Speaker of the House

Paul Ryan

Speaker Ryan Talks ‘Running through the Tape’ with Hugh Hewitt

2018/04/19

This morning, Speaker Ryan joined The Hugh Hewitt Show to discuss continuing House Republicans' bold agenda as he “runs through the tape.” Listen to the interview here and check out excerpts below.

Speaker Ryan: What we believe will help get people from welfare to work is to have a work requirement. So yesterday, the Agriculture Committee pushed through their committee a bill that says if you’re a work-capable adult, you don’t have little kids, you’re able-bodied, you’ve got to work at least 20 hours a week if you’re going to get these benefits and/or go to school, and you’re guaranteed to get some job training programs. So it invests the savings you get from a work requirement into making sure you can give people that transition training they need, to get the skills they need, to get the careers they want. . . .And that, along with career and technical education reform so that people can get skills they need and want to get careers that are out there, that is the final big installment of our Better Way agenda.”

Speaker Ryan: “We’re also doing our Dodd-Frank bill. That’s the capstone of our regulatory relief agenda, which is to replace Dodd-Frank, which is really clogging up capital markets, especially from community banks from flowing through our communities that go to small and medium sized businesses. So that’s what I mean [when I say] ‘running through the tape’—finishing the agenda we ran on in ’16. We’ve done the rebuild of the military. We’ve done the tax reform. We’ve done enormous amounts of regulatory relief. We’ve done a lot of our poverty work with enterprise zones and the rest. So finish the job on regulatory relief and go work on workforce development, getting people off of welfare, into the workforce, in a good career, vocational or technical education, and let the states be flexible and experiment.”

Speaker Ryan: “There’s about eight opioid bills we’re moving through what we call the [Energy and] Commerce Committee. So that’s another part of our big agenda, which is finishing up our job on opioid legislation. Fentanyl is obviously a big part of that, but there are other opioids that’s a real epidemic flowing through America hitting everybody—every district, every county, every kind of high school you can think of. And that is a big push. So we have more opioid legislation to do as well.

Speaker Ryan: “So when I say run ‘through the tape,’ we’ve got some infrastructure bills, opioid bills, more deregulation, regulatory relief, and we’ve got more to do at the end of the year on tax 2.0 like you described and workforce development. So it’s a big, bold agenda. It’s exactly what we told the country we would do when we ran in 2016. And we’re two-thirds of the way, not to just passing it out of the House, but through getting it into law, which is going to make an enormous difference for a long time in this country. And honestly, Hugh, one of the reasons why I’m comfortable retiring after 20 years is I’m very pleased with how much we’ve been able to accomplish and get done.”

Read More

A New Tax Code Deserves a New IRS

2018/04/18

Today, the House will take action on a pair of bipartisan initiatives that will return customer service to the forefront of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) mission.

The agency is in dire need of a comprehensive overhaul to restore a "taxpayer first" focus. It lost its way years ago—exemplified by its political targeting scandal—and has continued to serve taxpayers poorly, while falling short of the standards and defenses needed to protect people's data and privacy. Though we’ve made some improvements—and recently enacted tax reform will reduce hassle—there wasn't a clear path for Congress to achieve meaningful, substantive IRS reform under the last administration. 

That ends today. The House is about to pass what the Ways and Means Committee is calling the biggest and boldest step in 20 years to redesign the IRS.

The Taxpayer First Act. One of the bills being voted on today, the Taxpayer First Act will shift the balance of power back to the taxpayer. It creates an independent appeals process to review taxpayers’ disputes so they know their issues are being considered fairly and ensures equal access to information throughout the process. It provides enforcement reforms to rein in the IRS’ abuse of property seizure, and requires the agency to develop a detailed plan on how to redesign its structure by 2020. The bill also permanently extends the Free File and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs, which are valuable tools for low- and moderate-income Americans.

The 21st Century IRS Act. This afternoon, the House will also be voting on the 21st Century IRS Act to strengthen the security of the agency’s information technology systems, which date back to the 1960s. The bill will help the IRS better work with states and the private sector to confront cyber threats, and provides better support for identity theft victims by identifying a single point of contact to resolve their cases. Americans deserve the assurance that their personal information is being handled carefully and securely.

It’s beyond time to restore oversight, fairness, and accountability to the IRS. We’ve put a new tax code in place—now it’s time for a new approach at the IRS to match, one focused on serving the taxpayer.

Read More

Speaker Ryan’s Remarks at Memorial Service for Rep. Louise Slaughter

2018/04/18

WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives today held a memorial service in honor of Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), the first woman in history to chair the House Committee on Rules. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) made the following remarks at the ceremony, as prepared for delivery:

“There are so many superlatives we can use to describe what kind of person Louise was.

“But first, I would just like to share with you a bit about what it was like to be on the opposite side of the aisle from Louise.

“Because I think it helps speak to how effective she was, how revered she was.

“Formidable’ does not even begin to describe it.

“She was just so resolute, so certain in her point of view.

“You could try to convince her otherwise, but if you didn’t have every fact straight, if you had not done your homework, forget it. You did not stand a chance.

“Louise could also be so warm, as we all knew her to be, and then, she could be a little more direct.

“She could move back and forth between the two so easily. You could never keep up with her.

“And I mean that quite literally.

“This is someone who would be battling out in Rules until 3 or 4 am.

“Then you’d see her showing constituents around the Capitol at 8. Then you’d look up and there she is managing a rule on the floor at 10:30.

“Oh, and the way she could deploy a one-liner. Louise would use a quip to make her case or to break up a tense moment or just to shut you down. She could run circles around you.

“Now you know how it is in the Rules Committee. The arguments can get animated, even personal. But Louise always came back the next day and was the first one ready to move on to the issues at hand. That is one of so many reasons why you just had to like her.

“Here is one more. Away from the dais, Louise was always so gracious, so kind. She knew about people’s lives. She asked about your family. She was as polite to staff as she was to members. We will all treasure those moments.

“These days, we talk so much—too much—about being on ‘opposite sides.’

“In between those aisles, there is plenty of scar tissue. But that space between is where our humanity lies, where all we have to go on is our respect for one another, our understanding of one another as people.

“No one did more to deepen the meaning of these things than Louise McIntosh Slaughter.

“A pioneer. A grandmother. A giant.

“I will miss her very much.

“At this time, we have a presentation to make.

“Last month, Leader Pelosi and I requested that an American flag be flown above the Capitol in honor of our dear friend and colleague.

“It is my privilege on behalf of the whole House to present this flag to Louise’s family.

Thank you.” 

 

Read More

On Wisconsin Radio, Speaker Ryan Looks Back, and Ahead

2018/04/18

This week, Speaker Ryan joined Wisconsin radio to discuss his decision to retire after 20 years of serving Wisconsin’s First District. Listen to his interviews with WISN’s “The Mark Belling Show” and WLCO’s “Your Talk Show” with Tim Bremel and check out excerpts below.

Speaker Ryan: Anybody who knows anything about me, or knows me personally, knows that the causes that I’ve been fighting for all the years I’ve been in Congress, I’ve achieved much of them. And they know that I’m a guy who adores my family and wants to have more than just a weekend dad posture with my family…I feel gratified and satisfied that I’ve been able to make a big difference. Particularly in rewriting the tax code for the first time in 31 years—that’s something I’ve been working on all my time here. And I just feel 20 years in Congress is a perfect period of time to have served.”

Speaker Ryan: “I’m honored to have done this. I feel like we’ve done a great deal in a short period of time. Whether it’s rebuilding the military, deregulating the economy, putting us on a path for finding cures for things like cancer, to overhauling the entire tax system. So there are so many things. Enterprise zones is something that people don’t really know is done, but it’s in law now. I worked on that when I was a Jack Kemp staffer. So I’ve gotten so many things done that I came to do.”

Speaker Ryan: “I’m very pleased with all the things that we’ve done. I got our party to run on an agenda in ’16, and we’re executing that agenda. And we’ve gotten most of it through, into law already. We’ve got a few more things to do still this year with respect the Farm Bill and workforce development, and career technical education, and infrastructure. So we’ve got more to do just this year.”

Speaker Ryan: “All the political people say what you should do is run for reelection, make everyone think you’re staying, and then just resign the week after the election—which means lie to everybody, be dishonest. I could not do that. I simply could not do that to my employers. And I can’t ask people to go fight for me for an election, put up yard signs, and 4x8’s, and literature drops, only to say, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ a week after the election. That would have been so disrespectful to this district and to my employers that I just could not in good conscience do that.”

Read More

Speaker Ryan Statement on Committee Passage of 2018 Farm Bill

2018/04/18

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after the House Committee on Agriculture approved H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018:

I commend Chairman Conaway and the members of the House Agriculture Committee for their tireless work on this legislation. Included in this farm bill are much-needed reforms that will strengthen America's workforce and help people move out of poverty. For too long, vague and unenforceable requirements have discouraged work and left many good jobs unfilled. By modernizing the government’s approach to better empower the individual, more people will realize their own independence—and the economic and social benefits that come along with it. I’m thankful for Mike’s leadership and look forward to our continued work on reigniting the American Idea.”

For more on the workforce development agenda, see the links below and visit speaker.gov.

 

Read More

Statement on First Lady Barbara Bush

2018/04/18

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) tonight issued the following statement:

“Barbara Bush holds a revered place in the hearts of generations of Americans. She so loved her family and our country. She led both with clarity and character. She shined a light on the power of a parent reading to a child. Her husband, our 41st president, wrote in his last days in office: ‘history will show that she was beloved because she was real and she cared and she gave of herself.’ Who could say it better?

“To Mrs. Bush’s family—especially her 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren—I extend the deepest condolences of the whole House of Representatives. May she rest in eternal peace.”

Read More

Speaker Ryan: ‘This Law Is Improving People’s Lives Every Day’

2018/04/17

Summary: Today, to mark the final Tax Day under the old code, Speaker Ryan spoke about how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is already boosting the nation’s economy and making a difference in the everyday lives of Americans.  

Opening Statement:

“Recently, one of my former employers—McDonald’s—announced that because of tax reform, it is going to invest more in tuition assistance for its workers. Just one more example.

“I remember when I worked there, I was in high school, trying to save up. With a program like this, students can worry less about racking up so much debt, and they can stay on top of their expenses better, because of tax reform.

“This sets up people for a good job. It sets up people for a good start in their career.

“This is the kind of real, lasting difference that tax reform is making in people’s lives.

“Tax Day is just yet one another example. Tax Day typically brings out the biggest worries—you just heard about them. Paying for childcare, living paycheck-to-paycheck, all the anxiety that’s involved in the paperwork. The tradeoffs are everywhere.

“But this is the last Tax Day under the old code. All of it will become easier. Almost nine out of 10 families get to use something like this. That is impressive.

“Instead of a system riddled with loopholes for the well-connected, you have one that lowers tax rates for everyone at every income level.

“You have a bigger child tax credit; you have nearly a doubled standard deduction. So you get to keep more of what you earn in the first place. That is such good news coming.

“And we go from the hassle and stress of a complicated process to what I just showed you—this great form.

“With this new code, the typical family of four making the median income will get a $2,059 tax cut.

“That is real relief for families—and on top of all the raises and the bonuses that people have been receiving through tax reform. This is why economic optimism is up. This is why more companies are investing. This is why companies are bringing money from overseas. This is why jobs are being created. This is why wages are going up.

“Yet Democratic leaders are still out there spreading doom and gloom. They call it ‘crumbs.’ They talk about a ‘dark cloud.’ And they are promising to take it all away.

“This law is improving people’s lives every day—even on Tax Day. And when we get to move forward with a new code, that means new possibilities for people across this country.

“So the quick story of this is: Tax reform is working. It’s actually even exceeding our expectations. It is giving us a stronger economy, a healthier economy, and it is going to make us more prosperous for years to come.

“Finally, I just want to say on behalf of the whole House that we are praying for our former First Lady Barbara Bush and her family.

“She is beloved by this country and she is in all our thoughts today.” 

Read More

Watch: Speaker Ryan Talks Tax Day on 'Squawk Box'

2018/04/17

This morning, Speaker Ryan appeared on Squawk Box, broadcast live from Capitol Hill, to discuss how this year’s Tax Day is the last time you will have to file your taxes under the old, outdated system. Watch the full interview here and check out excerpts below.

Speaker Ryan: “There's so much more we can do to run through the tape. We’ve got to do our technical education bill, we've got to do getting people from welfare to work, we've got infrastructure bills, more regulatory relief, we've got our Dodd-Frank reforms. So we’ve got more things that we're going to run through the tape and get done…Today is Tax Day. The average family of four is getting a $2,000 tax cut because of the tax bill. This is the last year of this old tax code and now you have a new year of lower tax rates, doubling the standard deduction, doubling the child tax credit, the simplified system. These are good things. People know it, people see it. And they know that having this unified Republican government is making a big positive difference in our economy.”

Speaker Ryan: “We put together an agenda in 2016, we ran on it. We're two-thirds of the way through getting it all done, in law. So we've gotten so much of our work done. . . .Enterprise zones, I worked on that when I was a young guy working for Jack Kemp, empowerment zones are now law of the land. So the critical component of our poverty fighting agenda, that's now the law of the land. Rewriting the tax code, I’ve been working on that all my life, that's now the law of the land. All the regulatory relief that we think are important to unlocking capital, law of the land. By the way—the military—when you become speaker, you get the same briefings the president gets, you get the same intelligence committee military briefings, so I became really acutely concerned about the state of our military and its readiness crisis. So I really took to that issue and now that is the law of the land. So we've gotten so many of the things done that I sought out to do, that I feel very content with the achievements and now I just have this focus on making sure that, you know, I can do the other really important parts of my life, which is family. You know being a good husband, being a good dad, and I feel like we've got a lot done and I think we have a great team to pass the baton onto.”

Speaker Ryan: “I really believe that as the election gets closer and we’re communicating more specifically to constituents who see that because of this tax bill, they got their bonuses, they got increased benefits, they got an average $2,000 tax cut. When people look and see, oh, the child tax credit got doubled. My standard deduction got doubled, my tax rates went down . . . So not only do they right now say they want Republicans in charge of the economy, because the economy is growing well, not only do they want the Republicans in charge of national security, because they're better entrusted to keep us safe.”

Read More

Father Conroy to Step Down as House Chaplain Next Month

2018/04/16

WASHINGTON—Reverend Patrick J. Conroy will step down as House Chaplain next month after seven years in the post. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) thanked Father Conroy for his service to the people’s House: 

“As chaplain, Father Conroy has been a great source of strength and support to our community. He is deeply admired by members and staff. Father Conroy’s ministry here has made a difference, and we are all very grateful to him.”

NOTE: The House elected Father Conroy as its 60th House Chaplain on May 25, 2011. In the coming weeks, Speaker Ryan will consult with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on a successor to Father Conroy.

 

Read More

Speaker Ryan Meets With Conservative Leaders to Discuss Agenda

2018/04/16

This afternoon, Speaker Ryan sat down with a number of conservative leaders to discuss the congressional agenda for the months ahead. In particular, he thanked them for their efforts in passing the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is already improving the lives of middle-income families. He also talked about the opportunity to make progress on workforce development policies to help more Americans rise out of poverty. 

Attendees at today’s meeting included: 

·        David Christensen, Family Research Council 

·        Ryan Ellis, Conservative Reform Network 

·        Kay Coles James, Heritage Foundation 

·        Karen Kerrigan, SBE Council 

·        Michael Needham, Heritage Action 

·        Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform

·        Tim Phillips, Americans for Prosperity

·        Ralph Reed, Faith and Freedom Coalition 

·        Tom Schatz, Citizens Against Government Waste

·        Pete Sepp, National Taxpayers Union

Read More

WATCH: Speaker Ryan on ‘Meet the Press’

2018/04/15

This morning, Speaker Ryan appeared on Meet the Press to discuss his decision to retire after this Congress, all that the House has accomplished during this speakership, and continuing efforts to advance our agenda. Watch the full interview here and check out excerpts below.

Speaker Ryan: “Just making a decision is important. And when we had our final family dinner last Sunday night as a family to talk about it, it was just a, it was just a great feeling. You and I are similar in that we lost our dads when we were young. And it just makes you think a little bit more about that phase of life, family. And so, I feel so good because I now know that my kids will not only know me as a weekend dad. And that's what's most important to me. . . . I feel content because I've actually gotten a lot done. And I've gotten much of what I came here to do done.”

Speaker Ryan: “One of the first things I fought for when I first got here was tax reform. That hadn't been done since 1986, the year I got my driver's license. That is now done. Since I've been become speaker, I've spent a great deal of time with our intelligence community, our military. And I became greatly concerned about the state of our military. And so I really focused on a rebuild of our military. That is now done and underway. I'm very, very pleased with that. Enterprise zones. I worked on enterprise zone legislation when I worked for Jack Kemp…And enterprise zones are now law of the land. So there are so many things that I've gone through. The one thing that obviously I care a great deal about is entitlement reform, in particular health care entitlement reform. I feel gratified that ever since I was Budget [Committee] chair, the House every term has passed a budget, to balance the budget and pay down the debt. But we have not gotten that through the Senate or the White House. And I'm gratified that we passed the health care bill out of the House, the biggest entitlement reform bill ever. But it didn't go into law. It failed by a vote in the Senate. But, you know, one person's not going to solve all of those things. I feel like I've done a lot to advance that debate.”

Read More

Statement on Military Action Against the Syrian Regime

2018/04/14

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after President Trump announced military action against the Syrian regime: 

“Tonight, the United States has taken decisive action in coordination with our allies. We are united in our resolve that Assad’s barbaric use of chemical weapons cannot go unanswered. His regime’s unconscionable brutality against innocent civilians cannot be tolerated. 

“There should be no doubt that Russia and Iran have blood on their hands, and their partnership with Assad reveals the true nature of their regimes. The United States and our allies must continue to seek ways to hold Assad’s enablers accountable.

“Let us all pay tribute to the men and women of our armed forces.”

  Read More

Tax Reform Keeps Delivering for America’s Workers

2018/04/13

This was yet another good week for America’s workers, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The week brought an announcement that nearly 400 of the nation’s franchise owners are planning to reinvest in their employees and businesses—joining the list of hundreds of companies that have already done so.

Additionally, a newly released survey shows manufacturers are as optimistic as ever about the future of the economy. This comes as weekly jobless claims remained under 300,000 for the longest streak on record.  

Here are some details on how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is fueling growth and changing the lives of hardworking Americans:

  • More Bonuses for American Workers: The International Franchise Association yesterday announced that nearly 400 franchise brands or individual businesses signed a pledge to issue bonuses, boost investment, or increase wages as a result of the updated tax code. And McKee Foods, the maker of Little Debbie baked goods, announced it would be giving $1,000 bonuses to all full-time employees. President and CEO Mike McKee said, “The recent federal tax legislation will provide benefits to the company and will allow us to invest back into the business. The first thing we thought about was investing in our employees.”
  • Record Confidence among Manufacturers: The National Association of Manufacturers’ First Quarter 2018 Outlook Survey found 93.5 percent of manufacturers have a positive outlook on their companies’ futures, driven by a better environment delivered by the tax bill. Small manufacturers also expressed confidence: In the survey, 94.5 percent of them shared an optimistic economic outlook—the highest level ever recorded. The respondents also expect higher growth rates in areas like production, capital spending, employment, and wages over the next year.
  • A Healthier Labor Market: This week, initial jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 233,000. This marks the 162nd week claims have held below 300,000. As The Wall Street Journal noted“The number of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits has never been so low for so long.”

These key signs show that tax reform continues to help deliver a strong U.S. economy—and all just in time for Tax Day. As Speaker Ryan said yesterday, “This law is working, and it will make this country stronger and much more prosperous for years to come.”

Read More

Speaker Ryan Opens Ceremony Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

2018/04/12

WASHINGTON—Today, the House of Representatives held a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) made the following remarks to open the event, as prepared for delivery:

“Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Welcome to the Capitol. Thank you all for being here.

I want to especially thank our keynote speakers for being here: Lonnie Bunch….Martin Luther King III...and our colleague, our conscience, the great John Lewis.

“One of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, once wrote:

“‘I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

“I like that: ‘…by it I see everything else.’

In our lives, in the finite time we have, we strive to bear witness to God’s glory. Each of us does this in our own way.

“Few witnessed with such urgency and such passion as did Martin Luther King Jr.

He made America look up, and just as important, look within.

By his works, we saw the great promise of the American Idea.

We saw all that was possible for our children.

By his struggles, and his death, we saw the pain lying underneath.

We saw the nation’s knees buckle.

Through him, we saw everything else. We see it still. 

We see it here today, in people from different backgrounds, from different persuasions, coming together to honor Dr. King’s life and legacy.

In recalling bloodshed meant to tear us apart, we embrace what unites us…what ties us to one another.

It is that beautiful vision of an America where the condition of your birth does not determine the outcome of your life.

“We all have some part to play in this pursuit.

“Dr. King spoke of this in one of his last Sunday sermons at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where he served as co-pastor.

“He talked about harnessing the ‘Drum Major Instinct’ by reordering our priorities, and being great by serving others.

“These days, it can be so easy to get distracted, to let the seemingly urgent crowd out the truly important.

“But we owe each other so much more than that.

“So we gather here, in this house of the people...to listen, and to reflect on a man’s legacy and its meaning for all of us.

“As for that Sunday sermon, it was played at Dr. King’s funeral just two months later.

“With thanks to the King Center, we open our ceremony by playing a portion of it for you now.

“Again, thank you for all so much for being here.”

Read More

Speaker Ryan Praises Farm Bill, Tax Reform at Weekly Press Conference

2018/04/12

Summary: Today at his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan discussed how the 2018 farm bill, soon to be introduced by House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), will play a critical role in delivering on another top conservative priority: workforce development. He also discussed why Tax Day will look a little different next year thanks to the new tax law.

Farm Bill

“Right now, we are in one of the best economic environments in years. Businesses are looking to hire. In fact, there are now 6.3 million job openings across the country. That is a record. The jobs are there for the taking, but the challenge is we need more workers.

“We have to make sure that it’s easier to prepare to work and to get the right skills. And we have to make sure that it pays to work, to have the right incentives. This is what our workforce development agenda is all about.

“Last year, the House passed a measure which improves career and technical education, to help get more people on a steady career path. The new government funding bill that we passed recently prioritizes apprenticeship programs, as well as child care and early head start programs so that it’s easier for parents to look for work. Earlier this week, the president signed an executive order aimed at increasing opportunities for those in need. And today, the Agriculture Committee is releasing a new farm bill.

“It includes reforms to help people on the SNAP program who are able to work find work, and start taking those steps toward making a good living. In states like Kansas and Maine, we have seen that an approach combining work requirements with work supports—like apprenticeships and skills training—has phenomenal success. This is going to help get more Americans out of poverty, and it’s going to help more Americans get into the workforce, while maintaining support for those in need.

“So I want to commend Chairman Conaway for his work. We look forward to making more progress on this agenda in the weeks ahead. And this was a critical component of our Better Way agenda that we’re excited about executing.”

Tax Day

“Lastly, not that anyone needs reminding: We are just five days away from Tax Day. This year, when you submit your tax returns, you are saying goodbye to that old tax code for good. In its place, you will have a new tax code with lower rates, a nearly doubled standard deduction, and an expanded child tax credit. You are saying goodbye to an awful lot of hassle too, as nearly nine out of 10 Americans will be able to file their taxes in a simple and straightforward way.

“This, of course, is on top of all of the benefits that Americans have already seen from tax reform through bonuses, raises, and higher 401 (k) matches. As I said yesterday, this law is working, and it will make this country stronger and much more prosperous for years to come.”

Read More

Watch: Speaker Ryan’s Interview with CBS’ Gayle King

2018/04/12

 

This morning, Speaker Ryan sat down with CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King to discuss his decision to retire after this Congress and the accomplishments of which he's most proud. Watch the interview here and check out excerpts below.

Speaker Ryan: “I've been here 20 years in Congress. The first issue I focused on—they even have video of me as Congressman-elect—was tax reform. I’m an old Jack Kemp guy. I've been working on tax reform since I got here; that’s why I became chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. We got that done. I’m a big believer in a strong military. Our military has been hollowed out, it's been under duress. We’re now fixing that. That is done. The economic growth platform that we want is in place. The enterprise zones that I used to work on for years is now in law, which helps poor communities revitalize. So the point being, I have accomplished most of what I came here to do. The one thing that still has to get done is entitlement reform. I’m proud that ever since I was Budget chair, the House has passed budgets every term to balance the budget and pay off the debt. And the House passed the biggest entitlement reform ever considered last year…I accomplished most of what I wanted to accomplish. And like I said, I don't want to be a weekend dad for my kids’ entire lives.”

Speaker Ryan:The economy is growing now. Wages are going up. People are getting bonuses. People are getting back to work. We’re now on the cusp of pulling more people out of poverty into the workforce. . . . We’re working on infrastructure. We’re working on some health care bills. We’re working on lots of different bills with respect to workforce development, career and technical education.”

Speaker Ryan: “I’m going to keep being involved and focusing on inclusive aspirational politics. I’m going to keep fighting for the things I believe in, and that’s among the things I want to do. I’m going to spend a lot of time with my friend Bob Woodson on poverty initiatives. Those are things I care a great deal about that frankly I have been not able to spend time on because of a pretty busy day job.”

Gayle King:What are you proudest of as you get ready to retire?”

Speaker Ryan: “A bulk of work which advanced a political philosophy that brings more growth and opportunity to focus on the American Idea. I believe so passionately [in] this idea, in this country that the condition of your birth does not and should not determine the outcome of your life. And I think what we've been able to do to grow the economy makes a difference. I think I’ve done a lot to advance the debate on entitlement reform. We have not yet won that debate—it’s got to be more bipartisan and I regret that it isn’t—but that's how you prevent a debt crisis…I’ve also spent a lot of time with the military since being speaker. We needed to rebuild our military. People were dying in training accidents, 80 last year alone. And I’m very proud of the fact that we have rebuilt our military, our veteran’s administration, and this economy is growing. So I'm pleased with that body of work.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

Watch Speaker Ryan's Interview with Jake Tapper

2018/04/11

Today, Speaker Ryan spoke with Jake Tapper on CNN’s The Lead about his retirement announcement, all the House has achieved during this speakership, and the policies he will continue to push forward through the end of his term. Excerpts below:

Handing Over the Gavel

“I was able to make that personal decision because I feel like we have put our majority in a good place, because we have gotten a lot done. It is making a big difference in people’s lives, so I'm confident I’m going to be able to hand this gavel over to another Republican speaker, and because of that list of accomplishments, I actually feel content and confident. Therefore, I feel like I can do what I've always wanted to do, which is to be a full-time dad with my wife for at least part of my children's upbringing.”

Making a Difference in People’s Lives

“We have a common agenda that we agree on. And we want to get it done, and we know it’s going to make a big difference in people's lives—and that is what we were elected to do. [Donald Trump] got elected president, I got elected speaker—I think it is our job on behalf of the people we represent and the people of this nation to focus on their problems, get things done, and make a big difference. And that is what we're doing, and that is what I'm proud about.”

Advancing His Poverty-Fighting Agenda

“I think getting tax reform done was one of the best moments—that’s something I've been working on for over 20 years. Ever since I worked for Jack Kemp I’ve been working on tax reform. I think it is critical to laying a strong foundation of economic growth. I think there are a lot of things in this tax bill that help advance our poverty-fighting agenda, like enterprise zones, social impact bonds. There’s a lot of things here that a lot of Americans don't even know about yet that I'm proud about, and I'm excited about advancing some issues I really care about."

Read More

Watch Speaker Ryan's Interview with Dana Perino

2018/04/11

This afternoon, Speaker Ryan appeared on The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino for his first interview after announcing he would retire at the end of his term. He discussed all the work the House has accomplished, and his intention to run through the tape and continue to move his workforce development agenda forward. Excerpts are below:

A Wisconsin Guy Who Came to Washington to Make a Difference

“I always felt like a Wisconsin guy that came to Washington, to Congress, to make a difference. And I’m really gratified that I feel like I have made a big difference. I’ve accomplished much of what I wanted to do. And you know me well. Our kids are now teenagers. And I just came to the basic conclusion: I feel like our majority is in good hands, the president has given us this chance to get a lot donewhich we've gotten a lot done.”

We’ve Gotten a Lot Done

We've gotten a lot done. We've done tax reform for the first time in a generation. We rebuilt the military from being hollowed out, which was really important. We’ve deregulated the economy, which is really helping the economy grow. We're on to workforce development and infrastructure.”

Moving Forward on Workforce Development

“We're moving on to our workforce development agenda, which is focused on streamlining career and technical education and getting people from welfare to work. We think that's really important. Plus, we're going through our infrastructure agenda as well. So, we've got a lot more work to do just this term. Those plans are in place, it's what we said we would do when we ran on the Better Way agenda, and that's what we're going to be executing in the weeks to come.”

I think it's just the right thing to do, that an able-bodied person that's on welfare works for those benefits, goes to school, or [looks] for a job. We've got 6.6 million jobs available in this country. We've got over that many people who are able-bodied who aren't working or looking for work or in school. And so we need to bring these people out of poverty, off of welfare, into the workforce. It's the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do for the person who is stuck in poverty. It's the right thing to do for the economy and for our communities. And so I know we're on the right side of things. That's the next agenda we’re going to be pursuing.”

Read More

Speaker Ryan Announces Retirement at End of Term

2018/04/11

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that this will be his last year serving as a member of the House. Below are his full remarks as delivered during his press conference:

“I wanted to share with you a little of what I just told my colleagues a few minutes ago. You realize something when you take this job. It’s a big job with a lot riding on you. And you feel it.

“But you also know that this is a job that does not last forever. You realize that you hold the office for just a small part of our history—so you better make the most of it. It’s fleeting, and that inspires you to do big things. And on that score, I think we have achieved a heck of a lot.

“You all know that I did not seek this job. I took it reluctantly, but I have given this job everything that I have. And I have no regrets whatsoever for having accepted this responsibility. This has been one of the two greatest honors of my life.

“The job provides incredible opportunities, but the truth is it’s easy for it to take over everything in your life. And you can’t just let that happen. Because there are other things in life that can be fleeting as well: namely your time as a husband and a dad, which is the other great honor of my life.

“That’s why today I’m announcing that this year will be my last one as a member of the House. To be clear, I am not resigning. I intend to serve my full term as I was elected to do. But I will be retiring in January, leaving this majority in good hands with what I believe is a very bright future.

“It’s almost hard to believe, but I have been a member of Congress for almost two decades. This is my twentieth year in Congress. My kids weren’t even born when I was first elected. Our oldest was 13 years old when I became speaker. Now all three of our kids are teenagers. One thing I have learned about teenagers is their idea of an ideal weekend is not necessarily to spend all of their time with their parents. What I realize is if I am here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad. I just can’t let that happen.

“So I will be setting new priorities in my life. But I will also be leaving incredibly proud of what we have accomplished.  Some of you know my story—my dad died when I was 16, the age my daughter is. And I just don’t want to be one of those people looking back on my life thinking, ‘I should’ve spent more time with my kids.’ When I know if I spend another term, they will only know me as a weekend father.

“So I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to do. When I took this job, one of my conditions was that we aim high. That we do big things. That we fashion an agenda, that we run on that agenda, that we win an election, and that we execute that agenda. I am so proud that that is exactly what we have done and what we are doing right now.

“We’ve accomplished so much since then. Probably the two biggest achievements for me are, first: the major reform of our tax code for the first time in 36 years, which has already been a huge success for this country. And that’s something I’ve been working on my entire adult life.

“Second, something I got much more invested in being Speaker is to rebuild our nation’s military. And after tax reform, addressing our military readiness crisis, that was a top priority that we got done last month as well. 

“These I see as lasting victories that will make this country more prosperous and more secure for decades to come.

“There are so many other things that we have gotten done, and of course I’m going to look back proudly on my days at the Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. But I don’t want to be too sentimental here. I want to be clear: I’m not done yet. I intend to run through the tape, to finish the year.

“Some of you wonder why I can’t just do the normal politician thing—which is to run and then retire after the election. That is what I’m told is the politically shrewd thing to do. I considered that. But just as my conscience is what got me to take this job in the first place, my conscience could not handle going out that way.

“I pledged to serve the people of Wisconsin, the First District, honorably. And in order to serve the people of my district honorably, I have to serve them honestly. And for me to ask them to vote to re-elect me, knowing that I wasn’t going to stay is not being honest. I simply cannot do that. So that’s why I’m announcing this today.

“Again, I am proud of what this conference has achieved and I believe its future is bright. The economy is strong, we have given Americans greater confidence in their lives, and I have every confidence that I’ll be handing this gavel on to the next Republican Speaker of the House next year.

“So just to close, I said earlier that I didn’t want this job at first. And most of you know this—I really actually didn’t. But, I have to thank my colleagues for giving me this opportunity and this honor. I am really grateful for it.

“I also want to thank the people of southern Wisconsin for placing their trust in me as their representative for the past 20 years. I’ve tried to bring as much Wisconsin to Washington as I can in that time.

“It has been a wild ride, but it has been a journey well worth taking to be able to do my part to strengthen the American Idea. That pursuit is never ending, much work remains, but I like to think I have done my part—my little part—of history to set us on a better course.

“Thank you.”

Read More

Speaker Ryan Statement on President Trump’s Workforce Development Executive Order

2018/04/10

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s executive order on workforce development and economic mobility:

These actions taken by the president reaffirm that now is the time to face our poverty challenge head on—and it starts by developing our workforce.

“This is one of the best economic environments we’ve seen in years, yet businesses are having a hard time finding qualified workers. Combining work requirements with work supports is an effective strategy for helping Americans move from welfare into the labor force, as proven by states like Kansas and Maine. But that’s just the start. We also need to ensure that we’re measuring—and responding to—the effectiveness of programs so they best serve those they were designed for. We need to put families first, and give more power back to the states so they can adapt to their unique situations.

“Perhaps what’s most important is that we prioritize empowering the individual, and ensure that the American Idea is available for anyone who wants to chase it. I look forward to continuing our work here in the House and with the Trump administration to get us one step closer to that reality.”  

Just last week, Speaker Ryan visited Catholic Charities Fort Worth to discuss workforce development and upward mobility. Read about it and other congressional efforts at the links below:

 

Read More

THURSDAY: Speaker Ryan to Attend Communities of Color Breakfast Series

2018/04/10

WASHINGTON—On Thursday, April 12, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will attend the Communities of Color breakfast roundtable, a bipartisan event hosted by INSIGHT America and the National Urban League each month. This month’s discussion will focus on topics like workforce development, upward mobility, and what can be done to help more people escape poverty and realize the American Idea. Speaker Ryan will join hosts J.C. Watts, Elroy Sailor, and Marc Morial, as well as other leaders, for a wide-ranging discussion. This event is open to credentialed media and invited participants only.

DETAILS: Speaker Ryan to Attend Communities of Color Breakfast Series Thursday, April 12 at 8:45 a.m. ET HVC-201, Capitol Visitor Center

MEDIA RSVP: Media interested in attending must contact their respective gallery to sign up for coverage. All media must be credentialed to attend. Cameras should be in position no later than 8:30 a.m. ET.

House Radio-TV Correspondents’ Gallery: 202-225-5214 House Press Gallery: 202-225-3945 House Periodical Press Gallery: 202-225-2941 House Photographers’ Gallery: 202-224-6548

WATCH LIVE: Watch the roundtable live on speaker.gov/live.

 

Read More

New Trafficking Law: Crackdown on Backpage, Changes by Reddit, Craigslist

2018/04/10

Recently, Congress passed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) to help authorities crack down on websites that enable sex trafficking. Even before being signed into law, this legislation is already paving the way for change, making it easier for law enforcement to take action.

Federal authorities have seized control of Backpage.com—notorious for enabling traffickers—and indicted its owners, executives, and employees. Websites like Reddit and Craigslist have reacted to the new law by shutting down certain advertising pages. The New York Times noted about FOSTA:

It makes it easier for states to prosecute, or for victims to sue, internet companies they accuse of hosting content that facilitated sex trafficking. While President Trump has not yet signed FOSTA into law, Craigslist has already responded to the bill’s passage by taking down its personal ads section.

President Trump is set to sign the bill tomorrow, marking a turning point in the fight against human trafficking.

Sex trafficking erodes the foundation of safety that upholds our communities and violates the human rights of victims. Its perpetrators have used the Internet to expand their reach, emboldened by websites that have allowed their activity to fester. Until now, our laws have not kept pace with these new challenges.

In addition to making it easier for states to investigate and prosecute businesses that facilitate online sex trafficking, FOSTA equips states with more effective tools to do so. And it empowers victims to seek justice by providing recourse for them to sue.

FOSTA was sponsored in the House by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and includes reforms authored by Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) as part of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. The bill is supported by law enforcement, anti-trafficking advocates, faith-based groups, and members of the broader tech community.

We must do everything we can to end human trafficking—and that starts with shutting down the places where traffickers operate. These new reforms have already begun to make that possible, and Congress will continue its work to protect some of our country's most vulnerable from this horrific crime.

Read more on Congress's actions to fight human trafficking:

We Must End Sex Trafficking in the United States

Human Trafficking is an American Problem

The House is Taking More Action to End Human Trafficking

Read More

Another Step Toward Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure

2018/04/09

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after federal agencies signed a memorandum reforming the permitting process for infrastructure projects:

“This is another important step toward rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. Major projects can too easily get bogged down in bureaucracy, and these reforms will go right at that logjam. This initiative reflects tools Congress provided in the most recent highway bill to expedite critical projects. Moreover, this builds on our recent action to provide critical funding for improvements to our bridges, highways, railways, and airports. We will continue to work with the administration to advance this priority.”

Read More

Texas in Photos: Speaker Ryan’s Trip to Dallas/Fort Worth

2018/04/06

Earlier this week, Speaker Ryan was in Texas, making stops at Southwest Airlines in Dallas and Catholic Charities in Fort Worth. Southwest is one of the hundreds of U.S. companies that have provided its employees with bonuses and increased U.S. investment following tax reform. The speaker toured the company’s Dallas headquarters, heard from employees about how they’ve used their $1,000 bonus checks, and participated in an employee Q&A. Down the road, Catholic Charities Fort Worth (CCFW) is doing great work in the community to help lift people out of poverty. While at CCFW, the speaker met with CCFW clients, mentors, and supporters to discuss ways in which we can tap into the potential of our growing economy with policies to help move people from welfare and develop our workforce.

Here are six photos from Speaker Ryan’s time in Texas:

1.  Smooth Landing – Speaker Ryan takes a turn in the flight simulator, successfully (we’re told) flying over DC and landing at Reagan National Airport.

2.  Flight Ready – Speaker Ryan stops by the training center for new employees, where he tours the mock airline cabin.

3.  On Deck – Speaker Ryan meets with future Southwest Airlines trainees to learn more about their training program. 

4.  Co-pilots – Alongside Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Speaker Ryan takes questions from employees on everything from the updated tax code to FAA reform.

5.  Inspirational Stories – At Catholic Charities Fort Worth (CCFW), Speaker Ryan meets with CCFW clients, mentors, and supporters to learn more about the organization’s work to help lift people out of poverty.

6.  Off the Sidelines – Speaker Ryan participates in a workforce development discussion with CCFW President and CEO Heather Reynolds on how to help people move off of the sidelines and into the workforce.

Photos courtesy of Caleb Fisher, House Republican Conference.

Read More

Tax Reform Continues To Bring U.S. Businesses Home

2018/04/05

One of the positive impacts from tax reform is businesses coming back to America, meaning more jobs and more opportunities for working families. Yesterday brought yet another story showing how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is restoring the confidence of U.S. companies and bringing them home.

Back in November, communications chip manufacturing company Broadcom announced it would be relocating to the United States, thanks to a more attractive business climate brought by tax reform. This week, that promise became reality.

In the company’s announcement, President and CEO Hock Tan noted, “We believe that America is once again the best place for Broadcom to do business.”

In addition to its decision to move from Singapore to the United States, the company has committed to invest $3 billion annually in research and engineering and $6 billion annually in manufacturing.

Broadcom is just the latest example. With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Actcompanies once again feel encouraged to do business and make investments within our borders. In January, Assurant announced it would not be moving its operations overseas, and a recent article highlighted a shift in capital investment from Canada to the United States.  

In his remarks this week at Southwest Airlines, Speaker Ryan talked about how creating an environment where businesses can compete was central to the tax cuts bill. He said: “What we also saw are U.S. companies put in a huge competitive disadvantage with other businesses, sectors, and other countries. We wanted to fix that to put a strong foundation on the U.S. economy.”

Once again, the new tax law is delivering on its promise. 

 

Read More

Catch Up on This Workforce Development Visit to Fort Worth

2018/04/05

Earlier in the week, Speaker Ryan visited Catholic Charities Fort Worth (CCFW) to see firsthand the organization's work to help lift people out of poverty and into the workforce. This is part of a push to tap into the potential of our growing economy with policies that help move people from welfare to work.

There are a few ways you can catch up on Speaker Ryan’s visit:

1) Watch his entire discussion with CCFW clients, mentors, and supporters.

2) Highlights:

We have to help able-bodied adults get into the workforce. Make work pay. It should always make sense to take a step forward. It should always make sense to get a job. pic.twitter.com/V429kNCDfT

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 3, 2018

This is a beautiful story. Organizations like Catholic Charities are doing heroic work in our communities to fight poverty. This is among the keys to breaking the cycle, and getting more people into good-paying jobs. pic.twitter.com/aKLDdg03eV

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 3, 2018

Washington’s one-size-fits-all approach isolates and marginalizes. We need to fix that. We need to renew our focus on community, and our obligation to one another, to help people make the most of their lives. Thank you to @CCFortWorth for having me. pic.twitter.com/BS9AeqEg5r

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 3, 2018

3) News clips: 

“For years, he had heard about a Catholic Charities Fort Worth program geared to help people lift themselves out of poverty. On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Republican paid a visit for a firsthand look. . . . Catholic Charities helps people of few means gain access to education, job training and even U.S. citizenship. . . . ‘The case management system is the best possible system,’ he said. ‘It’s individual, it’s focused, it’s customized. The cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work.’” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

“The speaker of the United States House of Representatives visited Fort Worth on Tuesday to speak about jobs. Speaker Paul Ryan visited Catholic Charities in Fort Worth, where he also spoke about fighting poverty. . . . He said the economy is in a good place right now, adding that these conditions are conducive to helping people get out of poverty and improve their standard of living.” (Fox 4 News)

“The Wisconsin Republican on Tuesday reiterated his vision of consolidating the wide array of federal poverty programs into a benefit system that he argues would better encourage people to get out of welfare and into work. . . Ryan said his public policy ideas have been inspired by private programs including Catholic Charities. ‘The laws we’re trying to pass are designed to break down the stovepipes, break down the barriers and go after this poverty trap problem,’ he said. ‘So we are looking at what’s working in the field, what’s working in communities and we’re trying to translate those lessons into public policy.’” (Roll Call)

“Tonita Burbage, a Catholic Charities client who attended the town hall, was laid off in 2014 and struggled with unemployment and underemployment for two years. She credited Catholic Charities’ assistance in helping her find a full-time job with benefits so she could support her two daughters without government assistance The organization helped her with job training, developing a resume, and providing interview outfits. However, Burbage said what helped the most was 'to have someone support everything that I want to do and having that open door where I could call anytime or email — to have someone listening.' Speaker Ryan said that the gains accomplished by intensive case management prove that the federal government needs to 'manage the supply lines, but not the front lines of fighting poverty.’” (North Texas Catholic)

Read More

House to Mark 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassination

2018/04/04

WASHINGTON—On April 4, 1968, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot in Memphis, Tennessee. Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that the House will observe the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination with a service in Statuary Hall to honor his life and legacy. The service will be held on Thursday, April 12 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Dr. King was taken from us far too soon, but his work endures and his vision of liberty and opportunity for all inspires us still,” Speaker Ryan said. “We will honor Dr. King in the Capitol where the civil rights legislation he fought for became a reality, bringing our nation closer to realizing its founding principlesGod bless his memory.”

This service will be open to members of Congress and invited guests. For media guidance, press should contact their respective congressional media gallery.

 

Read More

At Southwest, Stories of a Smooth Landing for Tax Reform

2018/04/03

In between lighthearted pleas for more flights to Milwaukee, Speaker Ryan talked with Southwest Airlines employees on Monday about how tax reform is helping to improve the lives of American families. He was joined at Southwest’s Dallas headquarters by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX). Watch the entire discussion here. “A Strong Foundation”

With our old tax system, American companies were at a huge competitive disadvantage with their foreign competitors. Because of #TaxReform, we've helped level the playing field. pic.twitter.com/B0oybJho6u

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 2, 2018

At the open, Speaker Ryan talked about why it was so important to tackle tax reform at this moment: “What we saw was a U.S. economy that was really lagging our peers and other countries. What we saw are U.S. companies, just to stay competitive, moving overseas and becoming foreign companies because of our tax laws. What we also saw are U.S. companies put in a huge competitive disadvantage with other businesses, sectors and other countries. We wanted to fix that to put a strong foundation on the U.S. economy. A strong foundation means more jobs, higher wages, more competitive, resilient businesses that don't go through boom-and-bust cycles.” Bonus Stories Southwest is one of hundreds of companies to announce bonuses for employees since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law, and some of those workers shared their stories. One employee said he used the bonus to help to pay for his daughter’s college education. Another talked about putting it toward flight attendant training. Another talked about how it helped with home improvements. Stories like this show how tax reform is helping people in their daily lives.

  • Ryan, Brady tout tax cuts at Southwest Airlines headquarters. The town hall is one of a number of events that GOP lawmakers have been holding in recent weeks to highlight the benefits of the tax law. Last month, Ryan spoke about the new law at Home Depot in Atlanta. . . . Several employees spoke about how they used their bonus money. They said they were using the money to help pay for a child's college education, to purchase a new washing machine and dryer, and to help feed people in Kenya.” (The Hill)
  • “House Speaker Paul Ryan in North Texas, Holds Town Hall at Southwest Airlines. . . . Employees told Ryan stories about how they spent the bonuses. One employee said he spent his $1,000 bonus on his daughter’s education. . . . House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady spoke about other benefits from the recently passed bill. ‘It just helps level the playing field within our country between industry sectors . . . ,’ he said.” (WPAB/KLIF News)
  • “One worker said the money helped pay for his child's college tuition at Southern Methodist University. Another said it resulted in a new washer and dryer set. . . .  ‘What was very heartwarming for us is just the stories that were instantly being shared by our employees,’ [Southwest CEO Gary] Kelly said.” (Dallas Morning News)

 

Read More

Workforce Development: Speaker Ryan at Catholic Charities Fort Worth

2018/04/03

In today’s economy, jobs are being created and wages going up. It’s time we help people get off of the sidelines and into the workforce—helping Americans get the skills they need to obtain a good-paying job. pic.twitter.com/IqWCLfezn3

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 3, 2018

Speaker Ryan is at Catholic Charities Fort Worth (CCFW) this morning, talking about workforce development and ways to help Americans get out of poverty and into good-paying jobs. He will be taking part in a discussion with CCFW clients, mentors, supporters, and we invite you to follow along with us on speaker.gov/live. That’s at 11:45 a.m. ET/10:45 a.m. CT

Speaker Ryan often talks about the vital role that local organizations like Catholic Charities play in helping people escape poverty. “There are people in communities who are actually out there fighting poverty eye to eye, soul to soul, in neighborhoods that actually do well, that succeed," he told NPR in 2016

On Monday, in his stop at Southwest Airlines, Speaker Ryan previewed today’s visit“We think in this kind of an economy, where we’re producing jobs and wages are going up. . .there’s no reason not to get people out of poverty into the economy. There’s no reason not to get people the skills that they need so they can get good jobs and opportunities. . . . One of the best Catholic Charities is right here in the DFW area, and they’re working on getting people from welfare to work. They’re working on getting people the skills they need.” We recently did a deeper dive into why workforce development is so critical, given that our economy currrently faces a worker shortage, with more job openings than workers available. Take a look:

“The reality is that the United States is facing a worker shortage. . . We just have to connect people with the opportunities to realize the American Idea. That’s why, with so much untapped potential sitting on the sidelines, Congress should continue to advance policies that incentivize work, foster independence, and help people escape poverty. Now is the time to help smooth the pathway from welfare to work by prioritizing workforce development. So, with that: tune in to speaker.gov/live at approx. 11:45 a.m. ET/10:45 a.m. CT for a discussion on workforce development. 

Read More

Watch Guide: Speaker Ryan Talks Tax Reform at Southwest Airlines

2018/04/02

Coming up in a little bit, Speaker Ryan will be talking about tax reform with employees at Southwest Airlines's headquarters in Dallas, TX. The carrier is one of hundreds of companies that have announced employee bonuses since teTax Cuts and Jobs Act became law.

Ryan will be joined today by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), one of the law’s chief architects. You’ll be able to watch the employee forum at 4:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. CT live on Speaker.gov.

While you wait for the event to start, here are a few things to check out:

  • This video or these clips from Speaker Ryan’s recent visit to Home Depot, where he talked about the benefits tax reform is delivering directly to American workers, from bigger paychecks and bonuses to an expanded child tax credit.
  • This story of how a Maryland manufacturer that Speaker Ryan visited in the run-up to tax reform recently announced bonuses for its employees. Based in Kent County, this is a company with a 102-year history and more than 1,000 employees across 14 states.
  • This map showing that tax reform has helped lower utility prices for customers in 41 states (and counting.)

OK, that was technically four things, but tax reform has brought a lot of good news for America’s workers, and optimism abounds. Just a couple of items from last week:

  • Consumer sentiment in March reached the highest level since 2004. . . The advance in confidence underscores buoyant consumer sentiment following tax cuts and one-time bonuses that boosted many Americans’ take-home pay.” (Bloomberg)
  • “The rate of layoffs in the U.S. fell again in late March and dropped to the lowest level since 1973. . . . The labor market is so strong that it’s even drawing back in people who’ve been out of the workforce for years. And it doesn’t show any sign of letting up.” (MarketWatch)

So be sure to tune in to speaker.gov/live at 4:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. CT as Speaker Ryan keeps this conversation going and fields questions from Southwest employees.

Read More

A Blessed Easter

2018/04/01

On Easter Sunday, we reflect on a story of hope, a story of redemption. The belief that Jesus rose from the dead is the foundation of the Christian faith—a truth that unites Christians around the world.   While we celebrate the belief that there is more to life than what is experienced here on earth, we also pray for all of those around the world who are suffering—who are experiencing hard times. May the promise of Jesus’s Resurrection bring them hope.   I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Easter.

Read More

The Elite Eight: March in Photos

2018/03/30

Now we know why they call it March Madness. This month, Speaker Ryan met with more than a dozen foreign dignitaries (including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), signed several important pieces of legislation, gave an official address to the Czech Parliament in Prague, and much more.

Here are eight photos that show some of our favorite moments from the month of March:

1. The Battle of Ideas – During an interview for Ben Shapiro's podcast, Speaker Ryan and the host engage in a lively discussion about political philosophy, natural rights, and the battle of ideas.

2. The Spring Cohort – Speaker Ryan sits down with his offices’ spring interns, answering their questions and offering advice as they start their careers.

3. The Home Depot Visit – While visiting Home Depot in Atlanta, Georgia, to talk about the benefits of tax reform, Speaker Ryan cracks a joke during a drilling demo.

4. The Friends of Ireland Luncheon – Speaker Ryan and the Taoiseach of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, welcome President Trump and Vice President Pence to the Capitol for the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon.

5. The School Safety Discussion – Speaker Ryan meets with Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Max and Ryan Schachter—who lost their son and brother, Alex, in the tragic shooting in Parkland—to discuss what more could be done to ensure our country’s schools are safe. Much-needed school safety improvements were signed into law by the president this month.

6. The Fight to #EndTrafficking – Alongside Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Mimi Walters (R-CA), Speaker Ryan signs critical legislation that cracks down on bad-actor websites that facilitate human trafficking.

7. The Czech Address – During a visit to the Czech Republic to address its parliament, Speaker Ryan had the chance to thank U.S. Embassy Prague staff and their families for the sacrifices they make to represent our country.

8. The Prime Minister Meeting – Speaker Ryan welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the Capitol, prior to a meeting with members of House leadership.

As for Speaker Ryan’s bracket, there’s always next year.

Read More

The Power of Tax Reform

2018/03/29

This, is the Home Depot. They employ hundreds of thousands of Americans. And their hourly associates just got a bonus because of tax reform. It’s the one thing that changes everything.

Finally: Less talking. More doing. Now, let’s keep the momentum going.

More jobs. Bigger paychecks. That’s the power of tax reform.

Read More

Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi Announce Memorial Service for Congresswoman Slaughter

2018/03/29

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that the House will honor the life of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) with a memorial service in Statuary Hall on Wednesday, April 18 at 4:00 p.m. ET. 

Congresswoman Slaughter served her New York constituents for more than 30 years. Notably, she was the first woman in history to chair the House Committee on Rules. As Speaker Ryan said after her passing, she “did not need a gavel to make a dent in history. . . . she was tough, but unfailingly gracious. She was simply great.” Read Speaker Ryan’s full statement on the passing of Congresswoman Slaughter here.  The memorial service is open to members of Congress, the Slaughter family, and invited guests.

Read More

NEXT WEEK: Speaker Ryan to Tout Tax Reform at Southwest Airlines, Discuss Workforce Development at Catholic Charities Fort Worth

2018/03/28

WASHINGTON—Next week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will head to Texas for visits at Southwest Airlines’s headquarters in Dallas and Catholic Charities Fort Worth to discuss two top issues for House Republicans: tax reform and workforce development. Important media guidance for each visit is below.

4/2: Speaker Ryan to Visit Southwest Airlines HQ in Dallas

On Monday, April 2, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will visit Southwest Airlines’s headquarters in Dallas, TX. Southwest is one of the many companies that announced employee bonuses as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Speaker Ryan will be accompanied by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), one of the main authors of the historic legislation. During their visit, Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady will tour the facilities and participate in a town hall with Southwest employees. Details below for credentialed press interested in attending.

DETAILS:  Speaker Ryan, Chairman Brady to Tour Southwest Airlines’s Headquarters Monday, April 2 at 2:15 p.m. CT  2432 Wyman St., Dallas, TX 75235

PRESS GUIDANCE: Credentialed press is invited to cover a portion of the tour and the employee town hall, but must RSVP to gain entry. All press must RSVP to Molly Edwards (molly.edwards@mail.house.gov) by 3:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 31. Confirmed press will receive a follow-up email with outstanding logistical information, including check-in and sweep times. All press must be a confirmed attendee and show valid press credentials onsite to gain entry.

WATCH LIVE: Watch the town hall with Southwest employees on speaker.gov/live.

---

4/3: Speaker Ryan to Visit Catholic Charities Fort Worth 

On Tuesday, April 3, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will visit Catholic Charities Fort Worth (CCFW) in Fort Worth, TX to discuss workforce development and strategies for effectively helping Americans escape poverty and realize their American Idea. During his visit, Speaker Ryan will participate in a town hall with CCFW clients, mentors, and supporters. Details below for credentialed press interested in attending. 

DETAILS:  Speaker Ryan to Visit CCFW Tuesday, April 3 at 10:45 a.m. CT 249 West Thornhill Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76115

PRESS GUIDANCE: Credentialed press is invited to cover Speaker Ryan’s town hall at CCFW, but must RSVP to gain entry. All press must RSVP to Molly Edwards (molly.edwards@mail.house.gov) by 5:00 p.m. CT on Monday, April 2. Confirmed press will receive a follow-up email with outstanding logistical information including check-in and sweep times. All press must be a confirmed attendee and show valid press credentials onsite to gain entry. 

Read More

Local Manufacturer Visited by Speaker Ryan in Run-Up to Tax Reform Delivers Bonuses to Employees

2018/03/28

While promoting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at a local manufacturing company in Chestertown, Maryland last year, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke to employees about all the potential benefits tax reform could bring. "It all leads to the same end, which is help people become more prosperous,” he told the people at Dixon Valve & Coupling that day. 

And this month, those employees are seeing what he meant. On March 14, Dixon Valve—one of a handful of job creators Speaker Ryan visited last fall to discuss what tax reform would mean for American manufacturers—announced a $1,000 bonus for each full-time American employee who had been with the company for a year “as a direct result of the new tax law and reduced regulations.”

In the company’s letter to employees, CEO R.L. Goodall referenced those policies and the speaker’s visit in October: “Speaker Ryan expressed admiration for companies like ours which continue to create products in the U.S. and employ U.S. citizens. He listened to our concerns, and spoke about giving U.S. businesses and workers a competitive advantage through comprehensive tax reform. Today, our country’s leaders are helping U.S. businesses become more competitive again.”

Thanks to tax reform, companies like Dixon Valve—a 102-year-old Maryland manufacturer that employs over 1,000 Americans and has expanded into 14 states—can not only reward its employees, but become more stable and more competitive.

That was the entire point of tax reform—help individuals and American businesses alike realize the American Idea and have more control over their hard earned dollars. It’s yet another example of tax reform working for the American people.  

Read Dixon Valve’s full letter to its employees here.

Read More

Speaker Ryan Concludes Prague Visit By Emphasizing “Rock Solid” NATO Commitment

2018/03/27

PRAGUE—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today stressed the United States’ “rock solid commitment” to the NATO alliance, and the importance of enhancing regional security cooperation. Speaker Ryan’s comments, made at a conference on transatlantic security held in the Czech Senate, came at the end of an official visit marking the centennial of U.S.-Czech diplomatic relations

“It is more vital than ever before for our allies to be strong, for them to be sovereign, prosperous, and committed to the defense of shared Western ideas,” Speaker Ryan said. “My visit here has only given me even more optimism, and more confidence, about our ability to stand together. And for that, I thank you, and I am very pleased that we are here to commemorate this glorious 100th anniversary of our nations’ relationship.”

Jubilee Declaration. Earlier in the afternoon, Speaker Ryan addressed a special session of the Czech Parliament, and signed a Jubilee Declaration alongside Speaker Radek Vondráček in recognition of the centennial. The two speakers then held a joint press conference.

Meeting with Speaker Vondráček. Prior to the special session, Speakers Ryan and Vondráček, along with U.S. Ambassador Stephen B. King, met to discuss our bilateral ties as well as ways to strengthen the dialogue between the two legislatures. They also discussed defense issues, particularly the importance of meeting NATO’s two percent defense spending benchmark.

Charles University Forum. In the morning, Speaker Ryan took part in a forum with students from Charles University, one of the oldest universities in Europe. Topics of discussion included U.S.-EU relations, trade issues, energy policy, and the need for civic engagement.  

During his visit, Speaker Ryan also met with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, toured Radio Free Europe headquarters, and presented Ambassador King with a U.S. flag flown over the Capitol to honor the centennial. 

Read More:Prague, Day One: Solidarity of Western Alliance, Stronger U.S.-Czech Ties Full Text: Speaker Ryan’s Address to the Czech Parliament Speaker Ryan Begins Official Visit to the Czech Republic

Read More

FULL TEXT: Speaker Ryan’s Address to the Czech Parliament

2018/03/27

PRAGUE—In an address today to a special session of the Czech Parliament, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) called for “solidarity on this frontier of freedom” and hailed strong U.S.-Czech ties based on common values and interests.

The speech comes during an official visit to mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-Czech relations. Speaker Ryan is the first American leader in history to address the Czech Parliament.

 

Following is the text of Speaker Ryan’s remarks, as prepared for delivery: 

"Speaker Vondráček, Prime Minister Babiš, ministers, distinguished members of this chamber: 

"It is wonderful to be here in Prague, this inspiring city of a hundred spires. 

"Thank you for convening this special session. 

"I know it is a rare privilege for a foreign leader to address this body. 

"While I am deeply honored, I view this far more as a tribute to the warm friendship between our countries, which share such a unique and lasting bond of history. 

"This is a special moment in that story, 100 years after President Woodrow Wilson collaborated with your first president, Tomas Masaryk, to establish an independent Czechoslovak Republic.   

"Just as our declaration of 1776 spoke of a 'pursuit of happiness,' Masaryk’s declaration —drafted in Washington—calls the Czech people to begin a 'constant endeavor for progress.' 

"What an extraordinary endeavor it has been. 

"There were times along the way when few would have fathomed a gathering such as this. 

"In the mid-1970s, the Chancellor of West Germany predicted that Western Europe 'has only 20 or 30 more years of democracy left in it.'

"But today, the American and Czech militaries serve side by side to keep the peace. 

"American and Czech businesses invest in each other’s workers and economies.

"Countless students, artists, and entrepreneurs go back and forth each year. 

"And today, an American speaker appears before you, the elected representatives of a free and thriving Czech people.

"Colleagues, freedom is flourishing. We should not take this milestone for granted. 

"You know, in a way, our ties run even deeper than the last century.

"The Czech Republic is often referred to as being in the 'heart of Europe.'

"Similarly, my family is from Janesville, Wisconsin, a small, working-class town in America’s heartland. We raise our kids on the same block where I grew up.

"My great-great grandfather, James Ryan, made the long voyage from Ireland sometime in the 1850s. 

"To this day, there are some 60 Ryan cousins in Janesville. . .all living in one square mile. 

"Wisconsin is where many European migrations of the mid-19th century ended. 

"In fact, most of the first Czech settlers in America came to our state. Many began as farmers, and went on to open their own shops and businesses. 

"Racine, a community I have the privilege to represent, was actually called 'Czech Bethlehem.'

"The first Czech newspapers in the United States were published there. One of the first mayors of Racine was Czech. 

"The Czech people helped shape our country. 

"That sense of striving and upward mobility—of making the most of your God-given talents—is at the heart of what I call the 'American Idea.'

"It is the notion that the condition of your birth does not determine the outcome of your life. 

"Those beautiful timeless principles—freedom, free enterprise, self-determination, government by consent…they give us the ability to chart our own course. 

"Government is at its best when we are applying those founding principles to the problems of the day. 

"This 'American Idea' animated my own studies, and motivated my own very unlikely pursuit of public service.

"When I first ran for office, I was 27 years old. 

"And to tell you the truth, there were few people willing to take a risk on a 27-year old running for Congress. 

"I needed to find someone who would, and would help me get a start. 

"So I reached out to one of the top political leaders in our state. His name was Steve King. 

"By then, Steve was a giant in Wisconsin politics. He had long been our state party chairman. 

"And I simply would not take ‘no’ for an answer. 

"When Steve signed on to be my campaign chairman, it gave me instant credibility. And, as I know now, it gave me a lifelong friend too.

"This man is a true patriot and a class act. We are so blessed to have him as America’s ambassador to the Czech Republic. 

"Thank you, Mr. Ambassador.

"Yesterday, over at our embassy, the Ambassador and I walked up the hill to the Glorietta. The view from up there is just splendid, it really is.

"There, I presented him with an American flag that recently flew above our Capitol building to commemorate this centennial.

"You may recall that in a much different, and darker, time—when the Iron Curtain divided this continent—we kept our stars and stripes flying above the Glorietta. 

"It was a signal of our unending support for the Czech people and our desire that we would one day return to our deeply shared values.

"But this republic did not merely return from communism. 

"It roared back to life, in large part on the vision of Vaclav Havel. 

"Every day, just before heading up the stairs to my office in the Capitol, I walk by a bust of Havel. 

"It was sculpted by a Czech artist who was forced into exile during the period of communist rule.

"The Havel bust is actually just across the hall from a bust of Winston Churchill. 

"I always wonder what those two talk about at night when no one is around.

"They stand watch in a space we call Freedom Foyer, as a tribute to all those who have fought and sacrificed for our guiding principles.

"In a scene that only a playwright of his caliber could have crafted, Havel was just months removed from prison when he addressed the United States Congress in January 1990.

"He reminded the Congress of our collective responsibility to preserve the greatness of democratic values.

"He said this: 'Our freedom, independence and our newborn democracy have been purchased at great cost, and we shall not surrender them.'

"On this occasion, we would be wise to recall Havel’s words, and his determination too. 

"When he said ‘we shall not surrender’ freedom, he surely knew there were powers that would try to wrest it back, and take us backward. 

"He knew there were forces that would seek to remake the world in their own authoritarian image.

"And as we gather here to celebrate the ties of the last century, we are called to confront the challenges of the next.

"The Czech people are no strangers to Russian influence, whether in the guise of oppression or subversion.

"Russia has violated international norms with its aggression against our closest allies in Eastern Europe.

"More furtively, it spreads disinformation, and engages in cyber attacks.

"It meddles in democratic elections throughout Europe, as it did in the United States.

"Russia does not share our interests or our values. 

"If anything, it seeks to undermine those values.

"We must see this for what it is: an attempt to sow discord among our peoples, divide allies, and destabilize democratic institutions.

"We cannot and we will not tolerate it. 

"This week, more than 20 countries, including the United States and the Czech Republic, took action to expel Russian diplomats in response to an attack on British soil. 

"Solidarity on this frontier of freedom is more important than ever. It is everything, really. 

"All of the nations that once suffered under Soviet rule have a common interest in building security and prosperity.

"In this work, our two republics are not simply allies mutually dedicated to the cause of liberty. 

"We are partners and leaders in the community of democracies. 

"Our common values are the foundation on which we will build stronger, more resilient institutions.

"First, there is our shared commitment to economic growth. 

"A strong economy is essential to spreading liberty and ensuring stability. It is what gives people confidence they can get a good job, live a good life, and take care of their own. 

"Faster growth does not solve all of our problems, but it certainly makes our problems easier to solve.

"Here in the Czech Republic, you have an economy that is doing extremely well, featuring strong exports and low unemployment.

"We are proud that the United States is one of the top foreign investors here. 

"Leading American companies, such as AT&T, Honeywell, GE, IBM, and Microsoft, do innovative research and development in and with the Czech Republic. 

"And I just learned this today: Prague is home to one of the oldest Harley-Davidson clubs in the world. A great Milwaukee company. 

"There is so much potential for more trade between our two nations, which will bring more opportunity to Czechs and Americans alike. 

"Second, there is our security cooperation, an area where we have a range of tools at our disposal.

"Here again, the Czech Republic is an example to its neighbors, leading in the NATO alliance, aggressively fighting disinformation, and upholding sanctions against Russia. 

"On NATO, as President Trump has said, we have demonstrated with our words and actions that we stand firmly behind Article 5, our mutual defense commitment. 

"That commitment is rock-solid.

"Of course, we have all pledged to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on our defense. We are glad that the Czech Republic has a concrete plan to reach its goal in the years ahead. 

"And we look forward to seeing you take on a larger share of the defense responsibility. 

"This is not simply about meeting a benchmark. It is about expanding our capabilities to address evolving threats. 

"That is why last week, our Congress passed, and President Trump signed, legislation increasing support for the European Deterrence Initiative. 

"It includes beginning the build-up of a division’s worth of equipment being prepositioned over five locations on this continent.

"We want you to see that America is committed to an enduring presence in Europe. 

"For us and our allies, the bravery and the expertise of the Czechs are indispensable. 

"We know, and appreciate, how much you have fought side by side with us in Iraq, and in Afghanistan. 

"We are also fortunate to have you watching over our embassy in Damascus, providing critical support for American citizens. 

"You are an active and valued member of the Global Coalition for the Defeat of ISIS. 

"And yes, we must defeat ISIS. 

"We need to collectively do more to stop this insidious threat. We need all allies to assist robustly in sharing information, and addressing the sources of extremism.

"You have not only helped to roll back ISIS on the battlefield. You have also taken part in efforts to rebuild liberated territory so that Iraqis can return home. 

"No one knows better than you do just how much that means, for people to be able to return and rebuild their lives.

"Your contributions to these missions have greatly enhanced your stature in Europe and the world.

"And I am very encouraged by the discussions we have had here about how to expand our defense cooperation even further.

"Third, there are the things we do every day to support democracy and human rights. 

"Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit Radio Free Europe, and to see firsthand the remarkable work they are doing. It was just incredible. 

"How fortunate we are to have them broadcasting from here. Thank you for what you do to support them. 

"Let it serve as a reminder that a free and transparent media is a vital component of a healthy democracy.

"We also partner to support the heroic efforts of organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy and the International Republican Institute. 

"We, as elected legislators, should never forget just how powerful it is to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves. 

"After all, that is why we are here today, because people who were free and sought to be free banded together in common cause. 

"Colleagues, I know democracy is not easy. 

"It can be just as hard to keep it as it is to win it.

"It has its flaws, and that is never going to change. 

"It has its skeptics, and that is certainly never going to change. 

"This truly is an ‘endeavor for progress,’ and so long as we are imperfect beings, we will have an imperfect form of government. 

"But there is always that fearless aspiration to do better, pushing us forward. 

"Our task, in the time we have to serve, is to build up the antibodies of our institutions—to leave them resilient enough to endure come what may. 

"This is our great moral and political responsibility.

"In this swirl of events, I refer you back to those moving words of Masaryk’s declaration of a century ago:

"'The forces of darkness have served the victory of light; the longed-for age of humanity is dawning. We believe in democracy, we believe in liberty and liberty evermore.'

"This is a time to raise our gaze, to renew our faith in what we believe, and what we can achieve together, to reach the grace and capacity of humanity. 

"America was with you for the first 100 years. 

"We will be with you for the next 100 years. 

"We will be with you always, and evermore. 

"God bless you. Thank you very much."

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 17.0px} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.s2 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none}

Read More

Prague, Day One: Solidarity of Western Alliance, Stronger U.S.-Czech Ties

2018/03/26

PRAGUE—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today underscored the importance of the solidarity of the Western alliance and stronger U.S.-Czech ties during a visit to mark the centennial of diplomatic relations between our two nations.

At a meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, the two leaders discussed a range of defense and economic issues as well as the decision by the U.S. and NATO allies to expel Russian diplomats following the attack on British soil. In the evening, Speaker Ryan took part in a working dinner with Prime Minister Babiš and Ambassador Stephen B. King at the Ambassador’s residence. 

As we enter the second century of U.S.-Czech relations, we are poised to further strengthen our security and economic ties,” Speaker Ryan said. “Today’s united action to expel Russian diplomats is a perfect example of how we must work together to defend our interests and values. The Western alliance, particularly through our joint efforts in NATO, has never been more critical.” 

Radio Free Europe. In the afternoon, Speaker Ryan visited Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) to learn more about their work reporting in 20 countries without a fully-established free press, and particularly how they reach audiences in Russia. Ryan then sat down for an interview with RFE that focused on today’s actions against Russian diplomats. “This is done in solidarity with our allies in Britain,” Ryan said. “I think it’s fantastic that other European nations, including the Czech Republic right here, followed suit as well.” Watch the full interview.

Flag Presentation at the Glorietta. At the Glorietta pavilion overlooking the U.S. embassy and the city, Speaker Ryan presented Ambassador King with an American flag that was flown over the Capitol in honor of this centennial. The flag was raised by the embassy’s Marine Detachment. During the period of communist role in Czechoslovakia, the United States kept its flag flying above the Glorietta as a symbol of our solidarity with the Czech people. Watch the ceremony

Look Ahead. Tomorrow, Speaker Ryan will address a special session of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Czech parliament. He will be the first American leader in history to address this body. Afterward, Ryan will take part in a joint press conference with Speaker Radek Vondráček. More information is available here

Read More

Ryan Applauds Expulsion of Russian Diplomats

2018/03/26

PRAGUE – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement in response to action taken by the Trump administration, in conjunction with our NATO partners, to expel Russian diplomats from the United States and close a Russian consulate in Seattle, Washington.    “I’m pleased that Russia is being held accountable for its hostility. Following the sanctions announced this month, the Trump administration is making clear the United States stands with our allies and that there will be consequences for Russia’s recklessness. The United States must continue to lead international efforts to isolate Russia so that it understands its behavior will not be tolerated." Read More

Speaker Ryan Begins Official Visit to the Czech Republic

2018/03/26

PRAGUE—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has begun a two-day official visit to the Czech Republic that will include a historic address to the country’s parliament. The visit marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-Czech relations. Speaker Ryan is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the Czech Republic since President Obama in 2009.

It is wonderful to be in Prague to commemorate this milestone in relations between the United States and the Czech Republic,” Speaker Ryan said. “Our countries continue to enjoy strong ties, made even stronger by our commitment to democratic ideals and the NATO alliance. I look forward to meeting with Czech leaders to discuss ways we can expand our security cooperation and economic partnerships in the years ahead.”

As part of his visit, Speaker Ryan will meet with Czech Prime Minister Andrej BabišSpeaker of the Chamber of Deputies Radek Vondráček, and U.S. Ambassador Stephen B. King. Speaker Ryan met with Ambassador King last week in the U.S. Capitol.

Se @SpeakerRyan ve Strakovce. Je mi ctí. pic.twitter.com/nNe8xbixzn

— Andrej Babiš (@AndrejBabis) March 26, 2018

The centerpiece of Speaker Ryan’s visit is an address he will give on Tuesday at a special session of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Czech Parliament. Ryan will be the first American leader in history to address this body. An advisory from the Chamber of Deputies is included below.

I am deeply honored by Speaker Vondráček’s invitation to address the Chamber of Deputies,” Speaker Ryan added. “This is yet another tribute to the warm friendship between the American and Czech peoples, who share common bonds of history and values.” 

This is the fourth foreign visit of Ryan’s speakership. Speaker Ryan visited Europe last spring, leading a delegation to the United Kingdom, Poland, Norway, and Estonia, to reaffirm America’s commitment to NATO and our transatlantic alliances. 

Media Advisory from the Czech Chamber of Deputies  All times local. Contact: press@psp.cz

 

At the invitation of the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Radek Vondráček, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan, the third highest U.S. constitutional official, will visit the Czech Republic March 26 – 27, 2018.  In the framework of his official program on Tuesday March 27, 2018, he will come to the Chamber of Deputies.  He will be greeted by the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Radek Vondráček, at 12:00 and they will then meet for a discussion in the Speaker’s office.  At an extraordinary session of the Chamber of Deputies at 14:00, Paul Ryan and Radek Vondráček will deliver speeches.  A press conference with both Speakers is planned for 14:40 in the Press Atrium.

Photo-ops:

11:55     Arrival and beginning of visit (foyer of the Speaker’s Office)

12:30     P. Ryan signs the Guest Book (foyer of the Speaker’s Office)

14:00     P. Ryan delivers his speech at the Chamber

14:40     Press Conference in Press Atrium

Read More

Friday Afternoon Listen: Speaker Ryan on ‘The Ben Shapiro Show’

2018/03/23

This week, Speaker Ryan sat down with Ben Shapiro for a wide-ranging conversation about the tax bill, entitlement reform, and the future of the conservative moment. Watch the full interview for The Ben Shapiro Show here and check out excerpts from their conversation below.

On the tax bill, “[Democrats] are on the wrong side of history and they are the wrong side of results.”

Ben Shapiro: “Top of the list for accomplishments is the tax bill. And Democrats losing their minds over the tax bill did not look particularly good. It’s fair to point to Nancy Pelosi saying: ‘You’ve given the American people crumbs.’ So how much do you think that will impact the election?”

Speaker Ryan: “That’s going to be the gift that keeps giving, just that statement. Every single Democrat voted against this. I really think they did that because they thought they were going to psych us into defeating ourselves, particularly in the Senate. And when they kept pushing this line, they went so far left, so hard progressive that every single Democrat voted against it. They are on the wrong side of history and they are the wrong side of results. . . .This will put such a strong foundation of growth and opportunity and free enterprise in America, more so than any kind of economic reform in my lifetime, I’m convinced of that. So they are on the wrong side of history. This takes a tax system that was the worst in the industrialized world, and gives us a tax system that we think is in the top three of the industrialized world’s tax systems. That means more jobs in America, more opportunities in America, businesses coming back to America, bringing capital back to America, expanding, and that is a phenomenally good thing. It’s going to give more careers, better wages, better benefits, more entrepreneurship, and the Democrats are against all of that.”

“We believe in equality of opportunity, they believe in equality of outcome.”

Ben Shapiro: “What do you think is the big distinction between right and left in American politics?”

Speaker Ryan: “We believe in equality of opportunity, they believe in equality of outcome. Equality of opportunity means: We want to make sure that we use the guiding principles that build this country— liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination, government by consent—which gives you an open economy, which gives you freedom, which gives you the ability to chart your life the way you want too. And we strive to promote equality of opportunity so that the most amount of people can get the most amount of opportunities possible. And nowhere else is that made more clear than in a free enterprise system, than a democratic capitalism like we have, like our system is, built on natural rights. What the left believes in, and look, you’re asking a conservative what the left believes in, they believe in equality of outcome. The difference in the kind, and size, and role of government you have between what we’re saying and what they’re saying is enormous. Having an equality of outcome agenda means elites in Washington, unelected bureaucrats, micromanage our lives and everything we do in such a way that, they believe that they get to decide what the results of our lives are. That’s very different. That’s a sense of equality which is they make things equal in the end, in the outcome of things. . . .it’s antithetical to our founding philosophy and that at the end of the day is the big difference here. So the fights we have up here in many cases, not everyone, but many cases, are fights of that origin.”

“Liberty and opportunity will be crushed if we stay on this particular path.”

Speaker Ryan: “If we do not get entitlements under control, which we can with more choice and competition, and free enterprising choice, if we don’t get these things under control, we’re going to bankrupt the next generation. We’ve run the federal government—I’ll round the numbers—we’ve run the federal government for the last 60 years, by taking about 20 cents out of every dollar made in America, produced in America, to pay for the federal government. If we do nothing, add no new programs, do nothing, by the time my kids are having kids, we’re going to have take 40 cents out of every single dollar made in America to pay for this government at that time. Before they even go on to doing something else they want to do with their government. So we will bankrupt the next generation. And I actually had the CBO run numbers years ago on what tax rates would have to be, it goes up as high as 88 percent for tax rates, just to pay for this government at that time. So I try to explain to people in dollars and cents just what’s going to happen to them if the left gets their way. They produce this equality of outcome agenda, we don’t reform entitlements, and we stick with this kind of command and control systems…liberty and opportunity will be crushed if we stay on this particular path.”

Read More

Honoring the Glorious Amateurs Who Struck a Decisive Blow to Fascism

2018/03/23

It may have been a snowy day in the nation’s capital, but that didn’t stop members of Congress, veterans of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and invited guests from coming together to recognize a group whose role in World War II helped lead America to victory over Axis forces. In a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol’s Emancipation Hall, Congress honored members of the OSS with a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor Congress can bestow. 

The OSS was comprised of civilians and personnel from each military branch, and is considered the predecessor of the CIA. As Speaker Ryan told the audience: “The OSS may seem like something out of the movies, and yes, some of its members were. But there are certain roles that only history can cast. … [The men and women of the OSS] passed on a sense of duty and daring to today’s intelligence professionals.”

Read More

Speaker Ryan: Funding Bill Will Ensure ‘The Greatest Fighting Force in the World’

2018/03/22

Summary: Today, alongside House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Speaker Ryan discussed how the funding bill will re-establish America’s military as the “greatest fighting force in the world.”

Opening Statement:

“I want to start by thanking you, Chairman Thornberry, for joining me today. But also for your leadership on this issue. No one knows the issues surrounding our military and the needs better than Mac Thornberry. He knows what’s at stake in this funding bill.

“As Secretary Mattis has discussed it—he’s come here so many times with various hearings and testimony—the fundamental question that comes down in this bill is whether we’re going to preserve the primacy of the American military in the 21st century. That’s really what’s going on right here.

“We have the greatest fighting force in the world, but we have asked them to do so much more with so much less for so long. Under the last administration, keeping a modern military force was simply not a priority, and the result has been a staggering readiness crisis that has cost us American lives. Today we begin to reverse that damage.

“Yes, this bill is critical for many, many other reasons. This bill starts construction on the wall. It turns the Gateway decision over to the Trump administration. It funds our war on opioids. It invests in infrastructure. It funds school safety and mental health. But what this bill is ultimately about—what we fought for for so long—is finally giving our military the tools and the resources it needs to do the job.

“Just last week—I mean, your networks covered this. Just last week, we lost two naval aviators—F-18 pilots—off of Key West because of a training accident. We lost seven service members in a helicopter crash in Western Iraq. Nine people last week alone because of equipment. We continue to lose more American personnel to accidents and training incidents than we do to enemy fire. That is just unacceptable. It comes back to resources and training.

“That’s why this bill—that’s why this bill is so important. We provide the biggest increase in military funding in 15 years. We provide the biggest pay raise for our troops in eight years. I’ve got buddies who have done six, seven, eight tours in combat who leave their families home every time. One of my buddies from Janesville is over in Afghanistan right now. I think these guys deserve—these men and women in harm’s way deserve our support. They deserve the best equipment. They deserve the best training. They deserve the best resources. And they deserve a pay raise. And that’s what we’re getting them.

“We’re boosting resources for training, for equipment, for maintenance, for base operations. This means new naval ships, new fighters, new apache and black hawk helicopters. It means a stronger missile defense system. What all this all adds up to is that we are rebuilding the American military and creating a 21st century fighting force.

“The threat of American military decline is now coming to an end. That is a promise that we made, along with this president, to the American people. And it is a promise that we are keeping today, and we’re pleased to do so.”

Read More

A Funding Bill to “Sustain Our Military’s Primacy”

2018/03/22

Our government’s first duty is to safeguard the security of our nation—and with that comes Congress' responsibility to give our men and women in uniform what they need to do that job.

That is why Congress will soon take action on a critical funding bill that delivers the biggest increase in defense spending in 15 years.

Our military has been the envy of the world, and it remains a deadly force. But between the evolving threats of the 21st century and the defense budget shortfalls under the last administration, our military infrastructure is in need of an upgrade—and our service members are the first ones to feel that gap in readiness.

Secretary Mattis has made it a top priority to urge Congress to deliver additional resources to equip our service members. Last month, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, he advocated for a stable budget process and additional resources for our military:

If we are to sustain our military’s primacy, we need budget predictability. I know many want to avoid additional spending, but Congress must take action now to ensure our military lethality is sufficient to defend our way of life, preserve the prosperity our country enjoys, and pass on the freedoms we enjoy to the next generation.”

Soon Congress will indeed take action. Here’s how this funding bill will directly address our readiness gaps, according to the House Armed Services Committee:

  • Less than half of the Navy's aircraft can fly due to maintenance and spare parts issues. The funding bill delivers $47.4 billion to get our planes and pilots back in the air, including resources to repair or upgrade old aircraft, replace aircraft too old or broken to repair, and recruit and train more airmen and mechanics.
  • Readiness shortfalls have contributed to fatal accidents aboard ships, and some ships and submarines remain unable to sail due to a lack of critical maintenance. The funding bill delivers $37.3 billion to get our ships and sailors back to sea, including resources to repair the ships we have, add new ships to the fleet, and recruit and train our sailors.
  • Over the past eight years, we have reduced the size of the Army, Guard, and Reserve by as much as 120,000 soldiers and eliminated 15 brigade combat teams. The funding bill delivers $22.1 billion to get our troops ready to deploy, including resources to repair Army equipment, recruit additional soldiers, and replace or upgrade current equipment.

All told, the bill provides $144.3 billion to procure, replace, and upgrade critical weapons and equipment, including the resources for 14 Navy ships, more than 230 aircraft, more than 145 fighting vehicles, and more than 130 helicopters. 

And this bill fully funds a 2.4 percent military pay raise, the largest in eight years.

For more, here’s a complete breakdown from the House Appropriations Committee.

Let’s get this funding bill passed for our men and women in uniform. Our national security is at stake.

Read More

Speaker Ryan Discusses Funding Bill’s Critical Wins on ‘Fox & Friends’

2018/03/22

This morning, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox & Friends where he discussed the critical wins in this legislation for our national defense, and cleared up some misconceptions. Watch the full interview here and check out excerpts below.

What’s in the funding bill?

Speaker Ryan:We have the biggest increase in the military in 15 years, the biggest pay raise for our men and women in uniform is eight years. We need to rebuild our military. We just lost these two F-18 pilots last week. We lost four times as many people in…accidents in the military last year than we did in combat. Why? Because Obama shortchanged our military. This fixes that. This is the Trump/Jim Mattis budget for the military. That is probably the biggest victory here—what we're doing for our soldiers, our sailors, our airmen, our Marines, and our veterans. This fixes that massive problem. This funds the wall, fixes the military, fight opioids, does the things we said, and does not fund Gateway. It gives Donald Trump the decision on Gateway.”

On funding the wall:

Speaker Ryan: “It doesn't fund Gateway and it does fund the wall. You know how long this funding bill lasts? Six months. This is not a 10-year bill. Six months. So what we did in this bill is we funded the next six months, exactly the budget requests the administration asked us for, for the border. It’s funny—we passed this bill, the House passed all these bills back in September. We passed them with Republican only votes. This has the exact same funding for the border in this bill that we funded back in September with all Republican votes. So it is kind of interesting people are saying different things now. But here's the point, the administration asked for 74 miles of border wall funding. We did about 100 in this bill. We actually exceeded what the administration asked us for, for the border. Here is the deal on the border. We asked the border patrol: 'What do you need on the border?' What they tell us is, the conditions on the ground determine what kind of wall they want, different types in different places. So for instance, they want concrete barrier with a fence on top, with earth behind it in the Rio Grande Valley so it doesn't get washed away in floods. In the desert they want a see-through wall, so they can see what is going on through it. So we do that. So we basically say to the border patrol: 'What do you need? Here are your resources.' And it’s $1.6 billion dollars for the next six months, which is exactly what the president asked for.

Brian Kilmeade: ‘I heard only $650 million goes to the wall?’

Speaker Ryan: “It’s $1.6 [billion] for the entire border [security package]. For the border, you also you need fences, you need cameras, you need electronic devices. You need aerial devices to be able to police it. In the mountainous areas, you can't build a wall over a mountain. So you need cameras and you need drones up there. So it is a border wall system that the border patrol tells us they need. We fund their request, based on what they say they need to secure the border. And it’s different kinds of walls based on different kinds of conditions on the ground. And that is it what we fund.”

On Gateway:

Speaker Ryan: “On Gateway, in the bill that passed earlier, there was something that was like an earmark for Gateway. It said all the mass transit funds that big cities get, they wrote it such a way that really only New York would only get the money. We repealed that language. That is not in here anymore. We took that language out. Now the administration, meaning the president gets to decide which cities get mass transit money, as part of his infrastructure plan.

On DACA:

Speaker Ryan: “So we, the president and I, and other leaders in the House and Senate, offered that to the Democrats, they said 'no'…we said let’s do multi-year funding for the wall, for multi-year relief for the DACA kids. They walked away. They wouldn't take that.”

 

Read More

Opioids, Infrastructure, and More

2018/03/22

The funding bill for fiscal year 2018 is absolutely critical for rebuilding our military and getting our men and women in uniform the resources they need to do their jobs. But there are additional important priorities that the legislation accomplishes.

  1. Opioids. A national opioid epidemic has swept communities across the country. In October, President Trump declared it a public health emergency—and followed up with additional actions earlier this week. Almost every person knows someone whose life has been affected because of opioid abuse—and it’s getting worse. ER visits nationwide for suspected opioid overdoses rose an average of 29.7 percent from July 2016 to September 2017. In Wisconsin, they rose by a jarring 109 percent. This is why Congress has been working on this issue for years, including enacting the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act—but as Speaker Ryan said earlier this week, “Congress will not rest until we see results.” The FY2018 funding bill will provide nearly $4 billion—the largest allotment to date—in resources for opioid prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. This is critical support that our communities need now.
  1. Infrastructure. Our nation’s infrastructure is in trouble. Our airports, highways, bridges, and tunnels do not reflect our capabilities as a modern, first world nation. This legislation will provide $21.2 billion to usher our nation’s outdated infrastructure into the 21st century. This has been a Republican priority for years, and this legislation will help us get to where we need to be.
  1. School Safety. Violence has no place in our schools. Last week, the House took action to prevent it with the STOP School Violence Act. The funding bill will fund that House-passed legislation and provide an additional $213 million to the Department of Justice, $1.9 billion to the Department of Education, and $205 million to the Department of Health and Human Services in resources to prevent violence in our schools and keep our children safe. As Speaker Ryan said last week, “If there is any place our children can feel safe, it should be our schools.” The funding bill will help our schools get the resources and technology they need to stop this kind of violence before it occurs.
  1. Military Pay Raise. Our service members make incredible sacrifices for our nation—we think they’ve earned a pay raise. That’s why this legislation will give them a 2.4 percent pay raise, their largest raise in eight years, along with the biggest year-to-year increase defense spending has seen in 15 years. It’s the least we can do to honor their incredible service.

And of course there's a lot more this bill does to address critical priorities. Find more fact sheets on the 2018 funding bill here

Read More

Eight Reasons This Funding Bill Is Critical

2018/03/22

Congress will consider a critical funding bill that, first and foremost, fulfills our pledge to rebuild the nation’s military. It addresses a number of important national priorities, including school safety, infrastructure, and fighting the opioid epidemic. Here are eight reasons why this funding bill is so critical:

It fulfills our pledge to rebuild the nation’s military. We are delivering the biggest increase in defense funding in 15 years. Resources are targeted to priorities identified by Secretary Mattis, including increasing troop levels, funding new weapons systems, and upgrading our military capabilities by procuring new ships, aircraft, and tankers. After a series of training accidents and incidents, we are boosting resources for key readiness programs, including training, facility maintenance, and base operations.

It supports our service members and veterans. This bill fully funds the biggest pay raise for our service members in 8 years. It includes a record level of funding for the VA, with more resources for health care, opioid abuse treatment, and better medical facilities, as we work to build a 21st-century health care system for our veterans.

It takes action to bolster school safety. This bill fixes and fully funds the National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS), a critical step to keep guns out of the hands of people with a criminal history. It implements key provisions of the STOP School Violence Act to fund Department of Justice grant programs that help keep schools safe. Overall, the bill provides more than $2.3 billion in new funding for mental health, training, and school safety programs.

It begins construction of the wall. The funding bill includes $1.57 billion for physical barriers along the Southwest border—in line with the administration’s request—and provides funding for more than 95 miles of a border wall system, more than what the administration requested. It increases funding for border security and immigration enforcement, putting more “boots on the ground” and ensuring that detainees are referred to ICE instead of harbored by sanctuary cities.

It steps up the fight against the opioid epidemic. With nearly $4 billion, the funding bill makes the largest federal investment to date for fighting the opioid epidemic, which the president has declared a national emergency. It includes funding for treatment, prevention, and law enforcement programs that help save lives and stem the spread of this scourge.

It rebuilds America’s infrastructure. The bill includes $21.2 billion in new funding for long-overdue improvements to our nation’s infrastructure—a key priority for the administration—including resources to improve highways, railways, and airports. And there are no earmarks for specific projects. 

It promotes workforce development. The bill boosts funding for workforce development in high-growth job fields, including a $50 million increase for apprenticeship programs. It boosts funding for child care and early head start programs to make it easier for job seekers to enter or return to the workforce. It provides a $75 million increase for career and technical education programs.

It addresses key Republican priorities:

  • Maintains all existing pro-life policies, including the Hyde amendment, the Dickey-Wicker amendment, and the Weldon amendment.
  • Ensures that American farmers are benefiting from tax reform on an even playing field, and provides the IRS with the resources to implement a fairer and simpler tax code under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • Helps protect western communities from catastrophic wildfires by reforming our federal forestry laws. 
  • The Taylor Force Act, which cuts off assistance that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority unless the PA takes credible steps to end violence and support for terrorist activities.
  • The first reauthorization of the FCC in 28 years, which includes reforms to boost the development of next-generation 5G wireless broadband.
  • The Keep Young Athletes Safe Act, which provides resources to safeguard amateur athletes against emotional, physical, and sexual abuse in sports.
  • The TARGET Act, which cracks down on human trafficking.
Read More

Statement on Legislation to Rebuild the United States Military

2018/03/21

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement upon the introduction of a full-year funding agreement for fiscal year 2018. 

“Today marks the beginning of a new era for the United States military. With the biggest increase in defense funding in 15 years, this critical legislation begins to reverse the damage of the last decade and allows us to create a 21st-century fighting force. Our service members are the finest in the world, but the poor state of our military readiness has left them under-equipped and underprepared for the threats they face. They deserve better, and this long-sought funding provides it. It also strengthens our missile defense systems, upgrades our naval and air capacity, and funds the largest pay raise for our troops in eight years. This legislation fulfills our pledge to rebuild the United States military.

“This agreement addresses a number of other critical priorities. House appropriators have ensured that increases in non-defense spending are directed at securing the homeland, protecting our schools, and rebuilding American infrastructure. This package includes significant resources to fight the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our communities. It boosts funds for law enforcement, and border security, including miles of new structures along our southern border. And it provides hundreds of millions of dollars for mental health, training, and school safety programs to keep our kids safe. No bill of this size is perfect. And we must reform our broken budget process to return to a regular appropriations process. But this legislation addresses important priorities and makes us stronger at home and abroad.”

Read More

Congress Presents Gold Medal to the Office of Strategic Services

2018/03/21

The men and women of the Office of Strategic Services were patriots who struck a decisive blow to fascism. They worked tirelessly to protect America and democracy itself. For their heroic efforts during WWII, Congress bestows members of the OSS with a Congressional Gold Medal. pic.twitter.com/KAcbPA9Ebz

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 21, 2018

WASHINGTON—This afternoon, leaders of the U.S. House and Senate presented a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of the members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)—a precursor to the CIA—for their extraordinary contributions to victory in World War II. Prior to the presentation of the Medal, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) made the following remarks, as prepared for delivery:

It is now time for the presentation of the Medal, a moment that I know so many of you have been working toward for so long. This is just incredible, isn’t it?When you think about how high the stakes were, and how nothing like this had ever been tried before…But Bill Donovan said, 'go ahead and try it.'And it worked. It worked brilliantly.

The OSS may seem like something out of the movies, and yes, some of its members were.But there are certain roles that only history can cast.

What else could have brought together such far-fetched ideas and far-flung people?What other enterprise would have Julia Child developing a recipe for shark repellent?Or Virginia Hall, who lost her leg before the war, but still operated behind enemy lines in occupied France, transmitting messages using a radio that looked like a suitcase.Or Jumpin’ Joe Savoldi, who played for Knute Rockne at Notre Dame, and was tasked with extracting secret Nazi documents from Rome.For all the household names, there are countless others we will never know.

All of these patriots worked to protect America and democracy itself.They passed on a sense of duty and daring to today’s intelligence professionals.They preserved the spirit of freedom of our children.

And so: for the men and women of the OSS, those Glorious Amateurs who struck a decisive blow to fascism, the United States Mint has struck a Gold Medal, which we present now on behalf of a grateful nation.

Read More

Speaker Ryan Invites President Emmanuel Macron of France to Address Congress

2018/03/21

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today invited President Emmanuel Macron of the French Republic to address a joint meeting of Congress when he visits Washington next month.

“France is not only our oldest ally, but one of our strongest,” said Speaker Ryan. “This is a special opportunity to build on the historic relationship between our countries, and to reaffirm our commitment to defeating terror both domestically and around the world. I look forward to welcoming President Macron to the United States Capitol to address a joint meeting of Congress on April 25.”

President Macron will be the eighth president of the French Republic to address a joint meeting of Congress, and the first since 2007. The tradition of foreign leaders and dignitaries addressing Congress began with Marquis de Lafayette of France, who spoke in the House chamber on December 10, 1824. 

This will be the second joint meeting of this speakership. Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India addressed Congress on June 8, 2016. More background information on joint meetings is available from the House Historian here.

 

Read More

A Successful End to a Long Fight to Deliver for Our Troops

2018/03/21

This week, the House will consider a government funding bill that concludes a months-long effort to provide certainty and full funding to our military. Republicans pledged that with control of Congress and the White House, we would begin to reverse the damage done to our Armed Forces over the last decade.  In fact, after passing tax reform, Speaker Ryan declared that rebuilding the military his top legislative priority. And this bill fulfills that promise. 

Along the way, we had to overcome policy roadblocks, partisan foot-dragging, Democrat-led government shutdowns, and a series of continuing resolutions that impair military planning and threaten readiness. But no longer. Finally, we can give our men and women in uniform the resources they deserve and end the cycle of dangerous funding-by-CRs. Here’s a look back at the long fight that is about to come to as successful end. 

2017

MAY 4: Congress passes a funding bill that covers the remainder of fiscal year 2017. Notably, it begins to boost funding for defense without matching increases in non-defense spending. This breaks an arbitrary, Obama-era standard that contributed to the hollowing out of our Armed Forces. “While we have much more work to do to fully rebuild our military, this is a critical first step,” Speaker Ryan says.

JULY 27: The House passes a full defense funding package for fiscal year 2018. Two weeks later, Secretary Mattis warns Congress about the damage short-term continuing resolutions would do to the military, noting that “it just creates unpredictability. It makes us rigid. We cannot deal with new and revealing threats.” Unfortunately, Senate Democrats refuse to consider the bill.

SEPTEMBER 14: The House again passes the defense funding bill, this time as part of a package of all 12 appropriations measures. “We need the Senate to work with us to get these bills on the president’s desk,” Speaker Ryan says. Senate Democrats threaten to block defense funding, and Congress is forced to pass a continuing resolution.

NOVEMBER 30: Congress completes a national defense authorization bill that outlines a commitment to historic increases in defense funding. It passes in a large bipartisan vote. Senate Democrats, however, continue to block the military funding bill that corresponds with that authorization, deciding they would rather use our troops as leverage for other priorities. By the end of 2017, Congress has to pass two more continuing resolutions.

2018

JANUARY 18: In a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Speaker Ryan says “right now, our men and women in uniform are operating under enormous strain, some of which, frankly, is of our own making. That is why rebuilding our military is one of the highest priorities of our unified government. I can tell you it is my highest priority today.” He goes on to call for “an adequate budget agreement that fully funds our troops.”

JANUARY 19: Democrats make good on their threat to block military funding over an entirely unrelated issue, blocking another continuing resolution and shutting down the government. Republicans refuse to negotiate with Democrats during the shutdown, making clear there is nothing for Democrats to gain by using our troops as bargaining chips. Ultimately, Democrats agree to re-open the government, but unfortunately we continue to operate under a continuing resolution.

JANUARY 30: For the third time, the House passes a defense funding bill, adding even greater pressure on Democrats to stop holding this funding hostage. At a press conference that morning, Speaker Ryan again calls on Democrats to allow military funding to go forward.

FEBRUARY 6: Secretary Mattis urges Congress to act on military funding, telling the House Armed Services Committee, “We need Congress to lift the defense spending caps and support a budget for our military.”

FEBRUARY 7: With pressure growing and the shutdown strategy proven fruitless, Senate Democrats relent on holding troop funding hostage and reach a deal with Republicans on a budget agreement that allows us to fully fund the military. 

FEBRUARY 9: Over the opposition of House Democratic leaders, but in a victory for our men and women in uniform, Congress passes a budget agreement paving the way for the resources to rebuild our military. It ensures that our national defense will no longer be subject to reckless budget caps, and definitively ends the Obama-era practice of tying increases in defense spending to non-defense spending. House and Senate appropriators immediately begin the process of writing a bipartisan funding bill to complete the process. 

MARCH 20: After five continuing resolutions, Congress finalizes a critical funding bill that includes the biggest increase in defense spending in 15 years. It gives much-needed stability to the Pentagon, allowing Secretary Mattis to move ahead with plans to increase troop levels, upgrade weapons systems, and address readiness shortfalls. At a press conference, Speaker Ryan calls it “a new era for our nation’s military.”

Read More

Watch Guide: Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony Honoring the Office of Strategic Services

2018/03/21

This afternoon, leaders of the U.S. House and Senate will present a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of the members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) for their historic contributions during World War II. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest and most distinguished civilian honor the United States Congress can bestow.

The OSS was implemented during World War II and is considered the predecessor of the CIA. Comprised of civilians and personnel from each military branch, the OSS “organized, trained, supplied, and fought” in the war throughout Europe and Asia, playing a decisive role in America’s victory over axis forces.

To watch the ceremony, tune in to speaker.gov/live at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Want a behind-the-scenes look at the ceremony? Follow @SpeakerRyan on Twitter and Instagram (story) for exclusive photos and updates.

Read More

Speaker Ryan Discusses Need for Military Funding on Fox News

2018/03/20

As Congress readies a critical funding bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) sat down with Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin to discuss the need to rebuild our military and the devastating consequences of a readiness crisis. Watch the interview here and check out excerpts from the transcript below.

Jennifer Griffin: “Last Thursday during a routine landing, the nose gear failed on an Air Force C5 transport plane in Texas. The plane skidded on its belly to stop. Just last summer, the Air Force grounded its entire C-5 fleet. House Speaker Paul Ryan says if defense spending isn't increased...it will get worse.”

Speaker Ryan: “Just last week, we lost two F-15 pilots off the coast of Florida. We lost seven of our troops in a helicopter crash in Western Iraq. This is in many ways because of training accidents because of our military budget.”

Speaker Ryan: “When I became Speaker I got access to all the classified briefings that a president gets, to see exactly what our military is experiencing and I’ve been absolutely convinced that we have been doing a disservice to our men and women in the military with the budgets they’ve been getting."

 

Read More

The Devastating Cost of a Readiness Crisis

2018/03/20

Soon, the House will consider a bill to fully fund Defense Secretary Mattis’ budget request for this year. The secretary and other defense leaders have called on Congress to pass this funding bill in order to preserve the American military’s primacy in the world. It’s also needed to repair the damage of years of neglect and under-funding that has resulted in a military readiness crisis that comes with a real human cost. These numbers tell the story:   80: American service members killed in accidents and training exercises in 2017, according to the House Armed Services Committee – nearly four times the number lost in combat that year.    2: American soldiers lost in an Apache crash during a training exercise in January.    7: American service members killed in a non-combat related helicopter crash in Iraq last week.   2: U.S. Naval aviators killed in a fighter jet crash off the coast of Key West last week during a training flight.    Each of these numbers represent lives sacrificed in defense of freedom and our nation. Sadly, some of these deaths may have been preventable. The United States is blessed with the best, most courageous fighting force in the world. But these accidents are part of a startling and unacceptable readiness crisis – a symptom of a depleted, under-equipped, and under-trained military.    Funding to strengthen and modernize our military was not a priority in the last administration. This has left us with the smallest Army since before World War II, the smallest Navy since before World War I, and the smallest and oldest Air Force in our history.    Fortunately, the legislation coming this week will begin to reverse the damage done. It will allow us to replace and upgrade equipment that is beyond repair, restore needed training, and give our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines what they need to do the job:   61 billion: the increase in funding for our military this year to begin reversing the damage of the last decade.    15: the years since an annual increase in defense spending this large, dating back to the start of the war on terror.   2.4: the percent increase in pay for our troops, the largest in eight years.    As Speaker Ryan said this morning, “We can’t keep asking our service members to go above and beyond when we are leaving them under-prepared and under-equipped for the fight. Read More

Speaker Ryan: ‘A New Era for Our Nation’s Military’

2018/03/20

Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan discussed the funding bill Congress is preparing to strengthen our military and update it for the 21st century.

Opening Statement:

“We made very clear to the country, we made a promise to the country, that we would rebuild our military. Years of cuts and years of uncertainty have hollowed out our Armed Forces. You just heard the statistics. They’re glaring. Aging equipment, personnel shortages, training lapses, maintenance lapses—all of this has cost us. It has hurt us. Last year alone, we lost four times as many service members in accidents and training exercises as we did in combat. That is just unacceptable.

“We can’t keep asking our service members to go above and beyond when we are leaving them under-prepared and under-equipped for the fight. With this week’s critical funding bill, we will begin to reverse that damage. We will fully fund our national defense at the levels requested by the Pentagon, by Secretary Mattis. This will be the biggest increase in defense spending in 15 years. It will allow Secretary Mattis to increase our troop levels, to address our readiness shortfalls, and to upgrade our weapons systems. It will give him what he needs to implement our new national security strategy, and prepare us for new and evolving threats. It is so important. This is the biggest pay raise for our [service] members in eight years.

“I met a young woman on Thursday. She’s a lieutenant colonel in the Army. She’d done six combat tours. A friend of mine from Janesville is on his way to his seventh combat tour. This is what our service members are doing for us, and it’s high time we respond to them. Give them the pay raise that they have earned, over and over again. Give them the equipment they need so that they can do their jobs well and safely. And give them the resources so they can do the training that they need so when they’re actually in harm’s way, they are equipped.

“That’s what this bill does. This bill will obviously do a lot else, but this is really about how we build a 21st century military. We have 21st century threats, and our men and women in uniform need to be equipped and prepared to deal with these threats.

“So I want to thank these members of the Armed Services Committee for their leadership. I want to thank the members of the Appropriations Committee as they work to finalize this legislation. This is going to mark a beginning of a new era for our nation’s military. And it’s high time we do that.”

Read More

Speaker Ryan on President Trump’s Opioid Announcement and Congressional Action

2018/03/19

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement following President Trump’s announcement on further actions to combat opioid abuse in America:

The opioid epidemic continues to ravage our communities, and President Trump is right to continue the fight against it. This announcement comes as Congress readies a critical funding bill that will direct more resources to fight this epidemic. By expanding access to treatment and recovery efforts that have proven successful, we can empower individuals to retake control of their lives. And by investing in increased law enforcement efforts, we can empower local communities to address the problem at its root and stop the spread of these deadly drugs.

Congress has long prioritized fighting opioid abuse—and we will not rest until we see results worthy of those counting on us. Through this week’s legislation, we’ll continue to partner with the Trump administration to put an end to what very well may be the biggest public health emergency of our lifetime.”

RELATED: October 2017: Statement on Opioid Epidemic August 2017: Opioids Are Taking Over in Our Communities May 2017: National Resources to Fight the Opioid EpidemicHouse Tackling Opioid CrisisWhat does opioid addiction look like to you? December 2016: Speaker Ryan Signs Cures Act, Sends to President’s Desk July 2016: Speaker Ryan Holds Enrollment Ceremony for Bipartisan Bill to Combat Opioid EpidemicOne Step Closer to Stopping the Opioid Epidemic March 2016: House Action on the Opioid Epidemic

Read More

“Troubled Times”: Military Accidents Highlight Need for Defense Funding

2018/03/19

Congress is readying a critical funding bill to rebuild our military, and support our nation's defense at the budget levels requested by Secretary Mattis.

This task is only becoming more urgent. Last week brought another tragic reminder of our military’s readiness crisis when an Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter carrying seven U.S. service members crashed in western Iraq. There were no survivors.

On Friday night, Fox News’ Special Report looked at how aviation accidents like this highlight dire gaps in the readiness of our Armed Forces:

“Today, only half of the Navy’s Super Hornet fleet can fly. . . .. Fox first reported the Navy grounded its fleet of training jets after instructor pilots complained of being poisoned in the cockpit. A year later, those oxygen problems have now spread to the Air Force, which grounded its fleet of T-6 trainers two months ago.. . . Fox News has highlighted the shortage of parts that force airmen to cannibalize planes and search the desert boneyard for spare parts, a problem made worse by a shortage of mechanics.”

These are just a few examples of a widespread crisis. Aging fleets, overworked service members, insufficient training—all of it has serious consequences. In 2017, we lost 80 U.S. personnel in accidents, nearly four times as many as we lost in combat. 

In the Fox piece, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) says, “We have fallen behind in supporting our men and women adequately.

That's why this funding bill is so critical. We won't be playing catchup anymore. We will be providing the resources for Secretary Mattis’ strategy to rebuild our military, modernize our forces, and fulfill our obligations to our service members and their families.

Read More

Seven Photos for St. Patrick's Day

2018/03/16

This is Speaker Ryan's favorite time of year. St. Patrick's Day brings with it a celebration of his own Irish heritage, and as speaker, the opportunity to continue a decades-old tradition of hosting the president of the United States and the prime minister of Ireland for lunch at the Capitol. Here are seven photos from yesterday's festivities at the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon.

1. St. Patrick's Day is a family affair. Speaker Ryan walks through the Old Hall of the House with his brother and sister.

2. The speaker greets President Trump and Vice President Pence as they arrive at the Capitol.

3. The guest of honor at the Friends of Ireland luncheon is always the prime minister of Ireland. Elected in June of last year, this is Leo Varadkar's first time at the luncheon, but not his first time in the Capitol. In 2000, he spent a semester conducting tours as a congressional intern.

4. Speaker Ryan offers a toast: "May the winds of fortune sail you. May you sail the gentlest sea.

May it always be the other guy or gal, who says, ‘This drink is on me.’

Sláinte."

5. Anthony Kearns of the Irish Tenors performs for members of Congress, cabinet members, and guests of honor at the luncheon.

6. Led by a Capitol Police bagpiper, the official party departs the Capitol to close out the day's ceremonies.

7. Speaker Ryan thanks the U.S. Capitol Police ceremonial unit before heading back to work.

Related stories:

  1. Video: Speaker Ryan's Irish Jokes at the Luncheon
  2. Video: Speaker Ryan's Irish Heritage
  3. 5 Photos from Last Year
  Read More

Speaker Ryan Mourns the Passing of Rep. Louise Slaughter

2018/03/16

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement this morning after learning of the passing of Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York:

“This is just jarring. My first thoughts go out to Louise’s family, friends, and her staff. Louise was a giant in the people’s House, the first woman ever to chair the Rules Committee. That said, Louise did not need a gavel to make a dent in history. She was unrelenting in fighting for her ideas and the people back home in Western New York. But really, the thing that I keep coming back to is how she was tough, but unfailingly gracious. She was simply great. 

“In memory of Louise, I have ordered that the flags above the Capitol be lowered to half-staff. The coming days of mourning will bring many tributes to this wonderful public servant. For now, let us pray that God brings comfort to those closest to Louise.”

Read More

The 2018 Friends of Ireland Luncheon

2018/03/15

WASHINGTON—Ahead of St. Patrick's Day, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) hosted President Trump and the Taoiseach of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, for the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon, a tradition that dates back to 1983. Following are Speaker Ryan's remarks, as prepared for delivery:

I want to begin by welcoming the Taoiseach.

Leo, this is one of our most precious traditions. We come together to honor those known for the gifts of blarney and tall tales…which, in this town, means everybody.

As with most things Irish, this all began with a good scrap.

Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill were fierce political opponents. But their heritage was their bond.

When it came to Ireland, the only thing they’d argue about was who was more Irish. Reagan was so committed to winning he would say he was old enough to have actually met Saint Patrick.

With a name like Ryan, it is a personal privilege to carry on this tradition. Our family traces its roots back to County Kilkenny, to the town of Graiguenamanagh.

My wife and I took our kids over there just a few years back. The whole town came out. It was grand. Well, my cousin William O’Shea drove there, and he couldn’t find a parking spot.

Finally, he got so frustrated that he prayed, ‘Lord, if you open a space up for me, I swear I’ll give up drinking whiskey, and I promise to go to church every Sunday.’

Suddenly, the clouds parted, and the sun shone on an empty space.

Without hesitation, he said, ‘Never mind Lord, I found one.’

Leo, for you, this is actually ‘welcome back’ to the Capitol. You were an intern here not too many years ago, and now you are the guest of honor. That is just incredible. I, too, started as an intern here.

Though this is not all that different from being an intern, right? Politicians go on and on, and you hope to get a free meal out of it.

The good news is, we have Guinness. Now, the Guinness does taste better in Ireland. But I realize this probably isn’t the right year to bring up trade issues…

America’s Irish ties really are as strong as ever. The Speaker is Irish. The Senate Majority Leader is Scots-Irish. And a Kennedy may run for president. 

So many members of the president’s administration are Irish too.

Think about it: Pence, Kelly, Mulvaney…

O’Mnuchin……FitzMattis…

All this really means is that our meetings start twice as late…last twice as long…and only half the decisions get made.

But on a serious note…

Before Notre Dame was known as the ‘Fighting Irish,’ that name belonged to the U.S. Army’s 69th Infantry Regiment.

They say Lincoln was so moved by the bravery of this brigade, that on a visit to the battlefield, he picked up a corner of the Irish flag, kissed it, and said, “God bless the Irish flag.”

God bless the Irish people, too.

The Irish people, in the spirit of the great St. Patrick, have always turned the darkness into light, and hardship into hope. They were our friends when we were friendless, defenders of our union when we were divided.

The Irish came here in search of a better life, and made this a better country. With their faith and their passion. A people of gentle hearts, and strong roots.

In these times, as we strive to secure peace and opportunity, the friendship of the Irish remains our anchor in the choppiest waters.

And so I would like to offer a toast: 

May the winds of fortune sail you,

May you sail the gentlest sea.

May it always be the other guy or gal

Who says, ‘This drink is on me.’

Sláinte.

Read More

Statement on the STOP School Violence Act

2018/03/14

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after the House passed the STOP School Violence Act:

“If there is any place our children can feel safe, it should be our schools. The STOP School Violence Act takes a multi-faceted approach that will help prevent school violence before it takes place. It gives law enforcement, school officials, and students the training, technology, and resources they need to identify and prevent threats. This is a common-sense approach to combatting senseless violence. I want to thank Sheriff Rutherford for his leadership on this vital issue.”

This bill also incorporates key elements from legislation introduced by Reps. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Kay Granger (R-TX), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Luke Messer (R-IN), Mike Bost (R-IL), Mike Coffman (R-CO), and Susan Brooks (R-IN).

 

 

Read More

Speaker Ryan on Tax Reform, STOP School Violence Act at Leadership Presser

2018/03/14

Today at a press conference with Republican leadership, Speaker Ryan discussed the latest progress thanks to tax reform:

“I’ll admit: It seems like it was a long time ago, but you have to remember, we’re just shy of three months of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passing. So much has happened in those intervening three months. But it was only three months ago that this occurred. 

“In this very short period of time, the success that we have seen as a result of this law exceeds our greatest expectations. What have we been seeing? We have seen utility bill savings in more than 40 states around the country. Over 40 states, because of the tax law, are lowering their rates for utilities. That’s real money in paychecks, especially for the people who’ve been living paycheck-to-paycheck. We’ve seen more than six million employees receive bonuses from hundreds of companies. We’ve seen a vast majority of Americans have already seen bigger paychecks because the withholding tables have changed. So now, people are opening the mail or going online and seeing that their paychecks are bigger as a result of this law.

“Now, we can add another tax reform effect to the list. Cathy just mentioned Washington state. Reinvestment in our nation’s health insurance market is now taking place because of the tax cuts. This week, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska—the state’s only private insurance provider—announced that it would reinvest $50 million of the tax savings that it received back into the state’s health insurance market. How’s that for an unexpected benefit of tax reform? So you got Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska saying because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we’re putting $50 million back into our state for health insurance.

“There is more good tax reform news every single day. Yesterday, the National Federation of Independent Business released results from a new survey that found that for the first time since 2006, taxes received the fewest votes as the number one business problem for small businesses. Let me repeat that: Our tax system is now helping, not hurting, small businesses.

“So we are really seeing, as Kevin mentioned, labor force participation. We’re getting people who are not working, who are not looking for work, who are on the sidelines, now getting up and going into the jobs market. So we’re beginning to see people getting on the ladder of life because of the economic growth that is occurring, because of the higher wages, because of the new jobs that are being offered. So we’re seeing phenomenal results from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. And it’s just really a stark difference to me that not a single Democrat voted for this. And now they’re saying they want to raise taxes, and they want to void all of this great progress that we’ve made in our economy.”

Speaker Ryan also discussed the STOP School Violence Act, legislation that will be to the House floor later today:

I also want to thank Sheriff John Rutherford. Sheriff Rutherford, who is bringing the STOP School Violence Act to the floor today, deserves credit. Because he has taken his knowledge of local law enforcement as the sheriff of Jacksonville, FL. And he has taken that knowledge and worked across the aisle with Democrats to make sure that we can advance legislation that keeps the Sandy Hook promise; that also advances the idea of making sure that schools are hardened, and that schools are prepared, and that everyone gets the necessary training that they need. 

“This provides a multi-layered approach to identify the threats so we can stop the violence before it happens. It includes new violence prevention training for our law enforcement, for students, for school personnel. It implements additional technology to improve school security, and so much more. Tragic violence has no place in our schools—every American believes that. This legislation will actually take concrete action to prevent that. And I’m very excited that we are bringing this bill to the floor today.”

Read More

Help Wanted: Small Business Owners Reveal Shift in Economic Priorities

2018/03/14

“Small business owners are showing unprecedented confidence in the economy as the optimism index continues at record high number.” Indeed—a new survey released yesterday by the National Federation of Independent Business cites soaring confidence thanks to policy changes passed by Congressional Republicans and enacted by President Trump. Most notably? Reducing regulations and overhauling our tax code.

As we noted last week, Obama-era regulations took a huge toll on economic growth. To date, Congress has passed 15 pieces of Congressional Review Act legislation to combat this unnecessary red tape that has stifled growth—and the House passed three more bills that rein in regulation just last week. The goal is simple: protect American jobs.

What’s even better than protecting American jobs? Making jobs better. Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, companies nationwide are offering bonuses, boosting wages, and strengthening benefits. As predicted when tax reform was passed, real Americans are seeing real, well-deserved increases in their paychecks. And let’s not forget, even utility bills are shrinking for many. Despite the alternate reality tax reform opponents are living in, it is working.

All said, there’s always room for improvement. With economic confidence at an historic high, conditions are ripe to welcome the unemployed into the workforce. And that’s what small business owners need right now. You’ll recall last month we brought you a piece on this topic. And yesterday’s study shows it’s not just theoretical: Small business owners’ new top concern is finding qualified workers for vacant jobs.

Unfortunately, too many able-bodied Americans are currently on the sidelines—or simply don’t have the skills needed to get these open jobs. That’s why some major companies have taken matters into their own hands. Last week, Home Depot announced it would donate $50 million to address its worker shortage. Lowe’s launched a new workforce development initiative the week prior.

But these efforts won’t solve the problem alone. That’s why the House will continue to prioritize legislation to develop America’s workforce. This initiative addresses the needs of today’s growing economy and gives people the tools they need to tap into all it has to offer.  

Read More

Statement on the Secretary of State

2018/03/13

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement:

“Secretary Rex Tillerson has served his country honorably, and I thank him for his steady leadership. I welcome my good friend, Mike Pompeo, as the next Secretary of State. Mike is razor-sharp, a dedicated patriot, and possesses the type of experience that makes him an outstanding choice to be our next top diplomat. I also congratulate Gina Haspel on her historic nomination to lead the CIA." 

Read More

The Time is Now to Rebuild the Military

2018/03/13

There’s bad news and there’s good news. The bad news is that right now, the United States military—which has been the dominant force in the world for centuries—faces a serious readiness crisis. Almost a decade under the Obama administration, during which the military was simply not a top priority, left major gaps in the readiness of our Armed Forces. 

The nation’s military must be unrivaled in the 21st century. There are examples of this necessity in all of the branches, from the Army to the Navy, and the Air Force to the Marine Corps—something Speaker Ryan outlined in his January speech at the Center for International and Strategic Studies. Funding for modernizing the Army was cut in half during the Obama years. Navy sailors are overworked, putting in 100-hour work weeks. Less than half of their aircraft are ready to fly. Roughly 80 percent of Marine Corps aviation units lack the minimum number of ready basic aircraft, and the Air Force is now at its smallest size in our nation’s history.

These readiness gaps are dangerous for our service members. In 2017, we lost 80 lives due to training accidents. That’s nearly four times as many killed in combat. This is unacceptable.

It’s not as if the threats to the United States and our allies have diminished. The sophistication, complexity, and intensity of the threats we face have only increased. From rogue states like North Korea and Iran, to terrorists in the Middle East and in Europe, the world is more dangerous than ever. We need a stronger military that is capable of stopping our enemies in a 21st century world.

The good news is that we have the chance to do that with forthcoming appropriations legislation for FY2018. This is critical legislation that will finally rebuild the military, give our men and women in uniform the resources they need, and set the United States on a path toward a safer, stronger America. Stay tuned.

Read More

Speaker Ryan's Irish Heritage

2018/03/12

Like most Irish-Americans, Speaker Ryan is proud of his family's deep Irish roots, and not too long ago, he and his family visited Ireland so they could see exactly where it all began. In the video above, the speaker describes that trip and explains how his great, great grandparents came to America and settled in a town called Janesville, Wisconsin—which generations of Ryans continue to call home to this day.

On Thursday, Speaker Ryan will celebrate his Irish heritage by hosting the prime minister of Ireland for the Friends of Ireland luncheon at the Capitol. It is an annual tradition dating back to 1983, when two other great Irish-Americans (President Reagan and Speaker O'Neill) first started it.

Read More

Coming Soon: A Stronger Military, More Secure America

2018/03/09

Soon, the House will vote on important legislation fulfilling a promise to strengthen our national defense and rebuild our nation’s military. In these uncertain times, with potential threats to our security from unstable regions around the world—from North Korea to the Middle East—our nation’s security must be our absolute top priority.

Last month, Congress enacted a budget that allows Congress to fully fund the military at the level requested by Secretary Mattis and his generals. More importantly, it frees our military from the harmful spending caps and breaks the Democrats’ harmful parity of tying dollar-for-dollar increases in defense spending with equal increases in discretionary spending. It was hard fought for—and for good reason. This budget agreement gave us the ability to take this next step: a full appropriations package that delivers these resources to the Pentagon.

So, as soon as next week, the House will take the final step to delivering on our promise to our men and women in uniform. This appropriations legislation gives our service members the resources they need to get their jobs done safely and securely. With all the sacrifices they make for us, it is our job to ensure they get the support they need to defend our country. 

As Speaker Ryan said in a speech on the need for military readiness at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in January, “I do not care if you are a Republican or Democrat. Our troops, our military, our national security—these are not partisan issues. When it comes to keeping Americans safe, we are all on the same side. . . Help us get our troops what they need to do their jobs. And help us ensure that the United States military remains the best in the world.”

 

I don't care if you are a Republican or Democrat. Our troops, our military, our national security—these are not partisan issues. When it comes to keeping Americans safe, we are all on the same side. pic.twitter.com/heRpHUvwTo

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 18, 2018
Read More

Highlights from Speaker Ryan's Home Depot Visit

2018/03/09

Yesterday, Speaker Ryan visited Home Depot’s Store Support Center in Atlanta, where he met with employees and participated in product demos. He also hosted an employee Q&A, speaking about the benefits of passing historic tax reform. Home Depot is one of hundreds of companies that gave hourly-wage employees much-deserved bonuses because of the new tax law.

In case you missed our livestream, here are a few highlights:

Real Relief to Real Families

The tax law is bringing real relief to families: ✔️nearly doubled child tax credit ✔️bigger paychecks for 90% of American workers ✔️well-deserved employee bonuses pic.twitter.com/WV6XX7ZdU5

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 8, 2018

 

Businesses are Growing and Hiring

American businesses are growing and hiring more workers. Trillions of dollars are coming back from overseas to be re-invested into our economy. These are exactly the outcomes we thought would happen from #TaxReform. pic.twitter.com/dNQ5kTIcgV

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 9, 2018

 

Addressing the Skills Gap

We need to help people obtain the skills they need to get a good-paying job. Addressing our skills gap starts with streamlining career and technical education programs. pic.twitter.com/nH94ICBlEq

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 8, 2018

 

Read More

Speaker Ryan Announces Annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon

2018/03/09

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon will take place on Thursday, March 15 in the Rayburn Room of the United States Capitol. As per tradition, President Donald Trump and Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar are scheduled to participate as an ode to St. Patrick’s Day and strong U.S.-Ireland ties. This is the third year that Speaker Ryan will host this event.

This luncheon is a tradition deeply rooted in the Capitol’s St. Patrick’s Day season,” said Speaker Ryan. “I am thrilled to welcome the Taoiseach and the president for it. Ireland has been and remains a strong ally of ours, and I’m honored to have a third opportunity to tout that friendship. Equal parts beer and bipartisanship, I trust it will surely satisfy everyone’s appetite to celebrate St. Patrick.

Watch this background video for more on this bipartisan tradition, started in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O’Neill to signify their bipartisan commitment to peace and security in Ireland.

 

Read More

Statement on Tariff Announcement

2018/03/08

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement in response to the president’s decision to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports:

"I disagree with this action and fear its unintended consequences. I am pleased that the president has listened to those who share my concerns and included an exemption for some American allies, but it should go further. We will continue to urge the administration to narrow this policy so that it is focused only on those countries and practices that violate trade law. There are unquestionably bad trade practices by nations like China, but the better approach is targeted enforcement against those practices. Our economy and our national security are strengthened by fostering free trade with our allies and promoting the rule of law."

Read More

Watch Guide: Speaker Ryan’s Visit to Home Depot Store Support Center

2018/03/08

This afternoon, Speaker Ryan will be visiting Home Depot’s Store Support Center in Atlanta to observe product demos and speak with employees about the benefits of the new tax law. Home Depot is one of the hundreds of companies that has rewarded its hourly-wage employees with bonuses following historic tax reform.

Want to follow along Speaker Ryan’s visit?

Behind-the-Scenes:

Q&A with Home Depot Employees:

  • Tune in to speaker.gov/live at 2:45 p.m. ET as Speaker Ryan fields questions from Home Depot employees.

The speaker will also be holding a press conference at the conclusion of the employee Q&A session (about 3:30 p.m. ET), which can also be viewed at speaker.gov/live.

Read More

Tax reform boosting business optimism

2018/03/08

When business leaders feel good about the future, real people reap real benefits. A new Duke University survey released yesterday showed that business optimism is at a record high in the wake of tax reform law and its effects on the economy.

Because of this skyrocketing optimism, 40 percent of the companies that were surveyed plan to increase wages and 38 percent plan to boost hiring.

This isn't just theoretical. We're already seeing the business optimism turn into real benefits for workers.

The Dollar Tree said this week that it plans to pass along to its employees $100 million of the benefit it has received from the new tax reform law. The company will raise wages of hourly workers, give them more work hours and offer paid maternity leave. Costco also announced today that it will direct tax savings toward its workers and push compensation higher. They join the list of more than 400 companies passing on the benefits of tax reform to their employees and the U.S. economy. 

Later today, Speaker Ryan will visit the headquarters of Home Depot, one of these companies that has rewarded its employees with bonuses following tax reform. Watch live at 2:45 p.m. as Speaker Ryan talks tax reform, fields questions from Home Depot employees, and holds a press conference.

Finally, North Dakota joined the list of states receiving energy savings benefits from tax reform. North Dakota’s Otter Tail Power Co. and Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. announced that the tax reform law is the reason that it will request smaller interim rate increases. North Dakota Commissioner Julie Fedorchak told the West Fargo Pioneer that these smaller rate increases are a "tangible" example of the tax law's benefits and Commissioner Brian Kroshus said it is "fair to anticipate" North Dakota consumers will see some savings "regardless of who provides service to them."

Read More

Tax reform creating energy savings for consumers in 41 states

2018/03/07

Since its passage in December, many major utility companies around the country have announced that tax reform has enabled them to pass on savings to its customers.

This week, Georgia Power joined the growing list of utility companies passing on these benefits, with an announcement that its customers would receive $1.2 billion in benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This includes $130 million in reduced taxes on financing costs for a nuclear expansion, $330 million in direct credits to customers over the next two years, and $700 million in future benefits to consumers. Read Georgia Power’s press release here.

These savings are huge. These kind of announcements are just some of the ripple effect benefits of the new tax reform law. The massive savings for consumers prove just how empowering cutting the corporate rate is for Americans and the overall economy.

This follows on the heels of New Jersey Natural Gas’ announcement last week that it will reduce customers' rates by $21 million and provide them with a one-time refund totaling $31 million.

That makes 41 states, and more than 82.3 million customers nationwide, that are reaping the energy savings benefits of tax reform—so far. This week, state regulators in Ohio and Minnesota are petitioning utilities in their states to do the same thing. So more good news on the energy savings front is surely coming—all because of tax reform.

Read More

Speaker Ryan Welcomes Prime Minister Netanyahu to the Capitol

2018/03/06

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu:

“It is always an honor to welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu to the U.S. Capitol. In today’s turbulent world, the historic alliance between the United States and Israel is more important than ever. Today, we discussed ways to promote security and stability, particularly by combatting the Iranian threat network. The United States and Israel must always renew our commitment to our shared values of freedom, democracy, and security.”

 

Read More

House Taking Action to Tackle Bad Regulations

2018/03/06

The regulations created by the Obama administration have been a major impediment to economic growth over the last decade. Since President Trump took office, the Trump administration, the House, and the Senate have made lifting harmful regulations a top priority.

Together, Congress enacted 15 pieces of Congressional Review Act legislation that repealed harmful regulations which were rushed through at the last minute of the Obama administration. The Trump administration also issued executive orders that undid many of President Obama’s major job-crushing regulations, including repealing the Clean Power Plan that stifled America’s coal industry.

But we are not resting on our laurels. Today, the House will consider the Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act. This legislation would bring regulatory relief to small community banks, which suffered greatly under the Obama administration following the enactment of Dodd-Frank. Last year, the House passed the Financial CHOICE Act, important legislation that would rein in Dodd-Frank and deliver relief to Main Street

Today’s legislation takes steps to address duplicative, burdensome regulations like Dodd-Frank by ensuring that all federal agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), undergo comprehensive regulatory reviews.

That’s not all. Later this week, the House will consider the Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment (SENSE) Act, which would modify EPA regulations so that important, environmentally-friendly refuse-to-energy facilities can continue to generate affordable energy.

Finally, the House will take steps to protect America’s brick making industry from an EPA rule that could eliminate thousands of jobs and is being challenged in federal court. The Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act, which the House will consider later this week, is another example of how the House is acting to fight back against harmful, Obama-era regulations and protect American jobs.

Read More

Speaker Ryan Talks Tax Reform Results at Leadership Presser

2018/03/06

Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan discussed the economic benefits materializing in the U.S. thanks to the new tax law. Opening Statement:

“We had some really great news last week, spurred on by the new tax reform law. For starters, new data revealed that consumer confidence hit a 17-year high last week. People are optimistic about the future, which encourages more spending, more investment. It’s a sign of a healthy, growing economy.

“Second of all, [the] Labor Department reported that jobless claims in the United States—the number of people filing for unemployment—dropped to its lowest level in almost five decades. Think about that for a second. We saw, just last week, the number of people filing for unemployment going to the lowest level in 49 years. People are getting work. Companies are hiring more workers. This is very, very important. Also, U.S. manufacturing is expanding at the fastest rate in nearly 14 years. These are all very encouraging numbers. And it’s undeniable that real people are being helped by the personal tax cuts in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“To top it all off, two more major companies—Carter’s and Mission Produce—announced it would pass along the benefits of tax reform to its workers.

“Thanks in large part to the bonuses given by hundreds of companies due to tax reform, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that Americans took home an increase of $30 billion alone in January. The agency also estimated that the law reduced personal taxes in January by a rate of $115 billion per year. That’s huge. That is more evidence that paychecks are growing, that take home pay is bigger, that workers have more for their families.

“One thing that, I gotta say, hasn’t gotten a whole lot of attention? It’s the fact that this law doubles the per child tax credit to $2,000 per child. That means moms and dads, often the people who need this relief the most, are going to be helped in a really big way. Take Andy McTague in New Jersey. He told the Ashbury Park Press that he’s going to put this extra money—because of the $2,000 per child tax credit that he now gets in his paycheck—toward his kids’ college tuitions.

“So this tax reform law is really making a positive difference in people’s lives. It’s why we’re here: to make a difference in people’s lives. What we’re seeing is it’s helping families save for college, it’s helping families put money away, it’s putting more money in people’s pockets. And it’s also expanding economic growth to the point where unemployment is now at a 49-year low.

“That is exactly what we were hoping to achieve when we passed this law, and we’re very excited to see those results materialize.”

Read More

28 in 8: February in Photos

2018/03/05

Even though it’s the shortest month of the year, February did not bring a lighter schedule to Capitol Hill. The month started off with House and Senate Republicans meeting to set a bold agenda for 2018, and culminated with the lying in honor of the late Rev. Billy Graham. In between, Speaker Ryan welcomed groups from all across the country to the Capitol, reaffirmed our solemn commitment to locating U.S. POWs, and more.

Here are eight photos that show some of our favorite moments from the month of February:

1. The Commander’s Introduction – At a joint House-Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing to introduce Wisconsin’s own Denise Rohan as the first woman to command the American Legion, Speaker Ryan is greeted by members of the organization.

2. The Ascent – Speaker Ryan makes his way from one meeting to the next, ascending a Capitol staircase in typical fashion: two steps at a time.

3. The Outward Symbol of Faith – On Ash Wednesday, Speaker Ryan meets with members of his staff.

4. A Moment with an American Hero – Alongside former POW and current House member Sam Johnson—one of the speaker’s personal heroes—Speaker Ryan signs legislation directing the government to make every effort to account for the nearly 83,000 missing U.S. personnel around the world.

5. The Return of the Speaker Selfie – Members of the Boy Scouts of America score a selfie with Speaker Ryan on their visit to Washington to deliver their annual Report to the Nation.

6. The Governors Roundtable – Speaker Ryan meets with a group of governors to exchange ideas on how to best equip American workers with the skills they need in today’s economy.

7. The Lying in Honor – Members of the public gather in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda to pay their respects to the late Rev. Billy Graham as he lies in honor.

8. The Retreat – At the annual GOP membership retreat, Speaker Ryan welcomes President Trump to the stage as congressional leadership discusses their agenda for 2018.

Read More

THURSDAY: Speaker Ryan to Visit Home Depot Headquarters in Atlanta

2018/03/05

WASHINGTON—On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will visit Home Depot’s Store Support Center in Atlanta, one of the companies that rewarded its hourly-wage employees with bonuses thanks to the new tax law. During his visit, Speaker Ryan will observe a product demo, participate in an employee town hall, and hold a press conference. Important media guidance is below.

Details: Speaker Ryan to Visit Home Depot's Store Support Center Thursday, March 8 at 2:00 p.m. ET 2455 Paces Ferry Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30339

Media Guidance: Press is invited to cover the product demo, employee town hall, and press conference, but must RSVP to gain entry. All press must RSVP to Molly Edwards (molly.edwards@mail.house.gov) by Wednesday, March 7 at 8:00 p.m. Confirmed press will receive a follow-up email with outstanding logistical information, including check-in and security sweep time. All press must show valid press credentials onsite to gain entry.

Watch Live: Watch Speaker Ryan’s town hall with Home Depot employees and his press conference on speaker.gov/live.

 

Read More

Billy Graham: America's Pastor

2018/03/02

As Rev. Billy Graham finds his final resting place in Charlotte today, surrounded by family, we are reminded of a life and ministry that touched literally hundreds of millions of lives. A gifted preacher, a counselor to presidents, and always, a loving family man. We give thanks to God for the life and the works of this humble servant, now and forever.

Read More

Tax Reform Boosting Consumer Confidence, Helping Hardworking Americans

2018/03/01

This week, new data revealed that U.S. consumer confidence hit a 17-year high.

The report outlined that people’s optimism rose about business conditions, incomes, and stock prices. The report also noted that buying plans for homes, major appliances, and new cars increased—another sign of optimism and a healthy, growing economy.

It’s no coincidence that this rising economic optimism comes on the heels of Americans seeing bigger paychecks in February, thanks to the new withholding tables the IRS put into place because of tax reform.

That’s not all of the good news from the week. Today, the Labor Department revealed that U.S. filings for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in 49 years. Yes, you read that correctly—almost five decades. This kind of labor market incentivizes employers to keep their staff happy so they don't leave, especially since there is already a shortage of qualified workers.   

Wait, there's more. The clothing store Carter’s Inc. announced this week that it will shell out $20 million in bonuses to its employees and increase employee retirement plan contributions—thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Mission Produce, an avocado distributor, announced it is giving $1,000 bonus to its employees and a pay raise of $2/hour for their hourly workers. These are just two companies that have joined the chorus of more than 400 companies doling out bonuses and pay increases thanks to tax reform.

It should come as no surprise then that famous investor Warren Buffett praised the new law, calling tax reform a “huge tailwind” for American business.

This is all great news. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, now the law of the land, is helping the economy and improving people’s lives in concrete way. It’s no wonder people have more confidence in the economy.

Read More

For Our Veterans: Two Moments From This Week

2018/03/01

Two moments from this week, as we work to help America’s veterans and their families:

1. It is rare for House and Senate committees to hold joint hearings. But on Wednesday, our Veterans’ Affairs panels did just that, in order to hear the American Legion’s legislative priorities, and ways they want Congress to take action for our veterans.

The custom is for the Legion’s national commander to be introduced by a lawmaker from the same state. With a capacity crowd of Legionnaires on hand, Speaker Ryan did the honors for Commander Denise H. Rohan, who hails from Verona, Wisconsin. And here’s some of what he said: 

“We have made some really, really important strides for our veterans: increasing accountability at the VAexpanding the GI Bill. . . . Of course, this progress would not have been made if it weren't for our veterans’ service organizations, but particularly the American Legion.

“We in Southern Wisconsin are just so proud to have one of our own as the first woman in history to lead the Legion. Commander Rohan represents the best of what we have to offer in Wisconsin: she is selfless, she is inclusive, and she is beyond tireless. . . . She is inspiring Americans to remember our solemn obligation to take care of our nation's veterans.”

2. The House recently passed a measure to redouble our efforts to bring home American prisoners of war (POW) and service members missing in action. All told, nearly 83,000 American personnel remain unaccounted for from past conflicts. That means many families are still waiting for closure about their loved ones.

And so on Tuesday, Speaker Ryan affixed his signature to H. Res. 129, which directs the government to make every effort to identify “all United States personnel designated as unaccounted-for from past wars and conflicts around the world.”

Speaker Ryan was joined by the author of the resolution, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), who recently marked the 45th anniversary of coming home after nearly seven years as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton.

This measure, Rep. Johnson says, is “in keeping with America’s promise to leave no man behind.”

Read More

Gold Medal Ceremony: Congress to Honor Office of Strategic Services

2018/03/01

WASHINGTON—On Wednesday, March 21, leaders of the U.S. House and Senate will present a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of the members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) for their historic contributions during World War II.

The OSS, America’s first strategic intelligence system implemented during World War II, is widely considered the foundation of modern day intelligence operations. Founded by General William J. Donovan, a medal of honor recipient, the OSS “organized, trained, supplied, and fought” in the war throughout Europe and Asia and played a decisive role in America’s victory over axis forces. In addition to the civilian population, each military branch contributed personnel to OSS, whose missions resulted in some of the bravest acts of the war and forever changed the course of history. 

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)will take part in the bipartisan, bicameral ceremony.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor the United States can bestow. In accordance with Public Law 114–269, a single gold medal has been struck to collectively honor the members of the OSS.

The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, March 21 at 3:00 p.m. ET in Emancipation Hall and will be live-streamed on speaker.gov/live. For more on the history of the Congressional Gold Medal, watch this behind-the-scenes video. For press guidance, media should contact their respective congressional media gallery.

Read More

Five Photos From Rev. Billy Graham's Capitol Service

2018/03/01

Few loved others as Billy Graham did, and few were as beloved as he was. Yesterday, he was laid in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, where thousands came to pay their respects, including the president, vice president, and members of Congress.

1. The Armed Forces Body Bearers set Rev. Graham's casket atop the catafalque in the Capitol Rotunda.

2. Speaker Ryan lays a wreath beside the casket, on behalf of the House of Representatives.

3. Billy Graham is only the fourth person in America's history to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.

4. Members of Congress bow their heads in prayer as they remember a man made great not by who he was, but by who he served.

5. Here lies America’s Pastor.

 

Click here or the video below to watch the 30-minute service.

Read More

Speaker Ryan’s Remarks at Capitol Service Honoring Rev. Billy Graham

2018/02/28

WASHINGTON—A service was held in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol today preceding the lying in honor of the late Reverend Billy Graham. Information on how members of the public can pay their respects to Rev. Graham is available here.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) made the following remarks at the service, which included President Trump, Vice President Pence, members of the government, and Reverend Graham's family:

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says:

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

Billy Graham woke up every day and did just that. He shared his love of God.

That love had no end. That love had no barriers.

He ministered to all walks, from some of the greats whose statues line this very hall—Eisenhower, King, Ford, and Reagan—to everyday citizens lining up to pay their respects.

No matter how long the lines grew, no matter how much the times changed, his message never diminished.

That love was so infectious, wasn’t it?

The man had such a gift for connecting with people.

When listening to Reverend Graham, it is as if he is right there next to you, praying with you, and turning you to the glory of God.

He did not profess to have all the right answers—look to the Bible, he would say.

But he sure did point us to all the right questions, and challenge us to look up and look within, to reflect, to repent.

And in those moments when we felt weak in spirit, when our country was on its knees, he reminded us—he convinced us—that is exactly when we find our grace and our strength.

Few loved others as Billy Graham did, and few were as beloved as he was.

Here lies America’s Pastor.

A man made great not by who he was, but by who he served, with all of his heart and all of his soul and all of his mind.

We give thanks to God for the life and the works of this humble servant, now and forever.

Read More

How to Watch the Capitol Service for Rev. Billy Graham

2018/02/28

The late Rev. Billy Graham will lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda today. At 11:00 a.m. ET, his family, members of Congress, and the president and vice president will all gather for a service to pay their respects. Starting at 1:00 p.m. ET, the Rotunda will be opened to the public for a viewing line, forming in the Capitol Visitor Center.

Here's are three ways you can watch the Capitol service live, beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET:

  1. Speaker.gov/live
  2. YouTube
  3. Periscope

At 1:00 p.m. ET, you can also tune in for the public viewing line in the Capitol Rotunda live on Speaker Ryan's Facebook page. And throughout the day, see exclusive photos on Speaker Ryan's Instagram story and also on Twitter.

Members of the public are welcome to join me in signing a condolence book for Rev. Billy Graham’s family, today beginning at 1pm ET at the Capitol Visitor Center. https://t.co/EgJ2ClKeYd pic.twitter.com/1psbtWsTGF

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 28, 2018
Read More

Speaker Ryan Meets with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Students

2018/02/27

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after his meeting with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students:

“These young people are smart and passionate, and I’m grateful to them for sharing their story. They have just experienced incredible tragedy, and we had an important discussion about how to keep our kids and our schools safe. We will continue to work to find common ground on solutions that can help prevent the kind of senseless violence these students endured. I thank them for making this journey and speaking with me.”

Read More

We Must End Sex Trafficking in the United States

2018/02/27

Sex trafficking is a crime that involves coercing a person to engage in commercial sex acts. It is the ultimate violation of human rights and really is modern day slavery.

Sex trafficking is a crime that is rampant around the world. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking around the world—and a $150 billion industry worldwide.

But what many people don’t realize is that human trafficking—especially sex trafficking—is also rampant in the United States. It’s hard to quantify how many victims there are, but the anti-trafficking organization Polaris estimates that the total number of victims here at home reaches into the hundreds of thousands.

These are harrowing statistics—so many victims of human trafficking are in our own backyard, and many of these cases start with deceit, exploitation, and recruitment on the internet.

Today, the House is taking action to fight human trafficking and hold these websites accountable. The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) enhances criminal penalties for websites that facilitate illegal prostitution or sex trafficking.

This legislation amends the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to hold websites that knowingly facilitate or support sex trafficking more accountable. FOSTA also creates a new federal crime for websites engaging in illegal prostitution, gives states and prosecutors the tools they need to enforce sex trafficking statutes on the books, and provides victims a path forward so they can sue websites that knowingly provide safe harbor to traffickers.

We must put an end to modern day slavery here in the United States. And that starts with stopping the manipulation and exploitation on the internet. FOSTA helps us do that.

We must end sex trafficking in the United States. So much trafficking starts with deceit, exploitation, and recruitment on the internet. Today, the House votes to enhance criminal penalties and hold these websites accountable. https://t.co/uUFJpNXXA8

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 27, 2018
Read More

A Rare Honor for America's Pastor

2018/02/27

Tomorrow, the late Rev. Billy Graham will lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Members of the public and the U.S. government will be able to pay their respects. Rev. Graham, who passed away last week at 99 years of age, dedicated his life to proclaiming the gospel—traveling to 185 countries to preach in-person to over 200 million people. He also served as an advisor to 12 consecutive U.S. presidents and was a fierce advocate for civil rights and ecumenical inclusion.

Lying in state or lying in honor at the U.S. Capitol is a way for Congress, and the country, to pay tribute to distinguished Americans who have passed. While lying in state is traditionally reserved for military officers or elected public officials, private citizens may lie in honor. In total, 26 individuals have lain in state, in addition to three instances where Congress honored the unknown soldiers of World War I, World War II and the Korean War, and of the Vietnam Era. Previously, only three individuals in our country’s history have lain in honor: U.S. Capitol Police officers Jacob Joseph Chestnut and John Michael Gibson, who were killed in the line of duty in 1998, and civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks in 2005. Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii was the last person lain in state following his passing in 2012.

Rev. Graham’s casket will rest on a catafalque constructed by the Architect of the Capitol. The catafalque is constructed out of wood and draped in a black cloth. For more information on the preparation that goes into an event of this nature, visit: http://www.aoc.gov/blog/supporting-final-goodbyes-grateful-nation

The Capitol service, which will include remarks and the laying of wreaths by the president and congressional leadership, will begin tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. ET. Starting at 1:00 p.m., the Rotunda will be open to the public. Requested by congressional leadership and authorized by congressional resolution, Rev. Graham’s remains will arrive at the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 28. The Capitol service and public viewing will be streamed on speaker.gov/live.

Read More

Speaker Ryan Talks News of the Day at Leadership Press Conference

2018/02/27

Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed the lying in honor of Rev. Billy Graham, the system failures that led to the Parkland shooting, and the benefits Americans are seeing thanks to tax reform. The Late Rev. Billy Graham “If there is any American whose life and life’s work deserves to be honored by lying in honor in the U.S. Capitol, it’s Billy Graham. So it’s an honor for us here in the Capitol to receive Reverend Graham’s casket and to greet his family. So, that’s something we’re very proud to do and reflective of.

Parkland Shooting “First off, you know, I want to say all of us have been deeply troubled by this Parkland shooting. This is a time for asking tough questions: How could this have happened? What can we do to make our schools safer in the future? We’re going to be looking at the system failures that occurred here. We’re going to be talking about what changes are needed.

“As you know, the House has already taken action to improve our background check system. We clearly believe that there is a gap in our background check system that needs to be filled. We also put in place sweeping mental health reform. But those reforms still have a ways to go to be implemented. These are the kinds of things we’re going to be discussing with our members, with the Senate, and with the president. “I had the fortune of being able to go and meet with people in Broward County—first responders, local elected leaders—just to hear firsthand about what had happened and the ensuing chaos and the breakdowns that occurred. So this is something that we’re very, very, very troubled by, and we are going to be having the kind of conversations we need to have with our fellow members to do what we can do to try and make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. And again, there are a lot of system failures that we need to look at here.

Tax Reform “On a more positive note, I also got to spend time with local businesses in Wisconsin last week, learning about how the tax reform law is making them better and making them much more competitive. It’s really something. These small businesses told me that tax reform is enabling them to increase capital investments in their people, in their equipment, in their training. I’ve talked to many business leaders—small businesses—who are now confident they can go take a risk and expand employees, expand operations, giving bonuses, giving raises, adding to the benefits. This is what area are seeing all over the country. Wages for hardworking Americans are increasing and paychecks are getting bigger. And this is all thanks to tax reform. And people are actually noticing it.

“A new survey last week revealed that confidence among small-business owners has hit a record high, driven by tax reform. A New York Times poll showed that the majority of Americans now support tax reform—51 percent of Americans now approve of the new tax reform law. That’s up from 37 percent in November, because I think you saw a lot of the rhetoric that was flying around here in November is not meeting the reality that people are actually seeing in their own paychecks.

“This is heartening. The American people’s confidence in our economy is coming back, and rightly so. Tax reform is growing our economy. It is creating opportunities. And it’s helping hardworking Americans the most.”

 

Read More

Tax Cuts: A Big Deal for Small Biz

2018/02/23

The results are clear: Tax reform is working. As you know, a growing list of top businesses are sharing the benefits of historic tax cuts with workers.

While many companies handing out bonuses are household names (i.e. Disney and Walmart), there are scores of small businesses doing the same. 

As Speaker Ryan said last week, “In less than eight weeks, we have tracked nearly 350 companies that have handed out bonuses as a result of tax reform . . . and we know that there are plenty of other small businesses who are doing the same that are just doing it under the radar.”

In fact, according to a recent survey, confidence among small-business owners just hit a record high, driven by tax reform. Small businesses are the engine of our economy, so this means more jobs and more opportunity in communities across the country.

Here is a handful of the many recent examples of how tax reform is working for America’s small businesses:

· Haciendas at Grace Village: This New Mexico-based assisted living and memory care facility announced that it will be hiring more employees and be giving existing employees a pay raise. CEO Gary Coppedge said, “The decision was not firmly made until the tax reform went through.” 

· Xante Corp.: Located in Mobile, Alabama, this small business provides high-end printers and related software. After enactment of tax reform, with Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) on hand, CEO Robert Ross handed out$1,200 bonus checks to employees. Ross said the new tax law “allows us to fund new businesses within our business," and would lead to “a new level of growth for our company.”

· Citizens Bank of West Virginia: All 66 of Citizens Bank employees received a $1,000 bonus earlier this week. Citizens Board Chairman Max L. Armentrout said, “There are several ways we will put the tax savings to work for Citizens. However, we are most excited about paying this bonus to the great employees we have working at our bank, serving our customers and shareholders.” One employee said, “This money is going to go a long way in helping me pay down my college loan.”

· Quake Manufacturing: This twelve-man machine shop in Fort Wayne, Indiana used the tax savings to award employees with a $1,000 bonus, along with long-term disability, short-term disability, dental insurance, and a paid gym membership.

· Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance: This Ohio-based company rewarded workers with bonus checks of $1,000 for full-time employees and $500 for part-time employees. Jeff Curry, Sheely’s general manager, said of the announcement, “We had employees crying from joy. It will make good morale great. It will put money in the economy. We have such loyal and dedicated employees. We are blessed to be able to give back to them.”

Read More

Speaker Ryan Announces Appointees to Bipartisan Budget Select Committees

2018/02/22

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today announced his appointees to two bipartisan, House-Senate select committees, including a panel that will pursue reforms to the budget and appropriations process.

These joint select committees were established under the recently enacted Bipartisan Budget Act. Speaker Ryan’s appointees, announced during this morning’s House session, serve on committees with legislative jurisdiction over these issues.

Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform

Speaker Ryan has named the following lawmakers to this select committee, which is charged with advancing reforms to the budget and appropriations process:

  • Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR), chairman of the House Budget Committee, who will serve as Republican co-chair of the joint select committee.
  • Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the House Rules Committee
  • Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA), House Budget Committee
  • Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX), House Budget Committee

Our budget process is broken, and this is a chance to make real changes,” Speaker Ryan said. “Both parties—and just as importantly, both the House and the Senate—have to come to the table and figure out how to do better for the taxpayer. A working budget process is vital to tackling our pressing fiscal challenges.”

Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans

Speaker Ryan has named the following lawmakers to this select committee, which is charged with improving the solvency of multiemployer pension plans and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC):

  • Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee
  • Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), House Education and the Workforce Committee
  • Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), House Ways and Means Committee
  • Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), House Ways and Means Committee 

“It is critical that we address the stability of multiemployer pension plans, and the overall solvency of the PBGC,” Speaker Ryan said. “The select committee should seize this opportunity to forge a bipartisan solution that protects retirees, workers, and taxpayers.” 

Additional Background

  • The Bipartisan Budget Act requires the joint select committees to hold public hearings, and vote on their findings and legislative recommendations no later than November 30, 2018. If approved, those recommendations would be submitted for consideration by the House and Senate. The select committees will be dissolved no later than December 31, 2018.
  • Each panel has 16 members, divided equally between the House and Senate, with four appointees each by the Speaker, the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Democratic Leader, and the House Democratic Leader. Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi’s appointees were named during this morning’s House session.
Read More

With a Worker Shortage, It’s Time to Develop America’s Workforce

2018/02/22

As you have probably heard by now, the new tax law is having overwhelmingly positive effects on the economy. American workers are seeing more take-home pay, higher wages, and better benefits. And while the good tax news keeps rolling in, it’s important to recognize that our economy can only reach its full potential if its people are fully engaged. Unfortunately, that’s not the case right now.

The reality is that the United States is facing a worker shortage. As the Washington Posdefined it recently: "2018’s challenge: Too many jobs, not enough workers."

Many reasons account for this challenge: a changing economy, a widening skills gap, a low labor force participation rate (the amount of people who work or are looking for work), and a welfare system that often provides the wrong incentives. 

Consider these stats: 

  • Seven million men are currently missing from the workforce. 
  • As of June 2015, one in seven 16–24 year olds were neither in school nor working, adding up to more than 5.5 million “disconnected” youth nationwide.
  • Low-income families are trapped in an endless cycle of poverty, “shuffling them from program to program instead of helping them break free altogether.”

With so many missing workers, American businesses are having a hard time filling their vacancies with workers possessing the right skills. A recent poll found that 45 percent of midsize business leaders are “concerned about the limited supply of talented job applicants.” Last month, the Federal Reserve released a study highlighting such labor shortages. In Boston, “one manufacturer was three months behind schedule in trying to hire workers for a new plant.” In Richmond, a trucking company reported that a lack of workers had “left many trucks sitting idle.” In Dallas, “labor shortages persisted, with several reports that difficulty hiring was impeding growth.”

There are jobs available, people without work, and yet a gap persists. 

This isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s why the House has passed bipartisan legislation, like a bill to measure program effectiveness and one to better help people overcome the skills gap and get back into the workforce. But what is a newer phenomenon is a booming economy thirsting for labor. Indeed, the economy is in prime condition for people to enter the workforce

We just have to connect people with the opportunities to realize the American Idea. That’s why, with so much untapped potential sitting on the sidelines, Congress should continue to advance policies that incentivize work, foster independence, and help people escape poverty.

Now is the time to help smooth the pathway from welfare to work by prioritizing workforce development.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 17.0px} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #ff2500; -webkit-text-stroke: #ff2500; min-height: 17.0px} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.s2 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none; color: #955072; -webkit-text-stroke: 0px #955072} span.s3 {font-kerning: none; color: #ff2500; -webkit-text-stroke: 0px #ff2500} span.s4 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none} span.s5 {font-kerning: none; color: #1e497d; -webkit-text-stroke: 0px #1e497d} span.s6 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none; color: #042eee; -webkit-text-stroke: 0px #042eee} Read More

Rev. Billy Graham to Lie in Honor in U.S. Capitol Rotunda

2018/02/22

WASHINGTONOn Wednesday, February 28, the late Rev. Billy Graham will be brought to the U.S. Capitol, where he will lie in honor in the Rotunda for the remainder of the day. Members of the public and Capitol Hill community are invited to pay their respects to the late reverend while he lies in rest. Further logistical information and media guidance will be issued in the coming days.

Upon the arrival of Rev. Graham’s casketHouse Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will take part in a bicameral service. 

Rev. Billy Graham was an American evangelist and minister, internationally known for his devout faith, inherent humility, and inclusive nature. Born in 1918, he spread the gospel in 185 countries during his 99 years on Earth, touching the lives of many and forever changing the course of the world’s spiritual health. He served as an advisor to 12 consecutive U.S. presidents and reached millions more through radio, television, and film. Rev. Graham is survived by his five children and multiple grand- and great-grandchildren, fellow North Carolinians, and brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.

Read Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell’s formal letter of invitation to Rev. Franklin Graham here. For more on the life of Rev. Graham, see Speaker Ryan’s statement issued after news of his passing. 

Read More

Customers in At Least 39 States to See Lowered Utility Bills as a Result of Tax Reform

2018/02/21

Yes, tax reform is resulting in more take-home pay, better benefits, and hard-earned bonuses for Americans. Ninety percent of Americans will start seeing more take-home pay by the end of this month, and to date we have tracked over 4.7 million workers have received a total of over $2.8 billion in bonuses. And that’s great news. But these aren't the only ways that tax reform is helping middle-income families.

Utility companies are passing along their savings from a lowered corporate tax rate on to customers by way of lower utility bills. To date, we have tracked utility companies in at least 39 states that have taken action to decrease the utility bills of almost 80 million customers from coast to coast.

On top of that, there are 10 more states whose public utilities commissions have ordered companies to track their tax savings and investigate ways to pass those on to customers. Companies like Duke Energy Florida and Florida Power and Light are using their tax savings to cover the costs of repairs from Hurricane Irma instead of charging customers. This decision will save customers an average of $187.20 and $250, respectively.

A lower utility bill each month is a big deal for so many families—these aren’t just more “crumbs.” As Speaker Ryan said recently:

“Look, where I come from…it’s pretty cold right now. Your energy costs are very high. And what we’re seeing is all these utility companies are now saying they’re passing through the tax savings on to the rate payers. So if you’re low income, if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, if you’re having a hard time just heating your house? This is real relief that’s real tangible.”

Read More

Statement on the Passing of the Rev. Billy Graham

2018/02/21

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement this morning on the passing of the Rev. Billy Graham:

“The life and ministry of the Rev. Billy Graham was dedicated to a sweeping mission: proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every part of the world. Rev. Graham preached, in person, to more than 200 million people in 185 countries. Through books, radio, and television, he brought the Word of God into countless homes.

“As soaring a figure as he was, Rev. Graham connected with people on an elemental level. His reach was rooted in decency, humility, and love. He set a tone of ecumenical inclusion, advocated civil rights, and refused to accept the segregation of those attending his crusades. Rev. Graham’s service is a testament that, with faith in God, one person can do so much good for the world.

“Beyond his achievements as a preacher and counselor to presidents, Rev. Graham will be remembered as a devoted husband to the late Ruth Bell Graham and a loving family man. The whole House sends its condolences to the Graham family at this time of loss.”

Read More

How Tax Reform Keeps Defying the Skeptics and Gaining Support

2018/02/20

Tax reform continues to gain public support and drive record optimism, even as Washington Democrats still insist it’s all just ”crumbs”:

  • Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans. The tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law now has more supporters than opponents. . . ‘Public opinion is moving in the direction of this bill,’ said Jon Cohen, chief research officer for SurveyMonkey. ‘Considering where it was, it is dramatically different.’” (The New York Times)
  • U.S. Consumer Sentiment Jumps After Tax Cuts Blunt Stock Gyrations. The rise in sentiment, which surpassed the forecasts of all analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, comes as Americans’ paychecks are getting bigger due to the implementation of tax cuts. . .” (Bloomberg)
  • Small-business confidence hits record high in 2018 after Trump tax-reform win. . . . Small-business confidence is surging in 2018 as optimism rises among small-business owners about the newly enacted tax-reform package. . .” (CNBC)

Let’s go back to December, before the bill became law, when the Times featured this quote from Jason Furman, a former Obama economic adviser: “Nothing in my experience suggests that the views people have about the tax cuts—whether justified or not—will change after they start actually being affected by them.” Tax reform is defying the skeptics, and it’s not hard to figure out why. The law is keeping its promises to America's workers: more take-home pay, higher wages, better benefits, offshore profits coming home, and more.

Indeed, looking at how support for the law has jumped by 14 points in its survey since December, the Times shares some anecdotes from around the country. For example, a project manager for a plumbing company in Springfield, MO tells the paper, “everyone seems to be a little more upbeat”: “A few days ago, she called a contractor to move forward with a long-delayed plan to replace the roof on her house.” Beyond the banner announcements about bonuses and investments are these day-to-day stories of how tax reform is helping to improve people’s lives, and their outlook for the future. So this picture is indeed “dramatically different” from where things were before tax reform took effect. It is all certainly different from whatever bubble in which Washington Democrats are “starting to get worried,” “struggling to cope,” and “scrambling for a cohesive message” about tax reform. Yeah, just going turn this over to Jerry:

Meanwhile, we haven’t even reached the end of February, by which point 90 percent of wage earners are due to see more money in their paychecks because of tax reform. Tax reform is working.

Read More

Statement on DOJ Indictments Against Russian Nationals and Entities

2018/02/16

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement after the Department of Justice announced indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election:

“We have known that Russians meddled in the election, but these indictments detail the extent of the subterfuge. These Russians engaged in a sinister and systematic attack on our political system. It was a conspiracy to subvert the process, and take aim at democracy itself. Today’s announcement underscores why we need to follow the facts and work to protect the integrity of future elections.”

Read More

‘A Big Deal to a Lot of People’: Speaker Ryan’s Latest Tax Cuts Radio Tour

2018/02/16

This week, Speaker Ryan embarked on his latest regional radio tour to discuss how Americans are seeing more money in their paychecks from historic tax reform. Listen to the interviews and check out the excerpts below.

Indianapolis, IN - 93 WIBC

Speaker Ryan: “By the end of this month, because of tax reform, 90 percent of workers in America will see their paychecks grow as a result of tax reform. That means more take-home pay, because lower tax rates are kicking in—people keeping more of what they earn. Look at all the announcements—350 companies we’ve seen so far, announcing $2.7 billion in bonuses to more than 4.7 million Americans . . . You’re there in Indy, right? Anthem, you saw their recent announcement? $1,000 bonuses to 58,000 employees. FedEx with a $1.5 billion investment in their hub in Indianapolis. Aramark says they are going to double their workforce over the next 5-10 years. . . .You see this kind of news all over the country: bonuses, investments, massive repatriation . . . You’re seeing businesses growing, businesses confident, wages going up, economic growth being faster, more jobs being created, and hundreds of billions of dollars coming back into this country to be invested, because of tax reform.”   Milwaukee, WI - 1130 WISN 

Speaker Ryan: “Look at American Family—$1,000 bonuses to their employees, 11,000 workers. Associated Bank up in Green Bay raised their minimum wage up from $10 an hour, to $15 an hour. Johnson Bank raised their minimum wage. . . . So that’s the kind of stuff you’re seeing—bonuses, bigger paychecks, bigger wage increases, and much more investment by companies. . . . It took 31 years to get it done, and we’re already instantly seeing a big difference. . . . The average family of four is going to get over $2,000 in Wisconsin in their paycheck from the tax cut and their withholding tables should start reflecting that by the end of this month.”  Philadelphia, PA - WPHT 1210

Speaker Ryan: You’re in Philly. Comcast: $1,000 bonuses to 100,000 employees, $50 billion over the next five years of investments infrastructure, which are real jobs. Meridian Bank raised their minimum wage to $15 an hour. American Bank, Fidelity, Nextier, I mean all giving bonuses to their employees . . . The average tax cut in [Rep.] Ryan Costello’s district and [Rep.] Fitzpatrick’s district, it’s over $3,000. So people are seeing bigger take-home pay, they’re seeing businesses give bonuses, they are seeing wages be raised, and they are seeing businesses invest more money. . . . What’s happening is the tax cuts are working, tax reform is setting in, American businesses are more competitive, and they are investing in America, they are staying in America, they are putting capital in America—which will give us better jobs, higher wages, and more take-home pay. And it’s working. And people are kind of surprised because they heard all this horrible rhetoric from the Democrats. Well now they are seeing with their own eyes what this really is.” 

Speaker Ryan: “They call it ‘crumbs.’ To me, it’s just the height of condescension and arrogance to think that somebody getting a $1,000 bonus is nothing—that’s just crazy. My wife and I were working the concession stand at our kid’s school a couple weeks ago, and a buddy of mine who works at Home Depot said that the bonus he got and the higher paycheck he got is paying for his car payment. I mean it’s a big deal. A big deal to a lot of people.”

Read More

As It Keeps Its Promises, ‘Tax Reform Is on the Upswing’

2018/02/16

Two months after the historic legislation became law, the results from tax reform are steamrolling the rhetoric and fear-mongering from its opponents. Rather than the bogus tax hikes Washington Democrats warned of, people are seeing bigger paychecks. Rather than “armageddon," workers are getting bonuses, money is flowing into the economy, and economic confidence is soaring. 

As a result, support for the law is growing and the Democrats are struggling to explain why they opposed something that is making life better for so many Americans. As CNN put it, Democrats have been "[c]aught flat-footed by the suddenly increasing popularity of the GOP tax plan.” Indeed, poll after poll shows “tax reform is on the upswing.” That’s because, as predicted, tax reform is:

Helping Workers

Republicans promised that corporate tax reform would benefit workers. And it is. Wages are going up. Benefits are improving. And, of course, there are millions of workers receiving bonuses thanks to tax reform. Washington Democratsat least some of them anyway—dismiss the billions of dollars families have received so far as “crumbs." But to real people, these bonuses are a big deal.

Growing Paychecks

Most importantly, Republicans promised that tax reform would create bigger paychecks for Americans. And it is. Millions of Americans have noticed the surprise of more money in their bank accounts this month, thanks to tax reform. According to the Treasury Department, 90 percent of wage earners will see this change by the end of the month. 

Bringing Back Offshore Profits

Republicans promised corporate cash parked offshore would come back into the American economy. And it is. Apple made a huge announcement about cash coming back soon after the law was enacted. And just this week, there was more good news, as “[t]ech company Cisco said Wednesday it plans to repatriate $67 billion in foreign profits in the coming months…It's the latest big U.S. company to map out its plans to bring home cash that has been stashed overseas for years.”

Stemming Corporate Inversions

Republicans promised companies would reverse decisions to relocate headquarters overseas. And they have. We’ve already seen at least one company reverse its announced decision to leave. That’s because no longer do our foreign competitors have a leg up on America. The law is even triggering regret for companies that had already left the United States. 

Fueling Confidence

Ultimately, tax reform is all about making it easier for people to get ahead and giving them greater confidence in their lives. And it is doing both. General satisfaction of Americans is on the rise. More specifically, economic confidence is soaring. A recent poll found Americans' satisfaction in the economy is at a 17-year high. 

It’s still early, but there’s no denying initial results of tax reform have been overwhelmingly positive—and Americans have taken notice. As a result, "Democrats are left with few options to counter the Republican narrative that the GOP-led economy is working.” More importantly, the law is helping to improve people’s lives. 

Read More

Contact Information

H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-0600
Fax 202-225-5117
www.speaker.gov

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.