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—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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to gain entry. For more details, please contact Jane Jacobsen at email@example.com. 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
This morning, Speaker Ryan called into The Hugh Hewitt Show, and a policy discussion broke out, covering a number of things we are working on to address the problems Americans face in their daily lives.
Busy doing our work: “Look, this is what I call the white noise of Washington-Beltway media. We’re busy doing our work. We’re busy, I mean, just this week, we moved law enforcement legislation with police week to give them the tools they need to keep us safe. We put new sanctions on Syria. We improved Will Hurd’s federal information technology reform legislation, which will streamline government. Ways and Means did hearings on tax reform. The Education Workforce Committee put a bill out to close the skills gap so that people can get technical education. Mac Thornberry is working on his 3rd installment of streamlining Pentagon bureaucracy and procurement reforms. Veterans Affairs approved 11 bills. I mean, I can keep going if you want me to, and the 14th Congressional Review Act was signed into law this week. Nobody did anything in the press about those things. This Congressional Review Act, where you rescind recent regulations, in this case, from the Obama legislation, this tool was used once in history rescinding regulations. We’ve done it 14 times in four months just this year alone. So that’s what we’re working on.” (More on this list here.)
Health care rescue mission: “94 out of 99 counties in Iowa in 2018 will not have an insurer in the exchange. So that’s what’s going on. . . . We saw over 50% increase in premiums in the state of Maryland. We see five states with one health insurer left remaining. We see a third of all counties in America with one health insurer remaining. We just saw Aetna pull out nationwide. We saw United pull out nationwide. And we see another round of premium increases being announced. So the law really actually is collapsing. People will get hurt and harmed if we don’t replace it, and that is why we believe there’s a sense of urgency. This really is a rescue mission. We are on the mission of rescuing the collapsing individual market in health care.”
Tax reform: “We’ve got the highest tax rate in the world. We’re just kicking ourselves in the teeth. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot as a country. We are going to lower tax rates. We are going to do tax reform. It’s going to happen in 2017. Why? Because we know it has to happen. Every Republican agrees with this. Every Republican here agrees with this. That’s why we’re focused on it. What I want to tell you, Hugh, is yes, there’s a bunch of white noise out there in the media. But we are still doing our job. And so everybody talks about wave elections. It’s far too early to talk about politics. But I would say if we don’t keep our promises, then we’re going to have a problem. So what are we doing? We’re working on keeping our promises. We just passed repeal and replace in the House. We’re working on rebuilding our military. We are deep into our regulatory reform agenda. And we’re moving forward on our tax reform legislation. All of those are the things that we ran on that we said we would do to get this country back on track, and guess what? That’s exactly what we are doing.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced the creation of the Speaker’s Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs, a bipartisan group of lawmakers focused on balancing the interests between federal, state, tribal, and local governments. Speaker Ryan released the following statement:
“Federalism is not a Republican or Democrat principle, but an American principle—and one that is integral to a thriving culture and economy. But in recent years, the principle of federalism has been slowly chipped away at by an overzealous federal government. Under Chairman Bishop’s leadership, the Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs will study ways to restore the proper balance of power between the federal government and states, tribal, and local governments, and eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens facing communities across the nation.”
1. Partner with states, tribes, and local governments to balance the interests of governments
2. Provide a forum for states, cities, and counties to showcase their innovation and creativity in solving public policy problems
3. Examine the effects of federal rules and regulations on state and local partners
4. Develop proposals to partner with and empower states, tribes, local governments, private institutions, families and individuals
5. Examine the extent to which the burdens shared among states, tribes and local governments may be re-allocated to improve the quality of life in all communities
CHAIRMAN: Speaker’s Designee Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL)
Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN)
Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC)
Rep. John Culberson (R-TX)
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Rep. Jenniffer Gonzáles-Colón (R-PR)
Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA)
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA)
Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA)
Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD)
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL)
ADVISORY COUNCIL TO THE TASK FORCE
National Association of Counties (NACo)
National Governors Association (NGA)
Council of State Governments (CSG)
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
National League of Cities (NLC)
U.S. Conference of Mayors
International City/County Management Association (ICMA)Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after the Trump administration announced its intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):
“I welcome the administration’s effort to improve and update NAFTA for the 21st century economy. The United States values its strong economic ties with Mexico and Canada, and these negotiations should work to enhance our trilateral trading relationship. Congress looks forward to working hand-in-hand with the Trump administration to achieve the best deal possible for American workers and our economy."Read More
Summary: Today at his weekly press briefing, Speaker Ryan outlined the progress the House has made this week on the problems Americans face in their daily lives.
“Well this is another busy week as we continue to make progress on our agenda for the American people. Today, the House continues to act on legislation to make sure that our law enforcement agencies have the support and the tools that they need to keep us safe. This week, of course, coincides with National Police Week, when we honor the sacrifices made by our police and their families.
“Yesterday, the House acted on a new round of sanctions against the Syrian regime, in order to cut off resources to Assad’s war machine.
“Also this week, the House approved landmark federal IT reform legislation that will reduce wasteful spending and enhance the government’s information security. Will Hurd has really taken the lead on this. And he’s trying to bring our government into the era of cloud computing, and this is a big, big mark forward and bipartisan progress in getting waste out of government.
“As we speak, the Ways and Means Committee is holding a major hearing today on examining pro-growth tax reform. Pro-growth means just that: growth of wages, growth of jobs, growth of opportunity, and growth of our economy.
“Also this week, the Education and the Workforce Committee unanimously approved bipartisan legislation to improve career and technical education. This will make it easier to connect people with the skills they need to get good-paying, in-demand jobs. I’ve got to tell you, wherever I go—just in Wisconsin last week—we have a real skills gap between the skills people need to get good jobs and the good jobs that are out there being offered. This is something that we really have to address, and I’m very pleased that the Education and the Workforce Committee is moving forward on this legislation.
“Later today, Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry will unveil the third installment in his effort to streamline the Pentagon’s bureaucracy and improve the way that we develop weapons systems. This is an essential part of our efforts to rebuild our military for the 21st century.
“Ahead of Memorial Day, the Veterans Affairs Committee has approved 11 bills, including bipartisan legislation to fix the VA’s broken appeals process. This is a problem that we have been working on tackling for years. And under Secretary Shulkin, the VA is already taking real strides to get our veterans better care, shorter lines, and more peace of mind.
“Over in the Senate, our colleagues continue to discuss the path forward on keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“And lastly, yesterday the president signed the 14th Congressional Review Act resolution to stop President Obama’s last regulatory onslaught that he did last year. Up until this year, Congress had successfully just repealed one regulation under this law. Now, just this year already, we have done it 14 times in a matter of months. We have much more to do to end Washington’s culture of overreach and overregulation. But this is a big promise kept as we work to protect jobs and to grow our economy.
“I know it’s a long list, it is by no means complete. But every day here, we are working to advance our agenda and to address the problems that Americans face in their everyday lives.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after hosting a bipartisan meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos:
“It was a privilege to host President Santos at the Capitol today. We reaffirmed our commitment to a strong bilateral relationship between the United States and Colombia, and our support for their government’s counternarcotics efforts. We look forward to working with President Santos to build on the progress our countries have made over the past two decades, including the free trade agreement implemented in 2012.”
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 Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA)
· House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel:
“My priority has been to ensure thorough and independent investigations are allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead. That is what we’ve been doing here in the House. The addition of Robert Mueller as special counsel is consistent with this goal, and I welcome his role at the Department of Justice. The important ongoing bipartisan investigation in the House will also continue."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on House passage of H.R. 1677, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act:
“Assad’s crimes against humanity cannot go unanswered. With these new sanctions, we will continue to tighten the screws on the Syrian regime and its most prominent backers, including Iran and Russia. I applaud Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel for working together in a bipartisan fashion to get this done.”Read More
WASHINGTON—After opening the House of Representatives today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered remarks to recognize National Police Week and honor Wisconsin’s fallen law enforcement officers. Following are Speaker Ryan’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“My colleagues, I am proud to stand before the House today to recognize National Police Week. Every year at this time, law enforcement officials from around the country gather here to pay tribute to their fallen brethren and stand with their families. It is yet another measure of their commitment to protect and serve
“Over the last year, four of Wisconsin’s finest have lost their lives in the line of duty:
• Trooper Anthony Borostowski of the Wisconsin State Patrol.
• Deputy Dan Glaze of the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office.
• Officer Michael Ventura of the Town of Salem’s Department of Public Safety.
• Detective Jason Weiland of the Everest Metropolitan Police Department.
“Earlier this year, Detective Weiland was killed establishing a perimeter during a standoff with a shooter who took the lives of three civilians. Jason left behind a wife and two children.
“Anna, almost 11, spoke at the funeral. ‘Our dad was an amazing man that saved lives every day,’ she said. ‘We all know he is always and will be forever in our hearts. He'll be looking down on us laughing and crying.’
“Looking down that day, Anna’s dad saw some remarkable things. He saw thousands of people—many of whom he had never met—lined up to pay their respects. He saw cops in uniform from all over—from New York, Chicago, Oregon, and Canada. He saw mourners and even pallbearers in green and gold to honor his love of the Packers.
“And he saw blue ribbons everywhere.
“In a time when law enforcement is targeted and too often politicized, we must never take for granted the dangers they face.
“Every day—and every night—they leave their homes and families to protect ours. They put their lives on the line to protect ours.
“For their loved ones, all they hope for—all they pray for—is to hear the car pull into the driveway and see that familiar face come through the door.
“And when the unspeakable happens…when their watch is cut short, ours is only beginning. The support we give to their families, the respect and appreciation we show for their fellow officers—it is the least we as citizens can do, and must do. This week, and every week.
“Today, I ask the whole House to join me in expressing our profound gratitude to law enforcement officers here in our Capitol and across the nation.”Read More
Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed the need for pro-growth tax reform.
“First, I want to thank Chairman Brady and the members over at the Ways and Means Committee—thank you very much, Kevin.
“This hearing will be an opportunity to examine how pro-growth tax reform will help us create jobs and grow our economy. This is something I heard about last week as I toured businesses in the first district of Wisconsin talking to small business leaders. Everywhere I went, they talked about how our tax code is a source of constant frustration, and it’s clearly time for a change.
“For us, and for the Trump administration, this means:
“This is how we create jobs and reach our economic potential as a country.
“So we are looking forward to this hearing tomorrow. We’re looking forward and we’re moving forward on this legislation. Remember, it’s been 31 years since we last reformed the tax code. That was the year I got my driver’s license.
“The opportunities like this come around only once in a generation. So if we’re serious about letting Americans keep more of their paychecks, if we’re serious about bringing jobs back home, bringing manufacturing back home, then we have got to reform this tax system and seize this moment.”Read More
Ahead of a major Ways and Means Committee hearing this Thursday, Speaker Ryan spoke with small business leaders and workers in Wisconsin about the need to reform our broken tax code.
On Thursday, the speaker returned to Wisconsin to tour InSinkErator in Racine and discuss how, in the three decades since we last reformed our tax system, it's become too bloated, complicated, and expensive. "What we're trying to do is fix our tax laws, so that it always makes sense to make things in America and sell them not just here to Americans, but all over the world," he told employees.
Later that day, Speaker Ryan met with local businesses in Burlington about the challenges they face with regards to our tax code. He explained that the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress agree that cutting our corporate tax rate—one of the highest in the industrialized world—will help level the playing field for American businesses.
And on Friday, Speaker Ryan joined the Community State Bank 2017 Business Economic Forum in Lake Geneva to outline why tax reform is necessary to grow our economy. He argued that real growth requires a new tax system that is more simple, flat, and fair.
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimates that our reforms will create 1.7 million full-time jobs and skyrocket American competitiveness among OECD member states. That’s why it's important that we seize this moment to finally fix our outdated tax code.
To learn more, visit speaker.gov or check out the links below.Read More
The tax code—70,000 pages of rules and regulations nobody seems to understand enforced by an agency nobody seems to trust. It’s time for a change.
This week, House Republicans will continue the process of overhauling our broken tax code through an open, transparent process. On Thursday, the Ways and Means Committee will host a major public hearing detailing what pro-growth tax reform looks like.
Reforms proposed by the House and principles outlined by the Trump administration last month take the same approach: simplify the code, bring down rates, and increase competitiveness by leveling the playing field for American businesses.
That's the key to reaching our economic potential. Don’t just take it from us.
Opportunities like this only come around once in a generation. To learn more about our plan, tune into the Ways and Means hearing on Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. ET, and check out the links below.Read More
When committee chairmen reach the end of their tenure, they leave behind a legacy full of hearings, research, and legislation. As a nod to their leadership, their portraits are accepted into the House collection and often hang in the hearing rooms alongside other former chairmen.
Recently, Speaker Ryan had the privilege of accepting two new portraits of such leaders: Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), former Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, and former Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), former Veterans Affairs Committee chairman.
Rep. Upton left a legacy of tenacity and resolve, notably introducing the 21st Century Cures Act—legislation to reform our approach to medical research and innovation—that has since been signed into law.
Former Rep. Miller was equally determined in his fight to stand up for our veterans, working tirelessly with whoever was willing to solve the problems plaguing the department to protect those who safeguard our freedoms.
And while excellent work continues on both committees, such was made possible by the honorable precedents set by Mr. Upton and Mr. Miller. And as Speaker Ryan said during both portrait unveilings, thank you for your service to the People’s House.Read More
WASHINGTON—In an interview this evening with Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) discussed the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Here is the transcript of the interview:
Bret Baier: Mr. Speaker, thanks for being with us. I want to ask you what your initial reaction was when you heard the FBI Director James Comey was fired.
Speaker Ryan: Well, obviously firing an FBI director is no small thing and quite a serious matter. You know, I think the truth is James Comey, who is a worthwhile and dedicated public servant, I think he had just basically lost the confidence of a lot of Republicans and a lot of Democrats based upon his conduct, his actions, and some of the comments that he made. Most importantly, he lost the confidence of the president, and it is entirely within the president's role and authority to relieve him, and that's what he did.
Baier: Were you given a headsup?
Speaker Ryan: Right before it happened. He basically called me when I got off a flight to tell me he had made this decision. I also think if you take a look at the fact that he was losing confidence in the Justice Department, I think the president felt the right thing to do was to let him go, move on. I think what’s really important at this point now that we find a replacement very soon, somebody who is very qualified and capable so we can get that person up and running soon, and I think the other thing that's important at this point is to make sure that the professionals of the FBI know that their jobs are valuable and they have to keep doing what they're doing, do their jobs objectively and thoroughly.
I am pleased that the White House has said the work they were doing, and investigations they were doing yesterday, will continue today and tomorrow. I think it's important. I think the DOJ, Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General should make it clear to all of the people, the professional men and women at the FBI, that they should keep doing their jobs thoroughly and professionally, while we find a replacement. It's important the administration moves quickly with a capable replacement.
Baier: Mr. Speaker, you know it's not just Democrats who are raising a lot of concerns about this and about the timing of it. It's also Republicans. This is Senator Burr, chair of the senate Intel committee. . . . Your reaction to that?
Speaker Ryan: Well, I think the president lost patience and I think people in the Justice Department lost confidence in Director Comey himself. And I think the president was looking at a situation where you had senior Justice Department officials losing confidence and he does not want to see the FBI in disarray. He wanted to see the FBI up and running and moving well. And I think Director Comey kind of became an issue himself.
And so it obviously was in the president's authority and role to do this. I think he made an important command decision, and that decision that is in his right to do it. And now let's go forward. Let's get a capable person to replace him and let's just make sure that the men and women there at the FBI keep doing their jobs. That's the way I see it.
Baier: So a couple of more things on this, and just quickly. Senator McCain and a few others are calling for a special prosecutor. Obviously, Democrats are in lockstep...
Speaker Ryan: Yes. I don't think that's a good idea. First of all, we have three investigations going on right now. We have a House investigation by our Intelligence Committee, which is the appropriate committee to do that, I believe. And we have the Senate Intelligence Committee—you just played Richard Burr—doing an investigation. And you have the FBI investigating all things Russia. So I don't think that that's a good idea.
I think that the Intelligence Committee is the one that should do this because don't forget that the methods and sources of our intelligence gathering are also at play here and we have to be very sensitive so that we don't compromise that information, as well.
So I really do believe that these three investigations are the way to go. Let's get them done. Let's see them through. Let's go wherever the facts may lead. And I do think that Director Comey was compromised. Clearly, his superiors in the Justice Department felt that way. And the president made a presidential decision and removed him.
Baier: OK, and the last thing, how it happened, are you OK with all of that? Obviously, it's his prerogative to do it, but how it transpired—and then the images today out of the Oval Office, considering that the FBI director was leading a counterterrorism investigation about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, you had the Russian foreign minister and the U.S., the Russian ambassador to the U.S., who is obviously the focus of a lot of these investigations, including Mike Flynn and why the attorney general recused himself, in the Oval Office today. And these are Russian photographs coming out, not the White House press. Your reaction to that?
Speaker Ryan: Well, first of all, there has never been any evidence presented that President Trump had anything to do with any of this. So that's—I think it's really important—I think they mentioned at the testimony just the other day in the Senate. So that's point number one. So let's make sure that there's no innuendo improperly being made here.
The second point is, these investigations are continuing on. The people at the FBI who do the investigations are still there working and on the job. So I think that's just an important point to be made there, as well.
So, look, the way I look at this is let's keep these investigations going. That's what we've been doing. That's what we will continue to do. And I don't know all that led up to this decision. The administration, I'm sure, will make that clear, about the process that led to this, but also let's make sure we have a clear process going on from here. And that means find a suitable replacement soon, make sure that people do their jobs.
And I believe that the committees in Congress that are looking into all things Russia are the appropriate committees doing that. And they're doing their jobs. So we're just going to see where this goes.
Baier: And just to be clear, we say, when we report this, that there is no evidence of collusion. James Clapper has said that. But there is also an ongoing investigation that Sally Yates and others have not talked about.
Speaker Ryan: So the investigations haven't been concluded but—that's right. But I think it's really important to know that there have been no evidence presented in any of the stage of this that suggests that this collusion occurred. So I think it's really important that people know that.
But, yes, there's a lot of things that we're still looking at. We're looking at who did the unmasking of Mike Flynn. There are a lot of those questions that still have yet to be answered.
Baier: And do you think that had a part, the president was frustrated with the lack of progress on the unmasking and leak investigation?
Speaker Ryan: Oh, I can't speak to that. I can speak to the fact that the president saw an FBI director where people had lost confidence in him from both parties, including high senior officials at the Justice Department and he acted. And that's what a president can and should do.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today congratulated former Rep. Mark Green (R-WI) on his nomination to be the next Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID):
“For as long as I have known him, Mark Green has been driven by a passion to help people in need. His years of experience fighting poverty and repression in the developing world make him an exceptional choice to lead USAID. In this post, Mark will serve as a strong voice for liberty and help strengthen American leadership abroad. I look forward to his confirmation in the Senate.”
NOTE: Speaker Ryan and Ambassador Green, who represented Wisconsin's 8th District, were both elected to the House in 1998.
Speaker Ryan discussed the American Health Care Act yesterday morning on Fox & Friends—but that’s not all. He also talked about another priority Republicans are focused on: A tax code fit for the 21st century.
“We have one of the worst tax systems in the industrialized world. It’s costing us jobs, it’s costing us economic growth. We tax our businesses and our products a whole lot more than our foreign competitors tax theirs. So we’ve got to radically simplify this tax code. Make it easier and simpler for families. Our plan says families can fill out their taxes on a postcard instead of this really complicated system with a really obnoxious IRS. And we’ve got to get our taxes on our businesses down so they can compete and hire. We think this is one of the most important things we can do to create jobs and economic growth and get people back to work.”
“Just 20 percent of American businesses are corporations. Eighty percent of American businesses pay their taxes as individuals. . . . So almost all the jobs come from small businesses, and almost all small businesses pay their taxes as individuals. So we’re going to get those tax rates down too.”
“There are two to three trillion dollars . . . of money sitting overseas that can’t come back in to America to be reinvested in our economy because of our tax laws. So we’ve got to make it so that all these businesses . . . can bring their money home. Because right now, what the tax code says is, ‘If you make money overseas, keep that money overseas, invest overseas, build factories overseas’—we don’t want to do that. Let people bring their money back home, companies bring their money back home, and reinvest it in this country. That is a critical piece of tax reform that we know will create jobs and economic growth.”
“We all agree—especially as Republicans: Simplify the tax code, get our tax rates down, we get faster economic growth. Make it easier for American businesses to stay in America, to be American businesses, to make things in America.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement congratulating South Korean President Moon Jae-in:
“I congratulate President-elect Moon Jae-in on this hard-fought victory. The strategic partnership between the United States and South Korea is critical to stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the Asia Pacific. In particular, we must continue to take action to counter ongoing aggression by Pyongyang, including its missile and nuclear programs. We look forward to working together to strengthen our alliance.”Read More
The American Health Care Act, as Speaker Ryan talked about this morning on Fox & Friends, is “aimed at getting premiums down, letting people have a plan that they want, that’s more affordable.”
Right now, many families barely have any plans choose from, let alone find something that’s affordable. More than 1,000 counties—about one out of every three—are already down to their last insurer. We’ve just learned that 27 counties in Virginia will join that list. And many Iowans may end up with no options for buying coverage next year. Now another major insurer, CareFirst, sees Obamacare in “the early stages of a death spiral.”
In a CNBC op-ed, Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, talks about “a big factor” driving the problem:
“While some health care experts have stated recently that the insurance market is ‘by and large’ stable under Obamacare, troubles are clearly piling up. . . .
“A big factor in 2017 has been the impact this year's generally large rate increases have had on the unsubsidized market, that made up almost half of those buying Obamacare compliant policies in 2016. Because these people are taking the full brunt of the higher rates, the unsubsidized market is starting to melt off in what appears to be the early stages of a classic death spiral. Not only has the CareFirst CEO used that term but so did the Aetna CEO earlier this year.”
Recall that, in its last weeks in office, the Obama administration issued a report claiming that this year’s double-digit premium increases would be a “one-time pricing correction.” The report went on to state that the premium hikes would “lay a foundation for more stable pricing” and “foster increased competition.” (emphasis absolutely mine)
But instead of a ‘one-time correction,’ this year’s double-digit premium increases are begetting more problems. This is more proof that Obamacare is collapsing, and failing fast.
Learn more about how the American Health Care Act will help patients and families.
This morning, Speaker Ryan joined Fox & Friends to discuss one of the biggest priorities on the 2017 legislative agenda: repealing and replacing Obamacare.
“I think what’s happening is the left is seeing their vision of government-run health care evaporate before their eyes, and it’s really disturbing to them. But here’s the problem: This law is collapsing. This law is failing fast. And so what we’re doing is a rescue operation, which is getting rid of this law, which is collapsing. Iowa last week? The last insurer said, ‘We’re pulling out.’ That means in 94 of 99 counties in the state of Iowa, no health insurance choices. Five states are down to one insurer left. Maryland just announced a 58 percent premium increase for next year. Aetna just pulled out of Virginia. This law is collapsing, and people aren’t getting any care, let alone affordable care.”
That’s why AHCA is critical.
“We have a better system. What our plan does is it is aimed at getting premiums down, letting people have a plan that they want, that’s more affordable, and yes, our plan has layers of protections for people with pre-existing conditions. We think there’s a much better way to do this so that people can get lower premiums and people with pre-existing conditions can also get access to affordable coverage. That’s what our plan achieves.”
More choices, better care.
“What our plan does is give people more choices. Give them a tax credit so they can go buy a plan that they want. And what we also learned is in many states . . . they had really good systems in their states that guaranteed people with pre-existing conditions got really affordable health care. And what we’re basically saying is, ‘Let’s have state and federal assistance for people with catastrophic illnesses. Directly subsidize their expensive care so that they get affordable care, but that means everybody else doesn’t have to pay for that so you can lower premiums for all other people in America.’ That’s what we’re trying to achieve here.”Read More
“This is a rescue mission,” Speaker Ryan said yesterday on ABC, discussing the House’s passage of the American Health Care Act.
Over the last week, the urgency of repealing and replacing Obamacare has only continued to grow:
And in Maryland, CareFirst has become the latest insurer to see Obamacare’s marketplaces entering a ‘death spiral’:
“The head of the largest insurer in the Mid-Atlantic region warned Thursday that the Affordable Care Act marketplaces were in the early stages of a death spiral, a statement that came as the company announced its request for massive, double-digit premium increases for next year. . . .
“‘What we’re seeing is greater sickness levels. The pool of beneficiaries is becoming sicker, in part because healthier people are not coming in at the same level we hoped,’ said Chet Burrell, chief executive of CareFirst, which insures about 215,000 people through the marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act in all three states.”
In February, Aetna’s CEO also warned that the Obamacare markets are in a ‘death spiral.’
The American Health Care Act will help lower premiums, give people more choices, and deliver real protections and peace of mind. Learn more about how this plan will help patients and families.Read More
This morning, in an interview with ABC's This Week, Speaker Ryan discussed the American Health Care Act, and addressed various claims about the bill. Here is video of the full interview, along with several excerpts from the transcript:
"THIS IS A RESCUE MISSION" "Let's remember what is happening right now. Obamacare is collapsing. Obamacare isn't working. What good is Obamacare for anybody, let alone for a person with preexisting conditions if you don't have a health insurance plan that you can even get. So this is a rescue mission to make sure that we can achieve the goals we all want, which is getting the cost of coverage down and making sure that everyone has access to affordable health care, especially and including people with pre-existing conditions. That is what our bill does.
"So let me just say a couple of things. You have got all of these health insurers. If they were doing so well, why would they be pulling out of the marketplace? Over 1,000 counties, one in three counties in America have one plan to choose from. Just this week in Iowa, their last statewide insurer said that they are going to have to pull out. So that means people in 94 of Iowa's 99 counties will have zero choices. Aetna just pulled out of Virginia. The law is collapsing. It's not working.
"You can't get health insurance in these places, whether you have a pre-existing condition or not. And so what we're trying to do here, George, is step in front of this collapsing law and make sure that we can have a system that works, a system with choice and competition and affordable premiums."
PROTECTIONS FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS "So under this bill -- under this bill, no matter what, you cannot be denied coverage if you have a pre-existing condition. And under this bill, you cannot only not be denied coverage…you can't be charged higher -- let me finish my point. You can't charge people more if they keep continuous coverage. The key of having a continuous coverage provision is to make sure that people stay covered and they move from one plan to the next if they want to. It's kind of like waiting until your house is on fire to then buy your homeowner's insurance. You want to make sure that people stay covered to keep the cost down. "...So I was getting there until you just cut me off. The point of this bill in those states that get a waiver to do what they need to do to make it work better in their particular states has support exactly for that very person who, if, in the course between a year, get extra aid for support for pre-existing conditions. And on the state waivers, they're on the condition that a state has a working high-risk pool to help specifically that person with pre-existing conditions. ...
"That is the approach we're having here, because our goal is this, George, get everyone access to affordable care, including people with pre-existing conditions. And that is not happening under Obamacare."
REGARDING PROCESS CONCERNS
"Yes, I think this is a kind of a bogus attack from the left. Let me say a couple of things. The bill has been online for two months. ... The final version was an amendment that was three pages long. It takes you 30 seconds to read. By the way, Obamacare was over 2,000 pages. This bill is under 200 pages. It doesn't take long to go through this bill, and the final amendment -- three pages long.
"But more importantly, we got two CBO scores. And the most recent CBO score show that we're perfectly in compliance with the Senate budget rules, which is what matters here. And this last amendment, a three-page amendment, is not going to dramatically alter that score. It didn't -- it was narrow changes to the bill. That has been online for quite some time." MORE ON PROTECTIONS FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
"We looked at the whole country and we wanted to see is there a situation, under any situation, with the state getting a waiver, if there is a person that could get charged higher health care costs because of their health status, because of preexisting condition? We looked and decided there might be a situation where, within the course of one year, a person could conceivably get higher health care costs. This amendment affects that.
"So we have all these multiple layers of protection to make sure that these families, that these people -- look, these are our friends and our constituents. We will want to make sure people who have bad health care status, who have a preexisting condition, get affordable coverage. And that's not happening in Obamacare. You got to remember, if you can't even get a health insurance plan, what good is it? You don't have health insurance."
REPEALING OBAMACARE'S TAXES
"A couple of things. We're keeping our word, which is we're repealing and replacing the entirety of this law, which is we're repealing all the Obamacare taxes. The Obamacare taxes are job-killing taxes that hurt economic growth and more importantly make health insurance more expensive. These taxes, and most of them are aimed at the health care system, which actually makes those premiums higher. It pushes medical device companies overseas, it makes it more expensive for you to buy your health care. That's point number one."
MEDCAID REFORMS TO HELP THE VULNERABLE "But the Medicaid, what we're doing with Medicaid, we're giving the states the ability to customize Medicaid to meet the particular needs of their vulnerable populations. You've got to remember, Medicaid is a program that is administered by the states, but micromanaged by the federal government, and not very well. More and more doctors are refusing to even accept people with Medicaid. And so we want to give the states the ability to customize the Medicaid program to work for their particular states. "We're -- we're giving states the ability to run their own Medicaid program. And it is increasing for medical inflation. And by the way, we recognize that for certain people in Medicaid, the disabled, the aged, the people in nursing homes, we're giving them a bigger increase so that their funds are even more than everybody else. And so by giving states the right to run Medicaid, and giving them a block grant, per capita bloc grant, or a bloc grant, and then increasing that the spending by medical inflation, I hardly think that's draconian." THE FATAL CONCEIT OF OBAMACARE "Again, George, here is the fatal conceit of Obamacare, it says we're going to micromanage this with bureaucrats with Washington telling every state and every community how it must work. That is failing. Medicaid is not working. Obamacare is collapsing. Insurance plans are pulling out. People are not getting no choices, if any at all. And we have to fix this. This is a rescue operation. And you have to acknowledge, every state is a little different. And so what we're trying to achieve here, and what this bill does achieve, gives states the ability to meet the needs of their populations, but put the resources in there so that everyone can have affordable health insurance coverage."
REGARDING POLITICAL CONCERNS AND WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT "Number one, health care is a complicated and very emotional personal issue. And we completely understand that. The system is failing. We're stepping in front of it and rescuing people from a collapsing system. And more importantly, we're keeping our word. That's really important here, George. People expect their elected leaders, if they run and campaign on doing something, they expect them to do that. And that's what we're doing. We're keeping our word. And I would argue that we would spell disaster for ourselves, politically, if that's your question, if we go back on our word. This is us keeping our word. But most importantly, it's us trying to fix a real problem that real people are experiencing in this country."Read More
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 4, 2017
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Ryan (R-WI) made the following comments today at a White House press conference following House passage of the American Health Care Act:
“Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you. Thank you for your leadership. There are too many people to name who played such an important role in helping us to get this part.
“I want to thank a few people in particular. I want to thank Chairmen Greg Walden, Kevin Brady, Diane Black, Pete Sessions, and the members of their committees for all the hard work they put in to getting us to this point. I want to thank all the other members who contributed to making this the best bill possible. It really was a collaborative, consensus-driven effort.
“I also want to thank the team here at the White House. I want to thank Tom Price, I want to thank Mick Mulvaney, and I especially want to thank Reince Priebus—we could not have done this without you gentlemen. You guys are the best.
“And of course, this would not have been possible if it weren't for these two gentlemen behind me. This is the fourth presidency I have served with. I have never, ever seen any kind of engagement like this. I want to thank Mike Pence and I want to thank President Donald Trump for their personal involvement in working with our members and working to get this right, for getting this done, and getting us to where we are. Thank you, gentlemen.
“Today was a big day, but it is just one step in this process. An important step. We still have a lot of work to do to get this signed into law. And I know that our friends over in the Senate are eager to get to work. They are.
“We’re going to see that work through. You know why we're going to see this work through? Because the issues are just too important. The stakes are just too high. The problems facing American families are real. And the problems facing American families as a result of Obamacare are just too dire and too urgent.
“Just this week, just this week, we learned of another state—Iowa—where the last remaining health care plan is pulling out of 94 of their 99 counties, leaving most of their citizens with no plans on the Obama market at all.
“What kind of protection is Obamacare if there are no plans to choose from? And this is a trend that we’re seeing all across the country.
“The truth is this law has failed, and it is collapsing. Premiums are skyrocketing and choices are disappearing. And it is only getting worse, spiraling out of control.
“And that is why we have to repeal this law and put in place a real, vibrant marketplace with competition and lower premiums for families. That’s what the American Health Care Act is all about.
“It makes health care more affordable, it takes care of our most vulnerable, and it shifts power from Washington back to the states, and most importantly, back to you, the patient.
“Like I said, we've got a lot of work to do, but one thing is now clear: Republicans are committed to keeping our promise to lift the burden of Obamacare from the American people and put in place a better, more patient-centered system.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following statement on the House floor in support of the American Health Care Act, which will repeal and replace Obamacare. Below are the speaker’s full remarks as prepared for delivery:
“I want to thank all the committee chairs who took up this bill: Chairman Walden, Chairman Brady, Chairman Black, and Chairman Sessions. I want to thank the members of those committees: Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Budget, and Rules. I want to thank all the members who made constructive contributions throughout this process.
“I want to thank the President of the United States for his steadfast leadership. In his address in this chamber, he called on Congress to act, and today we take the next step to repeal and replace Obamacare. I want to thank Vice President Pence, Secretary Price, Director Mulvaney, and their teams.
“My colleagues, there is a fundamental—and urgent—choice at the heart of this debate. We can continue with the status quo under Obamacare. We know that looks like. It means even higher premiums, even fewer choices, even more insurance companies pulling out, even more uncertainty, even more chaos.
“Look at what has happened in Iowa this week. As is the case in so many areas in this country, Iowa is down to one insurer. That, of course, is not a choice.
“But now that one insurer is saying it will have to pull out of 94 of the 99 counties in Iowa. So tens of thousands of Iowans will go from one option to no options. That is not a choice. It is a crisis. And it is happening right now.
“What protection is Obamacare if there is no health plan to purchase in your state? This is the direction Obamacare is rapidly heading. So we can continue with this status quo, or we can put Obamacare behind us. End this failed experiment.
“Let’s make it easier for people to afford their insurance. Let’s give people more choices and more control over their care. Let’s make insurance companies come in and compete for your business. Let’s return power from Washington to the states. Let’s help people get real peace of mind. Let’s put the patient—not the bureaucrats—at the heart of the system.
“This bill does all of these things. It delivers on the promises we have made to the American people. Yes, many of us have been waiting seven years to cast this vote. But many of us are here because we pledged to cast this very vote. To repeal and replace Obamacare. To rescue people from this collapsing law.
“Are we going to meet this test? Are we going to be men and women of our word? Are we going to keep the promises that we have made? Or are we going to falter?
“After all this—after seeing what is happening in Iowa and around the country—are we going to leave this collapsing law in place, knowing all the turmoil this country will face? My answer is no.
“Today is not that day. Today, this House has the opportunity to do more than simply fulfill a promise. We have the opportunity to raise our gaze, and set a bold course for our country. To show we have the resolve to tackle the big challenges before they tackle us. To stop the drift of arrogant, big-government policies in our lives. And begin a new era of reform based on liberty and self-determination. Today is the day to lead.
“So let’s pass this bill to take the next step to put Obamacare behind us. Let’s pass this bill to build a better health care system for American families. Let’s pass this bill to leave this country better than we found it. That is what is really at stake today. That is why I will be proud to cast my vote for this legislation. And I urge my colleagues to do the same.”Read More
The news out of Iowa and Virginia this week—more insurers leaving the market—is another urgent reminder that Obamacare has already failed. Today we have the opportunity to take the next step to rescue people from this collapsing law: SKYROCKETING PREMIUMS “Obamacare premiums to go up by double digits” (The Washington Post) “Is Obamacare really affordable? Not for the middle class” (CNN) “Middle-Class Americans Face Biggest Strain Under Rising Obamacare Costs” (NPR) “Obamacare Customers Face Big Price Hikes Next Year” (Huffington Post) “With Obamacare Options Slim In The Lehigh Valley, Many Feel Priced Out Of Health Coverage” (The Morning Call) “Obamacare Plan Premiums In 2017 Higher Than Expected And For Worse Coverage” (Forbes) FEWER CHOICES “One-Third Of Counties Will Have Just One Obamacare Insurer By 2017" (TIME) “Obamacare Options? In Many Parts of the Country, Only One Insurer Will Remain” (The New York Times) “Thousands of Obamacare Customers Left Without Options as Insurers Bolt” (Bloomberg) “Obamacare Costs Up, Choices Down In Missouri And Kansas” (KSHB) “S.C. residents hit with higher rates, fewer choices when purchasing health insurance through Obamacare” (The Post and Courier) “Hoosiers Face Higher Premiums, Fewer Choices For Obamacare Coverage” (Indianapolis Business Journal) COLLAPSING MARKETS
“Shaky Obamacare Market Adds to 'Death Spiral' Fears” (Bloomberg) “Obamacare co-ops at risk of failing after billions in loans” (The Hill) “Most Obamacare Co-Ops Have Now Failed” (Free Beacon) “More than half of ACA co-cops now out of insurance marketplaces” (Washington Post) THE WORST IS YET TO COME “Aetna CEO: Obamacare markets are in a 'death spiral'” (POLITICO)
“Health Insurers Warn Of Wider Defections From ACA Marketplaces For 2018” (The Washington Post)
“The Obamacare exodus has begun. Humana announced it is pulling out of Obamacare for 2018…” (CNN)
“Aetna will exit Obamacare markets in Virginia in 2018, citing expected losses on individual plans this year” (CNBC)Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive action on religious liberty:
“It’s high time that we restore the constitutional right to religious liberty. For too long, the liberty of religious groups and American citizens has been jeopardized by an arrogant and often hostile federal government. On this National Day of Prayer, I commend the Trump administration for taking action and will continue to make fighting for religious liberty a top priority of my speakership.”
Related:In Defense of Religious LibertySpeaker Ryan’s Statement on the Conscience Protection ActSpeaker Ryan: Administration Should Protect Little Sisters NowSpeaker Ryan: I Stand in Support of the Little SistersRead More
REFUNDABLE TAX CREDITS
Refundable tax credits are an important component of the AHCA, designed to give people who don't receive health care at work the same tax benefits as those who do so they can purchase the kind of coverage that is right for their family.
It equalizes the tax treatment of health care regardless of where you buy it and helps create a vibrant individual market. These credits are longstanding conservative policy goals.
One in three physicians are unwilling to accept new Medicaid patients. Unfortunately, Obamacare simply added more people to a broken system. The AHCA is a historic shift of power back to the states so that we can make it work for those who need it. It reforms Medicaid so that it is flexible and responsive to those it was created to serve.
It prohibits states from expanding into the current broken Medicaid system.
It maximizes state flexibility. It gives states the choice between a per capita allotment or a traditional block grant and provides the option for states to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients.
It ensures the rug isn’t pulled from underneath any able-bodied patient as he or she transitions to other coverage, like a plan purchased with refundable tax credits.
EXPANDS HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are tax-free health care savings accounts for Americans with high-deductible health plans. HSAs are critical for helping Americans save and spend their health care dollars more wisely.
The AHCA would nearly double the amount Americans can contribute to their accounts, which will give greater choice and flexibility in purchasing coverage. Conservatives agree: HSAs must be a focal point of health care reform.
PROTECTS PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
First and foremost, the bill contains numerous protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The law is clear: Under no circumstance can people be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. The latest draft contains two more layers of security for these individuals:
The MacArthur amendment gives flexibility to states to tackle premium prices. However, there is a very strict process for obtaining that waiver. It will only be given to states with high-risk pools and other protections in place.
For states seeking a waiver, the Upton amendment provides an additional $8 billion to allow people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage acquire affordable care.
RESTORES PRO-LIFE PRINCIPLES
The AHCA defunds Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, for one year by blocking more than $500 million of federal dollars. It redirects the money to community health centers, which far outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics.
Let’s pass the American Health Care Act. After all, seven years of Obamacare is enough.Read More
Some ask, why the urgency with the American Health Care Act? Well, on the day the House announced it would hold a vote on the American Health Care Act—legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare—two more insurers announced their intention to pull out of Obamacare state insurance markets, continuing a trend of leaving families with few or no options for coverage.
This story, being repeated across the country, explains the urgency.
Aetna announced it would be leaving Virginia’s individual market in 2018. Innovation Health will also leave the market. As a result, 27 counties in Virginia may have only one insurer to choose from if the status quo remains.
And in Iowa, a month after termination announcements from Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica announced they, too, were on the verge of not participating in the state marketplace in 2018. For Iowans, this means potentially 70,000 people who buy their own coverage wouldn’t have any options for 2018. Nowhere to go.
This is why Republicans must act with urgency and pass the American Health Care Act. If Obamacare remains the law of the land, things will only get worse—leaving thousands of Americans without options for affordable, quality health care coverage.
But with the AHCA, we will see a truly patient-centered system. One designed to protect those with pre-existing conditions, and to reform Medicaid to best serve those it was designed for. A system that will introduce refundable tax credits and strengthen HSAs to give families the flexibility and control the need over how they spend their health care dollars.
Today, Republicans have the opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare—and deliver on our promise to offer conservative solutions for the American people. Today, Republicans have the opportunity to pass the American Health Care Act—the time to act is now.Read More
As the House prepares to vote on the American Health Care Act, we wanted to take a moment to debunk some of the myths surrounding the bill:
I have a pre-existing condition. How does this bill affect me? Under our plan, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions. And your health status cannot affect your premiums, unless your state asks for and receives a waiver—a condition of which is the state having other protections in place for those with pre-existing conditions. Even if your state does obtain a waiver, so long as you’ve been continuously covered, you still cannot be charged more. And the bill provides added resources to help people in waiver states who have not been continuously covered to gain coverage. Bottom line, there are many levels of protection for those with pre-existing conditions in the legislation.
I heard about the MacArthur amendment allowing states to waive protections for pre-existing conditions. If this happens, will I lose all my benefits? No. This amendment preserves protections for people with pre-existing conditions while giving states greater flexibility to lower premiums and stabilize the insurance market. To obtain a waiver, states will have to establish programs to serve people with pre-existing conditions. And no matter what, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
And what about the Upton amendment? The Upton amendment provides an additional $8 billion for states seeking a waiver. These resources will allow people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage to acquire affordable care.
Are Members of Congress exempt from this provision? No. Members will not be exempt. This was initially included for technical reasons to comply with Senate rules, but the House is voting to fix this before voting on the AHCA.
Why are you cutting women’s health services? We’re not. In fact, we’re expanding women’s access to health services by redirecting Planned Parenthood dollars to community health centers, which vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics.
Why are you voting to kick 24 million people off health care? We’re not. AHCA will ensure everyone has access to affordable, quality health care, but we’re just not forcing people to buy insurance. Moreover, that estimate failed to take into account other planned legislative and administrative actions, which will help bring down costs and expand coverage.
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following statement on the House floor in support of legislation to fund the government until the end of the fiscal year. Below are the speaker’s full remrks:
“First of all, I want to thank the chairman, I want to thank the ranking member, and the ranking members, and the chairmen of the subcommittees, and all the staff for their very hard work in putting this big body of work together.
“I urge all my colleagues to support this package. I want to explain why.
“A few things: many of our priorities—not all—but many of our priorities, are advanced in this. And that’s because this is a bipartisan piece of legislation. And so each side doesn’t get everything they want, but we’re able to come together and find a package that advances many of our important goals.
“For me, I think it’s important because it turns the page on the last administration—on the Obama years. It completes the unfinished business of the previous administration. Remember, we came to December, we had a continuing resolution, we’re halfway through the fiscal year now. We’ve got to do the job of actually getting the government specifically funded—meeting more of our priorities. This does that.
“This marks the beginning of a new era. No longer will the needs of our military be held hostage by the demands for more domestic spending. In my mind that is what is most important here. Having negotiated budget agreements in the prior administration, this to me is paramount and first among all things.
“The rule we lived under under the previous administration basically says, you want more money for the women in the field who are in our military who need more resources to do their jobs? Ok, but we’re going to need more money for Washington programs. And not just more money for Washington programs, the same exact amount of money.
“So no matter whether we need more money for our troops—we might need more ships, more bullets, more gas, more planes—we had to have the exact same dollar amount, whether it was needed or not, for domestic spending. That’s the old formula we had under the prior administration, and that is not in here. That is really important.
“And I think that’s one of the most important game-changing accomplishments that are in here, because we really believe our military needs help. We believe our military has been hollowed out in so many areas, and this bill helps fix this. So that dollar-for-dollar parity rule is a rule no more.
“With this bill, we do not have that arbitrary standard—the standard that has contributed, in my opinion, to hollowing out of our military and declining our readiness.
“While we have much more work to do to fully rebuild our military, this is a critical first step. With this bill, we will spend 25 billion dollars more this year than last year on defense so that we can begin to rebuild our military readiness and our preparedness. And we will do so without a corresponding increase in domestic spending. And that to me is a new day under this new administration that we have with President Trump.
“Of course, this legislation also addresses many other priorities for Republicans and for this administration. For starters, there’s a big and a solid down payment on securing our border. In fact, it’s the biggest increase in border security in a decade. Funding for the DC Scholarship Opportunity Program, which reverses the Obama-era crusade against school choice. That’s in here.
“National resources to fight the opioid epidemic, which is something that is ravishing communities across America. No new money for Obamacare and no bailouts for insurance companies. This bill protects life.
“This bill is a bipartisan compromise, as I mentioned, but it is indeed a good one for conservatives. And that is why I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
“We all must agree that funding the government at all like this—and this is the last point I want to make—this is not a process we want to continue. Yes, we are finishing unfinished business from last year. But let’s all work together and endeavor to do these appropriations bills one at a time. That is the system we’re supposed to have. And that is the system that I think we all agree—Republicans and Democrats—that we need to have.
“So let’s work together to make sure that we don’t just do one big bill. That we do this individually. So that individual debate can occur. So that individual priorities can be met. And so that we can get back to regular order, and we can better guarantee and maintain our Article 1 powers as the legislative branch of government exercising the power of the purse.
“I challenge every one of us to commit to that process. In the meantime, let’s bank these wins, let’s get this done, let’s turn this page on this last year, and let’s make sure we give the troops the support they so desperately need. With that, I yield back and ask everyone to support this bill.”Read More
The funding bill is a win for Republicans. Here’s why, as laid out in documents from our office:10 Things You Should Know About the Funding Bill
1. It is a game-changer for our military.
3. It targets terrorism and foreign threats.
4. It strengthens our borders.
5. It reforms the IRS.
6. It protects life.
7. It tackles crime.
8. It encourages American energy development and limits EPA overreach.
9. It supports local communities and education.
10. It fights against the nation’s opioid epidemic.A CONSERVATIVE APPROACH
As conservatives, we believe that the federal government should have a strong role in national security and a secondary role in domestic policy. This philosophy shapes our government-funding priorities.ENDS PARITY FOR DEFENSE/NON-DEFENSE SPENDING
Democrats have long demanded that any increase in defense funding must be equally matched with more non-defense spending. That harmful precedent ends this week—a significant departure from the Obama years, and a big win for the new administration.NO NEW MONEY FOR OBAMACARE
It eliminates cost-sharing reductions. It prevents a taxpayer-funded bailout of insurance companies. It eliminates funding for the Independent Payment Advisory Board. It prevents the Prevention and Public Health Fund from being used as an Obamacare slush fund. It restricts federal funds from being used to lobby for Obamacare.A STRONGER BORDER
It provides for the biggest increase in border security funding in a long time. This means more boots on the ground, the end of “catch and release,” and stronger investigations. It also provides Trump administration limited flexibility in approaching H-2B visas.EXPANDS SCHOOL CHOICE
It promotes the start-up, replication, and expansion of high-quality charter schools. It funds implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which shifts control and accountability for schools to states and local districts.FIGHTS THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
The bill provides a big boost in resources for fighting the opioid epidemic—including grants, treatment and prevention, and support for law enforcement.STRONGER AND SAFER
America will be stronger and safer because of this government funding bill. It acts on President Trump’s commitment to rebuild our military for the 21st century and bolster our nation’s border security to protect our homeland.Read More
Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan joined The Hugh Hewitt Show, where he discussed how the government funding bill will reduce EPA employment levels, include no new money for Obamacare, and increase defense spending and border security. Listen to the full interview here.
EPA reform“There are no funds for this grant to the climate front, so we have no funds going to the Green Climate Fund, which was kind of an Obama-era pet project. We reduced the EPA staffing levels to pre-Obama, back to 1989. So we knocked the staff down to what we had in 1989. So there are the people who I would argue are kicking out regulations that are harmful to the economy. This gets at that. There are things in the EPA that deal with infrastructure. Those things are maintained, because you know, their infrastructure things are important. But we defund, we zero out the Green Climate Fund, knock the employment levels back to 1989 levels.”
No new money for Obamacare“There are no CSR payments here. Those are called cost-sharing reduction payments. Those aren’t in here. And obviously, the Democrats wanted that, and we didn’t do that.”
A win for defense“If you look year over year from 2016, it’s $25 [billion] based on what we did earlier in the year. ... What we really wanted to do is break the parity requirement that we endured under Obama, where if you wanted to put a dollar into the military for a ship, for a plane, for bullets, for gas, you had to give the domestic spending of federal government another dollar. That is the parity requirement we lived under with Obama. It held the military hostage for more bloated domestic spending. We broke that parity, and that to me, is the biggest thing here. That is the biggest accomplishment. I negotiated the Murray-Ryan budget deal four years ago, and we lived under the fact that with a Democrat president, and in many cases, a Democrat Senate, we had to hit parity. We broke that. We don’t have parity. We’ve got a big Defense increase. It’s a really good down payment. ... That’s very important. And that, to me, the breaking of that parity requirement shows that we’re now back to fixing defense, and we’re not going to allow it to be held hostage for more bloated domestic spending.”
Increase in border security“It’s actually the biggest increase in border security in a decade. It gets spent by a whole number of things. Mick [Mulvaney] ran through it. They call it bollard fencing, which is what, in many areas, the border security thinks is the smartest way to go so you can see through it, so you can see what’s happening on the other side of the border. . . . It’s also cameras. It’s detention facilities. We have an increase in detention facilities so we can end catch and release. There are lots of things that are in here like this to help us get a huge down payment on border security. . . . fences, cameras, people, more ICE agents, more detention beds, those kinds of things.”Read More
School choice puts a better education in the reach of more children. It gives parents more options, whether it’s public schools, private schools, charter schools, magnet schools, online universities, or homeschooling.
The government funding bill expands school choice, and renews the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program—an initiative the Obama administration repeatedly tried to eliminate. More from The Washington Post:
“The legislation would reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which helps 1,100 low-income students attend private schools, through fiscal 2019. The program is the only federally funded effort of its kind. … Advocates for the voucher program said they were relieved after spending years fighting for its survival under President Barack Obama, who opposed vouchers.”
Indeed, the previous administration did everything it could to eliminate the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. In its budgets, the Obama administration repeatedly zeroed out funding for the program. It tried to prevent students who were unsuccessful in getting into the program from reapplying the following year. And in 2009, Education Secretary Arne Duncan actually rescinded hundreds of Opportunity Scholarships that had already been awarded.
The DC program was just one target of this vendetta. The administration also tried to shut down Louisiana’s school choice program, and launched a years-long investigation into Wisconsin’s program.
Now parents and school choice advocates nationwide can breathe a sigh of relief. In addition to renewing the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, this funding bill:
These are all positive steps to empower parents and help more students get the best start in life.Read More
Over the last month, there have been a handful of revisions to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that reflect member input. The latest are 1) an amendment provided by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) that gives states flexibility in addressing premiums and best serving their populations; and 2) and an amendment by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) providing an additional protection for people with pre-existing conditions in states seeking that flexibility.
Here’s how the MacArthur and Upton amendments help us lower premiums while keeping protections for the most vulnerable in place:
VERIFIED: The MacArthur amendment protects people with pre-existing conditions. The amendment is very clear: Under no circumstance can people be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Current law prohibiting pricing customers based on health status remains in place and can only be waived by a state if that state has chosen to take care of the people through other risk-sharing or reinsurance mechanisms. Even if a state asks for and is granted a waiver, no person may be priced based on health status if they have maintained continuous coverage. In addition to these protections, the AHCA provides significant resources at the federal and state level for risk-sharing programs that lower premiums for all people.
VERIFIED: It provides a strict process to receive a waiver from federal mandates. Although it gives states an option to tailor coverage limitations, the process is very strict. A state must explain how a waiver will reach the goals of lowering premiums, increasing enrollment, stabilizing the market/premiums, and/or increasing choice. States must lay out the benefits they would provide. And most importantly, states may only apply for a waiver if they have their own risk pool in place. Again, the coverage of people with pre-existing conditions will be protected.
VERIFIED: It gives states flexibility in addressing health care premiums. The populations in different states have different health care needs. The health care system in Wisconsin is different than the health care system in Arizona. This amendment gives states the flexibility to address these diverse needs without letting the most vulnerable—whether it’s the elderly, children, or people with pre-existing conditions—fall through the cracks.
VERIFIED: The Upton amendment adds another layer of security for people with pre-existing conditions. The Upton amendment provides an additional $8 billion for states seeking a waiver. These resources will allow people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage to acquire affordable care. The AHCA provides significant protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but these additional resources help ensure affordable coverage for individuals in states that have received a waiver. The money will be provided to the State and Patient Protection fund.
Bottom Line: The MacArthur and Upton amendments will help lower premiums for Americans while protecting the most vulnerable. Right now, under Obamacare, there are many states with only one choice of health care provider. The premiums are out of control and many people, due to Obamacare’s costs, don't really have health care. The flexibility given by the MacArthur amendment will increase competition in the marketplace, giving Americans more choices when deciding upon their health care plans and ensuring that health care premiums will decrease. The protections put in place by both the MacArthur and Upton amendments protects people with pre-existing conditions, and ensures that there is no unwanted gap in coverage.Read More
Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan detailed how the funding bill will strengthen our military and boost our national defense.
“I want to highlight some of the important things that are in the funding bill that is coming to the floor this week. A couple of things.
“First, this puts more boots on the ground to bolster our border security. In fact, this is the biggest increase in border security funding in a decade.
“It provides more resources to combat the opioid epidemic, which is a high priority for Republicans here in Congress.
“It expands the school choice program—that’s something many of us feel very passionately about. It expands the DC school choice Opportunity Scholarship Program.
“It maintains our pro-life protections.
“It contains no new money for Obamacare. No insurance company bailouts.
“It makes major increases in defense spending while holding the line on non-defense. This is something that I think is really important that people are sort of missing in this really important story. I cannot understate how much of a game-changer this is—I used to negotiate budget agreements with the Obama administration.
“Under President Obama, Democrats insisted that an increase in defense spending be tied to an equal increase in non-defense spending. You want to help the troops? You want to help the military? I need just as much money for domestic discretionary spending. That was the Obama rule that we lived under for eight years. They insisted on this even as our military plunged further and further into a readiness crisis.
“Well, we got to a point that our Air Force pilots were going to museums to find spare parts over the last eight years. We got to a point where some of our planes are so outdated that whole fleets would qualify for antique license plates in Virginia.
“This forced parity that we lived under under the Obama years really constrained our ability to rebuild our military for this century. This appropriations bill changes all of that.
“No longer are the needs of our military going to be held hostage for increases in domestic spending. This means that we can finally make real, important strides to increase and improve our readiness. It means we can get our servicemembers the tools and the resources they need to confront the threats that we face all around the world.
“While we have lot more work to do to rebuild our military, this is a very big first step. Twenty-five billion dollars, year over year, for our military, and you do not have a corresponding $25 billion increase in domestic spending, which is what Obama would have requested and required. That is not here. We broke this parity, and we think this is a really important step in the right direction.
“The first responsibility of our government is national defense. Under President Trump, we are truly putting this first. We are excited that we’re honoring two big priorities: a big down payment on border security, and a big increase for our military so that they can do their jobs.”Read More
You’ve heard by now: The government funding bill introduced this week will make America stronger and safer. But that doesn’t just apply to rebuilding our military and increasing our border security. It also means fighting the opioid epidemic that threatens our families and communities.
Consider these headlines:
“Opioid epidemic takes its toll on Camden.” “The opioid epidemic may be even deadlier than we think.” “In Virginia's opioid epidemic, this drug is the top killer.” “Epidemic not too strong a word where opioids are concerned.”
These headlines, pulled from four different states, are alarming on their own. Even scarier? They’re all from the past week.
That’s why the government funding bill provides an increase of $781 million to fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic.
By enacting the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act—bipartisan legislation to combat opioid abuse—and the 21st Century Cures Act, this bill will increase funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs in a big way:
All told, according to the House Appropriations Committee, the bill includes an increase of $781 million for fighting the opioid epidemic—including grants, treatment and prevention, and support for law enforcement.
In too many communities around the country, people are struggling with no sign of relief. This legislation will empower states and communities to help those plagued by addiction—and it is one more step toward ending the opioid battle once and for all.
10 Things You Should Know About The Funding BillSpeaker Ryan: Funding Bill Makes America Stronger and SaferA New Day: Funding Bill Ends Democrats’ Demand to Hamstring Defense SpendingNo New Money for Obamacare, No Bailouts for Insurance CompaniesBoots on the BorderA Strong National Defense Abroad, Limited Government Control At HomeRead More
VERIFIED: The funding bill strengthens border security.
The funding bill provides $12.2 billion for Customs and Border Protection. That’s a $911 million increase from last year’s level, part of an overall $1.52 billion increase in resources for border security efforts. What does this mean? More agents, enhanced technology, and updated infrastructure to stem the flow of illegal activities across our border. It also ends the program of catch-and-release by including resources specifically targeted to detain and remove illegal immigrants.
VERIFIED: The funding bill does not increase illegal immigration.
Some have asserted that the bill contains a hidden provision to increase illegal immigration. This is simply false. The program in question is well known: the H-2B visa program. This is a narrow program for temporary, non-agricultural workers. Last time misleading claims surfaced about this program, it was proven that just a tiny fraction of the alleged increase in visas actually came to fruition.
VERIFIED: The funding bill does not take jobs away from Americans.
The requirements to obtain H-2B visas are very strict.
1) American employers must demonstrate that there are not enough U.S. workers available to do the job required; 2) They must prove that bringing a worker here would not adversely affect the wages of similarly employed Americans; 3) The visas are temporary and used on a seasonal basis. Workers must return to their home country.
In other words, these are jobs that would simply not be filled without provisions for temporary workers.
VERIFIED: Along with a strict cap, the funding bill gives the Trump administration the say in whether additional visas are issued.
The number of visas is NOT automatically increased. The funding bill gives the Trump administration the ability to increase the number of H-2B visas, if deemed necessary, with a strict limit. The Department of Homeland Security Secretary, in consultation with the Labor Secretary, can increase the cap on the program, which stands at 66,000 workers. Again, the H-2B visa waiver is limited in scope—it must be non-agricultural and it cannot compete with Americans for jobs. However, the funding bill does put limitations on this action: The administration cannot increase the program by more than 69,320 visas (the number of returning workers from FY 2007).
Bottom line: this narrow program for temporary, legal immigration has important protections for American workers, and visas will only be increased if the Trump administration sees an economic need.
As conservatives, we believe that the federal government should have a strong role in national security and a secondary role in domestic policy. In other words, decisions and capabilities abroad must be made by the federal government—with a robust military—and decisions at home are best made by you: local communities, states, and private actors.
This philosophy shapes our government-funding priorities. The funding bill breaks the harmful Obama-era precedent of matching defense spending with non-defense spending. Here’s more on how it restores the proper role of government:
+ PLUS National Security
- MINUS Government Control
From day one, President Trump has made it clear that securing the border is a top national priority. Republicans in Congress couldn’t agree more. That’s why this week, Congress will vote for the biggest increase in border security funding in a long time. Here’s what that means:
Earlier this year, Speaker Ryan learned firsthand about the challenges our law enforcement professionals face along our southern border, and together with the Trump administration, Congress will provide them the tools they need to secure the border and keep Americans safe.More from today:
Despite a heavy push from Democrats, the government funding bill does not provide new funding for Obamacare as we work to repeal and replace the law altogether. It also includes a number of oversight provisions to protect taxpayer dollars:
It prevents a taxpayer-funded bailout of insurance companies through Obamacare’s risk corridor program. In the last fiscal year, this provision saved $2.5 billion that would have been doled out to insurance companies without approval by Congress.
It eliminates funding for the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of unelected bureaucrats that would take control away from patients and ration care for seniors.
It prevents the Prevention and Public Health Fund from being used as an Obamacare slush fund. Under the Obama administration, there was bipartisan concern with how unelected bureaucrats were using the program to fund pet projects—literally. An Energy and Commerce Committee investigation found that the slush fund was used for such ‘high-priority projects’ as massage therapy, urban gardening, and pet neutering.
It restricts federal funds from being used to lobby for Obamacare.Read More
The government funding bill on the floor this week includes a substantial increase in defense funding to help keep Americans safe. This marks a down payment on President Trump’s pledge to rebuild our military for the 21st century. And it does so without breaking existing budget caps.
But that’s not all.
Democrats have long demanded that any increase in defense funding must be equally matched with more non-defense spending. That harmful precedent ends this week—a significant departure from the Obama years, and a big win for the new administration.
We have stopped Democrats from hamstringing these critical investments in our military. This comes in light of a deepening readiness crisis under the Obama administration, which has weakened our ability to defeat ISIS and led Air Force and Marine pilots to literally salvage spare parts from museum ships and planes. Thanks to this bill, ensuring our troops have the tools they need to complete their missions will no longer come at the expense of more wasteful Washington spending.
There is still work to be done to bolster our military, but this bill makes significant progress toward fiscal sanity and U.S. national security.Read More
1. It strengthens our military. It makes important progress in ushering our military into the 21st century. It includes a substantial increase in defense spending, which includes new warships, aircrafts, weapons, and missile defense systems. It also gives our troops the largest military pay raise in six years and reverses the Obama administration’s personnel cuts.
2. It reforms government and prioritizes defense. The bill provides for increases in defense spending without making corresponding increases in non-defense spending, something Democrats had insisted on for years. Additionally, the bill rescinds, consolidates, or terminates more than 150 federal programs or initiatives.
3. It targets terrorism and foreign threats. The bill provides additional funding to defeat ISIS and counter radical extremism around the world. It provides aid to our allies to combat Russian aggression. It strengthens our relationship with Israel.
4. It strengthens our borders. The bill provides $12.2 billion for Customs and Border Protection. It prioritizes increased fencing, roads, and innovative technology to keep our border secure.
5. It reforms the IRS. The IRS was a hotbed of corruption, fraud, and abuse under the Obama administration. This bill freezes the IRS at current funding levels—$1 billion less than the Obama administration requested. The bill contains structural changes to the agency to increase transparency, safeguard free speech, and protect the tax-exempt status of non-profit organizations.
6. It protects life. The bill reaffirms the Hyde amendment and prohibits federal funding of abortions. It also specifically limits the District of Columbia from using federal funds for abortion in the district.
7. It tackles crime. The bill will help get criminals, drugs, and traffickers off the streets. It increases funding for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms—while strengthening second amendment protections.
8. It encourages American energy development and limits EPA overreach. The bill supports an all of the above energy strategy—with specific focus on coal, oil, natural gas, and increasing our nuclear capabilities. It eliminates all funding for the Green Climate Fund, U.N. Climate Change panel, and eliminates aid to Paris Climate Change institutions. Additionally, the bill reduces EPA funding by $81 million, taking the agency back to spending levels from eight years ago. It also puts strict limitations on the way the EPA regulates certain industries.
9. It supports local communities and education. Centralized federal control is not the way to help communities. The bill takes a different approach by funding the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which gives states and local school districts more control over the education of their kids. It also gives $3 billion back to local communities through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which supports locally-driven solutions to economic and social problems. And it renews the groundbreaking DC Opportunity Scholarship Program.
10. It fights against the nation’s opioid epidemic. The bill provides an additional $650 million to address the prevention and treatment of opioid and heroin use, including increased funding for Mental Health Block Grants.Read More
Did you know that small businesses are the biggest source of jobs in our economy? They make for the biggest success stories too. All the early mornings and the late nights—all the headaches and hurdles cleared—every day, we are surrounded by examples of the American Dream. That is why Republicans are committed to doing everything we can to get behind small businesses—lowering taxes, cutting red tape, fixing our infrastructure. This National Small Business Week, let’s all take a moment to thank the risk-takers and entrepreneurs who make such a difference in our lives and our communities.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement after the release of a government funding bill for the remainder of the current fiscal year:
“America will be stronger and safer because of this government funding bill. It acts on President Trump’s commitment to rebuild our military for the 21st century and bolster our nation’s border security to protect our homeland. Importantly, we have boosted resources for our defense needs without corresponding increases in non-defense spending, as Democrats had insisted upon for years. At the same time, we are investing in the most critical needs of our communities, from disaster relief to the fight against the opioid epidemic. Chairman Frelinghuysen is to be commended for delivering a funding bill that meets the core priorities of this government and the people it serves.”
Read the government funding bill, which delivers on these priorities:
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement after Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) announced that she will retire at the end of the 115th Congress:
“Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is a force in every sense of the word. She has had an extraordinary life in public service, starting out as a teacher and rising to become the first Hispanic woman in Congress and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. A human rights champion, she is an unwavering voice for the voiceless in her native Cuba and around the world. For all she has achieved, Ileana remains as unassuming as ever. The joy with which she serves her constituents—and dotes on her grandchildren—is absolutely infectious. It is such a privilege to serve with Ileana, and I know the whole House joins me in thanking her and her family.”
As he always does, Speaker Ryan took time this week to meet with fellow Wisconsinites. He was inspired by the message he heard from students who beat childhood cancer; a teacher who has gone above and beyond to close the achievement gap; a group of state legislators who are moving Wisconsin forward; and many others. Here are six photos featuring Wisconsinites who visited the speaker this week in Washington.
1. Janesville Students
Speaker Ryan welcomes students from Janesville, WI, to the Capitol during their trip to Washington, DC. He often brings groups out to the speaker’s balcony to share with them one of the best views of the Washington skyline.
2. Big 10 Presidents
University of Wisconsin—Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank leads a delegation of Big 10 University Presidents to discuss federal research funding, regulatory reform, and student achievements/aid. The speaker was excited to receive a basketball signed by Wisconsin men’s basketball Head Coach Greg Gard.
3. Childhood Cancer Survivors
While visiting legislators to advocate for issues that affect cancer fighters and survivors, Wisconsin teens share their powerful stories with the speaker about their fight against childhood cancer.
4. Defenders of the Unborn
The speaker meets with Heather Weininger, the executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, to reaffirm that Congress and the administration are united in defense of the unborn.
5. Wisconsin State Reps
Washington can learn a thing or two from what this great team of state representatives is doing to move Wisconsin forward.
6. Teacher of the Year
Chris Gleason, band director and instrumental music teacher at a Sun Prairie, WI, middle school, was recently named Wisconsin Teacher of the Year. Among his many accomplishments, Chris started a program that pairs students with musicians in the community and fundraises to finances music lessons for students whose families cannot afford them.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive action on offshore drilling:
“I welcome this action that will open up Arctic waters for drilling offshore and review previously restricted waters. The United States has been blessed with abundant oil and natural gas reserves. State governments have been eager to explore offshore, but the Obama administration blocked them from allowing it. Harnessing our nation’s energy resources creates jobs and gives us leverage on the foreign stage. President Trump gets this. This action caps a productive 100 days of the president keeping his commitment to develop our nation’s vast energy potential.”
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.