full Senate to support this nomination.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) met with Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andriy Parubiy, and the leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming the U.S. Congress-Rada Parliamentary Exchange (CRPE). After the meeting, Speaker Ryan issued the following statement:
“I was proud to join Speaker Parubiy to renew our interparliamentary ties with the Rada. This mutually beneficial program fosters closer political, economic, and security relations between our legislatures. Amid ongoing aggression from Russia, close coordination with the people and government of Ukraine is more important than ever. I appreciate Speaker Parubiy’s commitment to strengthening this critical partnership.”
NOTE: CRPE was established on November 18, 1999 for the purpose of expanded strategic relations between the United States and Ukraine.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today on the House floor, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke about this morning’s shooting in Alexandria, VA. Below are his remarks:
“My colleagues: There are strong emotions throughout this House today. We are all horrified by this dreadful attack on our friends and colleagues, and those who serve and protect this Capitol. We are all praying for those who were attacked and their families:
-Steve Scalise -Zachary Barth -Matt Mika -Special Agent David Bailey -Special Agent Crystal Griner
“We are all giving our thoughts to those currently being treated for their injuries AT THIS MOMENT. And we are united. We are united in our shock and anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.
“I know we want to give our thanks to the first responders and the Alexandria Police Department, who were on the scene in minutes. And I know this House wants to state unequivocally that we are, as ever, awed by the tremendous bravery of the Capitol Police.
“I spoke with Special Agent Bailey and Special Agent Griner this morning…I expressed our profound gratitude to them. It is clear to me, based on eyewitness accounts, that without these heroes, Agents Bailey and Griner, many lives would have been lost.
“I know we all want to learn as much as we can about what happened. We just received a briefing from the Sergeant at Arms. I have complete confidence in the investigation that is being conducted by the Capitol Police working with local law enforcement. I know we want to extend our gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received from throughout the Capitol and from throughout the country.
“Now, knowing Steve Scalise as we all do, he is likely really frustrated that he will not be able to play in the baseball game. I also know that Steve wants all of us to commend the bravery of those who came to the aid of the wounded. In the coming days, we will hear their stories, and we will have the chance to hold up their heroism.
“My colleagues, there are many memories from this day we will want to forget, and many images we will not want to see again. But there is one image in particular that this House should keep. And that is a photo I saw of our Democratic colleagues gathered in prayer this morning after hearing the news.
“You know, every day, we come here to test and challenge each other. We feel so deeply about the things we fight for and believe in. At times, our emotions can get the best of us. We are all imperfect. But we do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber.
“For all the noise and fury, we are a family. These were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire. These were our brothers and sisters who ran into danger and saved countless lives.
“So before this House returns to its business, I want us to slow down and reflect, to think about how we are being tested right now. Because we are. I ask each of you to join me in resolving to come together…to lift each other up…and to show the country—show the world—that we are one House. The people’s House—united in our humanity.
“It is that humanity which will win the day. It always will.”Read More
Later this afternoon, the House will take action on major bipartisan reform to bring real accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs. This bill will jumpstart real changes to ensure our veterans get the world-class care and treatment they have earned. As Speaker Ryan said this morning, this bill helps keep “one of our most important promises.”
But you certainly don’t have to take our word for it. Here are testimonials of support from several of the key veterans’ service organizations that have worked tirelessly to make these reforms a reality over the last three years. We recommend reading all the way to the end:
The American Legion “This legislation, as currently written, will provide the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs the authorities to improve accountability and raise employee performance and morale. We are impressed by the speed by which Congress acted to move this critical legislation forward to the President’s desk in a bipartisan manner. We look forward to this bill becoming law.” -Charles E. Schmidt, National Commander
Concerned Veterans for America
“For years a toxic culture has plagued the Department of Veterans Affairs, but the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act will be a meaningful step toward turning the troubled department around. Finally, Secretary Shulkin will be empowered with the authority to quickly remove those who under-perform, neglect patients, or even engage in criminal activity. We believe this historic piece of legislation will help usher in a new era of integrity and accountability at the department entrusted with caring for our heroes. We thank Chairman Roe, Senator Rubio, and concerned citizens across the country who pushed relentlessly to generate support from both sides of the aisle and make this reform a reality.” -Dan Caldwell, Policy Director
Fleet Reserve Association “Accountability in the VA, and within the department, should be an authentic and transparent continuum of a prime-mover for the defined core-values, care and benefits for our nation’s veterans and their families. This should be the mainstay, the anchor, and responsible course of action now and forever.” -Thomas J. Snee, M.Ed, National Executive Director
Got Your 6 "The veteran community has been pushing for three years now to adequately address the need for greater accountability at the VA while also maintaining a workplace that is able to attract and retain high quality professionals. Got Your 6 works to be a collaborative partner of the VA and we strongly support this approach to empower VA leadership with more efficient workforce management options. We applaud the House for quickly taking up this bill after Senate passage and look forward to the President signing it into law.” -Bill Rausch, Executive Director
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America “Given that the scandal in Phoenix alerted the country to the outrageous state of the VA health care system nearly three years ago, this change is long overdue. IAVA applauds the leadership of Majority Leader McCarthy and Chairman Roe to hold a House vote on the Senate-passed bill that will empower the VA to remove bad-acting employees. IAVA and our members have fought relentlessly to give the VA Secretary the tools needed to address workforce accountability and save veterans’ lives, and we are extremely pleased that final passage into law is within reach.” -IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff
Military Order of the Purple Heart “The ability to hold bad employees accountable and protect whistleblowers is absolutely critical for VA to accomplish its mission of caring for our nation's veterans. MOPH deeply thanks all members of the House and Senate who voted "yes" on this legislation, and especially Chairmen Roe and Isakson and Ranking Members Walz and Tester for their steadfast, bipartisan leadership on this important issue.” -Hershel Gober, MOPH National Commander
Paralyzed Veterans of America “No other large healthcare system rivals VA's competence to deliver specialized services at a national level, such as spinal cord injury and disease and polytrauma care, or synthesizes access to healthcare, benefits, support, and peer mentorship better than VA. But what VA needs most right now is the one 'ability' it presently lacks and can no longer be taken for granted — accountability. Whether that means better protecting whistleblowers, shortening the reprimand process, or recouping ill-gotten bonuses and relocation expenses, achieving a state of being answerable to the public, the Congress, and most importantly, veterans, will be dictated by the worst behavior the VA Secretary has to tolerate. This bill will be a major step toward having to tolerate such behavior no more."-Sherman Gillums, Executive Director
Student Veterans of America “We have witnessed first-hand why it is imperative to have stronger accountability measures for VA employees. This bill gives the Secretary of VA the authority to take necessary action against negligent employees, such as recalling their bonuses and relocation expenses. Accountability is a major challenge for VA and this bill addresses accountability challenges with specific measures.” -Jared Lyon, President and CEO of Student Veterans of America
United States Army Warrant Officers Association “This bipartisan legislation will ensure the VA Secretary has crucial, enforceable tools at his disposal to provide more efficient services to our Veterans in need, and enforce greater accountability of the professionals tasked with serving them.” -CW4 (Ret) Jack Du Teil, Executive Director
Veterans of Foreign Wars “The VFW wants Secretary Shulkin to have the authority to manage his people in a manner expected of all senior executives, public or private. The VFW wants the secretary to weed out the nonperformers and those whose personal conduct brings doubt and dishonor upon thousands of dedicated employees. And the VFW wants this bill passed into law, because maintaining the status quo doesn’t work for those who have borne the battle.” -VFW National Commander Brian Duffy
Vietnam Veterans of America “Vietnam Veterans of America has been advocating strongly for much greater accountability from VA management since our founding in 1978. We have done so in public statements and countless testimonies on Capitol Hill. This statute is a real milestone in that journey; a journey that at times seemed to be a very lonely effort. We are gratified to see this day.” -John Rowan, VVA National PresidentRead More
The problems at the VA have been entrenched for years. In a few hours, the House will pass significant legislation to turn the page. pic.twitter.com/uheibgsxkn— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) June 13, 2017
Today, the House will act on the years-long scandals and problems plaguing the VA by voting on bipartisan legislation to improve the care our veterans receive. Speaker Ryan discussed the bill’s significance at a press conference with Republican leaders:
“I want to commend Chairman Roe, I want to commend Chairman Wenstrup, and all the Republicans and Democrats who have come together to advance this legislation. This has been a long time coming.
“Any of you who have reported on this scandal over the last few years know how entrenched the problems at the Veterans [Affairs Department] really are. This legislation is one of, if not the biggest step we have taken to turn this page. Because we have many veterans who are not only waiting for care—we have a lot of veterans who are waiting for answers. They are waiting for some recognition—any recognition—that they are being heard. But instead of listening, we have had a bureaucracy that is ignoring problems, creating waiting lists, [and] avoiding accountability.
“At the Tomah VA in Tomah, Wisconsin, the chief of staff—who patients called the ‘Candy Man.’ He was called the Candy Man because he was distributing all these narcotics he was prescribing—he got a $4,000 bonus. This came after an investigation uncovered that he was overprescribing. And it was after Jason Simcakoski, a patient at Tomah, died from a fatal overdose. By the way, the pharmacist at Tomah? He got a bonus also that year.
“The VA needs real reform, and this bill helps get that done. With this legislation, Secretary Shulkin will have the tools that he needs to deliver the kinds of changes that our veterans have been demanding. And most fundamentally, it will show our veterans that when we say that we are a grateful nation, we mean it.
“So we look forward to sending this major bipartisan legislation to the president’s desk. We’ve been talking about this for about three years. And we uncovered all the scandals at the VA. Now we’re making law. Now we’re bringing accountability. Now we’re getting the veterans the kind of response and the kind of accountability they earned and deserved. And I’m very proud of these members who worked across the aisle to get this done.”Read More
This morning, Speaker Ryan called into The Hugh Hewitt Show with guest host Guy Benson. The two discussed the important VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act and also talked about an underreported story.
“It’s just crazy”
“This is one of our most important promises that we made during the campaign, which is to clean up the crisis at the VA. As you probably remember, you have these waiting lists which we discovered first in Phoenix and then kind of all around the country where veterans were on these sort of secret waiting lists not getting the care that they deserved. People were dying on these waiting lists. And then when we dug into it, we created the new choice program. We gave veterans outlets out of these things. But we, because of the law, could not hold people accountable.
"I mean, VA, the new VA Secretary, who’s big in getting to the bottom of this, he was telling a story about how it took him over a month to fire a psychiatrist who was caught on camera, you know, watching pornography when he was supposed to be attending to veterans. It’s just crazy that they couldn’t fire people because of these civil service laws for, and hold them accountable, to hold them to accountability. So this protects whistleblowers who tell about these things. It protects the whistleblowers who uncover these scandals, and it gives us, the government, and the VA Secretary, the ability to fire people if they’re not doing their jobs. So it basically gives us the ability to hold the people of the VA accountable for doing their jobs and giving the veterans the service they deserve, and then protects the kind of transparency and whistleblower system we need so that we can make sure that this kind of scandal can’t be brushed under the rug again.”
Later in the conversation, the two had this exchange:
Guy Benson: “The Majority Leader’s office put out an infographic that showed actually a pretty high level, historically, of productivity. That’s kind of an underreported story”
Speaker Ryan: “I mean, how many people in this country know that last Thursday, as there was wall to wall coverage of Jim Comey talking in one committee in one half of Congress, that the House of Representatives repealed and replaced Dodd-Frank? I mean, so we are basically racking and stacking, getting our job done, fulfilling our promises, making good on the policies that we ran on. But like you said, it’s just not getting covered.”Read More
This week, Congress will take action on major bipartisan legislation to help our veterans get better care and better results from the VA. It is the latest response to the VA scandals of the last three years.
In the spring of 2014, the American people learned that dozens of veterans died while languishing on secret wait lists at the Phoenix VA hospital. As it turned out, wait lists were being manipulated throughout the country. The agency has careened from scandal to scandal since, from the theft and overprescription of opioids to having calls to the VA’s suicide hotline go unanswered.
While veterans suffered, there was a clear lack of urgency at the highest levels. Last year, then-VA Secretary Robert McDonald compared the wait lines for care to Disneyland. In his last weeks in office, President Obama stated that a ‘whole bunch of people’ had been fired for the scandal, but in reality, only about a handful were. Indeed, many VA bureaucrats were able to keep their jobs, and their taxpayer-funded bonuses too.
When new VA Secretary David Shulkin began to go about making changes, he came to realize just how much of an uphill battle he faced. At a recent White House press briefing, he cited as an example having to wait more than a month “to fire a psychiatrist who was caught on camera watching pornography using his iPad while seeing a veteran.”
Our veterans deserve the best care, and instead the VA exhibits the worst of government bureaucracy. That is why this week, Congress will send a major bipartisan VA reform measure to the president’s desk. It is S. 1094, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act.
· We will streamline the process to remove, demote, or suspend VA employees for poor performance or misconduct. The Secretary will also be able to recoup taxpayer-funded bonuses from employees who have acted improperly.
· We will expand protections for whistleblowers and bar the VA from removing an employee who has an open complaint.
· Because of all this ongoing uncertainty, many VA hospitals have acting medical directors. We will give the VA Secretary the authority to appoint permanent medical directors who can provide the steady leadership that VA hospitals and their patients need.
With real accountability, we can begin to make the real changes needed to fix the VA once and for all.
The Senate passed this legislation earlier this month, and it enjoys strong grassroots support from veterans’ service organizations. After the House acts on Tuesday, we will be sending this measure to the president’s desk.
This is all part of our agenda to address the problems Americans face in their everyday lives. And it is another step to get our veterans the care they need when they need it.Read More
Everyone agrees: Our nation’s infrastructure is in trouble.
You’ve felt it when you travel. Take flying, for example. Long lines and delayed departures are all too familiar. For a nation that was the first in flight, it’s reasonable to ask: Why are we falling so far behind?
Part of the problem is that our nation's air traffic control system is not what it could be. That is in large part due to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the government agency that governs our nation’s airways.
Why does this agency need reform? The bureaucracy of the FAA simply cannot keep up the ever-changing technology of our modern world. The technology used is decades old. While people are using GPS to get around, the FAA is still using outdated flying strips. The process in place to translate this into a digital system is set to take decades. That’s not good enough.
The key is to harness the innovation that is happening in the private sector. But right now, the FAA is isolated from that innovation, primarily accountable only to itself. We are going to change that.
That’s why President Trump’s proposal this week to modernize our nation’s stagnant air traffic control system is so important. The plan he outlined is built off of bipartisan reforms put forward by Congress, with the leadership of Chairman Shuster and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which builds on decades of bipartisan work. It makes the FAA a non-profit, accountable to a separate board that oversees it, which allows the group to utilize the best technology on the market.
Here in Congress, we will continue to work with the president to reform the FAA so we can usher our aviation technology into the 21st century. That being said, the safety and security of our nation’s travelers is paramount, which is why Congress voted to extend the FAA funding last year while reforms are being studied.
It’s been proven time and again: Innovation, productivity, and the entrepreneurial spirit flourish best when innovators—not government—are in the driver’s seat. Let’s start improving our nation’s infrastructure by bringing that innovation to our nation’s airways.Read More
This week marks 35 years since President Ronald Reagan’s historic address at Westminster, where he argued that “We must be staunch in our conviction that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few, but the inalienable and universal right of all human beings.”
That message rings true now more than ever. This week, Speaker Ryan honored freedom fighters at the National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) 2017 Democracy Award dinner. In the spirit of Reagan, he reaffirmed Congress’s commitment to freedom, democracy, and human rights. Here are the top three moments:
In Congress—the heart of our democracy—Repubs & Dems work together to reaffirm our commitment to freedom, no matter the politics of the day. pic.twitter.com/fGKIz9eab3— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) June 8, 2017
WASHINGTON—The House Republican Steering Committee has recommended that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) be named chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, to succeed Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement:
“Trey Gowdy possesses the experience and deep commitment to transparency and accountability necessary to be the House’s next Oversight chairman. He has proven that he will always look out for taxpayers and seek answers from the bureaucracy. Trey has my absolute confidence, and I know he will do an outstanding job.
“I want to thank Steve Russell for putting his name forward for chairman. Steve will undoubtedly continue to play a critical role on the committee pushing for reform and fighting wasteful spending.”
NOTE: This recommendation will be presented to the full House Republican Conference for official ratification.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following remarks on the Financial CHOICE Act, the Republican plan to rein in Dodd-Frank and revitalize Main Street. Following are Speaker Ryan’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“I want to thank Chairman Hensarling and the entire Financial Services Committee for their leadership on this important legislation.
“The Financial CHOICE Act answers a need at the very heart of our economy. We have heard about this need time and time again from our constituents back home. I sure have.
“Small businesses are struggling. They have been unable to hire, invest or get the loans they need to get off the ground. Families looking to keep their money safe are hit with fees they can’t afford. And why? Our community banks are in trouble.
“They are being crushed by the costly rules imposed on them by the Dodd-Frank Act. This law may have had good intentions, but its consequences have been dire for Main Street. “Let me put it this way: It is more than a thousand pages long and has more rules and regulations than any other Obama-era law. The burdens created are real.
“These costs are unsustainable for small, community banks, who cannot afford to meet all the requirements and can't hire a team of lawyers to decipher the seemingly endless rules. So they are hunkering down, unable to loan out money, or worse—they are shutting down.
“The CHOICE Act reins in Dodd-Frank and delivers the regulatory relief these banks so desperately need. This will change our communities because these small banks are the lifeblood of our Main Streets. “They know the needs of their communities and the ability to identify the people who can fill those needs successfully. There is a reason why they handle the vast majority of small business loans in this country.
“Here is the difference: The people big banks may overlook, thinking it’s some guy with a pipe dream, the community banker is able to recognize as a father of four with the drive to make his dream of a bicycle shop into a reality. Or a woman seeking to rent out retail space to open her dream restaurant, using her family's recipes. Or a young farmer with a new idea to integrate the latest technology into the family farm.
“A couple years later, with the help of loans from their local banks, these so-called pipe dreams are successful small businesses employing dozens of people in small towns and rural counties across the nation. These are the success stories that our communities are built on.
“This is why the Financial CHOICE Act is so important. It helps community banks—and the small businesses that depend upon them—thrive. It protects consumers by increasing accountability and transparency over the wider financial sector. It also repeals 'too big to fail' – the rules codified by Dodd-Frank that have left taxpayers on the hook for too long.
“But ultimately, the Financial CHOICE Act is a jobs bill, and one that will bring hope back to Main Street. It is easy to talk about the economy and regulations as a series of numbers. It is easy to talk in vague terms about ‘job creators’ and ‘small business owners.’ But what is far more important is identifying the problems they face and actually doing something to help them and make a difference in their lives. “That is what the CHOICE Act is all about. It is why we were sent here: to look out for the people who work hard and do the right thing. So let’s get this done for them. Let’s get this done for the people who take risks…who live and breathe their work…for the people who strive and struggle every day for their families. “Let’s pass the CHOICE Act today.”
Speaker Ryan Touts Financial CHOICE Act at Leadership Press Conference Speaker Ryan on Financial Choice Act Speaker Ryan on MSNBC: Financial CHOICE Act is Critical for Jobs and Growth 5 Reasons to Support the Financial CHOICE ActRead More
Tonight, Speaker Ryan appeared on MSNBC’s For the Record with Greta Van Susteren where he discussed the Financial CHOICE Act and Congress’s work this week.
Here is video of the full interview, along with a couple of excerpts from the transcript:
On the Financial CHOICE Act:
“The bill we are bringing to the floor tomorrow, the Financial CHOICE Act—that is a major amount of regulatory relief for community banks. We are losing about one community bank a day. That's how businesses get their capital. It is clogging up credit and economic growth. And so this is basically our answer to replacing the Dodd-Frank law which amplifies ‘too big to fail.’ It codifies taxpayer bailouts of very big banks. And it makes it really hard and impossible for small banks to compete and to give credit to small businesses. And that is why we are so strong on getting this done, making this work. We think it's critical for economic growth and that is the bill we're bringing through here tomorrow.”
On doing the jobs people asked us to do:
“We’re still here doing our jobs in Congress. We’re still here doing the jobs that people asked us to do, which is to solve their problems in Middle America. In Appleton, Wisconsin, where you come from, in Janesville, Wisconsin, where I come from, small businesses aren’t getting the kind of credit they need to expand and hire people because community banks are being overregulated—and we’re fixing that problem tomorrow.”
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the National Endowment for Democracy's (NED) 2017 Democracy Award ceremony, an event honoring five activists fighting corruption in Afghanistan, Angola, Guatemala, Malaysia, and Ukraine. In his address, Speaker Ryan reaffirmed Congress's commitment to advancing democracy and human rights. Below are the speaker's full remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Thank you so much. In particular, I want to thank Judy Shelton, Carl Gershman, and the incredible team at NED for hosting this event.
"I want to extend my congratulations to all of tonight’s honorees. "We are so humbled to have you here at our Capitol, which we consider to be the world’s greatest symbol of democracy. "So much of this building is dedicated to honoring the origins of democracy, but you are on the front lines of this fight every day. "Mr. Parsa, you are not even 9 months removed from an attempt on your life. "Following it, you said: 'The attempt on my life did not stop me. My team and I continue to combat corruption even if it is tough.' "It is this kind of dedication and bravery that brings us all here tonight. "Of course, all of this goes back to that speech President Reagan gave at Westminster 35 years ago tomorrow. "Though we now look at that speech as iconic, it was not all that well-received at the time. "One of the biggest headlines, actually, was that members of Parliament had never seen a teleprompter before. "But the reason some of the experts didn’t connect with it is they just didn’t share Reagan’s optimism about winning the Cold War and defeating communism. "They didn’t see it, but he did. And here is the passage from the speech that I found most compelling. "Reagan said, 'While we must be cautious about forcing the pace of change, we must not hesitate to declare our ultimate objectives and to take concrete actions to move them. We must be staunch in our conviction that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few, but the inalienable and universal right of all human beings.'
"Think about that for a second. That was not just an observation or a comment on events—it was a call to action.
"What Reagan meant is that freedom, although an inalienable and universal right, is not guaranteed. It needs to be fought for and defended at every turn. "And America would not just be part of a coalition in that fight. America would need to lead that charge. "That is the mission NED carries out every day on behalf of this nation.
"But it does so against some powerful forces. According to Freedom House, 2016 was the 11th straight year of decline in global freedom. This trend should alarm all of us.
"The rising tide of authoritarianism, corruption, and terror undermines not only our principles, but our security. These forces seek to divide, destabilize, and demoralize us. Corruption is not just a means to gain power or influence.
"It threatens to deprive ordinary citizens of their voice and their belief in one another. And when people lose that confidence—that resilience that is so vital to an active citizenry—the whole system comes into question.
"This is why we cannot separate our values from our policies. We cannot separate our ideals from our interests. We cannot separate moral imperatives from strategic imperatives. "They are inextricably linked. If America will not bring people together around freedom, human rights, and the rule of law, who will? And how can we credibly hold these principles up as our heritage if we don’t fight for their future?
"Here in the United States Congress—the heart of our democracy—is where our values and policies intersect. Every year, no matter the politics of the day, Republicans and Democrats work together to reaffirm and expand these commitments.
"After all, it was under Speaker Tip O’Neill—Reagan’s great nemesis on domestic affairs—that the National Endowment for Democracy was created. "We work together to fund critical programs to support emerging democracies and civil society organizations. . .
"Impose sanctions on human rights abusers and their enablers. . .
"Expand economic cooperation with our partners around the globe. . .
"Rebuild our military so it can confront the challenges of the 21st century. . .
"And raise awareness for women’s rights in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.
"So let me just close by saying this: "The pace of change can be slow. Reagan understood this as well as anyone. Not everyone will see around the corner like you do. Not everyone will be as staunch in their convictions as you are. "But nothing is more important than speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves. "And this Congress, and the people we represent, will always have your back.
"Thank you."Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Below are Speaker Ryan's full remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Prime Minister Netanyahu, my friend Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Ambassador Dermer, distinguished guests, friends: I am so honored to be here with you on this historic anniversary.
"Our commitment to Israel dates back to President Harry Truman, who recognized the state within minutes of her declaring independence.
"It’s that legacy—one that’s been tried and tested over the years—that we are here to reaffirm today.
"50 years. Can you believe that? It’s pretty amazing. Some of us weren’t even born yet, isn’t that right, ambassador? The prime minister was just wrapping up high school.
"50 years ago this week, Jerusalem—the spiritual and religious capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years—was made whole again.
"But it came at a heavy cost: 776 Israeli soldiers lost their lives in the Six Day War.
"Brave men and women not much older than my kids fought to save Israel from imminent annihilation.
"That included a 32-year-old paratrooper reservist named Shimon Cahaner. Katcha, as his friends called him, led his unit into battle on Ammunition Hill at 2:30 in the morning on June 6, 1967.
"For six long hours they fought Jordanian troops in the trenches of Mount Scopus. Katcha made it out alive—24 soldiers in his battalion did not.
"But through their sacrifice, the IDF won the Battle of Ammunition Hill and, over the next few days, reunified Jerusalem.
"Katcha still returns to that site often. And on a visit a few years ago he said this: 'Every day, I feel the honor that I had to be responsible for Jerusalem. Jerusalem is not the same as any other place.'
"And you know something? He’s right. There is something special about Jerusalem. I just returned there last summer on my first overseas trip as speaker.
"When you walk the stone streets of the Old City.
"When you place your hand on the Western Wall that encircled Solomon’s Temple.
"When you kneel before the tomb of Christ at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
"When you celebrate mass at the Catholic altar mere feet away from the site of the cross at Calvary.
"When you actually walk the Stations of the Cross.
"You cannot explain it with words, but you feel it. It’s unlike any other place in the world.
"Only in Jerusalem do Judaism, Christianity, and Islam converge at the roots of their faith. And only in Jerusalem can followers of the three great monotheistic religions worship at some of their most holy sites safely and peacefully.
"Let’s not take that for granted. It wasn’t always like that. Jerusalem has been destroyed, rebuilt, captured, and recaptured from time immemorial. Thousands of people have died over thousands of years fighting for this city. But without Jerusalem, the Israel we know today would not exist.
"In December 1973, just a couple months after the Yom Kippur War, a 27-year-old IDF soldier scribbled a letter to his younger brother, Benjamin.
"He wrote, 'I don’t intend to tell my grandchildren about the Jewish state in the twentieth century as a mere brief and transient episode in thousands of years of wandering. I intend to hold on here with all my might.'
"His name was Yonatan Netanyahu. Yoni didn’t live to have grandchildren—he died, as we all know, rescuing 102 hostages from Palestinian terrorists during the raid on Entebbe. But if he had, here’s what I think he would have told them:
"After thousands of years in exile, the Jewish people are finally back home. Home in the land of their ancestors. Home in the land so many have died fighting to defend. And home in their eternal, united capital of Jerusalem—never to be divided again.
"Thank you."Read More
Today, President Trump visits Ohio, where he will meet with Americans who have been hurt by Obamacare.
News broke just yesterday that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, one of the largest health insurance providers in Ohio, is exiting the state’s Obamacare exchange. This is expected leave Ohioans in up to 18 counties with zero coverage options in 2018.
Yes, you read that correctly. No coverage to purchase at all.
Anthem’s withdrawal follows a growing list of insurance companies that have determined participation in Obamacare is no longer viable.
As Ohio’s Department of Insurance stated, “For the past few years, we have seen a weakening in the federal insurance marketplace as a number of companies have withdrawn from the exchange.”
To learn more, visit speaker.gov/healthcare.Read More
Summary: Today at a press conference with House Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed the CHOICE Act—legislation to reform Wall Street and revitalize Main Street.
"Over the past five months, we have spent a lot of time and a lot of effort reforming our regulatory policy in the federal government. That is because it is very, very important—it’s vital—to creating good-paying jobs and getting back to real economic growth. It’s also because we promised the American people this is what we would do if we got control of government—if we won this election.
"We see the Financial CHOICE Act as the crown jewel of this effort.
"This legislation comes to the rescue of Main Street America. The Dodd-Frank Act—the Dodd-Frank Act has had a lot of bad consequences for our economy, but most of all, in the small communities across our country.
"Community banks are going out of business because they cannot deal with the costly and the countless rules. Look—so many of us represent middle America. Big businesses can get loans in big cities from big banks—but everybody else doesn’t get their money that way. And we are losing community banks by the day. And most of the jobs in this country come from community banks, come from small businesses, they who take a risk. These entrepreneurs, these small businesses—they go and get credit from the community bank. And that’s where job growth comes from. And the reason we haven’t had the kind of economic growth we need in this country is because of the regulatory structure. This bill fixes that.
"So, this is something that we hear back home all of the time—this is very important legislation which we think is just absolutely critical to getting this economy growing and to getting small businesses, farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs the kind of capital and credit they need to take risks just to grow, to hire people, to increase wages.
"This also repeals 'too big to fail,' which makes taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street a thing of the past.
"Simply put, this is a jobs bill for Main Street. The Financial CHOICE Act makes it possible for small businesses across this country to stop struggling and to start hiring.
"I want to commend Chairman Hensarling and his committee—Mia Love, and everybody on their committee—they have put years of work into this. This is a very important piece of legislation we’re very excited about bringing through Congress today, because this is a key piece of our agenda to get the regulatory reform agenda through, to get jobs growing, and to get the economic growth we really need and deserve in this country."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after the House passed H. Res. 354, legislation condemning violence against protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence on May 16, 2017:
“Today, the House sent an unequivocal message that violence against peaceful demonstrators will not be tolerated. The blame for this assault lies with the Turkish government alone. I urge Ankara to finally accept responsibility for this egregious incident and apologize to those who were harmed. With the leadership of Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and members on both sides of the aisle, our resolve to defend the First Amendment and condemn suppression is stronger than ever.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Tomorrow, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will address the National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) 2017 Democracy Award ceremony, an event honoring five activists fighting corruption in Afghanistan, Angola, Guatemala, Malaysia, and Ukraine. In his remarks, Speaker Ryan will address NED’s work to strengthen democratic growth and reaffirm Congress's bipartisan commitment to democracy and human rights. The event will be live-streamed on speaker.gov/live and ned.org.
Details: Speaker Ryan’s Address at the NED 2017 Democracy Award Ceremony Wednesday, June 7, at 5:30 p.m. ET U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Watch live on speaker.gov/live.
Media: This event is open press. Media must be credentialed and register with email@example.com to gain entry. For more details, please contact Jane Jacobsen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the conversation using #DemAward.Read More
The House will consider the Financial CHOICE Act this week. This is the Republican plan to reform Wall Street and revitalize Main Street—all while protecting the financial futures of Americans. Here are five reasons why it’s necessary:
1. It reins in Dodd-Frank.
No one argues that Wall Street needs some regulation. While the Dodd-Frank Act may have had good intentions, it overreached and in practice hurt Main Street and consumers while providing more protections for Wall Street. The Dodd-Frank Act was designed to grow the size of government exponentially—and it did. It has more rules and regulations than any other Obama-era law. But instead of instilling sensible regulation on the financial industry, it cozied the federal government up with big banks. What was the effect? Big banks on Wall Street have gotten bigger, while putting untenable burdens on community banks across the country.
2. It delivers relief to Main Street.
Small, community banks give the majority of small business loans in this country. Since Dodd-Frank, these banks have struggled. Many community banks have gone under. That has hit Main Street hard, since families and small businesses can’t get the loans they need to get off the ground. The CHOICE Act will give regulatory relief to banks that keep 10% in cash reserves, which delivers relief while protecting consumers.
3. It ends taxpayer bailouts.
Remember “too big to fail?” Dodd-Frank actually made this the law of the land, so it's no wonder that Wall Street banks have only gotten bigger since Dodd-Frank was enacted. But the CHOICE Act eliminates this practice once and for all. The bill is clear: Not a single dollar of taxpayer money will go to bailout Wall Street firms. Instead, it holds Wall Street accountable by imposing enhanced penalties for fraud and increasing transparency in the financial sector.
4. It cuts the deficit by $24 billion.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the CHOICE Act will cut the deficit by $24 billion over the next 10 years. The CHOICE Act delivers on our promise to protect taxpayer money, reduce the size of government, and cut our deficit.
5. It reins in unchecked Washington bureaucrats.
While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) authorized by Dodd-Frank sounds great in theory, in reality it is a rogue agency that is unchecked, unconstitutional, and unaccountable. Bureaucrats in Washington should not have the ability to collect consumer information without their knowledge and unilaterally determine what financial products and services Americans can utilize. The CHOICE Act restructures this agency under the Consumer Law Enforcement Agency and makes it accountable to Congressional oversight and the normal appropriations process.
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Financial CHOICE Act, which the House will vote on next week:
“This is a jobs bill for Main Street. It will rein in the overreach of Dodd-Frank that has allowed the big banks to get bigger while small businesses have been unable to get the loans they need to succeed. With the Financial CHOICE Act, the era of taxpayer-funded bailouts and too big to fail is over. Instead, we will put Main Street first to create more opportunities for people who work hard and do the right thing. I strongly support the CHOICE Act and thank Chairman Hensarling and the Financial Services Committee for their work on this initiative.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement:
“The Paris climate agreement was simply a raw deal for America. Signed by President Obama without Senate ratification, it would have driven up the cost of energy, hitting middle-class and low-income Americans the hardest. In order to unleash the power of the American economy, our government must encourage production of American energy. I commend President Trump for fulfilling his commitment to the American people and withdrawing from this bad deal.”
Related: Statement on Paris Climate AgreementRead More
What you see on the front pages of newspapers or hear on the nightly news is not always the full story. A lot of what goes on inside the Capitol is actually politics-free. In fact, here are seven, behind-the-scenes photos that show a few small, but important, moments from the Speaker’s perspective.
1. Answering Questions – Speaker Ryan calls into a local Wisconsin radio station for a live interview.
2. Greeting Wisconsin Kids – “Hey, I know you!” Speaker Ryan greets students from Janesville, WI during their school trip to Washington.
3. Honoring the Fallen – Our police—and their families—make enormous sacrifices for us. The wife of a fallen Louisiana police officer hugs Speaker Ryan as he pays his respects with Rep Garret Graves (LA-06).
4. Hallway Huddling – Do you ever chat with your co-workers in the hallway at work? Yeah, Speaker Ryan does, too.
5. Reviewing Notes – Speaker Ryan reviews a speech honoring America’s peace officers during Police Week.
6. Sharing a Laugh – Speaker Ryan tries to show a group of Villanova students the proper way to take a photo. (Hint: if it’s not a “W” you’re doing it wrong…)
7. SHARE-ing the Burden – After completing the day’s run, the Shepherd’s Men share their mission with Speaker Ryan. The group members wear 22-pound vests during their run to raise awareness for the 22 veterans we lose to suicide each day on average.Read More
So you probably didn't see this on the front pages, but last week the House acted on reforms to not only improve our welfare and criminal justice systems, but ensure your taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.
Last week, the House unanimously passed Rep. Jason Lewis’s (R-MN) bipartisan legislation to strengthen our juvenile justice system. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act empowers states to improve their rehabilitation programs by prioritizing evidenced-based strategies. By focusing on data-driven solutions and engaging directly with communities, we can help strengthen public safety and make sure more at-risk youth start out on the right foot.
This measure follows a recent extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which helps address our nationwide poverty crisis by creating incentives to move low-income Americans from welfare to work. States have employed a variety of approaches to get more people back to work, but in most cases we fail to properly measure the success of these strategies. The TANF extension created a What Works Clearinghouse, which will provide states and localities with easy access to best practice techniques with proven outcomes.
To learn more, visit speaker.gov or check out the links below.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, which took the lives of at least 80 people:
"I strongly condemn this attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul. This is another gruesome reminder that the Taliban, Haqqani network, al-Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates are only interested in terror and hate rather than ending two decades of bloodshed. We must stand shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan and all of our allies to defeat this unspeakable evil."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today took part in a commemoration ceremony at the 151st Memorial Day Parade in Rochester, WI. Following are his remarks, as prepared for delivery:
What an honor to be here with all of you as this tradition enters another half-century.
All the time, you hear people bemoan the loss of traditions. But because all of you, this one endures. And it needs to.
Because it is a great tribute to the unbroken chain of sacrifice that brings us all here today.
150 years ago, it was the “Badger Boys” and the Iron Brigade, which fought in the great, bloody battles of the Civil War.
One of their leaders was Captain Edwin Brown, a lawyer from Fond du Lac.
In a letter to his wife, Captain Brown wrote, “I think my chances are as good to come back as anyone’s, and if I should see you again after doing my duty you would then be proud of your husband.”
Captain Brown died a soldier’s death at Antietam, but we know his wife was proud all the same.
75 years ago, it was Company A and the Janesville 99, many of whom perished so cruelly on the Bataan Death March.
One who survived was Sgt. Phil Parish, who went on to own a barber shop in Janesville.
He once said, “I trust that of those of us who survived, some share this thought with me: ‘True heroes never return.’
And in our time, it is men and women who—after this nation’s darkest day—raised their hands and said ‘I’ll go.’
Many of us remember Private Evan Bixler of Racine.
He graduated from Park High School in 2003.
Evan had his heart set on joining the Army. But they wouldn’t take him because of scoliosis.
Then, after a dear friend gave his life in battle, Evan went back and worked with a recruiter to get a medical waiver.
He told his parents, “I don’t want to be 30 years old and have regrets.”
On Christmas Eve, 2006, he died as a result of indirect enemy fire in Iraq.
Private Bixler was 21.
When we lose someone close to us—a family member, a friend—we ask ourselves many questions.
We think about our own mortality. We think about whether we are taking care of our loved ones.
But when we lose someone who serves—a soldier, a sailor, an airman, a Marine—the unspoken questions are staggering.
Are we capable of such sacrifice? Are we worthy of such sacrifice?
How can we better serve our community? How can we better serve one another?
And how will we make sure our children fully grasp the measure of devotion that was given to protect them?
And so just as their lives had meaning, just as their service had meaning, so does their sacrifice.
So does their death.
And so does this day.
That is why we return here each year.
And it is why your children and my children will do the same.
We not only want to remember, we need to remember.
We go forward not in spite of the pain, but because of the pain.
For it has made this nation the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.
God bless our fallen. God bless their families.
And God bless the United States of America.Read More
Yesterday, Speaker Ryan addressed the new HHS report at his weekly press conference—but that wasn’t all. He also discussed two bipartisan efforts that were on the House floor this week: bills to combat child abuse and reform the VA’s broken appeals backlog.
“Today, the House is taking up bipartisan action to combat child abuse and exploitation. A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds in this country. And human trafficking is one of the world's fastest-growing crimes.
“While worrying comes naturally for parents, it is staggering to consider the different forms that child exploitation can take. It could be a coach or someone close to you, or it could be a total stranger on social media acting alone as part of a global operation.
“Together, Republicans and Democrats are taking action to protect the most vulnerable and to punish those who abuse them. With these initiatives, we will go after child sex offenders, and we will make sure that survivors have the highest protection under the law.
“Second, ahead of Memorial Day, we are tackling bipartisan challenges, and we're taking bipartisan action to help our veterans and their families. It is especially good news that we are making progress on fixing the longstanding problems with the VA claims backlog. So many of us in Congress have been working on this for so many years, dealing with our own constituents and their problems.
“Veterans have got bills to pay. They have families to support. The last thing they should have to deal with is endless bureaucracy. Unfortunately, that's what's gone on with the VA with this claims backlog.
“So if you've been involved in Congress working on these caseworkers, it is just heart wrenching to see a veteran who needs healthcare get stuck in this claims backlog. The initiative that the House passed this week with bipartisan, unanimous support will expedite the process so that veterans can get timely decisions and have real peace of mind and we can get rid of this claims backlog.”Read More
In case you missed it, yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services released a new report finding that average health care premiums have more than doubled since Obamacare took effect. Speaker Ryan addressed this report today at his weekly press briefing:
“I want to talk about a very important health care report. It’s a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s the ASPE data point report.
“The Department of Health and Human Services has released an analysis that says that since Obamacare went into effect, average premiums have more than doubled nationwide. Since Obamacare went into effect, average health care premiums have doubled nationwide. Remember—remember when President Obama promised that his health care plan would lower a typical family’s premiums by up to $2,500? Under Obamacare, average premiums have gone up by nearly $3,000.
“This law did not drop premiums by $2,500 as promised. Average premiums have gone up by nearly $3,000. “Just yesterday—a new shoe drops every week on Obamacare it seems. Just yesterday, Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced that it will pull out of 32 counties in Kansas and Missouri. This will affect 67,000 people. Citing all the losses that it taken over 2016, the company said, and I quote, 'This is unsustainable.' “This is exactly why we are on a rescue mission. Between premiums surging up and choices going away, Obamacare is on an unsustainable path. Look, the Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, they’re the non-profits. They’re typically the last plan standing in the market. And when they’re pulling out of states like Kansas and Missouri, we have a serious problem on our hands.
“This law is in the middle of a collapse. We need to bring down the cost of coverage. And we need to revitalize the market so that people have real choices and real access to affordable health care. That’s what our plan will do. “So we’re happy to get you a copy of this report if you need it, or, if you want, you can just go to hhs.gov and see it for yourself.”
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed H. Res. 354, legislation condemning violence against protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence on May 16, 2017:
“The violent crackdown on peaceful protesters by Turkish security forces was completely indefensible, and the Erdogan government’s response was wholly inadequate. Turkey is an important NATO ally, but its leaders must fully condemn and apologize for this brutal behavior against innocent civilians exercising their First Amendment rights. In the meantime, we stand fully committed to helping bring all those responsible to justice. I want to thank Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and all members of the Foreign Affairs Committee for taking swift action on this issue.”Read More
Here's what they didn't want you to know:
Democrats are already trying to blame Republicans for Obamacare’s collapse. Don’t be fooled. This law has been crumbling to pieces since its enactment, and now Americans are paying the price.
This is a rescue mission. We need to replace this law with truly affordable, patient-centered reforms before it’s too late. That’s exactly what the American Health Care Act will do.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of the American Health Care Act:
“Under Obamacare, premiums have more than doubled, and choices have dwindled to the point that many families have no options at all. We are on a rescue mission to bring down the cost of coverage and make sure families have access to affordable care. This CBO report again confirms that the American Health Care Act achieves our mission: lowering premiums and lowering the deficit. It is another positive step toward keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
NOTE: A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that average individual market premiums have increased by more than 105 percent since 2013, the year before many of Obamacare’s regulations and mandates took effect.Read More
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just released a new report that shows the rising cost of premiums since Obamacare taxes, regulations, and mandates went into place in 2013. You may have heard some folks on the Left pointing fingers at the House-passed American Health Care Act. They wouldn’t want you to see this report. But the proof is in the pudding: Obamacare is to blame.
Here’s the report by the numbers:
39: All 39 states using healthcare.gov saw an increase in individual market premiums since 2013.
105%: The percent individual market premiums have increased since that time. In other words, premiums have more than doubled.
$2,928: The staggering average annual premium increase since Obamacare mandates and regulations went into effect. Ouch.
3: Three states saw premiums not double, but triple since 2013.
223%: The percent increase in premium costs Alabama residents experienced!
Read the full report here.Read More
This morning, Speaker Ryan joined Mike Allen for an Axios News Shapers one-on-one, where the speaker discussed the need to replace Obamacare with a patient-centered system, reform our broken tax code, and revitalize the American economy.
Here are the top moments:
Roll Back Obama-Era Regulations
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 24, 2017
Rebuild the Military and Secure the Border
We've got ambitious plans for tax reform, rebuilding our military, and border security. We will keep our promises. pic.twitter.com/9PB93vcgZN
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 24, 2017
Replace Obamacare With A Patient-Centered System
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 24, 2017
Restore a Confident America
Economic growth and strengthened foreign policy will build our country's confidence. America will handle whatever comes our way. pic.twitter.com/TUy0xpvM5p
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 24, 2017
Last night, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News’ The Story with Martha MacCallum. Here is video of the full interview, along with excerpts from the transcript:
Let’s balance the budget
"For the first time in 8 years, we actually have a president now who is proposing we balance the budget, we’ve never had that with Obama. He never even tried to balance the budget let alone even propose to balance the budget. So we now have a president saying, I agree with Congressional Republicans, let’s balance the budget."
Getting things done
"We here in the Republican Congress are staying here and getting our work done, making a difference for the American people, getting things done."
The kind of problems that affect people’s lives
"Today we’re bringing legislation through to get rid of these waiting lists the VA has where veterans are waiting for their health care. These are the kind of problems that affect people’s lives. We were talking about tax reform half the day today to get this economy growing, to get the tax code simplified, restrain the IRS, and to get businesses hiring again, bringing in wages. These are the things that we’re working on."Read More
Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan offered his condolences on behalf of the House to the families of the victims of the Manchester terrorist attack.
Key quote: “Terror is a threat that we all face together—and with our might, and with our humanity too. In that spirit, I want to express solidarity of the whole House of Representatives to Prime Minister May and her government. We stand ready to help in any way we can. Because freedom, compassion, and peace will always prevail over violence and hate.”
Opening statement: “The whole House of Representatives extends its condolences to the families of the victims. Our prayers are especially with those who are still searching for their children. “I don’t know—maybe it’s because I am a father of teenagers, but that is the part that keeps me coming back to this. I mean, think about the kids who had this date on their calendar circled. Think about the kids who got their parents to agree to take them to the concert. Or maybe it was a birthday present, or maybe it was a surprise.
“Or think about the kids who went to the concert with their friends on the agreement that they would get together and meet their parents outside right after it. Those are the kinds of conversations that go on in families with teenagers. And then all those moms and dads waiting outside when disaster struck—think about that for a second. Many rushing in, hoping to God and fearing the worst. “To deliberately target innocent children is cowardice in its most heinous form. So we should not be surprised that ISIS has claimed responsibility for this attack. But we will never bow or bend to radical Islamic terror.
“In Manchester, we have seen hotels taking in survivors. We have seen local residents offering beds to those who are stranded. We have seen taxi cabs driving back and forth through the night, offering free rides to bring people to safety. And as we speak, people on social media are reaching out to connect families with their loved ones. “Terror is a threat that we all face together—and with our might, and with our humanity too. In that spirit, I want to express solidarity of the whole House of Representatives to Prime Minister May and her government. We stand ready to help in any way we can. Because freedom, compassion, and peace will always prevail over violence and hate.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump's 2018 budget proposal:
“We can finally turn the page on the Obama era of bloated budgets that never balance. President Trump has proven his commitment to fiscal responsibility with a budget that will grow the economy. It prioritizes American taxpayers over bureaucrats in Washington, while making our military stronger so we can face the threats of a modern world. We look forward to working with Chairman Diane Black and the Budget Committee to pass a balanced budget.”Read More
Our push to reform the broken tax code for the first time in three decades continues this week.
As Speaker Ryan recently said, “Right now it is literally one of the worst tax systems in the industrialized world. We’re losing companies who are becoming foreign companies. We have an incentive that basically tells companies: Outsource your manufacturing. Why on earth are we doing that?”
After 31 years, Republicans in Congress, working hand-in-hand with the Trump administration, intend to make good on our promise to create a tax code that works for all Americans.
To learn more, visit speaker.gov or check out the links below.Read More
Today, the New York Times’ editorial board opened a piece with the following: “The mere threat that Obamacare will be dismantled or radically changed . . . has persuaded several big insurance companies to stop selling policies or significantly raise premiums.”
To use the board's own words: “This is disingenuous nonsense.”
They go on to write that as a result, “some lower-income and middle-class families may have no good options for insurance and will have to spend more on health care.”
That’s certainly true. But rather than Republicans, only Obamacare itself is to blame.
This new argument by the Times and Washington Democrats is a completely dishonest attempt to distract from the obvious failures of Obamacare.
Look no further than the Times' own archives for the evidence. Consider these two headlines pulled from 2016—you know, during President Obama’s tenure and long before the American Health Care Act passed the House:
The editorial board claims that insurance markets are collapsing because of the AHCA, yet their own reporting shows this started long before President Trump assumed office and the AHCA became a reality.
Yes, insurers are leaving the markets—but it’s because the design of Obamacare has created what some insurance professionals have called a ‘death spiral.’ And yes, premiums are skyrocketing, and deductibles are soaring—a trend that goes back to 2015 (see again: NYT.)
The writing was already on the wall that Obamacare was failing. Unfortunately, the Left is only now calling it out—with a pathetic attempt to point the finger at Republicans.
On the contrary, House Republicans knew this law was doomed and have begun a rescue mission for the American health care system.Read More
From a First District small business tour to daily meetings in D.C., Speaker Ryan took time these past couple of weeks (as he always does) to meet with fellow Wisconsinites to hear about the issues they care about. He recalled his teenage years serving as a YMCA camp counselor; demonstrated tax issues with toy cars; and learned how technology assists families of ALS patients in communicating with their loved ones. Here are six photos featuring Wisconsinites from the last couple of weeks.
Speaker Ryan welcomed YMCA’s Camp Manito-wish directors and board members to the Capitol, sharing stories from his days as a camp counselor and discussing the Child Protection Improvements Act. After the meeting, he caught some stares carrying his Camp Manito-wish paddle through the Capitol hallways back to his office.
2. Janesville Students
“Hey, I know you!” Speaker Ryan met with students from Janesville, WI on the Speaker’s Balcony during their school trip to Washington.
3. Racine Business Owners
Ahead of a major committee hearing this week, Speaker Ryan spoke with Wisconsin small business leaders and workers about reforming our broken tax code. One of his stops was a factory tour of InSinkErator, located in Racine, WI.
4. ALS Advocates
An ALS diagnosis does not just affect the patient, but entire families who often serve as caregivers. In a visit from the Wisconsin Chapter of the ALS Association, Peter and Kathy Moe shared their family’s battle with this terrible disease.
5. Wisconsin Realtors
A large contingent of Wisconsin Realtors Association members met with the speaker to discuss tax reform and the need for new technology to aid in the determination of flood insurance.
6. Motor Carriers
Speaker Ryan met with representatives of Wisconsin transportation companies to discuss tax reform and infrastructure issues. He even whipped out some toy cars to show how tax reform brings jobs back to America.Read More
At his weekly press briefing yesterday, Speaker Ryan made the case for reforming our broken tax code to make it simpler, flatter, and fairer.
“Our goal, and I feel very confident we can meet this goal, is calendar year 2017 for tax reform. And I think we’re making good progress,” he told reporters.
Progress is indeed underway. The House Ways and Means Committee held a major hearing yesterday to discuss what pro-growth tax reform looks like. Next Tuesday, the committee will host another hearing to specifically look at how we can make our tax system more competitive and prevent jobs from moving overseas.
As the speaker noted, fundamental tax reform is about creating jobs, increasing competitiveness, and growing our economy.
“We’re going through the process of looking at what is the best way to reform the tax code and lower tax rates for businesses, and to make the American tax system internationally competitive,” he explained. “Right now it is literally one of the worst tax systems in the industrialized world. We’re losing companies who are becoming foreign companies. We have an incentive that basically tells companies: Outsource your manufacturing. Why on earth are we doing that?”
Here’s what he means. Today, the federal government taxes successful small businesses upwards of 44.6 percent—and that’s before you pay state and local taxes. Meanwhile, our foreign competitors are taxing their businesses closer to 20 and 25 percent. This makes it nearly impossible for our businesses to compete.
Tax reform must include a lower corporate tax rate so we can level the playing field and drive American competitiveness. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation already found that our blueprint would create millions of full time jobs and leapfrog our economy to the front of the pack. That’s why, after 31 years, it’s time to finally get this done.
To learn more, visit speaker.gov or check out the links below.Read More
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
The Speaker acts as leader of the House and combines several roles: the institutional role of presiding officer and administrative head of the House, the partisan role of leader of the majority party in the House, and the representative role of an elected Member of the House. By statute, the Speaker is also second in line, behind the Vice President, to succeed to the presidency.
The Speaker presides over the House, administering the oath of office to Members, calling the House to order, and preserving order and decorum within the Chamber and in the galleries. Additionally, he appoints the chairmen to preside over the Committee of the Whole, appoints special or select committees, appoints conference committees, has the power of recognition of Members to speak, and makes many important rulings and decisions in the House. The Speaker may vote, but usually does not, except in the case of a tie. The Speaker and the Majority Leader determine the legislative agenda for the House, and often confer with the President and the Senate.