WASHINGTON—At today's Inaugural Luncheon, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered a toast to Vice President Mike Pence. Following are the Speaker's remarks, as prepared for delivery:
It is my honor and absolute privilege to toast my dear friend and former colleague: Vice President Mike Pence. Man, this is something, isn’t it? Think about all the times we walked through here together on the way to cast a vote. Though as I think about it, we were usually headed in the other direction, being hauled to the Speaker’s office to be admonished for being such rabble rousers… We have so many great memories here. I know this job makes you an officer of the Senate, but you will always be part of the people’s House. Mr. Vice President, I am reminded today of some words by your favorite author, Mark Helpin: “As long as you have life and breath, believe.”
Ladies and gentlemen, no one I have served with brings more belief to his work than Mike Pence. No one believes more deeply in our country and her people. No one believes more strongly in our capacity to do great things. The president could not have chosen a better partner for the work that lies ahead. So Mr. Vice President…we raise our glasses to you, to Karen, and to your beautiful family. May you have every blessing and success as the 48th Vice President of the United States of America.Read More
One of our top priorities with a unified Republican government in 2017 will be to replace our broken tax code with one that’s more fair and competitive. A key component of this plan is adopting a destination-based tax code by using a mechanism known as border adjustability to level the playing field for American businesses and bring jobs back home. That’s a mouthful, so let us cut through the jargon. Here’s how this works and why it’s so important for economic growth:
What is a destination-based tax code? Today, the U.S. operates an origin-based tax code, which means goods are taxed based on where they are produced rather than where they are consumed. A destination-based tax code means taxing goods based on where they are consumed rather than where they are produced.
What is border adjustability? Border adjustability is simply the mechanism used to achieve a destination-based tax code. An export border adjustment exempts exports to foreign markets from U.S. taxes—just like foreign-to-foreign transactions. An import border adjustment taxes imports to the U.S. at the same rate as U.S.-to-U.S. transactions. Both of these adjustments are included in our tax plan.
Why is it so important? Today, American businesses that manufacture goods here at home and ship them overseas pay a U.S. domestic production tax and a tax enforced by the foreign country importing our goods—Made in America goods get hit twice. As a result, many companies move their production offshore to avoid paying the U.S. taxes, and then sell goods back into the United States. That means lost American jobs. Meanwhile, most of the industrialized world operates a destination–based consumption tax, which means the U.S. is currently at a self–imposed disadvantage to our foreign competitors. Therefore, adopting a destination–based consumption tax would level the playing field for American businesses and incentivize them to produce their products stateside. This would help bring countless jobs back to America, increase exports to the rest of the world, and improve our energy independence by encouraging greater domestic production.
How does this fit into the broader GOP tax plan? A destination-based tax code with a border tax is necessary to enact the broader House Republican tax reform agenda, which the Tax Foundation estimates will boost wages by 7.7 percent, increase GDP by 9.1 percent, and create 1.7 million full-time American jobs. For example, the estimated $1 trillion dollars in revenue generated through a border tax will help offset slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. In addition, this proposal would allow for the establishment of a pure territorial system in which taxes are paid based on the location of the customer rather than the company. What does that mean? This will incentivize Americans businesses to bring home the trillions of dollars they have parked overseas, not to mention bring jobs back home and make us more competitive in the global economy.
Will this lead to increased consumer prices? No. Many experts agree with our assessment that the export exemption combined with the taxation of imports will lead to dollar appreciation that, combined with our new 20 percent corporate tax rate, will counterbalance any price increases on imports. Therefore, a destination-based consumption tax leading to a stronger dollar coupled with a lower corporate tax rate will prevent consumer prices from rising.
Is this a VAT tax? No. A VAT (value added tax) is a consumption tax that includes a hidden tax on employee wages that is paid instead by the employers. The concern with VATs is that employees don’t realize their wages are being taxed, which allows governments to raise enormous sums of money at low rates. Our proposal is a cash-flow tax that removes wages from the business tax base with a deduction, and instead taxes employees at the individual level. By allowing employees to directly see how much they are being taxed, our plan eliminates the possibility of stealth tax hikes on hardworking Americans.
Is this WTO compliant? Yes. The WTO allows for this type of border tax on indirect taxes such as VATs or sales taxes, but not for direct taxes like income taxes or the estate tax. Our proposal is a hybrid that doesn’t fit into either of these categories, and there is no clear guidance from previous WTO decisions. As a WTO ruling would take a decade or longer to produce, we shouldn’t tie our hands on pro-growth tax reform due to the remote possibility of issues many years from now. The longer we wait to level the playing field, the further the U.S. will fall behind the rest of the world.
The current tax code is broken. Instead of incentivizing businesses manufacture goods here at home, our system today encourages them to move their plants offshore. This needlessly self-imposes a competitive disadvantage that is hurting our economy. Moving to a destination-based tax code will help bring jobs back to America, encourage investment at home, and increase our economic competitiveness abroad.
Read more:Read More
Summary: Last night, Speaker Ryan sat down with Charlie Rose for an hour-long interview to discuss some of the main priorities of the 115th Congress, including repealing and replacing Obamacare and tax reform.
Key Quote: "Obamacare is built on a house of sand that is quickly collapsing. So we want to take those resources and direct them toward what we think is smarter replacement policy.
"Obamacare is built on a house of sand that is quickly collapsing. So we want to take those resources and direct them toward what we think is smarter replacement policy. . . . We think health savings accounts can help people with the problems they have for under deductible spending. We think the smarter way to help people with a preexisting condition is just directly subsidize their care through risk pools. . . . And by doing it that way, the rest of the pools of Americans don’t have to cover those losses, and we dramatically stabilize the insurance rates and premiums for everybody else. So by having taxpayers, I think, step up and focus on, through risk pools, subsidizing the care for people with catastrophic illnesses, those losses don’t have to be covered by everybody else and we stabilize their plans.
“We also think that a refundable tax credit is a smarter way to give people the ability to go buy insurance that they like that they can afford. That’s better than the subsidies, and we think—a refundable tax credit means you get assistance regardless of your income tax liability to buy care. But we want more insurance competition, we want more choices. That’s why we want things like interstate shopping—let insurance compete across state lines. We have a lizard selling us car insurance on Geico. We have Flo selling us home and auto insurance. Why can’t we have a vibrant, better marketplace like that for health insurance?"
Tax Reform“We want to encourage businesses to invest in this country, to build factories and buy equipment in this country, and put us on a level playing field with the rest of the world. So that if you make it in America, you keep it in America, and you sell it all around the world. And we want to have a system that rewards that and doesn't punish that, and that's the primary purpose of tax reform. So why are we trying to do that? Grow the economy, grow wages, more jobs, higher wages—that's what we're trying to accomplish.”
“So let me describe [border adjustability] really clearly: The rest of the world has consumption taxes, so when they make something in their country and they sell it overseas, they take the tax off of it. And then, when something comes in from overseas to their country, they tax it. We do the exact opposite. If we're making—let's just take Harley Davidson in Milwaukee—we make a Harley motorcycle in Milwaukee, we tax it. We tax it if it's going to be ridden in Wisconsin, and we tax it if it's going to be sold into Japan. So it's taxed as it leaves and it's taxed as it enters into Japan. Let's take Honda—they make a gold wing, it's a motorcycle that competes with the Harley—Honda makes this motorcycle, and if it's going to go to America, they take the tax off of it because it's being exported. And then, as it comes into America, it's not taxed. So there are things untaxed twice. Our motorcycle is taxed twice.”Read More
The next four years are not going to look like the last eight years.
What a unified Republican government gets us is enormous relief from Washington, from Obamacare, and from regulations that are putting people out of business.
We, in Congress, are in daily contact with the president-elect and his team to make sure that we hit the ground running. We cannot waste this opportunity. We've got to make a difference and get things done for the people.Read More
On Monday, Speaker Ryan participated in seven Wisconsin TV interviews to discuss how—and why—a unified Republican government will repeal Obamacare and replace it with an affordable, patient-centered system that gives everyone access to quality health care. Speaker Ryan discussed these efforts during each of his interviews—keep reading for key quotes from each conversation below.
WKOW “We don't want to have a system where you have one choice and you've got to pay through the nose for it and you have no money left in your paycheck to do anything for your family. We want to have more choices, more competition."
TMJ4 "We want people to be in charge of their healthcare, not government running their healthcare.”
WISN “If you don’t want to buy insurance, we’re not going to have the government put a mandate on you and make you do this, which is what the current case is—and that failed miserably. So we want to make sure that we have a system where you have more choices, lower prices, you’re in control, and you have access to affordable care, which we do not now have.”
WISC "Access to affordable insurance for everybody is the key. . . . We want to make sure people can customize insurance that meets their needs and get affordable coverage so they can get covered.”
NBC 15 “We think that people should be in charge of their own health care. We think that people should have more options. We believe in a patient-centered system where we have more people competing for patient's business—not a monopoly like Obamacare.” “Aaron Rodgers was the Jedi Master last night—that just was an amazing thing to watch.” (You didn’t think we’d get through a Wisconsin recap without mentioning the Packers, did you?)Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on Chelsea Manning:
“This is just outrageous. Chelsea Manning’s treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets. President Obama now leaves in place a dangerous precedent that those who compromise our national security won’t be held accountable for their crimes.”
This is just outrageous. Chelsea Manning’s treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most...Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday, January 17, 2017
On Monday, Speaker Ryan hosted police chiefs from across the country in Janesville to discuss tensions between police and the communities they serve.
“We’re not here to ask for anything,” Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum told Speaker Ryan. “We’re here because we look to you as an American leader, and we think there’s a good story here.”
As Speaker Ryan said at the meeting, “I can’t think of a better day to have a conversation about this than MLK Day. Because it’s all about making sure that we get communities to work with each other.”
The first step to alleviating tensions is understanding. Speaker Ryan plans to continue these conversations with law enforcement and community leaders in the days and months ahead. These aren’t easy discussions, but they’re necessary to make progress.
“This is in dire need in America, and I think we witnessed, especially last year, how if we don’t get this right, communities will be destroyed, lives will be lost, families will be separated,” Speaker Ryan continued. “And no one wins in that kind of situation.”
The brainstorming session focused on a bottom-up approach to addressing new techniques and confidence-building measures at the local level. As detailed in the Janesville Gazette, these ideas ranged from improving our mental health system to innovative deadly force training programs.
"What interests me is how do you go about getting this story told and getting more departments like Janesville to implement the best practices,” Speaker Ryan said.
Two months ago, immediately following Election Day, Speaker Ryan showed President-elect Trump where he is to be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Now, with the Inauguration just three days away, the Speaker reflects on what it was like to take the president-elect and his wife out on the Capitol balcony to preview the big day.Read More
“We are here in a general sense because first and foremost we are American citizens and we are determined to apply our citizenship to the fullness of its meaning. We are here also because of our love for democracy, because of our deep-seated belief that democracy transformed from thin paper to thick action is the greatest form of government on earth.” –Martin Luther King Jr., December 5, 1955
Today we remember a great man and his work. We read his sermons. We recall his sacrifices. We give back. In doing these things, we raise our gaze and renew the spirit in which we serve one another. Such is the calling of Martin Luther King Jr., Day.
We owe so much to Dr. King, for the good he did and for how he inspires our young people. We also owe him our full commitment to the work of democracy. It is never easy, especially when our divisions may seem insurmountable. But we must believe deeply, as Dr. King did, in our common humanity and citizenship. We must believe in our capacity to come together and transform ‘thin paper to thick action.’
On this day, let us all reflect on how we can do our part to serve and work toward a more perfect union.
Paul Ryan SpeakerRead More
WASHINGTON—Today, the House passed a resolution that gives Congress the legislative tools to repeal and replace Obamacare. Upon passage, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement:
“By taking this first step toward repealing Obamacare, we are closer to giving Americans relief from the problems this law has caused. Too many families have seen costs soar, quality drop, and choices reduced to one—which just isn’t a choice at all. This resolution gives us the tools we need for a step-by-step approach to fix these problems and put Americans back in control of their health care.”
NOTE: Speaker Ryan spoke on the House floor earlier today in support of the resolution.
WASHINGTON—Today on the House floor, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke in favor of the Obamacare repeal resolution the House will vote on later today. Below are the speaker’s remarks as delivered:
“My colleagues, I rise to urge our colleagues in the House to support this resolution—let me tell you why. This provides Congress with the legislative tools that we need to repeal and replace Obamacare. This is a critical first step toward delivering relief to Americans who are struggling under this law. “In the weeks ahead, several steps will be taken to provide relief. Some steps will be taken by this body. Some steps will be taken by the new administration, including, after he is confirmed as HHS Secretary, our own colleague from Georgia, Mr. Price. “Our goal is a truly patient-centered system, which means more options to choose from, lower costs, and greater control over your coverage. And as we work to get there, we will make sure that there is a stable transition period so that people don’t have the rug pulled out from under them. So this will be a thoughtful, step-by-step process, and we welcome ideas from both sides of the aisle. “But today I can’t help but think back when we were debating this law in 2010, what was said at the time. I was a member of the minority then. I stood right here and pleaded with the majority not to do this. Don’t take something so personal like your health care and subject it to a big government experiment. Don’t do something so arrogant and so contrary to our founding principles. But they pushed it all the way through, making all kinds of promises. “People were promised that their premiums would go down, but instead they are skyrocketing. Look at the new premium increases announced just this year: Kansas, 42 percent increase in their premiums; Illinois, 43 percent; Pennsylvania, 53 percent; Nebraska, 51 percent; Alabama, 58 percent; Minnesota, 59 percent; Tennessee, 63 percent increase in premiums; Oklahoma, 69 percent increase this year in premiums; Arizona, 116 percent increase in their premiums.
“People were promised, ‘If you like your plan, you can keep it.’ Well, guess what—that was rated the ‘Lie of the Year’ that year. People lost their plans. People were promised all sorts of choices—you’ll have all these great menus of choices to choose from—a third of all the counties in America today, you get one choice. Five whole states, one insurer. If you have one choice, that’s not a choice—that’s a monopoly. “My colleagues, this experiment has failed. This law is collapsing while we speak. We have to step in before things get worse. This is nothing short of a rescue mission. By taking this step today, we are doing what is right. We are stepping in and stopping the collapse from doing more harm to the working families of America, to bring the kind of relief and to bring the kind of solutions that we need to really achieve the noble goal here: Everyone in America should have access to affordable health care, including people with preexisting conditions.
“This is what we want to achieve, but that’s not what’s happening under Obamacare. The law is collapsing, the insurers are pulling out, people can’t afford it, the deductibles are so high it doesn’t even feel like you have insurance in the first place. This is a rescue mission. This is a necessary move. And I urge all of our colleagues to do what is right—because the time is urgent. And, on top of this, to my colleagues, we need to keep our promise that we made to the American people, and this helps us do just that.”Read More
Last night, Speaker Ryan joined CNN's Jake Tapper for a live town hall at George Washington University. The wide-ranging discussion focused on everything from Republican plans to repeal and replace Obamacare to tax reform and ongoing efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.
In case you missed the broadcast, here's a highlight reel of the most important moments:
Repeal and Replace Obamacare
Obamacare Is Failing
We Need Tax Reform
This Is An Epidemic
We Are a Nation of LawsRead More
Summary: Ahead of tonight’s prime time town hall on CNN, Speaker Ryan called in to The Mike Gallagher Show to discuss why House Republicans are working to keep our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Key Quote: “This thing is collapsing under its own weight, and we have to step in and save people from this.”
Obamacare Is Collapsing“Why does this need to happen? Why are we doing this? Why are we moving so quickly? Obamacare is failing. So, if someone’s listening and they didn’t disagree with the law, or they like [their] health care, or they liked the Affordable Care Act, and they’re like, ‘Why are you guys doing this? I don’t agree with that’: This law is collapsing. . . . It’s becoming more, and more, and more expensive. . . . This thing is collapsing under its own weight, and we have to step in and save people from this.”
A Stable Transition“The rug’s not going to be pulled out from under people. And this is what I think the Left and the Democrats are trying to say to scare people into keeping Obamacare, to scare people into trying to keep this law as it is, which is failing. And so, no, there’s going to clearly be a transition period until you can get a new and better system up and running so that people will not have that rug pulled out from under them. . . . The president-elect said yesterday—and what we’ve been saying all along—is we’re advancing . . . legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare at the same time. And it will take time to put all of that into place . . . to get us to a better system to arrest the collapse of this system. And in that meantime, there will be transitions so that you don’t wake up one morning, you know, this year, and you lose your health insurance—that’s not going to happen.”Read More
Summary: Today during his weekly press briefing, Speaker Ryan talked through the many reasons Republicans are working hard to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Key Quote: “These are not doomsday scenarios. These are real life scenarios that are affecting real families and real people. So we are determined to provide relief to people as soon as possible because this law is collapsing while we speak.”
“This week, Congress is on track to put in place the tools necessary to repeal and replace Obamacare. This is the first of several steps that we will be taking to deliver relief to Americans who are struggling under this law.
“Some of these steps will be taken by Congress. Some of these steps will be taken by the incoming Trump administration, and after he is confirmed, HHS Secretary Tom Price. So this will be a thoughtful, step-by-step process.
“We are not going to swap one 2,700-page monstrosity for another. We’re not going to jam some bill through Harry Reid’s office on Christmas Eve only to find out what’s in it after it’s been passed. We’re going to do this the right way. We’re going to do this the way it was designed to [be done] through the congressional system. And that is why we have to get it right.
“Of course, our goal, though, is to deliver relief as soon as possible. Because this is not just a matter of us keeping our promise to the American people. This is a rescue mission—and the reason we need to act, and act ask quickly as possible, using the process the way it was supposed to be [used], is because we are on a rescue mission to prevent Obamacare from making things even worse.
“Look at these premium increases that we’re getting hit with just this year: Minnesota’s 59 percent increase in premiums; Tennessee 63 percent increase in premiums; Alabama 58 percent increase in premiums; North Carolina, 40 percent; Maryland, 25.2 percent; Pennsylvania, 53 percent. The law is collapsing.
“Take a look at the deductibles. Deductibles are becoming so high that people don’t even feel like they have insurance in the first place
“And families barely have the ability to find something better. In many areas, people are stuck with just one option to choose from—which isn’t an option, it’s a monopoly.
“These are not doomsday scenarios. These are real life scenarios that are affecting real families and real people. So we are determined to provide relief to people as soon as possible because this law is collapsing while we speak. And, working with the new administration, taking action step-by-step, that is what we will do.”Read More
Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, Speaker Ryan will hold a live town hall event, where he will answer questions from the audience on a wide range of issues, including the steps Republicans are taking to repeal and replace Obamacare. Here's how you can watch:
Traditional: Aired on CNN, CNN International, and CNN Español
Cord-cutters: Live-streamed on CNNgo and CNN SiriusXM channel 116.
If you just can't wait until 9 p.m. ET tonight, here's a look back at last summer's CNN town hall.Read More
“One big reason that our economy is so far from its potential—one reason there is so much frustration among Americans—is the crush of regulations that are coming out of Washington. Go just about anywhere in the country—be it coal mines in the Rust Belt or paper mills out West or in the Midwest—you will see jobs and whole industries in jeopardy.” –Speaker Ryan
You hear a lot about regulatory reform: if we could get rid of overly burdensome regulations, it would help restore jobs and growth. Last week, with the support of President-elect Trump, the House passed the REINS Act, which would ensure Congress has an up-or-down vote on major regulations.
Today, the House is considering the Regulatory Accountability Act. Part of our Better Way agenda, this bill will increase transparency in the rule-making process, giving the people more input. And it will require agencies to choose the least costly option, unless they can show a costlier option is needed to protect the public. This is one of those things that makes you ask, “why don’t we do it already?”
But here’s why this is so important, by the numbers:
· $1,000,000,000,000: The total cost of the regulations issued by the Obama administration.
· 754,208,800: The hours of paperwork caused by the administration’s regulations.
· 4,432: The number of regulations finalized by the administration since 2009.
· 120,849,512: The number of paperwork hours as a result of the regulations finalized in 2016 alone.
Make no mistake: sensible regulations are important. But this administration has taken regulating to such an extreme that it has put whole industries in jeopardy.
The 115th Congress has begun by taking action to provide Americans with regulatory relief, demonstrating our commitment to listening to the people and keeping our promises.
WASHINGTON—On Thursday, January 12, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will make three media appearances: a radio interview, his weekly press briefing, and a prime time town hall live on CNN to discuss the bold, conservative agenda to come in 2017.
Speaker Ryan on The Mike Gallagher Show Thursday, January 12, at 10:33 a.m. ET Listen here.
Speaker Ryan’s Weekly Press Briefing Thursday, January 12, at 11:30 a.m. ET Capitol Visitor Center HVC Studio A, HVC 114 Watch live on speaker.gov/live.Note: For questions regarding location or directions to the studio, please contact House Radio-TV Gallery staff at 202-225-5214.
Speaker Ryan’s CNN Town Hall with Jake Tapper Thursday, January 12, at 9:00 p.m. ET Watch live on CNN, CNN International, and CNN Español, and via live-stream on CNNgo and CNN SiriusXM channel 116.Note: Follow @SpeakerRyan on Twitter and Instagram for #RyanTownHall updates and behind-the-scenes content.Read More
In just 10 days, our country will turn a page from the last eight years of broken promises, failed policies at home, and an atrophy of American leadership abroad.
Sincere in his belief as he was, President Obama has steered our country in the wrong direction. Tonight, he’ll try to convince the nation otherwise. We’re here to set the record straight. Over the past few months, we’ve chronicled the Obama administration’s real legacy right here on speaker.gov. We hope you’ll check it out ahead of the president’s farewell address this evening.
And here’s the good news: Things are about to change. The people have given us a unified Republican government, and we intend to deliver results for the American people. You can learn more about our plan for a stronger, safer, and more confident America—a #BetterWay—at better.gop.Read More
Paul Ryan was elected to his first full term as Speaker of the House with little drama last week. If anything, headlines took note of a quick but funny exchange that happened after he was elected. But in the moments before he took hold of the gavel, Paul Ryan was focused on a more important role, as a father of three. That, and more, in seven photos below.
1. Look Your Best: Speaker Ryan shows his son, Charlie, how to tie a tie.
2. Sons of Wisconsin - Sam, Speaker Ryan's youngest, meets newly-elected Rep. Mike Gallagher, who represents Green Bay.
3. Over There - Speaker Ryan and his daughter, Liza, look for the gallery section where the Ryan family would be sitting during the day's festivities.
4. Father Paul Arinze - For this special day, Speaker Ryan welcomes his personal pastor, Father Paul, to deliver the invocation.
5. "Hello, Mr. President-elect." - Speaker Ryan talks with President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence on the phone moments before he's elected as Speaker.
6. A Moment to Himself - As the Clerk of the House announces the results of the election, Speaker Ryan takes a moment to take it all in.
7. The Speaker of the House - Speaker Ryan raises the gavel in gratitude to the 115th Congress.
Click HERE to watch Speaker Ryan's remarks to the House of Representatives.Read More
Key Quote: “There is a better way, and we have made it clear what we want to replace Obamacare with: a truly patient-centered system with more choices and lower costs. A system that gives you the control and the freedom that Obamacare has taken from you. We ran on these ideas. We gave the people a very clear choice. And they deserve action.”
“We need to remember something: this law is hurting people right now. Look at how much worse things have gotten just in the last few months. More double-digit premium increases. More deductible hikes. More people losing their plans. You just heard from Diane Black—how many counties? Three-quarters of the counties of Tennessee, a monopoly; one choice. Sixty-three percent increase in premiums, just in Tennessee. “So without delay, we are taking action. We are putting in place the tools necessary to keep our promise on this law. We are acting quickly because Obamacare is failing. You have to remember this—Obamacare is failing. For many Americans, it’s already failed.
“For people seeing their premiums skyrocket, Obamacare has already failed. For people suddenly stuck with only one plan to choose from—a monopoly—this law has failed them. For people with deductibles so high that they try to get by without going to the doctor, this law has failed them.
“There is a better way, and we have made it clear what we want to replace Obamacare with: a truly patient-centered system with more choices and lower costs. A system that gives you the control and the freedom that Obamacare has taken from you. We ran on these ideas. We gave the people a very clear choice. And they deserve action.
“So Democrats can try to talk around Obamacare’s problems day and night. They can try to reduce this debate to slogans and scare tactics. But this is not about politics. This is about people’s lives.
“We need to act before things get worse. Remember—this is a rescue mission. We are in the middle of a rescue mission to save the families who are getting caught up in the death spiral that has become Obamacare. And we need to do this right.
“We need to make sure there is a stable transition period so that people do not have the rug pulled out from under them. This is how we will keep our promise to the American people.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson:
“The special relationship between the United States and United Kingdom is strong, and we are determined to make it even stronger. In this spirit, Secretary Johnson and I discussed several areas of mutual concern for our nations, including reaffirming our commitment to NATO and exploring opportunities for improving bilateral trade relations. I want to thank Secretary Johnson for his time and friendship.”Read More
“You break it, you own it.” That was Democratic Leader Pelosi’s message last week to Republicans who are working to repeal and replace Obamacare. But for too many Americans, this health care law is already broken. As we now know, Obamacare has failed the American people—but that got us to thinking: Just how broken is President Obama’s so-called Affordable Care Act?
Doubling down on government-run health care isn’t the answer. That’s why House Republicans introduced a better way to do health care. While you can’t break what’s already broken, you can keep a promise you made to the American people—greater access to affordable, quality, patient-centered care. This week, Congress is working on the first steps to do just that.
Today, we mark Law Enforcement Appreciation Day—an opportunity to express our gratitude for the men and women who protect us. Below is a guest post from Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), who served in law enforcement for 33 years, about the sacrifices officers make every day in the line of duty.
Last Friday, after a senseless act of violence, law enforcement officers at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida international airport acted without hesitation to secure the area and usher civilians to safety.
In 2016, we lost 135 members of law enforcement. That is a 10 percent increase over 2015. Even more alarming, there was a 56 percent increase in firearm–related officer fatalities last year and one-third of shooting deaths were ambush-style attacks— the highest total in more than two decades.
You may not know one of the 135 brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends, and colleagues we lost, but they are the reason our children feel safe on the playground, the reason your local hardware store owner can leave his shelves stocked knowing his merchandise will be there the next morning, and the reason the freedoms our country was founded on are more than ink on paper.
But this security comes at a cost.
Tacoma Police Officer Jake Gutierrez from my home state of Washington lost his life in the line of duty just last month while trying to protect a woman from a domestic abuser.
Gutierrez was supposed to exchange wedding vows with his fiancé only a few weeks later. Instead, she and his three daughters and granddaughter attended his funeral and tried to picture a life without their husband, father, and grandfather.
This feeling of loss is one that I am all too familiar with.
In 1982, my partner and best friend, Sergeant Sam Hicks, was shot to death when attempting to arrest a homicide suspect. Sam left behind a wife who no longer has a husband and five children who no longer have a father. That was over 30 years ago, but loss is a pain time cannot erase.
I tell these stories not to dampen your spirits, but to remind you that those who work across the law enforcement community—the police officers, sheriff’s deputies, corrections officers, FBI agents, border patrol agents, and all of our brave men and women—do not have a job like the rest of us.
They have a calling. A calling that can result in grave danger and sometimes the ultimate sacrifice. But with the heart of a servant and love for their community, they respond to the call to serve anyway. They leave their homes everyday knowing they might not return.
At a time when we are seeing examples of unrest toward law enforcement, we must stop and think about just how much their daily acts of bravery impact our own lives.
I ask that on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, we do just that—show appreciation for our law enforcement. A request that should not be reserved for a holiday, but should be honored each and every day.
So please join me in saying thank you—whether that means displaying a blue light in your windowsill or shaking the hand of a local law enforcement officer.
A small gesture for those who are willing to give their life on our behalf.
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, Interim House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black (R-TN) discussed why, for too many families, the Affordable Care Act has been anything but affordable—and the #BetterWay plan House Republicans are offering to give Americans the relief they need from Obamacare. “As a nurse, I’ve spent decades watching the impact of healthcare decisions in Washington on my patients’ faces and in their billing statements,” said Chairman Black. “This isn’t about slogans and scare tactics—it’s about people lives’ and their bottom lines. The country is demanding change, and now is the time to act.”
NOTE: The audio of the Weekly Republican Address is available here. Learn more about Chairman Black by following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, or visiting her website. Learn more about the House Budget Committee by following it on Twitter, liking its Facebook page, or visiting its website.
Interim House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black of Tennessee Weekly Republican Address Washington, DC Saturday, January 7, 2017
Hi, I’m interim Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black from Tennessee’s 6th District.
Today I want to talk with you about our plan to deliver relief to Americans struggling under Obamacare. Now I’ve been a nurse for more than 40 years, but you don’t need a degree in health care to know that Obamacare is failing. For too many families, the so-called Affordable Care Act hasn’t been affordable at all. In my state of Tennessee, people are facing average premium increases of 63 percent this year—and that story is being repeated in states across the country. Even if you do have an insurance policy, deductibles under the law have become so high that many Americans feel like they lack true health coverage. There was a story in my local paper just this week about a working mom who owns a day care center in Knoxville. She is crossing her fingers that she can get on a new plan because her deductible has gone up to $9,000. “Can you imagine,” she said, “going from a $2,000 deductible to a $9,000 deductible—who can afford that?” It’s a life changing difference for her—and many people like her. The reason that she has to scramble is because there is only one insurer left in her area. In 73 of our state’s 95 counties, people have a single option to choose from on the exchange. Across the country, the number of counties with just one insurer grew by 25 percent this year. That’s not a marketplace—it’s a monopoly.
When Obamacare became law, I knew I had seen this movie before, and I remember exactly how it ended. A similar government-run program, called TennCare, failed in our state less than 15 years ago. And at the time of its launch, the government made a lot of lofty promises, but for a decade we watched costs grow unsustainably to the point of nearly bankrupting our state. It was ultimately a Democratic governor who dismantled the program, calling it a “disaster.” Like Tenncare, Obamacare is ripping apart at the seams, and things are only getting worse. So this week, Congress took the first steps to repeal Obamacare—but that doesn’t mean a return to the status quo.
As we work to replace Obamacare with something better, there will be a stable transition period so that no one has the rug pulled out from underneath them. Our goal is a system that lowers costs, and spurs free market competition, and ultimately empowers you—not bureaucrats in Washington. We can do that by giving people more control of their health care—allowing insurance to be purchased across states lines, enacting common-sense medical liability reform to bring down costs, and maintaining protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. You can learn more about our ideas by going to better.gop.
Now, the new Congress you elected has only been in office for a week and already, you’re hearing Democrats in Washington use all kinds of scare tactics. After so many broken promises, it’s all they have left, really. But when they try to scare you, I ask you to keep one thing in mind: remember these are the same people who promised you their plan would lower premiums… the same people who promised it wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class… and who promised that if you like your plan, you can keep it. Don’t let them scare you or lecture you. It’s exactly the kind of elitist arrogance that the American people have just soundly rejected. For me, this issue is all too personal. As a nurse, I’ve spent decades watching the impact of healthcare decisions in Washington on my patients’ faces and in their billing statements. This isn’t about slogans and scare tactics—it’s about people lives’ and their bottom lines.
The country is demanding change, and now is the time to act. Thank you for listening, and happy New Year.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Intelligence Community’s report on Russian hacking:
“Russia has a track record of working against our interests, and they clearly tried to meddle in our political system. I strongly condemn any outside interference in our elections, which we must work to prevent moving forward.
“We must also be clear that there is no evidence that there was any interference in the voting or balloting process. We cannot allow partisans to exploit this report in an attempt to delegitimize the president-elect’s victory. Donald Trump won this election fair and square because he heard the voices of Americans who felt forgotten.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement after Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) announced that he will retire at the end of the 115th Congress:
“Sam Johnson is more than a dear friend and colleague. He is my hero. This is a man who, even after serving in two wars and enduring seven years in the Hanoi Hilton, went right back to flying and ran for public office. We spent many years together on the Ways and Means Committee, where I learned so much from Sam about tackling the big issues that make a difference in people’s lives. Sam's retirement from this House is sad news, but we can take heart today in all this man—the greatest living man I know—has done and given to our country. I will cherish working alongside him for the next two years.”Read More
Our tax code is broken. Americans still feel like they are paying too much in taxes. Businesses are moving jobs overseas in order to stay globally-competitive. And most people still don’t trust the IRS to fairly enforce the law.
Yes, there is a Better Way.
Our unified Republican government is determined to reform our tax code to make it leaner, fairer, and more competitive. Here is the crux of our plan:
Simplify the tax code Americans dread doing their taxes every year, and for good reason. The forms are too long and complicated. The tax brackets are confusing. And the rates themselves are too high. Our plan simplifies the system so you can file your taxes on a form as simple as a postcard. It consolidates the seven existing tax brackets into three, creates a larger standard deduction and child tax credit, and lowers rates so hardworking families can keep more of their hard-earned paychecks.
Create a level-playing field for American businesses Our tax code today puts American job-creators at an inherent disadvantage to foreign competitors. Unlike most nations, American goods shipped overseas are subjected to both U.S. and foreign taxes. This means countries like China can manufacture and sell goods abroad at a much lower cost than companies here in the states. Our plan would level the playing field for American businesses by moving to a consumption-based, border-adjusted tax code that makes exports tax-free.
Bring American jobs back from overseas Adopting a consumption-based tax code would in turn offset the cost of lowering the corporate tax rate from its current rate of 35 percent—the highest in the industrialized world—down to 20 percent. Together, these reforms would incentivize businesses to repatriate overseas profits and bring jobs back home. This means more good-paying jobs for hardworking Americans, and a more globally-competitive environment for our manufacturers and small businesses.
Make the IRS a customer service-focused agency Today, we have a tax code that no one understands run by an agency no one trusts. The IRS has abused its power by targeting Americans based on their personal beliefs, and widespread mismanagement has rightfully eroded confidence in the agency. Our plan overhauls the IRS to refocus its purpose exclusively on excellent customer service. It installs safeguards to protect taxpayers' confidential information and right to appeal disputes quickly and fairly. And it limits the IRS commissioner to just two three-year terms in office.
WASHINGTON—In his first floor remarks of the new Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke in favor of bipartisan legislation condemning the recent anti-Israel resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council. Below are the speaker’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
My colleagues, I’d like to read you a quote: “Peace is hard work. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations—if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must live side by side.”
That was President Obama in 2011—and he was right.
I am still stunned by what happened last month. This government—our government—abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most.
And do not be fooled. This UN Security Council resolution was not about settlements, and it certainly was not about peace. It was about one thing and one thing only: Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish, democratic state.
These types of one-sided efforts are designed to isolate and delegitimize Israel. They don’t advance peace. They make it more elusive.
The cornerstone of our special relationship with Israel has always been right here in Congress. This institution—the heart of our democracy—has stood by the Jewish state through thick and thin.
We were there for her when rockets rained down on Tel Aviv. We were there for her by passing historic legislation to combat the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. And we’ve been there for her by ensuring Israel has the tools to defend herself against those who seek her destruction.
And in every one of those instances, Republicans and Democrats have worked together to get these things done. That’s because our historic alliance with Israel transcends party labels and partisan bickering. We see that bipartisanship right here on the House floor today in condemning this anti-Israel resolution.
I want to thank Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and all of our members on both sides of the aisle who spoke out on this issue and helped assemble this legislation. It sends a powerful message, and it turns a page.
It’s time to repair the damage done by this misguided hit job at the UN. It's time to rebuild our partnership with Israel and reaffirm our commitment to her security. And it's time to show all of our allies that, regardless of the shameful events of last month, the United States remains a force for good.
I ask the whole House to support this resolution on behalf of the American people. Thank you, and I yield back.Read More
Contrary to what Democrats want you to think, Obamacare is failing—and it’s only going to get worse. Citing a list of skyrocketing premium increases around the country, here’s what Speaker Ryan had to say earlier today at his weekly press briefing:
“This law is hurting people right now. I mean, look at these premium increases. This year, Arizona: 116 percent increase in premiums. Tennessee: 63 percent increase in premiums. Oklahoma: 69 percent increase in premiums. Illinois: 43 percent increase in premiums. North Carolina: 40 percent increase in premiums. Nebraska: 51 percent. Pennsylvania: 53 percent. These aren’t statistics—these are real lives. These are real families facing huge premium increases. And on top of this, you've got a massive deductible, so it doesn't even feel like you have insurance in the first place. . . .
“The law isn't working. It is failing. It's nothing but a string of broken promises. Remember ‘If you like your plan, you can keep it,’ ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep it,’ ‘It's going to lower costs’? It did none of those things. . . .
“We have to step in front of this chaos and provide relief for people. That is why we're moving to fix this problem. Our goal here is to improve people's lives, is to have a healthcare system that actually works, is to have a healthcare system where families actually have more choices, where they have freedom, where they can have more competition and lower prices. And so this is why we're doing this: Stop the damage from getting worse. . . .
“We're going to be methodical, we're going to be deliberative, and we're going to do this the right way. We're going to get this law repealed, we're going to get this law replaced, and we're going to have a transition period so that people do not have the rug pulled out from underneath them while we get to a better place.” ____
Instead of acknowledging these real-life failures, Democrats are still trying to scare Americans into accepting this law as the new norm. Speaker Ryan explained this morning during an interview with Wisconsin radio host Jerry Bader why that isn’t going to work:
“[Democrats] are trying to scare Americans into trying to keep Obamacare. They’re trying to scare Americans into thinking that this February, your health care plan is going to go away. That’s not true. That’s not happening. Let’s take a step back and remember a couple of things. “Number one: Obamacare is nothing but a series of broken promises. Health care prices did not go down—they went up. Premiums have gone up double digits years in a row now. Oh, and more importantly, a third of the counties in America only have one plan available. That’s a monopoly—it’s not a choice. "And so the law itself is failing. But more importantly, it’s getting worse. . . . We see great damage being done to families and to the health care system in America because of Obamacare. It is our duty, and our obligation, and yes, our promise, to step in and prevent that from happening . . . and to replace it with something better. We will have a transition so that people do not get the rug pulled out from under them.” That’s why Republicans are vowing to repeal the law and replace it with a system that increases access to affordable, quality health care. There is a better way, and House Republicans are going to make sure it’s delivered to the American people.Read More
Summary: At his weekly press conference today, Speaker Ryan outlined actions that Republicans are taking to address the onslaught of regulations coming out of Washington.
Key Quote: “If we are going to get our economy back on track, we need to get people the freedom they need. We need to get government out of the way of hardworking people so that we can create jobs in this country. This is what regulatory reform is all about, and it will be one of the highest priorities of this new unified Republican government.”
Transcript:“This week, we have hit the ground running on a bold agenda for our country. We have taken action on bills to help our veterans. We have just jumpstarted our work to deliver relief for Americans struggling under Obamacare. And we are starting to address the damage done by burdensome regulations.
“One big reason that our economy is so far from its potential—one reason there is so much frustration among Americans—is the crush of regulations that are coming out of Washington. Go just about anywhere in the country—be it coal mines in the Rust Belt or paper mills out West or in the Midwest—you will see jobs and whole industries in jeopardy.
“For too long, unelected bureaucrats have been simply telling people how things are going to be, handing down all these regulations with little scrutiny or thought. This needs to change, and not just by peeling away this rule or that particular regulation.
“President-elect Trump has called for an overhaul of our entire regulatory system. This was always a key part of our agenda that we ran on this fall. So here are just a few of the first steps we are taking to protect jobs in this country:
“First, where we can, we will use the Congressional Review Act to provide relief from job-crushing regulations.
“Here’s an example: Without any real input from the states, the administration recently handed down regulations that could wipe out literally thousands upon thousands of jobs in coal country. We plan to put a resolution of disapproval on the new president’s desk to stop this rule.
“Second: We want to stop the Obama administration’s last-minute regulatory onslaught altogether. It is on pace to cost Americans billions and billions of dollars. This week, the House took action to pass a bill to make it easier to reverse the midnight rules that lame duck presidents push through at the 11th hour.
“Third: We will set in motion a series of reforms to fix the regulatory system itself. Today, with the president-elect’s support, we are passing the REINS Act. It will provide more accountability and transparency before major rules or regulations take effect. It will help make sure the government gets it right.
“If we are going to get our economy back on track, we need to get people the freedom they need. We need to get government out of the way of hardworking people so that we can create jobs in this country. This is what regulatory reform is all about, and it will be one of the highest priorities of this new unified Republican government.”Read More
Summary: Speaker Ryan and Republican leaders held a press conference with Vice President-elect Mike Pence today to discuss repealing and replacing Obamacare. Later today, the Senate will begin to consider a repeal resolution. Key Quote: “We are getting right down to business. We are starting today on our work to deliver relief to Americans struggling under Obamacare.”
Transcript: “Throughout this transition, we have been working hand-in-hand with the vice president-elect with one goal in mind. And that is to make sure President-elect Trump can hit the ground running when he takes office on the 20th. So we are getting right down to business.
“We are starting today on our work to deliver relief to Americans struggling under Obamacare. We must remember this—this law has failed. Americans are struggling. The law is failing while we speak. We need to reverse the damage that has been done.
“Then once we repeal this law, we need to make sure that there is a stable transition to a truly patient-centered system. We want every American to have access to quality, affordable health coverage. All of the things Obamacare has kept from the American people—more choices, more control, more freedom—we want to put them back in their hands.
“We know that things are only getting worse under Obamacare. This is about people paying higher premiums every year and feeling powerless to stop it. It’s about families paying deductibles that are so high, it doesn’t even feel like you have health insurance in the first place. And in many parts of the country, as you’ve all heard, even if you want to look for better coverage, you are stuck with one option.
“One choice is not a choice—it’s a monopoly. The health care system has been ruined—dismantled—under Obamacare.
“The answer here is not to ignore the problem. The answer here is not to ignore the problem to keep some failed legacy. The answer here is bold action, solve problems, bring relief to Americans.
“We will help Americans crying out for relief from Obamacare. And we will keep our promise to the people. As you can see, we will be working with the new administration on every step of this law, every step of the way, even before day one.”Read More
Summary: Speaker Ryan called into The Hugh Hewitt Show today to discuss working with the Trump administration during its first 200 days, repealing Obamacare, tax reform, and regulatory reform.
Key Quote: “We can immediately bring some relief by reducing that government takeover and then pass the kind of legislation we need to bring more choices, more competition, and bring lower prices, and stop the government from mandating what everybody must do with their lives as a respect to health care.”
The First 200 Days“We are mapping out . . . our January through August strategy to go big and to go bold and to implement our agenda we all ran on and all agree upon. The big things that you know about: repealing and replacing Obamacare; fundamental tax reform; rebuilding our budget, which helps us rebuild our military; fixing the regulatory state, which has a stranglehold on jobs; working on getting people from welfare to work. All of those kinds of things—the infrastructure package, which is something that President-elect Trump added to our agenda, which we’re happy to do—all of those things are the big, bold agenda that we’re going to be working on.”
Obamacare“The reason Obamacare costs so much and there are so fewer choices is because it’s a government takeover of health care. So we can immediately bring some relief by reducing that government takeover and then pass the kind of legislation we need to bring more choices, more competition, and bring lower prices, and stop the government from mandating what everybody must do with their lives as a respect to health care.”
Tax Reform“We are pushing American businesses overseas because of our tax laws. We’ve got to reform and overhaul our tax laws. So I keep hearing from Democrats coming up to me individually and say that’s something they want to work on.”
Midnight Regulations“Basically, what the Obama administration tried doing on the way out the door here is kill any form of energy—other than the subsidies for solar and wind, which we are actually getting rid of over a five-year period here. . . . So we will have Democrats from energy-producing states I think vote with us on some of the regulatory overhauls, so that we can make our country the energy powerhouse that it can and should be."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after the House, in its first legislative business for the 115th Congress, began consideration of two bills to help our veterans—the Ensuring VA Employee Accountability Act and the Biological Implant Tracking and Veteran Safety Act:
“Our veterans should always come first, but for too long they’ve been let down by a failed system. I’m proud that our very first bills considered in the new Congress help the brave men and women who have served our country in uniform. These bipartisan initiatives will make the VA more accountable and ensure veterans receive the best quality health care available. I want to thank Congressman Costello and Chairman Roe for their work on these important measures.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after the Obamacare repeal resolution was introduced in the Senate:
“This is the first step toward relief for Americans struggling under Obamacare. This resolution sets the stage for repeal followed by a stable transition to a better health care system. Our goal is to ensure that patients will be in control of their health care and have greater access to quality, affordable coverage. Today we begin to deliver on our promise to the American people.”
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following address after his election to serve as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 115th Congress:
Thank you, Madam Leader. You know, I’ve stood in this spot more than a few times. And yet today it feels completely different. Part of it has to do with all the new faces in the House. You look at all the proud spouses, the beaming parents, the kids looking their best. And it’s hard—if not impossible—to resist the rush of enthusiasm. There’s no sense of foreboding today. There’s only a sense of potential. Kind of reminds you no matter how long you’ve been here, you still haven’t seen it all. And so to all our new members, I want to say simply, "Thank you, congratulations, and welcome."
But there's another reason for optimism. And that's what we've already achieved by our very meeting here. Just months ago, our country held a great, electoral contest. And at times, it was a little . . . intense. As you all know, when you’re in the heat of it, you start to wonder: Will tempers cool? Will the system still hold? Does our old and rich tradition still have the old magic? Well, turns out, it does. The clash of opinions . . . the hue and cry of campaigns . . . the rancor and the dissension . . . in the end, they all dissolve in the silent and peaceful transfer of power.
And so in just a few weeks’ time we will welcome a new president . . . who offers us yet another new beginning—a new chance to work toward that more perfect union. For all our arguments and all our differences, we are all united by a deep, abiding love of our country. It is the slender but sturdy thread that holds us together. We always forget about it. But it has never failed us. That is why when the votes are counted and the people have spoken, all of us accept the verdict. We come back from the campaign trail. We put away the yard signs. And today, as one body, we pledge allegiance to one flag: the red, white, and blue.
And that’s not the only thing we share in common. I don’t care what your party is. Find one person in this House who doesn’t want the best for America. Find one person who doesn’t want to help the unemployed, or care for the sick, or educate the young, or honor our troops. Who here among us does not want to open wide the door to opportunity? Who here among us does not want every American—of every creed and every color—to cross the threshold? You can’t find one person—not a one. And that is a true cause for celebration.
That being said, this is no time to rest on our laurels, but to redouble our efforts. It’s no secret that millions of Americans across the country are deeply dissatisfied with their current situation. They’ve looked to Washington for leadership, and all they’ve gotten is condescension. For years, they’ve suffered quietly—amid shuttered factories and shattered lives. But now they’ve let out a great roar. Now, we, their elected representatives, must listen. And so I want to say to the American people, "We hear you. We will do right by you. And we will deliver."
It is not enough to say that the condition of your birth should not determine the outcome of your life—no matter how much we mean it. In a few years’ time, I hope people will say of the 115th Congress that we didn’t just pay lip service to this beautiful American Idea; we made it a reality. We are not here to be; we are here to do. We are here to improve people’s lives. Grow our economy. Keep us safe. Improve our health care and our infrastructure. Fight poverty. Restore self-government. We’ve got our work cut out for us. And as your speaker, I intend to keep this place running at full speed.
When I came into this job, I pledged to restore regular order. Get the committee system working again. Hold regular House and Senate conferences—because only a fully functioning House can do the people’s business. We’ve made great progress since then. Take our work on finding cures for deadly diseases . . . or beating back the opioid epidemic . . . or our work on mental health. These are all things we should be very proud of. These efforts were directed by the committees and crafted by the members—all through regular order. But there is still a lot of work to do—like a fully functioning appropriations process, for example.
And so to the minority, I want to say, 'We’ve never shied away from our disagreements. And I do not expect anyone to do so now. But however bright of a contrast we draw between us, it must never blind us to the common ground we share. We must never shy away from making progress for the American people, wherever we can. And so, as your speaker, I promise to uphold the rights of the minority. I promise to hear you out, and let you have your say. If I had to sum up my approach, it would be, "Agreement whenever possible, but at all times respect.’'
And to the majority, especially to our returning members, I want to say, 'This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.' This is the kind of thing that most of us only dream about. I know—because I used to dream about it. The people have given us unified government. And it wasn’t because they were feeling generous. It’s because they wanted results. How could we live with ourselves if we let them down? How could we let ourselves down? I have for many months been asking our members to raise their gaze and aim high. Now, let us not be timid, but rather reach for that brighter horizon.
And so, this old chamber might look the same, but in the hushed whispers and whirl of activity, you can feel the winds of change. And as I stand here, next to the portrait of good old George Washington, I’m reminded of a line from one of his favorite plays: "Tis not in mortals to command success; but we’ll do more . . . we’ll deserve it."
And so my dear friends and colleagues, I say to all of you, "Good luck and Godspeed." Thank you very much.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will address the House this afternoon to mark the start of the 115th Congress. The following are excerpts from the address:
For all our arguments and all our differences, we are all united by a deep, abiding love of our country. It is the slender but sturdy thread that holds us together. We always forget about it. But it has never failed us. That is why when the votes are counted and the people have spoken, all of us accept the verdict. We come back from the campaign trail. We put away the yard signs. And today, as one body, we pledge allegiance to one flag.
. . . .
This is no time to rest on our laurels, but to redouble our efforts. It’s no secret that millions of Americans across the country are deeply dissatisfied with their current situation. They’ve looked to Washington for leadership, and all they’ve gotten is condescension. For years, they’ve suffered quietly—amid shuttered factories and shattered lives. But now they’ve let out a great roar. Now, we, their elected representatives, must listen. And so I want to say to the American people, “We hear you. We will do right by you. And we will deliver.”
. . . .
It is not enough to say that the condition of your birth should not determine the outcome of your life—no matter how much we mean it. In a few years’ time, I hope people will say of the 115th Congress that we didn’t just pay lip service to this beautiful American Idea; we made it a reality. We are not here to be; we are here to do. We are here to improve people’s lives. Grow our economy. Keep us safe. Improve our health care and our infrastructure. Fight poverty. Restore self-government. We’ve got our work cut out for us. And as your speaker, I intend to keep this place running at full speed.
. . . .
And to the majority, especially to our returning members, I want to say, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is the kind of thing that most of us only dream about. I know—because I used to dream about it. The people have given us unified government. And it wasn’t because they were feeling generous. It’s because they wanted results. How could we live with ourselves if we let them down? How could we let ourselves down? I have for many months been asking our members to raise their gaze and aim high. Now, let us not be timid, but rather reach for that brighter horizon.”Read More
“After eight years of operation, many members believe the Office of Congressional Ethics is in need of reform to protect due process and ensure it is operating according to its stated mission. I want to make clear that this House will hold its members to the highest ethical standards and the Office will continue to operate independently to provide public accountability to Congress. The Office will continue to be governed by a bipartisan independent outside board with ultimate decision-making authority. The Office is still expected to take in complaints of wrongdoing from the public. It will still investigate them thoroughly and independently. And the outside board will still decide whether or not evidence exists to warrant a full investigation by the House Ethics Committee. With the amendment adopted last night, the bipartisan, evenly-divided House Ethics Committee will now have oversight of the complaints office. But the Office is not controlled by the Committee, and I expect that oversight authority to be exercised solely to ensure the Office is properly following its rules and laws, just as any government entity should. I have made clear to the new Chair of the House Ethics Committee that it is not to interfere with the Office’s investigations or prevent it from doing its job. All members of Congress are required to earn the public’s trust every single day, and this House will hold members accountable to the people.”Read More
WASHINGTON—On Tuesday, January 3, 2017, the House of Representatives will convene for the first session of the 115th Congress.
Media details for Opening Day:
Interfaith Service: Open to credentialed press only. Press stakeout: 2nd and C St SE, begins at 8:00 a.m. ET. For more details, please contact your respective media gallery—contact information below.
Ceremonial Swearing-In: Open to credentialed press only. Photo and B-roll opportunities only. All media with equipment must be set by 12:15 p.m. ET for the security sweep. Media interested in a specific member's time slot should contact their respective gallery—contact information below.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement in response to the Obama administration's announcement of new sanctions against Russia:
"Russia does not share America’s interests. In fact, it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing dangerous instability around the world. While today’s action by the administration is overdue, it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia. And it serves as a prime example of this administration's ineffective foreign policy that has left America weaker in the eyes of the world."
Good news tends to travel slow, especially when it is coming out of Washington. But in this new video, we’ve looked back at things you may not have heard about this year. And—more good news—it’ll take less than two minutes of your time.
Here is how some of the work of the 114th Congress is already making a difference in people's lives.
Of course, there is much more to do to get our country back on the right track. In 2017, a unified Republican government will press ahead on a bold agenda to deliver results and relief for the American people.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on enactment of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes the largest pay raise for our troops in six years:
“We can all be glad that our troops will finally receive their largest pay raise in six years. It is certainly well-deserved, and long overdue. This new law also takes important steps to rebuild our fighting force, streamline the defense acquisition process, and combat military sexual assault. Moreover, this ensures that, right up until his last hour in office, President Obama will not be able to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States. During this holiday season, let us all give thanks for the brave men and women who serve our country in uniform.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Obama administration’s refusal to veto an anti-Israel resolution at the UN:
“This is absolutely shameful. Today's vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel. Our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel."Read More
In the 35-second video below, Speaker Ryan reveals both his personal favorite and his family's favorite Christmas movies of all time.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the upcoming UN Security Council vote on an anti-Israel resolution:
“These stunts at the UN serve only one purpose—to defame and delegitimize the democratic State of Israel. This resolution will undermine peace and mutual cooperation by pushing the parties further away from direct negotiations. The administration should veto it.”Read More
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) discusses a new law that will bring the most significant reforms to our mental health system in more than a generation. “As a practicing psychologist, I have seen firsthand how difficult it is for families to navigate our broken mental health system. Outdated laws prevent the families and caregivers from being a part of the treatment team—too often this has fatal consequences. We need treatment before tragedy, and care before crisis,” said. Rep. Murphy. He continued, “With this new law, we are finally breaking down the wall between physical health and mental health. Now federal agencies will be moving from vague feel-good programs to ones that emphasize evidence-based care for those at the highest risk.”
NOTE: The audio of the weekly address is available here.
Remarks of Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania Weekly Republican Address Thursday, December 22, 2016 Washington, DC
“This picture means so much to me. I keep it on my desk in my congressional office. It was given to me by a proud parent. This is Daniel. Daniel—just seven years old—was at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, when a troubled young man took his life and those of 25 others, and ultimately his own.
“You know, if there’s one thing we cherish at Christmas, it is the comfort and joy of being surrounded by the people we love. But every day, 959 lives are taken—directly or indirectly—by mental illness. Last year alone, 350,000 lives were lost because our broken mental health system continues to fail American families. Rather than getting those who need help most into treatment, we leave them out on the streets or throw them in jail. This is heartbreaking—and it’s unacceptable.
“As a practicing psychologist, I have seen firsthand how difficult it is for families to navigate our broken mental health system. Outdated laws prevent the families and caregivers from being a part of the treatment team—too often this has fatal consequences. We need treatment before tragedy, and care before crisis.
“After Sandy Hook, we launched an investigation into our nation’s broken mental health system. Courageous families stepped forward to tell their stories. And we started to understand the real problems—over 110 federal programs and a $130 billion investment that did little but stand by and watch rising rates of suicide, incarceration, and homelessness. But we needed to do more than just talk about this problem. We needed to start solving this problem.
“By the start of 2016, we had pushed mental health reform towards the top of Washington’s to-do list. And last week, one day before the Sandy Hook anniversary, President Obama signed into law the most significant mental health reform in 50 years. With this new law, we are finally breaking down the wall between physical health and mental health.
“Now federal agencies will be moving from vague feel-good programs to ones that emphasize evidence-based care for those at the highest risk. For the first time, there will be an Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use who will lead the way, evaluating and improving the system. “We’ll be investing in services for the most difficult-to-treat cases and ensuring that family members are a part of the care delivery team.
“We’ll be training people to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, including law enforcement officers for how to best respond to a potentially violent situation.
“We’ll be providing real resources to combat substance abuse, and specifically for the opioid crisis.
“We’ll be addressing, head on, the number 10 killer in our nation—suicide, which disproportionately affects our veterans; and for the first time ever, Congress is stepping in to help those with an eating disorder get access to real medical care.
“And we’ll be expanding our mental health workforce, because today, half the counties in America do not have a single psychologist or psychiatrist.
“One bill won't solve everything, but these desperately needed reforms will bring help. And where there is help, there is hope.
“To the Sandy Hook families and all those who made this possible, who gave their time and took a stand, thank you. To anyone out there struggling, looking for answers, know that you are not alone. We are with you. We are fighting for you.
“Although many doubted we would make it this far, here we are. And in a new year, with a new administration, we will keep working to get real treatment to those who need it.
“This is what Christmas is all about: peace, goodwill, and above all, love. So God bless our caregivers, our doctors, our nurses. And God bless our troops, their families, and the nation they serve. And God bless the United States of America.”Read More
Once Obamacare is repealed, we will make sure there is a stable transition period so that people don’t have the rug pulled out from under them. One key to ensuring a smooth transition is getting House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Working together, we will focus on delivering relief and a better system for people struggling under Obamacare.
Instead of a government-centered system like Obamacare, our goal is a patient-centered system that gives every American access to quality, affordable health care.
What does that look like? Well, last spring, as part of the Better Way agenda, House Republicans offered a unified health care plan to show the American people what we would do differently. It included a number of common-sense ideas and principles, such as:
Here’s what some experts and editorial boards had to say about these ideas when we put them forward earlier in the year:
The American people know the status quo is unsustainable: 80 percent want some kind of major changes. We will act to bring relief to people struggling under Obamacare.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) will deliver the Weekly Republican Address on Thursday, December 22. In the address, Rep. Murphy will discuss a new law that will bring the most significant reforms to our mental health system in more than a generation. The National Alliance on Mental Illness calls this new law "a milestone in mental health history."
“I can’t think of a better way to end the year than with signing the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act into law. By bringing research, treatments, and cures into the 21st century, we are finally breaking down the wall between physical health and mental health and focusing on delivering treatment before tragedy,” said Rep. Murphy. “This Christmas, as we gather with our family and loved ones, we can rejoice knowing that hope is on the way to so many families who for too long have lived in the shadows.”
“Tim has led the charge on bringing attention and resources to mental health issues, and I can’t think of a better time than Christmas to talk about the importance of giving families the help they need,” said Speaker Ryan. ”As part of the Cures law, this bill will be one of the first steps we take toward a stronger health care system.”
Earlier this week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlighted the years-long journey to the enactment of mental health reform:
“U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy’s crusade to change the nation’s mental health care system began in the days following Adam Lanza’s slaughter of the innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The 20-year-old gunman, who had been diagnosed with multiple psychiatric and physical ailments that went mostly untreated, killed 20 children, his mother and six other adults on Dec. 14, 2012. On Dec. 12, 2013, after a year of research and hearings, Mr. Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, introduced the ‘Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.’ Three more years of hearings, meetings and negotiations ensued. Although the bill garnered impressive bipartisan praise and finally sailed through the House in July on a vote of 422-2, by September observers were calling its chances in the Senate ‘murky.’ Last Tuesday, just one day before the fourth anniversary of Sandy Hook, President Barack Obama signed Mr. Murphy’s legislation — or an acceptable facsimile of it — into law.”
About Rep. Tim Murphy: Congressman Tim Murphy was elected in November 2002 to represent Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. In addition to his representational duties in the House of Representatives, Rep. Murphy serves as a Commander in the United States Navy Reserves. The only practicing psychologist in elected federal government, Rep. Murphy relies on his four decades of experience to advocate for meaningful reforms in the U.S. healthcare system. Serving as co-chair of the Mental Health Caucus and a founding member of the GOP Doctors Caucus, he focuses on policies to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for all families.
NOTE: The Weekly Republican Address will be available starting Thursday, December 22, at 8:00 a.m. ET on speaker.gov.Read More
President Obama is in office for only one more month, and he’s already rolling out his last-ditch regulations. In fact, in just the last two days, he has unilaterally issued rules that will hurt coal country and take away areas of enormous energy potential for America. So here is a final reminder for our outgoing president: Presidents don't write laws. Congress does.Read More
A little—OK, a lot of—rain didn't stop Speaker Ryan and hundreds of others from around the country from kicking off the Christmas season. From the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, the 2016 Capitol Christmas Tree lit up the sky, where it will continue to do so every evening through Christmas night.
1. Toys for Tots // Speaker Ryan presents a Packers toy to the Marine Corps Liaisons to the House of Representatives for their 6th annual Toys for Tots Collection Day.
2. Wisconsin Proud // These Marines, who all hail from Speaker Ryan's home state of Wisconsin, enjoyed the tree lighting ceremony from the Speaker's balcony at the U.S. Capitol.
3. A Student's Poem // Isabella Gerard, a fifth-grader from the same state as the tree itself (Idaho), reads a poem to highlight the importance of our national forests.
4. All Lit Up // Speaker Ryan and Isabella marvel at the beauty of the Capitol Christmas Tree with the backdrop of the newly restored Capitol dome.
5. The People's Tree // Just as Congress is the People's House, so too is the Capitol Christmas Tree the people's tree.
Click here to watch the full lighting ceremony on YouTube.Read More
Obamacare has failed the American people—and things are only getting worse. When Congress reconvenes in January, we will begin the process of reversing the damage caused by Obamacare by passing the legislative tools necessary to repeal it. To achieve a stronger, more patient-centered health care system, we first have to fix what isn’t working. Keeping a Promise As part of our Better Way agenda, Republicans proposed a plan to repeal this disastrous law—and in 2017, we’ll keep our word. Given the dire situation facing our country, the time to act is now to deliver immediate relief for the American people.
A Repeal Resolution The first step is the repeal resolution—a simple budget resolution that will set the stage for repeal and a stable transition period toward a better health care system. This repeal resolution will include what are called reconciliation instructions. In short, reconciliation is a tool that allows designated committees to produce legislation that can later be passed with a simple majority in the Senate. To get this reconciliation tool, however, the House and Senate must first both pass this repeal resolution. Once they do, we’ll move to step two: the reconciliation process.
Committees Get to Work In January 2016, we demonstrated that we can repeal Obamacare and send it to the president’s desk without being filibustered in the Senate. This is what makes reconciliation so important (see step one.) So the next step in the process is for certain committees to produce actual legislation to repeal the parts of Obamacare in their jurisdiction.
Once the various committees produce and pass their pieces, they are sent to the Budget Committee, which will compile the text into one complete, straightforward piece of legislation to repeal Obamacare. After the Budget Committee passes that bill, it's ready for consideration by the full House. And once it’s passed by the House, the reconciliation package will then be considered under expedited procedures through the Senate—and ultimately be delivered to the president’s desk for signature into law.
A Better Way Long story short: Repealing Obamacare will be done through a two-step process: a budget resolution and then a reconciliation bill. Once law, there will be a stable transition period to ensure no one has the rug pulled out from under them as we get on the path to a #BetterWay for your health care: lower costs, more choices, and more control. To learn more about our ideas, visit better.gop.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement in response to the Obama administration's release of its final Stream Protection Rule, a rewrite of coal regulations:
"The Obama administration is fighting its war on coal to the bitter end. This one rule could have crushing consequences for coal miners, their families, and many communities. Yet despite my urging, the White House refused to give the states a chance to provide real input—another sad example of arrogant overreach. If we are going to get America back on track, job-crushing regulations like this must stop. Our unified Republican government will act to provide coal country with relief."Read More
Obamacare has failed the American people, and things are only getting worse by the day:
All of these trends are heading in the wrong direction. The trajectory we are on points to the likely possibility that Obamacare is already in what experts call a “death spiral,” where there is such little competition that costs skyrocket and the market collapses. Here's what Doug Badger of the Galen Institute wrote earlier this month:
The very real possibility of a death spiral picked up last spring, when insurers warned that their losses from Obamacare were “unsustainable.” The Hill reported on April 15:
Sure enough, as the summer unfolded and premium increases piled up, the death spiral began to take shape:
Indeed, even Democrats knew Obamacare was unraveling, and began plotting to impose government-run health care. Now they are digging in to defend the status quo. But the answer isn’t to ignore the problem. The situation is too dire. The time to act is now. This is the third piece in an ongoing series. Part 1: Repeal Is Relief Part 2: ObamaCare Has FailedRead More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement commending President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to serve as Director of the Office of Management and Budget:
“Mick Mulvaney is the absolute right choice. In Congress, he has been a conservative reformer from day one, proposing solutions to fix the budget process and our regulatory system. At OMB, he will lead the work he has started to improve the way government does the people's business. Mick is someone I have come to greatly respect and rely on, going back to our time serving together on the Budget Committee. I look forward to working with Mick in his new role, and I commend President-elect Trump on this excellent selection.”Read More
This week, Speaker Ryan participated in the Opportunity America #ThisWayUp16 Summit to discuss how a unified Republican government can tackle poverty, grow the economy, and get our country back to work. After his remarks, Speaker Ryan took questions from Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Gerald Seib.
Here are the top five moments:
We need to close the skills gap in this country to get Americans back on the path to upward mobility. pic.twitter.com/3hTyetZkzx— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 16, 2016
Providing much-needed regulatory relief to American job-creators will help grow the economy and get our country back to work. pic.twitter.com/ja9U8YOwbY— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 16, 2016
While you were (hopefully) sleeping at 12:52 this morning, the lights were on in the White House press office.
Why? Because that’s when they sent out a statement announcing that extending the Iran Sanctions Act—one of the very laws that helped bring Iran to the negotiating table—is “unnecessary".
Therefore, the White House explained, “the Iran Sanctions Act is becoming law without the President’s signature.”
Ah yes, a true profile in courage.
Here’s the real story. The administration not-so-privately opposed a ten-year renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act—a law that imposed strong economic sanctions on Tehran’s energy sector. Not only is this law necessary, it is critical to protecting America's interests. But that didn't stop Secretary John Kerry from launching a personal lobbying campaign with Senate Democrats to stop the bill.
This put President Obama in a bind. On one hand, he feared Iranian warnings that an extension would void the nuclear agreement. At the same time, he faced veto-proof majorities in both chambers of Congress.
And that brings us to last night.
By allowing the bill to become law without his signature, President Obama once again signaled to the world that he won’t stand up to the mullahs. Moreover, he missed an important chance to bring Americans together in the face of Iranian aggression. Instead, a midnight press release that epitomized this administration’s legacy of going out of its way to appease our enemies at the expense of our allies.
In any case, the Iran Sanctions Act is now law for another decade. As Speaker Ryan said after signing the bill earlier this month, “Congress must maintain the ability to immediately reinstate sanctions against Iran. Now President-elect Trump will have the opportunity to evaluate our policy towards Iran independent of additional interference from the outgoing administration.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Tomorrow, Friday, December 16, the United States Capitol will receive a historic visit from a superhero on a special mission. By day, Kaheem is a 5-year old from Owings Mills, MD who is battling leukemia. But with the help of Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, Kaheem will transform into a superhero on a mission to restore our capital city’s spirit. Kaheem’s mission will be broadcast on FOX5 DC, which previewed Kaheem’s wish come true: “While a lot of kids wish to go to Disney World or to some other place, all Kaheem wants to do is to help people. His room is filled with all types of superheroes, superheroes that he looks up to. They have always been a big part of his life, but especially now that he is battling such a tough battle.” Super Kaheem will make several stops throughout the city in his quest to save its citizens. At the Capitol, he will team up with Capitol Police and take on a mission in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) office. Follow @SpeakerRyan on Twitter and Facebook for #SuperKaheem updates. “We can’t thank Super Kaheem enough for coming to help us,” Speaker Ryan said. “But we don’t just need Super Kaheem’s help, we need his spirit, which reminds us that nothing is more rewarding than helping others, especially at this time of year. This will be a magical day, and we are truly honored to be part of it.”Read More
Six years after the enactment of Obamacare, here’s what we know: This law has failed the American people.
Skyrocketing Premiums President Obama promised that Obamacare would help bring down premium costs for an average household. Families have instead seen their premiums skyrocket anywhere from 20 percent in some states to more than 50 percent in others. These double-digit premium hikes have already made health care unaffordable for many hardworking Americans, and it’s only going to get worse from here.
Soaring Deductibles Deductibles have soared under Obamacare to the point that many Americans feel like they don’t even have health insurance. People with silver plans have seen their deductibles rise to an average of $3,000, while those with bronze plans face deductibles of more than $5,500. To make matters worse, the increase of deductibles over the past several years has far outpaced the average worker’s wages. This means more Americans paying more out-of-pocket for more expensive health care coverage.
Collapsing MarketsNearly 75 percent of state-run Obamacare CO-OPs have already collapsed—with more on the way—forcing more than 800,000 Americans to find new coverage. Following New Jersey’s announcement in September that it will close its CO-OP, kicking 35,000 consumers off their plans next year, only six of the original 23 CO-OPs are left standing. In total, the 17 failed CO-OPs have already cost taxpayers $1.8 billion.
Fewer Choices As a result of major insurers withdrawing from marketplaces nationwide, families have been left with few, if any, options of carriers. Take Tennessee, for example, where a majority of counties offer coverage from only a single insurer. Or North Carolina, where more than a quarter million people are losing their plans as two of three existing insurers leave the marketplace. Or Alaska, where consumers are already down to a choice of just one carrier. This growing trend means less or no competition among insurers, which means higher costs and fewer choices for hardworking families.
Broken Promises We know you remember this line from President Obama: “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” This was the central promise on which Obamacare was sold to the American people, and it turned out to be a Lie of the Year. More than two million Americans were kicked off their plans and forced to look elsewhere for coverage. In many cases, this meant losing access to their preferred primary physician in lieu of a worse—and more expensive—health care plan.
As you can see, this law has already failed. But it’s also getting even worse. That’s why, when it comes to Obamacare, repeal means relief—relief from the higher costs, low-quality care, and more broken promises.Read More
Recently, Speaker Ryan took part in an event on Capitol Hill honoring Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), who is retiring at the end of this Congress.
Rep. Pitts has given his life to public service. A teacher. An Air Force captain. Three tours in Vietnam. Ten terms in Congress. Founder of the Values Action Team. Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee.
But more than any title or tenure, Joe Pitts’ greatest legacy may be his devotion to the principle that every life matters. He has spoken out for political prisoners and used his platform to fight human rights abuses. He has promoted religious freedom and helped start prayer breakfasts all around the world. And he has been a champion of the unborn, waging battle after battle to protect life and defend the conscience rights of taxpayers.
At the event, Speaker Ryan called Rep. Pitts the conservative conscience of the people’s House. A man of faith and a leader of action, we are grateful for his service.
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement commending President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Congressman Ryan Zinke (R-MT) to serve as Secretary of the Interior:
“Ryan is a no-nonsense leader who has spent his entire life serving this country. He went above and beyond the call of duty as a Navy SEAL for more than two decades. After hanging up the uniform, he decided to continue his service by representing the people of Montana in the House. As a member of the Natural Resources Committee, he has been an ardent supporter of all-of-the-above energy policies and responsible land management. And as a Westerner with close to one third of his state owned by the federal government, he is intimately familiar with how Washington’s decisions affect people’s lives. Ryan’s experience and commitment to improving the lives of all Americans will make him an excellent Interior Secretary. I could not be happier for Ryan, Lola, and their entire family.”
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today announced that he has promoted long-time aide Jonathan Burks to serve as chief of staff. Burks succeeds Capitol Hill veteran Dave Hoppe, who is departing the speaker’s office following the holidays to pursue a new opportunity.
Burks, a policy specialist with experience in the House, Senate, and White House, has worked for Ryan for most of the last six years, most recently as the speaker’s national security advisor. In addition, Burks has been serving as the speaker’s liaison to the transition team of the incoming administration. With this announcement, the speaker released the following statement:
“I am eternally grateful to Dave Hoppe for returning to the Capitol to navigate this past year and help me make it such a success. When this job came at me unexpectedly, I asked Dave to take a year of his career and put together a speakership almost overnight. His invaluable experience, principled vision, and joyful demeanor made it truly seamless. He helped steer a conservative policy agenda and find critical common ground in divided government. I thank him for his friendship, and the whole House thanks him for his service. I wish Dave and his family all the best in his next adventure.
“No one is better suited to step into this role at this time than Jonathan Burks. Simply put, he can do it all. Jonathan is whip-smart, determined, and just knows how to get things done. From helping me pass my first budget years ago to running our transition efforts today, there’s never been a job I couldn’t throw at him. Having held senior positions in the House, Senate, and executive branch, he understands how every lever of government works and enjoys the respect of his peers across the board. Now, as we work to enact a bold agenda with the new administration, Jonathan's broad and deep policy knowledge will be critical to delivering on our promises to the American people. I’m grateful that Jonathan has accepted this role and excited for him to get started.”
About Jonathan Burks:
Before becoming chief of staff, Jonathan Burks served as national security advisor to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). During his nearly two decades in public policy, he has been the policy advisor for budget and appropriations issues to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the policy director for the House Budget Committee under then-Chairman Ryan, the deputy policy director for the Romney for President campaign, the director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the senior advisor (chief of staff) to the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, a special assistant to the President of the United States, a deputy assistant to the Vice President of the United States, and a policy analyst on the House Republican Policy Committee.
Burks received his Masters in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and his Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Joy.Read More
IT HAS FAILED Obamacare is a disaster. Insurance markets are collapsing. Premiums are soaring. Patients’ choices are dwindling. The law has failed to deliver on its core promises, hurting far more than it is helping.
The country knows that the Obamacare status quo is unsustainable: Eight out of 10 Americans want to change the law significantly or replace it altogether, according to Gallup.
THE WORST IS YET TO COME But the answer isn’t to ignore the problem. The situation is too dire and Obamacare is only getting worse by the day. It’s time to act.
REPEAL IS RELIEF When Congress reconvenes, we will begin repairing the damage by passing the legislative tools that are necessary to repeal Obamacare. We will deliver on our promise to the American people.
STABLE TRANSITION Once enacted, there will be a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care.
A BETTER WAY: more choices, lower costs, greater control over your health care
Later today, President Obama will sign into law the 21st Century Cures Act, groundbreaking legislation to jumpstart medical innovation and treatment for rare diseases. It will help save lives.
And if the president signs the national defense bill, our troops will see their biggest pay raise in six years.
Sometimes good news like this gets missed, so Speaker Ryan made a list—yes yes, we checked it twice—and shared it at his last weekly press briefing of 2016:
“The holiday season is a time for making lists, so today I would like to offer one of my own. These are just some of the things that the 114th Congress has achieved for the American people:
“My predecessor, John Boehner, was a big part of this work. He used to say that about 90 percent of what we do around here is bipartisan. It’s the other 10 percent that tends to get all the attention. Bipartisanship is not rare. It is just rarely noted.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on cyber threats:
“We must condemn and push back forcefully against any state-sponsored cyberattacks on our democratic process. Throughout this Congress, Chairman Nunes and the Intelligence Committee have been working diligently on the cyber threats posed by foreign governments and terrorist organizations to the security and institutions of the United States. This important work will continue and has my support. As I’ve said before, any foreign intervention in our elections is entirely unacceptable. And any intervention by Russia is especially problematic because, under President Putin, Russia has been an aggressor that consistently undermines American interests. At the same time, exploiting the work of our intelligence community for partisan purposes does a grave disservice to those professionals and potentially jeopardizes our national security. As we work to protect our democracy from foreign influence, we should not cast doubt on the clear and decisive outcome of this election.”
After meeting with President-elect Trump earlier in the day, Speaker Ryan appeared on Hannity to discuss the priorities of the new unified Republican government. “We finally, finally have this great opportunity that’s been given to us by the American people to get this country back on track, to relimit our government, to honor the Constitution, to clean this mess up,” he said. Check out more excerpts below:
Speaker Ryan on Obamacare: Repeal Is Relief
“It’s getting worse with Obamacare. … Double-digit premium increases. They’re making the deductibles so high, it’s not like you even have insurance in the first place. What we anticipate coming in 2017 is more of that.”
“What we want to do is bring relief immediately. We are going to work on our repeal legislation immediately. And then we have to make sure that there’s that good transition period, so that people don’t have the rug pulled out from under them, and we can bring relief as quickly as possible.”
Speaker Ryan on Working Closely with President-Elect Trump
“The conversations we have always revolve around just getting things done. How we’re going to replace Obamacare. What tax reform looks like. How we’re going to secure the border. How we’re going to get people from welfare to work. What does rebuilding the military look like. These are the things we’re talking about, and now we’re just talking about, how do we execute it.”
“What I’m really impressed with is the Cabinet that he’s putting together. This is a very good Cabinet. He is picking very good people. This is something that those of us who have been fighting against this liberal progressive government really excited. … The way I look at it is, why don’t we all stop underestimating Donald Trump? I think that’d be a smart thing to do.”
Speaker Ryan on Border Security, the VA, and Education
“What President-elect Trump has asked us to focus on is enforcing current law… and getting the border secured. That’s what he says he wants us focused on, and that’s exactly what we’re working on.”
“House Republicans—Jeff Miller, the chairman of the committee—he's the one who uncovered the disgrace at the VA. So we're the ones who brought the Choice program in place to give veterans recourse away from these waiting lists, so absolutely. That place really needs a clearing out.”
"I can't think of a better person than Betsy DeVos, who has really been a trailblazer in education reform on behalf of choice and charter schools, which to me is really one of the critical components of fighting poverty more effectively. ... We've already pushed the dollars back to the states. Now we want to encourage innovation, like choice and charter, to actually take place, because that is how you get people out of the poverty trap.”
.@SpeakerRyan on Obamacare: “What we want to do is bring relief immediately. We’re going to work on repeal legislation immediately”
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) December 10, 2016
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) discusses #CuresNow—legislation signed by Speaker Ryan this week to bring medical research and innovation into the 21st century.
“The House and Senate have passed this bipartisan legislation which will ensure our health system can keep pace with incredible advances in science and technology,” said Chairman Upton. He continued, “A new day for medical research is on the horizon. A new day of hope for patients and their loved ones. We needed to do better. And with 21st Century Cures, we will.”
Remarks of Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton of MichiganWeekly Republican AddressWashington, DCDecember 10, 2016
Hey there, I’m Fred Upton, Republican Congressman from Southwest Michigan who helped lead the successful, bipartisan effort to find faster cures for families and patients suffering from tragic illness.
The holiday season is one of joy. But, it’s often a time for families to come together and reflect on loved ones lost—taken much too soon by disease.
We’ve all said too many early good-byes to folks that we hold dear. Families robbed of a parent that will never get to see their kids’ milestones. A child born without the gift of a future. Every day, countless folks living vibrant lives are delivered unexpected diagnoses. It’s a cycle that repeats itself over and over and over. Life changes in an instant—and hope seems just out of reach. Whether it be Alzheimer’s, Lupus, MS, cancer… you name it.
So, three years ago, we had an idea. That we could do better. That we needed to do something and transform our health and research system to effectively fight disease in the 21st century.
But we knew the first step had to be doing something that Congress doesn’t do enough of: We had to first listen. And then we engaged. We solicited input. We drafted. We listened some more. It was an inclusive, unique, transparent process that criss-crossed the country, engaging experts in every related field, from pioneering research institutions like the University of Michigan and the Mayo Clinic to government to private industry and everything in between. And most importantly, we listened to patients.
What we learned was staggering. The gap between biomedical innovation and our regulatory process was widening. Of the 10,000 known diseases—7,000 of which are rare—there are treatments for only 500. We needed to change the conversation and restore urgency to boosting research and innovation. And working together, we have with 21st Century Cures.
Science and biomedical innovation have made incredible strides over the last two decades. Mapping the human genome, new biomarkers, and personal health care apps have all offered opportunities to find new treatments and cures.
But the way the FDA and the NIH apply these new innovations to our regulatory process has lagged behind. These agencies—and the rules and regs that they produce affecting the discovery, development, and delivery of lifesaving drugs and devices—also desperately need modernization and innovation. They need a game-changer. And now we have it.
The House and Senate have passed this bipartisan legislation which will ensure our health system can keep pace with incredible advances in science and technology. We break down regulatory barriers and expedite the approvals for safe drugs and devices coupled with billions for more research, including the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot. We also provide critical funding to the FDA so that they have all the tools they need to ensure the safety of these news drugs and devices.
A former head of The National Cancer Institute and FDA has called this “the most transformational biomedical legislation in the past 40 years.” He’s right.
But this package is not just about cures. It also includes valuable resources to fight the opioid epidemic that’s impacting every single community, and delivers landmark mental health reforms that will make a real difference, helping families in crisis and treating mental illness rather than incarceration. Treatment, not tragedy was the overriding theme of mental health reform. Yes, this is one of the most important and impactful bills we will enact this Congress.
Patients aren’t interested in debating the timelines, the failure rates, the size and costs of conducting clinical trials. They just know that despite the promise of scientific breakthroughs, they can’t get the therapy that might save their lives one day. That is why we need 21st Century Cures.
We are on the cusp of something special. A once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform how we treat disease. President Obama will sign this legislation into law next week and his help was critical in getting this new law enacted—so we say thank you Mr. President.
A new day for medical research is on the horizon. A new day of hope for patients and their loved ones. We needed to do better. And with 21st Century Cures, we will. Thank you and have a blessed holiday season.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that this week’s Republican address will be delivered by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). In the address, Chairman Upton will discuss the 21st Century Cures Act, groundbreaking medical innovation legislation signed by Speaker Ryan earlier this week.
“We had an idea three years ago that patients deserved better—that medicine wasn't keeping pace with incredible advancements in science,” said Chairman Upton. “Patients needed an innovation game-changer, and we have it with 21st Century Cures. The landmark legislation will accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of safe new cures and treatments. For families across the country, this legislation to help deliver #CuresNow marks a renewed dawn of hope.”
“Fred Upton is one of the main reasons Americans will start to see improved medical care and healthier lives,” said Speaker Ryan. “The Cures Act will help researchers and doctors unlock the next generation of cures and treatments for their patients.” As he said at yesterday’s bill signing, “I could not think of a better way to end the year than by signing this bill.”
Chairman Fred Upton represents the commonsense values of southwest Michigan with a district that stretches from the shores of Lake Michigan and includes key industries that range from automobile parts manufacturing to high-tech biomedical innovation centers. In 2010, Chairman Upton was selected by his House colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. In 2014, Chairman Upton unveiled the bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative, a multi-year effort that aims to accelerate the pace of cures and medical breakthroughs in the United States.
Learn more about Chairman Upton by visiting his website, following him on Twitter, or liking his Facebook page. Learn more about the Energy and Commerce Committee by visiting its website, following it on Twitter, or liking its Facebook page.
NOTE: The Weekly Republican Address will be available starting Saturday, December 10, at 6:00 a.m. ET on speaker.gov.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the passing of John Glenn:
“John Glenn was an American hero. As a military pilot, astronaut, and U.S. senator, he never lost his passion for exploration and public service. On behalf of the House, I extend my deepest sympathies to Annie and the entire Glenn family. May his memory live on every time we look up at the stars.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on House passage of S. 612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act:
“This bill provides the resources necessary to ensure the safety and longevity of our water infrastructure, which is a part of everything from commutes to commerce. Importantly, we are fulfilling our commitment to help the people of Flint and communities affected by contaminated drinking water. In addition, we are taking steps to deliver much-needed water relief to Californians, who are experiencing their worst drought in a century. I applaud Chairman Shuster for his work on this important legislation, which we look forward to sending to the president’s desk.”
Today, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)—joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and other members of the House and Senate—signed the 21st Century Cures Act, bipartisan legislation to reform our approach to medical research and innovation. With his signature, the bill now goes to the president's desk to become law. Below are Speaker Ryan's opening remarks for the enrollment ceremony:
“What a day, and what a moment. I could not think of a better way to end the year than by signing this bill. This is exactly the kind of legislation that we need to be passing. This bill takes head on one of the big challenges we face: curing what today are considered incurable diseases. I don’t have to tell any of you that this moment was a very, very long time coming. And we would not be here if it were not for the tireless, relentless work by so many people that are standing here today like Fred Upton. And now, we have a lot to show for it.
“I just want to say to all those legislators here, fantastic—you guys just did such a good job. Look what we have to show for it: More money for medical research; a streamlined process for approving new drugs and devices. That means millions of patients will get the treatments that they need. I’m talking about people like our good friend over here, Max Schill. Speeding up medical innovation could mean fewer surgeries and less hassle for Max. It could mean millions of Americans get to live longer, healthier lives. If that doesn’t convince you that we need this bill, then I don’t know what will.
“I’d also be remiss if I did not recognize the good work of Congressman Tim Murphy. Tim Murphy, just like everybody else on Cures, worked so hard on getting mental health reform over the finish line—criss-crossing America, listening, doing hearings, talking to people about how to fix these issues. He’s led the charge to bring attention and the resources to mental health issues.
“But all of you have worked very hard to put the patient back in charge. That’s what this is all about. I am so proud of all of the accomplishments of these members, and I simply want to say: Thank you and job well done.”
Today’s ceremony included Max Schill. Max, who was born with a rare disease called Noonan Syndrome, has been a leading advocate for this bipartisan legislation. Max turns 8 next week, and as he wrote on gop.gov, “My birthday wish is that 21st Century Cures will pass and become a law.”
This morning, Speaker Ryan joined CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss how a unified Republican government will tackle issues ranging from tax reform to repealing and replacing Obamacare. Below are excerpts from their conversation:
Obamacare Is Failing“This law is getting much worse. It is what actuaries say is entering a death spiral—high, high premium increases, high deductibles, no choices. So we have to fix this problem. . . . This law is just failing very, very quickly. We’ve got to replace this law. And we will have a transition period so that we don’t pull the rug out from people.”
A More Competitive Tax Code“The plan that we wrote is revenue neutral. We now take into account economic effects of tax changes—they call it dynamic scoring, I call it reality-based scoring—and we will use that so that we make sure that we maximize the economic growth potential. The last thing we want to do is not write tax reform where we’re not thinking about how to maximize growth. So our tax reform is going to be focused on maximizing growth and competitiveness of American businesses, and we will do that in a way where we will make it revenue neutral. That means you have to plug loopholes—tax expenditures—so you can lower rates. And so it’s really going to come down to as to how low we can get [the corporate tax] rate. We believe we can do it at 20 percent right now. If we can squeeze the numbers and plug more loopholes and get us to 15 percent—great. The lower the better as far as I’m concerned.”
We’re Going to Hit the Ground Running“We spent all of 2016 getting ready for the possible opportunity of having a unified government in 2017. The House went through the entire exercise—every committee working, every member of the House Republican conference working. . . . We’ve been working on our tax-reform legislation for over a year. We’ve been working on our welfare-reform legislation, on our health care legislation, on our regulatory agenda, on our energy policy. So it’s not just talking points and pablum. Our committees—what I told our committees a year ago, our members is: Assume we get the White House and Congress. And then, come 2018, what do you want to have accomplished for the country to get this country back on the right track. What does that look like? Plan now. This is your plan. So for the next year—this is 2016, back at the end of 2015—do everything you need to do to get ready to do that. So this is exactly what Congress and the House have been working on for the last year—getting everything ready to basically rock and roll in 2017 and get working."Read More
It was 7:48am in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii when the planes arrived. Our troops awoke to a barrage from hundreds of Japanese aircraft overhead. But they didn’t panic or hide—they fought back.
We lost 2,403 Americans that day. These brave men and women died, like many before and after them, fighting to protect our freedoms. The attack may have sunk battleships and taken lives, but it did not sink our resolve. In the years that followed, resilience and strength born out of tragedy led the United States to victory in World War II.
In that spirit, today we are sending to the president’s desk two bills honoring World War II heroes with the Congressional Gold Medal. It is the highest honor we can bestow.
S. 1555 honors the Filipino veterans who fought, and in some cases gave their lives, alongside our troops on the battlefield. Tens of thousands of Filipinos played a pivotal role in securing the Allied victory in the Pacific, and they’ve gone without proper recognition for far too long.
S. 2234 honors the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the intelligence agency tasked with executing some of the most dangerous covert missions of the war effort. Members of the OSS worked undercover and behind enemy lines to gather reconnaissance that led to the success of many critical operations, including D-Day.
From a day of infamy came a generation of heroes. They remind us always of the values—and the people—we hold dear.Read More
WASHINGTON—Tonight, the 2016 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was lit for the first time, with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and fifth-grader Isabella Gerard of Boise, Idaho doing the honors. This year’s tree—an 80-foot Engelmann spruce from Payette National Forest—will be lit every evening through Christmas night. Speaker Ryan made the following remarks prior to lighting the tree, as prepared for delivery:
Well, in the words of Yogi Berra, at least it’s a dry rain.
Either way, this is a night to be grateful. Grateful for everyone who put this together: Stephen and his team, the forest service, the people of Idaho. And grateful for the chance to celebrate together. So I want to say to all of you—whatever you did to make this happen—thank you very, very much.
Not to get too carried away, but I couldn’t feel more hopeful about our country than I do tonight. And by that I don’t mean just that I’m optimistic, though I certainly am. What I mean is, to see so many people work so hard for so long just to give our Capitol some Christmas cheer—well, it’s nothing short of inspiring.
Hope is not the expectation of good fortune. It is the demonstration of good will. It is the determination to do good, whatever the consequences may be.
That is the message of the Christmas story. Christ’s birth, like this tree, is a reminder that God is always with us. We may neglect him. We may reject him. But he never forsakes us. He always welcomes us back into his warm embrace. He lights our way. He makes straight our path. He fills every valley and brings every mountain low. We have only to accept the love he offers us.
And tonight, we accept it with joy.
Merry Christmas, everybody.
Dec 6, 2016 at 4:22pm PST
2016 was a busy—and productive—year for House Republicans. At a press conference with other Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed 2016 and the #BetterWay that's on the horizon:
"At the start of this year, we as House Republicans made a number of commitments to the American people.
"First, we pledged to open up the process—to find common ground for the good of the country. If you look at how we are wrapping up our work for the end of the year here, we’ve done just that: 21st Century Cures. The National Defense Authorization Bill. The water resources bill.
"These initiatives all went through the committees. They are all bipartisan. And they are all House-Senate agreements.
"That is how we should do things here. It’s important, because that’s exactly how things should work.
"The most overarching thing we set out to do—going all the way back to our retreat in Baltimore almost a year ago—was that we would raise our gaze. We would go from being seen as simply being an opposition party to being a proposition party. And with 7 out of 10 Americans unhappy with the direction our country is headed, we felt we had a duty—a moral obligation—to offer our fellow citizens a better way forward. And that’s exactly what we did.
"We did not just check the box to win an election, or we didn’t do this so I could just [promote] a website—better.gop—a thousand times with you. The idea was, if we actually won the election by campaigning on solutions and ideas, we would be ready to govern.
"And here we are. We are ready to hit the ground running, and we need to hit the ground running. We gave the people a very clear choice, and now the people have given us very clear instructions: deliver results and deliver relief.
"Relief from Obamacare—this law is hurting families and it’s only going to get worse. Relief from this broken tax code that is costing us jobs, competitiveness, and growth. Relief from overreach and needless regulations that are crushing livelihoods and industries across this country.
"That is what a unified Republican government will be about. It will be about helping our people reach their potential, and making America great again.
"So 2016 was about raising our gaze. 2017 is going to be about doing big things for our country."Read More
This year's Capitol Christmas Tree is ready to be lit, and we for one are excited about it. (Heck, I started writing this post three months ago.) Rain or shine, the tree lighting ceremony gets underway tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. ET, and it will air on speaker.gov/live.
Every year, the Architect of the Capitol and the U.S. Forest Service work together to select a tree from one of our national forests. This year's edition—an 80-foot Engelmann spruce—comes from Payette National Forest in McCall, Idaho.
The truck After the tree was cut, it began the 2,500-mile journey to the Capitol, stopping for public events in cities and towns along the way. Gary Amoth, the trucker from Twin Falls, Idaho, who drove the tree to the Capitol before daybreak last week, said, “It’s awe-inspiring. If you’ve never been here, as I’ve not, it’s pretty awesome.”
The tradition According to the House historian, the modern Capitol Christmas Tree tradition dates back to 1962, when Speaker John McCormack had a tree placed in National Statuary Hall, declaring it “most appropriate that a Christmas tree be placed in the Capitol, which is the heart of legislative activity of our country.” The practice of planting a tree on the West Front began a little later.
The trimmings The Architect of the Capitol and his team have decorated the tree with ornaments handmade by Idahoans. All told, there are 18,000 ornaments to go on the big tree and 70 companion trees around Capitol Hill.
The toys The tree lighting ceremony is surrounded by events that honor what the season is all about. Every year, we part in an annual toy collection drive organized by the Marine Corps Liaisons for the House of Representatives.
The good tidings To flip the switch, Speaker Ryan will be joined by Boise fifth-grader Isabella Gerard, who submitted a poem as part of a statewide contest. Here is an excerpt from Isabella's poem: “Idaho is blessed with beautiful mountains and immense forests. In the winter the mountains and forests are covered with snow, making the landscape look like never ending clouds with skyscrapers covered in snow.”
The splendor This year's tree will stand in front of the newly restored Capitol Dome, and it will be lit every evening through Christmas night.Read More
Last night, Speaker Ryan appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes for a conversation with Scott Pelley, ranging from what Congress plans to tackle in 2017 to working with President-elect Trump. Below are excerpts from their conversation:
Obamacare: “The first bill we’re going to be working on is our Obamacare legislation. . . . What we know is we have to make good on this promise. We have to bring relief as fast as possible to people who are struggling under Obamacare. . . . Patient-centered healthcare that gets everybody access to affordable healthcare coverage. So they can buy what they what they want to buy. . . . We will give everyone access to affordable healthcare coverage.”
President-elect Trump: “He’s basically giving voice to a lot of people who have felt that they were voiceless. He’s communicating with people in this country who’ve felt like they have not been listened to. He’s going to be an unconventional president. I really think we have a great opportunity in front of us to fix problems, produce results, and improve people’s lives—that’s why we’re here in the first place. And so that’s what’s going to matter at the end of the day. Did we improve people’s lives? Did we solve the problems that the American people need solved? Are we addressing the concerns of people who are tired of being tired. . . . That’s just the way I look at this.”
Poverty: “We feel very strongly about making work pay, about getting people transitioned from welfare to work. Get people skills they need, help they need, so they can get on the ladder of life.”
Economy: “We really want to focus on economic growth and growing the economy. There are a lot of regulations that are really just crushing jobs. Look at the coal miners in the Rust Belt that are getting out of work . . . the loggers and the timber workers and the paper mills on the West Coast . . . the ranchers or farmers in the Midwest . . . We’re talking about smarter regulations that actually help us grow jobs in this country. . . . We have a real economic growth problem in America. We are limping along. Wages are flat, and jobs aren’t being created near to the extent that they could and should be. So we think regulatory relief is very, very important. And that’s something we’re going to work on day one.”
BONUS: Want to know what 2017 holds in under 60 seconds? Speaker Ryan lays out six priorities on 60 Minutes overtime.Read More
Yesterday, before I headed home to WI, I signed a bunch of really good bills that are all now headed to the president's desk to become law.— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 3, 2016
The Veterans Mobility Safety Act reforms outdated VA policies to improve the quality and safety of equipment used by disabled veterans. pic.twitter.com/wi1FN7PCcF— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 3, 2016
The Northern Border Security Review Act requires the government to analyze & address current & potential threats along our northern border. pic.twitter.com/ENDIJIh0Fi— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 3, 2016
The Consumer Review Fairness Act protects the right to submit online feedback without fear of retribution. pic.twitter.com/GoYedDhqtH— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 3, 2016
The First Responder Preparedness Act makes the anthrax vaccine available to first responders in the event of an attack. pic.twitter.com/DjkC9Ix84r— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 3, 2016
The Iran Sanctions Act keeps a critical tool in place for Congress to hold the Iranian regime accountable. pic.twitter.com/f8PV3CLDgH— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 3, 2016
WASHINGTON—Today, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) congratulated Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers and his staff on completing the first comprehensive restoration of the Capitol Dome in more than 50 years. Ayers and his team have repaired more than 1,300 cracks and deficiencies in the dome’s cast iron. At a morning celebration marking the project’s successful completion, the speaker thanked everyone involved for all their hard work. Below are his remarks.
All I can say is, I am very, very impressed. This was a huge, huge job, and you did it flawlessly. Look, I remember, Stephen, not too long ago, we were up climbing the scaffolding on the outside with ["The Today Show"], looking at the progress. On time, under budget, accident-free — it’s amazing; it really is. This is my 18th year in Congress. I just got elected, as Stephen said, to my tenth term. I was here as a staffer five years before that. So it has been a long time since I’ve heard the words "on time and under budget." And I don’t need any reminding, but I just want to stress to you, really, just how important your work is to all of us.
I remember — because as you know, my office is right off the side of the Rotunda — I remember when they closed off the Rotunda just to take down the scaffolding. It was just a couple of weeks. But it was just, for a couple of weeks, a big loss. It was just this sense you couldn't go in the Rotunda, you couldn't take constituents, people couldn't go see their Rotunda. And even though it wasn’t very long, I was kind of bummed. Think if it was shut down forever. Think if the artwork wasn't preserved. What a disappointment and a loss that would be.
Winston Churchill — We just did a Churchill event because we have a bust in Freedom Foyer the other night. And there are so many great Churchill quotes. I'm a huge Churchill fan. He once said that we shape our buildings and then our buildings shape us. There is no place where that is not more true than the Rotunda and the U.S. Capitol. All the statues, all the chandeliers, the staircases, just everything, it has an effect on us. You walk through and you know this is where the greats that stood before us, you know, adjudicated. This is where Lincoln, you know, argued. This is where Adams, you know, did these things. It's an amazing, inspiring place. And we have you to thank for preserving this daily dose of inspiration for us. This is one of those kinds of places that inspires us to be bigger and to be better than our everyday selves. And the day if you're in Congress you don't look up in awe of this awesome responsibility that we've been given is the day you shouldn't be here. And so this building is really such an inspiration to those of us who serve here.
And you showed us all how a group of hardworking people working together can truly do something that's grand. When you think about it, that’s kind of what this country is all about. When you think about the symbolism of what you've been able to accomplish here, and what it does to lead and to inspire and to raise our gaze to a bigger horizon, to be bigger than ourselves, and to think about how great our potential truly is, it is just the perfect symbolism for where we have to go. And I just want to say on behalf of the entire House of Representatives, on behalf of the United States Congress, and on behalf of the 300 million-plus Americans who have the opportunity to come here and see this great beacon of democracy, “Thank you.” Thank you for what you've done to make us proud. Thank you for what you've done to preserve this beautiful and inspiring legacy.Read More
I just signed a 10-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act. Next stop → The president's desk. pic.twitter.com/ucSF9k4Mvm— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 2, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after signing H.R. 6297, the Iran Sanctions Extension Act:
“I am pleased that despite initial hesitation, the White House has heeded our call and indicated that it will sign this bipartisan legislation. As Tehran continues to sponsor terrorism, test-fire ballistic missiles, and violate the nuclear agreement, Congress must maintain the ability to immediately reinstate sanctions against Iran. Now President-elect Trump will have the opportunity to evaluate our policy towards Iran independent of additional interference from the outgoing administration.”
NOTE: The House passed H.R. 6297, authored by House Foreign Affairs Comittee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), by a vote of 419-1. The Senate passed identical legislation by a vote of 99-0.Read More
BREAKING NEWS → The House just passed the largest pay raise for our troops in six years. And it is well-deserved.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday, December 2, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on House passage of S. 2943, the Conference Report to accompany the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act:
“Our Better Way agenda calls for building a 21st century military, and this defense bill delivers important reforms to get us there. In addition to boosting base funding to tackle this readiness gap and equip our troops with cutting-edge technology, it maintains strict prohibitions on transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to American soil. I’m particularly proud that this NDAA includes the largest pay raise our troops have seen in six years—and it’s well-deserved. I want to commend Mac Thornberry and all the members of the Armed Services Committee for their work on this legislation."Read More
WASHINGTON — One year after their sit-down in Janesville, WI, this Sunday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will appear on CBS's 60 Minutes for an interview with host Scott Pelley. Filmed in Speaker Ryan's Capitol office, the wide-ranging interview will air in full on December 4 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Details: Speaker Ryan on CBS's 60 Minutes with Scott Pelley Sunday, December 4, at 7:00 p.m. ET Learn more about 60 Minutes here.Read More
General Mattis is exactly the right choice to lead the Pentagon after 8 years of fecklessness under President Obama.My full statement ↓ pic.twitter.com/TDaFGef7sU— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 2, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement commending President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of General James Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense:
“General Mattis is exactly the right choice to lead the Pentagon after eight years of fecklessness under President Obama. With this selection, it’s clear President-elect Trump is serious about rebuilding our military, defeating ISIS, and keeping Americans safe. I applaud this decision, and look forward to working with General Mattis and the Trump administration to restore American leadership at home and abroad.”Read More
WASHINGTON—The House Republican Steering Committee today approved the following recommendations for committee chairs in the 115th Congress.
Agriculture: Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)Appropriations: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)Armed Services: Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX)Budget: Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)Education and the Workforce: Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)Energy and Commerce: Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)Financial Services: Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)Foreign Affairs: Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)Homeland Security: Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)Judiciary: Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)Natural Resources: Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)Oversight and Government Reform: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)Science, Space, and Technology: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)Small Business: Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH)Transportation and Infrastructure: Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)Veterans’ Affairs: Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)Ways and Means: Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
In addition, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has made the following committee chair appointments:
Administration: Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)Ethics: Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN)Joint Economic Committee: Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)Intelligence: Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)Rules: Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
NOTE: These recommendations will be presented to the full House Republican Conference tomorrow for official ratification.Read More
In case you missed it, last night, the House passed the 21st Century Cures Act with an overwhelming bipartisan vote. Speaker Ryan thanked those who contributed to its success, especially Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, this morning at his weekly press briefing:
“First of all, I just want to say how excited we are with the fact that we passed the 21st Century Cures legislation yesterday with a vote of 392. This was fantastic bipartisan legislation, which also included our mental health reforms. Kudos go out to Fred Upton, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, [and] Tim Murphy, who worked so hard on these pieces of legislation. I also want to thank the Democrats for working with us in good faith—on the [Energy and] Commerce Committee in particular—for getting this legislation across the finish line, and I expect this to pass in the Senate.”
Learn more about the 21st Century Cures Act here.Read More
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 1, 2016
Tomorrow, the House will vote on final passage of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This bill, which continues a more-than-five-decade tradition of bipartisan support, funds our troops and helps keep Americans safe.
You can get the full details here, but in short the 2017 NDAA:
A central plank of the House Republican #BetterWay agenda is to rebuild our military, support our troops, and protect our homeland. This is exactly what this year’s NDAA will help us accomplish. We expect a strong vote tomorrow, and urge President Obama to sign this critical bill into law once it reaches his desk.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after House passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan bill to reform our approach to medical research and delivery:
“We are about to change the very way we do medical research and development in this country. With this bill, we are laying the groundwork for medical breakthroughs that will help countless Americans suffering from what today are considered incurable diseases. We would not have gotten this far if it weren’t for the tireless leadership of Fred Upton. I join the many grateful patients and their families in offering him my deepest thanks.”Read More
43.8 million—that’s how many Americans experience some type of mental illness each year. One in every five adults live with it every day—meaning there’s a strong chance you or someone you love has suffered under the unrelenting weight of this disease. Sixty percent of adults living with mental illness didn’t receive care in the previous year.
For those who do seek help, many are often met with limited resources and a broken system that can’t properly address their needs. As Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) said, federal agencies have become “feel-good programs” instead of emphasizing the evidence-based care Americans so desperately need. That’s why, last year, Speaker Ryan joined Rep. Murphy and families around the country in calling for mental health reform to be a national priority.
A years-long effort began to bear fruit in June, when the Energy and Commerce Committee approved Rep. Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. In July, the House followed suit, passing the measure with 422 votes.
At a CNN town hall this summer, Speaker Ryan touted this common ground and the urgency of the problem: “We have got to get early intervention [to] people with mental illnesses so that we can see these problems before they materialize, and have the ability to do something about it.”
Later today, the House will take up the 21st Century Cures Act, a medical innovation package that will bring hope for patients and accelerate cutting-edge treatments for rare diseases. It will also include the most significant reforms to our mental health system in more than a decade. Among other things, these reforms will modernize our mental health programs, improve mental health services for children with serious emotional disturbance, and strengthen the nation’s mental health reform workforce.
These reforms represent a landmark shift. Mental illness should no longer be left for families to face alone. It can and should be a national priority. And with these reforms, there will be renewed hope for more people.Read More
Today, Speaker Ryan discussed the 21st Century Cures Act—legislation introduced by the Energy and Commerce Committee to bring American health care into the 21st century—at a weekly press conference with House Republicans:
“We are certainly very excited to bring a final bipartisan version of the 21st Century Cures bill to the House floor today. “This has been a long time coming. This is going to be a game-changer. It’s going to be a game-changer for patients and for their families. It will fundamentally transform the way that we treat and cure diseases in this country. Cures provides needed funding, but it does so in a responsible way. “I am also pleased, as you just heard, that this legislation includes Tim Murphy’s mental health legislation—mental health reform. Again, something a long time coming. Not only do we need to bring mental illness out of the shadows, we really have to improve how we address it. We need more coordination, more early intervention, and this bill takes a huge step in that right direction. “I just want to thank Fred Upton and Tim Murphy. They have been pushing this for years. And this is the result of their hard work and their collaboration with other people. I want to thank the Republicans and the Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee for making this possible. “These are ideas that we’ve been working on for years. They did not quit. They did not give up. And this is a result of their hard work.
“And that’s really the driving principle of this legislation: We don’t give up on anybody in the country. Nobody is alone. No matter how rare the disease—no matter how dire the situation—there can always be hope. There should always be hope. And with this legislation, there will be more hope for more families. “We expect very good bipartisan support today, and then we hope the Senate will act swiftly so we can get this bill to the president’s desk.”
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, and Todd Ricketts to key economic posts in the incoming administration:
“I am excited to get to work with this impressive team to fix our broken tax code, ease the regulatory burden on American businesses, and grow our economy. These men together bring decades of experience across a wide spectrum of industries to their respective roles. I have the utmost confidence that they will serve President-elect Trump and the American people well.”Read More
As part of the Better Way health care agenda, we laid out a plan to accelerate the development of cutting-edge cures and treatments. Right now, there are 10,000 known diseases, but we only have treatments for 500 of them. The 21st Century Cures Act, which the House will take up today, seeks to close this gap. Its passage would mean:
It’s important to note that any new funding in this legislation will be fully offset. We have also made this discretionary spending subject to annual review in order to maximize accountability for taxpayers.
Today’s vote is the culmination of a national effort under the leadership of Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Starting in 2013, Chairman Upton and his committee took ideas and stories from all walks of life. They held countless hearings and roundtables. They picked up support from hundreds of organizations. It is a story that can be told in 109 seconds, but for many families, the impact of this work will last a lifetime.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after House passage of H. Con. Res 165 reaffirming Congress’s opposition to UN Security Council resolutions imposing a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
“Republicans and Democrats agree that a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be achieved through direct negotiations. Today, the House urged the Obama administration to forcefully oppose any unilateral moves by the UN to impose a solution to the conflict. These efforts, which almost always place disproportionate pressure on Israel, only push the parties further apart and undermine the cause of peace.”Read More
Elaine Chao is an outstanding choice to serve as the next Secretary of Transportation.
My full statement ↓ pic.twitter.com/rITyxMFb9r
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 29, 2016
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement commending President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao as Secretary of the Department of Transportation:
“Elaine Chao is an outstanding choice to serve as the next Secretary of Transportation. She is a conservative reformer with unrivaled experience and a great passion for improving the lives of working families. We will be particularly fortunate to have Elaine leading the charge as we work to ensure America has the infrastructure needed to keep our economy moving in the 21st century. I congratulate Elaine, and applaud the president-elect on this choice.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement regarding President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services:
"This is the absolute perfect choice. Tom Price has made health care his life's work. As a doctor, he has practiced and taught medicine, and he knows exactly how Washington's decisions affect patients. As a legislator, he has played a leading role in developing conservative health care solutions that put patients first. We could not ask for a better partner to work with Congress to fix our nation's health care challenges. I'm so happy for Tom and his family, and I commend President-elect Trump for this excellent nomination."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement regarding the death of Fidel Castro:
“Now that Fidel Castro is dead, the cruelty and oppression of his regime should die with him. Sadly, much work remains to secure the freedom of the Cuban people, and the United States must be fully committed to that work. Today let us reflect on the memory and sacrifices of all those who have suffered under the Castros.”Read More
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, incoming House GOP Conference Vice Chair Doug Collins (R-GA) delivers a special Thanksgiving message and previews the opportunities that await with a unified Republican government. “Every day, we are guided by our belief in the dignity of every person, and the hope that we will leave our children with a stronger nation than we inherited,” said Rep. Collins. “In the weeks ahead, our mission is to set things on the right course. A unified Republican government offers the people a better way to address some of our biggest challenges.”
NOTE: The audio of the weekly address is available here. Learn more about Rep. Collins by following him on Twitter, liking his Facebook page, or visiting his website.
Representative Doug Collins of Georgia Weekly Republican Address Washington, DC Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Thanksgiving always brings with it the promise of renewal. Renewal of common values and traditions. These things are especially important this year. Our nation faces pressing problems. We have just been through a long and at times divisive campaign. Thanksgiving dinner discussions may be a little more spirited this year than in previous years. But we can be proud to live in a nation where we are free to voice our differences passionately, and resolve them peacefully. We honor these values by gathering together. There is perhaps a timely lesson in the heritage of the holiday itself. It was President Lincoln who, amid the anguish and division of the Civil War, made Thanksgiving a formal holiday. It was a way to bring the country together to honor the blessings that—in his words—“should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged.” And so this pause for reflection has been our annual ritual for more than 150 years. There is much to be grateful for Thanksgiving. We are thankful for the men and women who fight for us, who spend this holiday away from home. We are thankful for the police, first responders, doctors, and nurses who work around the clock to keep us safe. We are thankful for everyone who opens their doors and hearts to those who are less fortunate and in need. Every day, we are guided by our belief in the dignity of every person, and the hope that we will leave our children with a stronger nation than we inherited. In the weeks ahead, our mission is to set things on the right course. A unified Republican government offers the people a better way to address some of our biggest challenges. The work will not be easy. There will always be difficult days. But if we listen and learn from one another, if we seek to empower—and not exploit—one another, our journey ahead will be brighter than the path behind us. And we’ll gather together to give thanks for the heritage we share, for a more perfect union. This Thanksgiving, we are humbled by the opportunity to serve, and the chance to walk with all Americans towards a better way and a brighter future. We wish you and yours a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. And may God always bless the United States of America.Read More
What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? How about your favorite Thanksgiving food? Who carves the turkey at your house?
We asked Speaker Ryan these questions and more in rapid-fire succession. Find out his answers in the 49-second video below:
Thanksgiving Q&ARead More
Happy Thanksgiving! Here are a few of my favorite things about the holiday.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday, November 23, 2016
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 22, 2016
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) sent a letter to President Obama asking him to halt any plans for new concessions to Iran during his final days in office. The letter, which comes amid reports about the administration taking additional steps to bolster Iran’s economy, also encourages President Obama to sign bipartisan legislation currently pending in the Senate to extend the Iran Sanctions Act for ten years.
The lawmakers write:
“We respectfully request that your administration take no further actions designed to bolster international investment in Iran, or otherwise change or alter the existing sanctions regime within international organizations through the use of waivers or through administrative actions to include the issuance of new regulations, general licenses, frequently asked questions, or other guidance.”
Click here to read the full letter.Read More
The first full week as a representative-elect is a busy one. Members-to-be have a jam-packed orientation schedule as they learn how to get a Congressional office up and running, meet their colleagues, and simply navigate the tunnels in and around the Capitol. Speaker Ryan made it a point to welcome more than 50 incoming freshmen and also offer some friendly advice along the way."The campaign is over. Now the real work begins." - Speaker Ryan
Incoming members of the House will be sworn into office in January, when the 115th Congress begins, but a few members who won special elections to fill vacant seats swore their oaths last week, including Rep. James Comer (R-KY).
On their first evening in the Capitol, incoming Republicans join Speaker Ryan for dinner in the Old Hall of the House, where the House met for legislative business from 1807 to 1857. Here, the House Historian points out where many of our forefathers once sat—James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln—and the incoming class begins to get a sense of history for the institution of which they are now a part.3. A Bipartisan Reminder
Being Speaker of the House means exactly that—being Speaker of the whole House. That's why Speaker Ryan offered this tongue-in-cheek reminder before the entire incoming class of Republicans and Democrats: "No matter your party, remember: our fight is not with each other. . .It’s with the Senate."4. Family First
Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McCarthy were joined by their wives, Janna and Judy, in welcoming the spouses of the recently-elected Republican members. As a father of three, the Speaker encouraged the husbands and wives that a work-life balance is indeed possible, adding that "nothing is more important than family."
For more behind-the-scenes photos and video, follow @SpeakerRyan on Instagram and check in on his "Instagram Stories."Read More
Ask his staff what he’s like as a boss, and they’ll tell you without missing a beat: He’s a Marine. That’s the kind of man Rep. John Kline (R-MN) is. Tough. Loyal. Hardworking. And now that he is retiring after six years as chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, his portrait will hang in the committee’s hearing room.
Last Wednesday, Speaker Ryan recounted Kline’s many successes as he celebrated Kline’s career: replacing No Child Left Behind, a major overhaul of our job-training programs, and saving pension plans from bankruptcy. “I bet you that any congressman who looks at this portrait for too long will turn green with envy,” Speaker Ryan said.
And so Speaker Ryan gladly accepted the portrait into the official collection on behalf of a grateful House—and a grateful country. John Kline served 25 years in the Marine Corps. He was a military aide to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. And he faithfully represented the people of Minnesota’s second district for 14 years. There’s no doubt that whoever looks up at this portrait—and knows the story behind it—will think to themselves, “This is a man who did his part.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Obama administration’s five-year plan for offshore oil and natural gas lease sales:
“In its final days, the Obama administration is throwing up more barriers to American energy development. This plan to exclude the resource-rich Arctic from exploration possibilities squanders our ability to harness the abundant, affordable energy sources that power our economy. Our Better Way agenda outlines a plan to unleash our energy potential and create American jobs. That’s why we will work to overturn this plan, and to open up the Arctic and other offshore areas for development.”Read More
Yesterday, Speaker Ryan signed H.R. 5392, the No Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered Act—legislation introduced by Rep. David Young (R-IA) to assure veterans’ needs are prioritized. Prior to signing the bill, Speaker Ryan discussed its significance during his weekly press briefing:
“This week, Congress gave final approval to legislation that will help veterans in need. H.R. 5392 requires the VA [to] respond to calls to its crisis hotlines in a timely manner.
“This is one of those bills that should not even be necessary, but sadly—and tragically—it is. “Earlier this year, we learned that more than one out of three calls to the VA crisis hotline were going unanswered. Imagine a veteran calling for help and then getting sent to voicemail. There is no excuse for that. “This bill, authored by my colleague David Young, requires that the VA make improvements so that veterans actually get the help when they need the help. “As part of our Better Way agenda, we propose building a truly 21st-century VA. And this will be a priority of the new unified Republican government. But for now, this initiative is good news ahead of Thanksgiving, a time to be grateful for all the men and women who have fought for us.” For more from his weekly press briefing, click here.
A photo posted by Speaker Paul Ryan (@speakerryan) on Nov 29, 2016 at 1:04pm PST
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
The Speaker acts as leader of the House and combines several roles: the institutional role of presiding officer and administrative head of the House, the partisan role of leader of the majority party in the House, and the representative role of an elected Member of the House. By statute, the Speaker is also second in line, behind the Vice President, to succeed to the presidency.
The Speaker presides over the House, administering the oath of office to Members, calling the House to order, and preserving order and decorum within the Chamber and in the galleries. Additionally, he appoints the chairmen to preside over the Committee of the Whole, appoints special or select committees, appoints conference committees, has the power of recognition of Members to speak, and makes many important rulings and decisions in the House. The Speaker may vote, but usually does not, except in the case of a tie. The Speaker and the Majority Leader determine the legislative agenda for the House, and often confer with the President and the Senate.