Speaker of the House

Paul Ryan

Speaker Ryan Welcomes Miami University of Ohio Students to Capitol Hill

2017/02/23

It’s a busy time on Capitol Hill, making it the perfect opportunity for college students to get a behind-the-scenes look at the speaker’s office. That’s exactly what happened last week, when Speaker Ryan sat down with a group of students from Miami University of Ohio—his alma mater—who are spending the semester in D.C.

Speaker Ryan got to speak with 17 students—two of whom are economics and political science majors, just like he was—about a litany of topics from repealing and replacing Obamacare to achieving other conservative economic goals like tax reform and regulatory relief. Yes, even the Stream Protection Rule was discussed, legislation passed by the House and recently signed into law by President Trump to protect American coal mining jobs.

Speaker Ryan fielded questions from almost every RedHawk at the table and explained what we’re working on here in Congress. It was a conversation that, as evidenced by the photo above, was the right mix of fun and informative. These bright students will surely turn into leaders of tomorrow.  And Congress is never too busy to welcome and inspire these students. 

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In Rio Grande Valley, Speaker Ryan Meets with Local Leaders

2017/02/23

I met with local leaders in the Rio Grande Valley to learn about the challenges they face along the southern border. https://t.co/UILnoc4oKn pic.twitter.com/TWyKNIChri

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 23, 2017

Yesterday, as part of his tour of the Rio Grande Valley, Speaker Ryan met with to nearly a dozen local leaders from throughout the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas to listen and learn more about the challenges they face in their communities along the southern border.

The speaker made clear that Congress is committed to securing the border by providing law enforcement professionals the tools and support they need to stop the flow of illegal immigration. He also recognized the importance of partnering with local communities to develop effective border security measures and solutions for cross-border trade.

The local leaders expressed their appreciation for Speaker Ryan and the congressional delegation spending time in South Texas to truly understand the complex set of issues involved with border security, especially as it relates to those communities closest to our southern border. They also encouraged the delegation to pursue economic policies that would lead to mutually beneficial relations between the United States and Mexico.

To that end, Speaker Ryan reaffirmed his commitment to modernizing trade agreements with our neighbors, and he highlighted the House Republican plan for tax reform, which would help level the playing field so that American job creators can compete with the rest of the world. 

In their own words:

Mayor Tony Martinez of Brownsville

"Speaker Ryan, on Wednesday afternoon, held a meeting with local leaders that, in my opinion, was the most productive to date, inasmuch as the conversation was truly an exchange of the reality that exists currently in the Rio Grande Valley."

Judge Eddie Trevino of Cameron County

"Ensuring and improving legitimate trade and travel across our borders must be the starting point for any reform efforts on border security, taxes and trade policy, and I appreciate the Speaker's genuine commitment to understanding the Rio Grande Valley's priorities as he navigates the start of this legislative process."

Mayor Chris Boswell of Harlingen

"It was important to the people of Harlingen who live, work and thrive here for the Speaker of the House to come and meet those in our community and have an open ear to our priorities and concerns.  He conveyed his desire to ensure the conversation will continue, and I appreciate his level-headed tone and approach to the discussion."

Judge Ramon Garcia of Hidalgo County

"The Speaker led by example, and I would encourage more Members of Congress to follow his lead and that of Senator Cornyn in coming to the border and educating themselves first so they think before they speak on issues of such importance to our country."

Mayor Jim Darling of McAllen

"The meeting with Speaker Ryan was a unique opportunity for our local government officials to give an in-person viewpoint of the impact of the recent and proposed federal actions on our citizens. Speaker Ryan and Chairman McCaul's participation in the discussion was both heartening and informative."

Judge Eloy Vera of Starr County

"I appreciate Speaker Ryan coming to the Rio Grande Valley and seeing first hand the people and lands on the front lines of the border security debate. It was clear to me he came here to learn, listen and cut through the rhetoric, and I look forward to our community working with him and our congressional delegation in the months ahead."

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Speaker Ryan Tours the Rio Grande Valley

2017/02/22

MCALLEN, TEXASHouse Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and a delegation of House lawmakers from southern border states toured the Rio Grande Valley today to observe border security operations. The delegation began the day with an aerial examination of the area on helicopters, followed by a horse patrol demonstration and a Border Patrol boat tour. After a visit at McAllen Station, Speaker Ryan also met with local leaders to learn more about the challenges they face in their communities along the southern border. Upon the conclusion of his tour, Speaker Ryan offered the following statement.

"When you see with your own eyes the many challenges facing our law enforcement professionals along the border, it gives you even greater respect for the work that they do day-in and day-out. But more tools and more support are needed for them to do their jobs effectively. Congress is committed to securing the border and enforcing our laws, and together with the Trump administration, we will get this done." 

Members of the Speaker's Delegation:

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security

Rep. John Carter (R-TX), Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee

Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Chairwoman of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee

 

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Congressional Review Act Progress in Review

2017/02/22

You’ve heard us talk a lot about the Congressional Review Act (CRA) over the past couple of months. Let’s, well, review, why it’s so important.

Significance: There are huge Obama-era regulations that are choking the economy and costing jobs and taxpayer money. Using the CRA to repeal regulations that were rushed through at the last minute of the administration is the quickest, most sure-fire way to undo President Obama’s liberal, jobs-crushing legacy.

History: Enacted in 1996, the CRA gives Congress a path to repealing harmful, costly regulations. Here’s how it works: Congress has 60 days from when the administration finalizes a rule to review it and vote on the rule. If Congress disapproves of the rule, it goes to the Senate, where it is exempt from the filibuster. It only requires 51 votes to get to the president’s desk. In the last Congress, we passed CRAs to hold President Obama accountable, forcing a veto that showed the American people where he stands.

Today: The good news is that now, with a new Republican president who understands how harmful these regulations are, these regulation repeal bills will become law. We’ve made CRAs the first priority of the 115th Congress. Why? 1) We are determined to give Americans immediate relief from President Obama’s harmful regulations, 2) Economic growth is at stake, and most importantly, 3) Because CRAs have a 60 legislative day time clock, the window to act on these midnight regulations is now.

CRA Progress:

Signed into law: 2

Stream Protection Rule: Repeals Department of Interior rule that could eliminate one-third of American coal mining jobs.

Resource Extraction: Repeals Securities and Exchange Commission rule that hurts American oil and gas companies on the world stage.

Pending Presidential signature: 1

Background Check Database: Repeals Social Security Administration rule that bars Americans from their Second Amendment rights under the Constitution without due process.

House passed: 10

Methane Rule: Repeals Bureau of Land Management’s rule that regulates emissions on federal lands, effectively driving energy production from federal lands.

Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife: Repeals Fish and Wildlife Service rule that preempts state rules on hunting season for certain predator species on National Wildlife Refuges, which will limit the hunting season in Alaska and beyond.

Title X Planned Parenthood: Repeals Health and Human Services regulation overriding state laws that prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in their states.

Blacklisting Regulation: Repeals rule that empowers federal government bureaucrats to deny government contracts based on alleged violations without due process. 

Resource Management Planning 2.0: Repeals Bureau of Land Management’s rule that significantly shifts resource management decisions from states to federal government.

Every Student Succeeds Act—Accountability, state plans, and reporting: Repeals Department of Education rule that dictates stringent federal accountability requirements and violates the law’s prohibitions on the Education secretary’s authority.

Higher Education Act – Teacher Preparation Issues: Repeals Department of Education regulation that unilaterally increases federal control in education.

Unemployment Insurance Drug Testing:  Repeals Department of Labor rule that severely limits the ability of states to implement drug testing. 

Department of Labor Savings – Part 1: Repeals Department of Labor rule that would effectively force employees into state government retirement accounts with fewer protections and less control over their savings.

Department of Labor Savings – Part 2: Repeals Department of Labor rule that extends this provision to cities and municipalities, forcing employees into city government retirement accounts with the same problems.

We will continually update our CRA progress report, so you can see when these important regulation repeals become law. 

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American Manufacturing Leaders Embrace Republican Tax Plan

2017/02/21

Today, a coalition of American manufacturing leaders urged Congress to pass the Republican plan to overhaul our broken tax code.

“We applaud your efforts to pursue tax reform that is both big and bold,” they wrote in a letter to congressional leadership. “Incremental tweaks will not level the playing field or dramatically reinvigorate economic growth. If we miss this chance to fundamentally reshape the tax code, it might take another 30 years before have another chance to try it.”

That’s no joke. The last time we got real tax reform done was the year Speaker Ryan got his driver’s license. These opportunities only come around once in a generation, and we need to seize them.

Our plan will vault the U.S. tax code to among the most competitive in the world, ensure a level playing field for American businesses, and encourage companies to bring jobs back from overseas and manufacture products here at home. A key paragraph from the letter states:

“A critical element of the House blueprint is the provision that ensures goods and services produced abroad face the same tax burden as those produced in the United States. This reform is consistent with the tax policies of nearly every other country in the world, and it would effectively end the ‘Made in America’ tax that creates an unfair advantage for foreign-based companies at the expense of U.S. jobs and economic growth.”

This will rejuvenate our economy, foster innovation, and help create sustainable, good-paying jobs in the United States. That’s why we must finally get this done for the American people.

Learn more:

Republican Plan Will Vault U.S. Tax Code to the Top (2/17/17)

A Tax Code to Level the Playing Field (2/9/17)

Momentum Builds for Republican Tax Plan (1/31/17)

A Destination-Based Tax Code to Increase American Competitiveness (1/19/17)

A Simpler and More Competitive Tax Code (1/6/17)

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Republican Plan Will Vault U.S. Tax Code to the Top

2017/02/17

America has the worst tax code in the industrialized world. Now we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix it https://t.co/Or15bzLFyq pic.twitter.com/u4qwXwaPbY

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 16, 2017

“America has the worst tax code in the industrialized world. It is killing economic growth. It is driving companies to become foreign companies. More and more and more U.S. companies are going to leave this country because of our tax laws.”

That was Speaker Ryan yesterday at his weekly press conference. So, just how bad is it, and just how much better can we do if we fix our tax code?

Well, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation’s International Tax Competitiveness Index ranks our tax code behind all but four Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member nations. This means our tax code is putting American businesses at a steep disadvantage to our foreign competitors.

Now we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change this.

A new report from the Tax Foundation analyzes the impact of the Republican tax plan on American economic competitiveness—and the results of staggering.

According to the assessment, “If the U.S. were to enact this reform, the U.S.’s ranking would improve significantly on the Index. Our tax code would move from 31st plan (out of 35 countries) to 3rd, just behind Estonia and New Zealand.”

This plan will make America’s tax code so competitive and so pro-growth that we will leapfrog from almost dead last to the front of the pack. That’s why we are so determined to finally get tax reform done. Leveling the playing field for our businesses and providing incentives to bring jobs back from overseas would revitalize the economy and help  more Americans get back to work.

To learn more about our plan, visit speaker.gov and check out the links below.

Learn more:

A Tax Code to Level the Playing Field

Momentum Builds for Republican Tax Plan

A Destination-Based Tax Code to Increase American Competitiveness

A Simpler and More Competitive Tax Code 

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A Productive Start to the First 200 Days: Speaker Ryan on Hannity

2017/02/17

Summary: Last night, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News’s Hannity to discuss the progress Congress is making during the Trump administration’s first 200 days.

Key Quote: We have all of these things that we ran on that we said we would do—we’re now in the middle of doing those things.”

The First 200 Days “The reason we’re doing regulatory reform right now is we have a certain window of time where we can go back into the Obama administration and cancel their regulations. It’s a law called the Congressional Review Act, and it has a shelf life of just a couple of months. And so we’ve been consuming February and March [with] regulatory reform, going back into the Obama administration and canceling their regulations. First, it’s regulatory reform, because we had this window of time to cancel bad Obama regulations, then we’re doing Obamacare. After we’re done with Obamacare, then we’re doing our budget. And our budget—the second budget, which will be tax reform. So we’re doing two budgets in one year, which has never been done before. This is faster than it’s ever been done before. You have to understand: There’s a legislative process, and we have all of these things that we ran on that we said we would do—we’re now in the middle of doing those things.”

This will be the most productive presidency and Congress in our lifetimes.”

Obamacare The plan is to repeal and replace this law, like we said. We ran on a plan to repeal and replace it. Tom Price helped write that plan. He is now Donald Trump’s Secretary of HHS.”

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Statement on Leader Robert H. Michel

2017/02/17

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement in tribute to former House Republican Leader Robert H. Michel, who has passed away at the age of 93:

“On November 29, 1994, an extraordinary thing happened on the House floor. Outgoing House Speaker Tom Foley, a Democrat from the Pacific Northwest, asked outgoing Minority Leader Bob Michel, a Republican from central Illinois, to take the gavel and preside over the House. More than a symbolic gesture, it was a fitting sendoff for a happy warrior revered for his decency and commitment to what’s right.

“A half-century earlier, as a combat infantryman, Bob Michel was in the Battle of the Bulge. He was at Normandy too. For his service in World War II, he received two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart.

“I did not have the privilege to serve with Leader Michel. But I do have the honor of working every day in the office in the Capitol that bears his name. What a name and legacy it is. What a life well-lived by this great and gracious man. Today the members of the House—past and present—mourn with the family and friends of our former colleague and leader.”

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Statement on Stream Protection Rule CRA Signed into Law

2017/02/16

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after President Trump signed H.J. Res. 38 into law. This legislation repeals the Department of Interior’s stream protection rule under the Congressional Review Act.

“Today, we delivered on another promise. The Department of Interior’s stream protection rule—which is now repealed—could have wiped out one-third of American coal mining jobs. Coal country will finally receive relief from the Obama administration’s eight-year war on affordable energy. This regulatory reprieve is just the beginning. Congress will continue to stand up for American workers by abolishing harmful regulations and revitalizing our economy.”

Related:

1. This is the first regulation repeal going to President Trump's desk: 

2. Poorly-crafted regulations that hurt people? Not on our watch. 

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Next Steps on Repeal and Replace: Remarks from Weekly Press Conference

2017/02/16

Summary: This morning at his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan discussed the House’s plans to introduce legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare following the President’s Day work period. Key Quote: “Here is what is important for us all to understand: Obamacare is not simply stuck in some kind of status quo. It is getting worse by the day, and it will keep getting worse unless we act.”

Transcript:

“After the House returns following President’s Day, we intend to introduce legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“It has become increasingly clear that this law is collapsing. People’s premiums are getting higher and higher. Their deductibles are soaring. And their choices are dwindling to the point that so many families have no choice left at all.

“But if it was not already clear, look at the events that happened this week. On Tuesday, another major insurance company announced that it, too, will leave the marketplace. In its decision, Humana cited a lack of young people signing up—a problem that has dogged Obamacare for years now. In many areas, Humana is the only carrier left, so this will mean even more instability.   “And then on Wednesday, the CEO of Aetna—another large insurance carrier—said that Obamacare is in a ‘death spiral.’ His words. “Here is what is important for us all to understand: Obamacare is not simply stuck in some kind of status quo. It is getting worse by the day, and it will keep getting worse unless we act. “We need to rescue people from this collapsing law, and we need to replace it with a true patient-centered system. One that gives every American access to quality, affordable coverage. “That means more choices and lower costs. It means real protections and peace of mind. And it means returning your care to your control. Patients and doctors should be making the big decisions—not government bureaucrats. “Step by step, this is what our plan to repeal and replace Obamacare will do. We look forward to making progress in the coming weeks and keeping our promise to the American people.” 

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House Repeals Rule Threatening American Pastime

2017/02/16

Another day, another good Congressional Review Act bill aimed at dismantling bad Obama regulations. 

Today, we’re tackling the Fish and Wildlife Service rule that undermines Alaska’s management of the federal lands within its state. Alaska is home to some of the most abundant and diverse wildlife in the world. Sportsmen come from all over to hunt the game. However, more than 60 percent of Alaska is owned by the federal government. That creates a tricky situation when it comes to the state managing its land. Congress has made it clear in numerous laws: Delegation by the federal government to the state governments—which know the land and its people best—is the proper approach.

However, this regulation, which the House is repealing today, overruled Alaska’s right to sustainably manage its own fish and wildlife resources and made it it more difficult for Americans to hunt, fish, and enjoy the unparalleled outdoor experiences that Alaska provides. Dozens of state, local, and national wildlife and sportsmen groups objected to this rule while it was being developed. But the Obama administration pushed it through at the last minute anyway.

What’s more, the repercussions wouldn’t end with Alaska. This regulation would create a harmful precedent for the federal government to seize more control in other states, which threatens the flourishing of America’s hunting and fishing.

That’s not acceptable for Speaker Ryan, who is an avid hunter, and it’s not acceptable for many Americans across the country.

This is another Obama-era regulation that upends the balance of federalism and hurts an American pastime. That’s why the House will vote to repeal it today, continuing to keep our promise to provide relief to people threatened by harmful regulations.

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Statement on Meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu

2017/02/16

Today, Prime Minister @netanyahu and I redoubled our commitment to strengthening the U.S.-#Israel alliance. https://t.co/vzfBrX1X21 pic.twitter.com/tstMS6D9yz

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 16, 2017

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

“Today, Prime Minister Netanyahu and I redoubled our commitment to strengthening the historic alliance between the United States and Israel. We discussed the need to hold Iran accountable for its actions, bolster Israel’s qualitative military edge, and push back against international efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. The special relationship between our nations has been an anchor of stability during uncertain and dangerous times. It must remain a cornerstone of American leadership today. I want to thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for his unwavering friendship and support.”

 

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The Urgency of Obamacare Repeal: Speaker Ryan’s Interview on Morning Joe

2017/02/15

Summary: It’s been a busy 24 hours on the Obamacare front, with more bad news for consumers already struggling with higher premiums and fewer choices. Amid these developments, Speaker Ryan appeared on Morning Joe to talk about the urgency of rescuing people from this collapsing law. Key Quote: “Assuming that the status quo can stay with Obamacare is wrong—it’s collapsing as we speak. Humana, I think, just announced yesterday they are pulling out. ... So that’s one of the reasons why we’re doing Obamacare first because we’ve got to rescue people from this collapse. And we feel an obligation to do that.”

We’ve Got To Rescue PeopleAssuming that the status quo can stay with Obamacare is wrong—it’s collapsing as we speak. Humana, I think, just announced yesterday they are pulling out. ... The Blue Crosses are on their last breath in these plans. So the status quo isn’t staying put—it is collapsing. So that’s one of the reasons why we’re doing Obamacare first because we’ve got to rescue people from this collapse. And we feel an obligation to do that.”

The #Obamacare status quo is not staying put. This law is collapsing as we speak. https://t.co/yGRuCIspc3 pic.twitter.com/XYYaA1no5l

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 15, 2017

More Plans and More Competition “We've long said that people ought to be able to stay on their insurance until they're 26 years of age. With respect to pre-existing conditions, we think the better and smarter policy is to revitalize our risk pools at the state level with federal financing. So I see sort of a cooperation between the federal government and the state government. We don’t want to have the federal government overregulate all of health insurance. It's why we only have one plan left in five states, one plan left in 33 percent of the counties in America. So we do want to go back to states' rights, so that you can have competition. More plans, more competition that's a good thing.” Urgency  “We have to do Obamacare first in our first budget, and the reason we have to do it first is because the law is collapsing so fast. The insurance companies need to know what the lay of the land is going to look like in 2018. And if we waited and did Obamacare in the summer, you would have so many pullouts. You would have people with zero plans left. So, we really feel that because the law is collapsing, there’s an urgent nature.”

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House to Vote to Protect Taxpayers from Funding Abortion

2017/02/15

In December, at the 11th hour of its tenure, the Obama administration pushed through a rule that effectively forces states to fund abortion services through Planned Parenthood.

Tomorrow, using the Congressional Review Act, the House will vote to strike down that rule.

This legislation fulfills two promises made to the American people:

1. It restores federalism, giving states their rightful powers under the Constitution.

The Health and Human Services rule bans states from withholding Title X funds from organizations that perform abortions, like Planned Parenthood.  Many states have distributed these funds, not to Planned Parenthood, but to effective community health centers that do not perform abortions. Ultimately, states know the needs of their communities better than bureaucrats in Washington. But this regulation strips states of their longstanding ability to decide how federal funds should be used in their state. This repeal would restore the proper balance of powers.

2. It is pro-life.

Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion, plain and simple. Just a few weeks ago, hundreds of thousands of people came to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate their commitment to life. Speaker Ryan has long been a defender of the right to religious liberty, and this regulation violates that right.

The federal government should not be in the business of forcing Americans to fund abortion procedures. That’s why we will vote to repeal this morally reprehensible provision. 

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We Saw This Coming: Another Major Insurer to Exit Obamacare

2017/02/15

We were warned Obamacare exchanges would see less competition and choice in 2018—and over the past 24 hours, two insurers have turned that fear into a reality.

“Humana to drop out of Obamacare marketplace at the end of 2017.” That headline flooded inboxes yesterday afternoon—one more sign that things are only getting worse under Obamacare.

But that’s not all. Just this morning, Aetna’s CEO declared that Obamacare markets are in a “death spiral,” predicting even more insurers will leave in the coming weeks. With shrinking competition in individual markets, incentives for Americans to sign up for coverage are dwindling. Now, incentives for insurers to stick around are fading, too.

The Humana news follows the decisions last year by insurance giants United and Aetna to leave the Obamacare markets. Here was Speaker Ryan’s reaction to Humana’s decision during his interview on Morning Joe:

Assuming that the status quo can stay with Obamacare is wrong—it’s collapsing as we speak. Humana, I think, just announced yesterday they are pulling out. So we’ve seen United pull out, we’ve seen Aetna pull out, we’ve seen Humana pull out. The Blue Crosses are on their last breath in these plans. So the status quo isn’t staying put—it is collapsing. So that’s one of the reasons why we’re doing Obamacare first because we’ve got to rescue people from this collapse. And we feel an obligation to do that.”

WHY THIS HAPPENED

Humana cited two main reasons for its decision: One, “the market has not stabilized enough to participate next year,” and two, the company “is losing money from taking on too many sick people without enough healthy people to balance the pools.” 

In other words: Obamacare markets are not sustainable. Aetna’s CEO admitted “it’s getting worse.” As designed, the system relies on young, healthy Americans to keep it afloat. Unfortunately, people just aren’t buying it, making health care across America less affordable. Last October, POLITICO delved into “Obamacare’s millennial problem”:

“The 18- to 34-year-olds who helped elect Barack Obama could consign his signature domestic policy achievement to failure. That’s because not enough millennials have signed up for Obamacare to make it work well. Despite repeated outreach—including entreaties from all manner of celebrities, including NBA stars and Obama himself —young people make up less than 30 percent of Obamacare customers. The White House had set a goal of 40 percent in that age bracket to sustain a healthy marketplace…”

Unfortunately, we saw this comingit’s more bad news for the country as a result of the collapsing health care law. As Speaker Ryan said Tuesday, “Insurers should compete for your business, and treat you fairly.” But as evidenced by the latest development, under the current system, they aren’t able to.

That’s why Republicans are pursuing solutions that will increase competition, lower costs, and put the patient back in control. Using ideas introduced last summer, we are working to repeal Obamacare and replace it step-by-step. We believe in a system that encourages choice and prioritizes the patient, not Washington’s mandates. It’s time to restore the competition that gives Americans the control and flexibility over their health care that they deserve.  

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Republican Steering Committee Recommends Rep. Diane Black for Budget Chair

2017/02/14

Pleased to recommend @RepDianeBlack as next chair of @housebudgetGOP. https://t.co/wziQ30FYhK pic.twitter.com/5frWauNzxh

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 14, 2017

WASHINGTON—The House Republican Steering Committee today recommended that Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) be named chairman of the House Budget Committee. Rep. Black has served as interim Budget Committee chair since January 3, 2017, when Dr. Tom Price, the new Secretary of Health and Human Services, stepped aside to focus on his confirmation process. “Diane Black has devoted her time in Congress to tackling the big challenges, from patient-centered health care to pro-growth tax reform,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said. “Diane has already hit the ground running as our interim Budget Chair, and we could not be more pleased to recommend her to succeed Dr. Price. Her experience and commitment to solving problems will serve the committee and the country well in the work ahead.  This recommendation will be presented to the full House Republican Conference on Thursday for official ratification.

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Statement on First CRA Bill Signed into Law

2017/02/14

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after President Trump signed H.J. Res. 41 into law. Passed by Congress under the Congressional Review Act, it repeals burdensome Dodd-Frank regulations on the energy industry.

“This is the first of many Congressional Review Act bills to be signed into law by President Trump. H.J. Res. 41 repeals regulations that would have put American oil and natural gas companies at a disadvantage on the world stage, and actually could have threatened the safety of American workers abroad.

"Congressional Review Act legislation provides relief for Americans hurt by regulations rushed through at the last minute by the Obama administration. This means freeing up American entrepreneurs, creating jobs, and jump-starting our economy. The House continues to take up Congressional Review Act initiatives this week.”

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What Health Care Should Look Like: Speaker Ryan’s Remarks from Leadership Press Conference

2017/02/14

Summary: This morning at a press conference with Republican leaders—including Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR)—Speaker Ryan explained why House Republicans are working to repeal Obamacare and replace it with an improved health care system.

Key Quote: “Instead of more mandates, you should have the freedom and the flexibility to choose the plan that best meets your needs. Instead of more bureaucracy, the patient and the doctor should be at the center of our health care decisions. Instead of all this uncertainty—instead of worrying about whether or not you have to find a new plan or a new doctor—you should have real peace of mind. That’s what our health care system should look like.”

Transcript:

“Our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare is about two big things. First, it is about rescuing people from this collapsing law, where the premiums are getting higher and higher, and the choices are getting fewer and fewer, to the point where people just have no choices left at all. This law is in a collapse and we have an obligation to rescue people from that collapse. “It’s also about building a stronger health care system for the country. One that gives every American access to quality, affordable care. Instead of fewer choices, we want our health care system to be truly competitive. Insurers should compete for your business, and treat you fairly. “Instead of more mandates, you should have the freedom and the flexibility to choose the plan that best meets your needs. Instead of more bureaucracy, the patient and the doctor should be at the center of our health care decisions. Instead of all this uncertainty—instead of worrying about whether or not you have to find a new plan or a new doctor—you should have real peace of mind. That’s what our health care system should look like.

“All of this will help lower costs and end the annual sticker shock of higher premiums. “I fully recognize and respect the strong feelings that people have about this issue. We should be passionate about this issue. It is about people’s lives. This affects every person and every family in America. “That is why we are taking a step-by-step approach. So people can see the changes that we are making, so that they can see how they will help. And, working with Secretary Price, we will have a stable transition, where no one has the rug pulled out from under them while we work toward a better, more stable system. “So this step-by-step approach will rescue people from Obamacare’s collapse, and give every American access to affordable, quality health care. “This is how we will deliver on our promise to the American people. This is why we are doing what we are doing. We have to stop the collapse. And we have better ideas that have been time-tested that will make sure we give the American people the kind of relief they deserve.” 

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One of Our Greatest Love Stories

2017/02/14

On behalf of the whole House, I want to extend our best wishes to the Bush family. 

This Valentine's Day, we are reminded that George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush are not just national treasures. Together, they are part of one of the greatest love stories in our history, more than seven decades running. 

And we are keeping them in our thoughts.

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Statement on Meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

2017/02/13

I appreciated the opportunity to welcome Canadian Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau to the Capitol this afternoon. https://t.co/fMMWSUthlj pic.twitter.com/9Wt3WmVkJ6

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 13, 2017

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

“I appreciated the opportunity to welcome Prime Minister Trudeau to the Capitol this afternoon. We had a productive discussion focused on ways to deepen ties between the U.S. and Canada with respect to trade and national security. This means reaffirming our commitment to NATO and increasing economic cooperation to make our nations more prosperous and secure. I also reemphasized the importance of breaking down trade barriers and improving market access for America’s dairy farmers. We look forward to continue strengthening the U.S.-Canada relationship.”  

 

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Meet the 103-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor.

2017/02/10

Last week, Speaker Paul Ryan welcomed a very special guest: Jim Downing, the centenarian survivor of Pearl Harbor.

Now 103 years old but sharp as a tack, Jim brought Speaker Ryan back to that fateful day. He was at his home with his wife during the initial wave but immediately raced down to the harbor to help. He jumped aboard the USS Tennessee to help keep the fire from reaching the ammunition on board.

What did he feel that day? In short, Jim said, at first he felt shock, then fear, then shame and regret that America’s leaders could have been duped by the Japanese.

Speaker Ryan thanked Jim for sharing his story. He said it’s so important that Jim continue to tell Americans that story, so that “we don’t read history in a sterile way” and so Americans can fully understand—in a vivid way—the sacrifices made for freedom. Following December 7, 1941, Jim had a long and distinguished career in the navy, including in the Korean War and during the hydrogen bomb test. He currently lives in Colorado, and was accompanied by his representative in the House, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO).

Jim Downing spoke with great hope and appreciation for the younger generation of Americans, who he has noted are especially interested by the history and thankful for their freedoms and the men and women who protect them. 

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Another Important Week toward Repealing and Replacing Obamacare

2017/02/10

Another Friday, another week’s end recap. Here are a few highlights from this week’s work toward repealing and replacing Obamacare:

Committee Action

  • On Tuesday, the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee advanced two bills to strengthen Medicaid. As Chairman Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) said, both bills would reduce spending by hundreds of millions of dollars, “freeing up resources” for those who need it most. More info on these two bills here
  • That same day, the Small Business Committee held its first hearing of the 115th Congress to examine the health care marketplace for small businesses, when it discovered two things: One, Obamacare has had a disastrous impact the market; and two, ideas from the #BetterWay plan could reverse this course and improve access to quality, affordable health care. More on that hearing here

Helpful Reads

  • Last month, American Action Network (AAN) ran a survey to test whether the Democrats’ new slogan “Make American Sick Again” was registering with the American people. Unfortunately for the Left, it’s not. “Nearly six in 10 respondents say they do not believe that efforts to repeal Obamacare will make America sick again, including 65 percent of independents,” AAN’s Corry Bliss wrote, explaining why the average person is fed up with Obamacare’s failures and supports replacing it with a stronger system. Read the full piece here.
  • A new GAO report stressed the importance of updating Medicaid’s oversight and data collection. Currently, less than half of states are submitting new, updated data to the program—resulting in misallocation of federal payments, among other blunders. As House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said in a joint statement, “This GAO report reiterates that much work needs to be done to improve data integrity at CMS on the behalf of both taxpayer and patients.” 
  • Speaker Ryan discussed repealing and replacing Obamacare on PBS NewsHour: “Remember the promises of Obamacare: lower prices, more choices . . . those things did not happen. We believe we can make good on those kinds of promises, which is improve access to affordable health care coverage.” Watch his interview in full here. (Watching an interview doesn’t really count as a “helpful read,” but you get the gist.)

Senate Confirmation

For more information on the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered, affordable health care reform, visit speaker.gov.

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Statement on Dr. Price's Confirmation as HHS Secretary

2017/02/10

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement upon confirmation of Dr. Tom Price as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services:

"For Americans struggling under Obamacare, today is a big step forward. Having Dr. Tom Price at the helm of HHS gives us a committed ally in our work to repeal and replace Obamacare and finally provide Americans with a better system. As we have made clear, the time for patient-centered reform is now, and Tom iswithout questionthe leader at HHS we need to make it happen. We look forward to working with him to expand access to quality, affordable health care."

 

 

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A Tax Code to Level the Playing Field

2017/02/09

“The logic is impeccable.”

That’s how Ernest Christian, one architect of President Reagan’s 1981 tax reforms, describes the Republican plan to overhaul our broken tax code.

“American companies will invest in U.S. plants built at home,” Christian continues. “Tax rates will be low on their income from products sold into the ever more prosperous U.S. market. In addition, the tax rate will be zero when they export American-made goods from U.S. factories.”

He’s right, and he’s not alone. 

Last week, following a wave of endorsements, another major coalition of American businesses came out in strong support of the Republican tax plan. 

“American workers and businesses are not competing on a level playing field with foreign competitors because of an outdated and unfair tax system,” the coalition declared in announcing its support. “The House tax reform blueprint has the best chance of moving real transformative tax reform for the first time in more than 30 years.” 

Speaker Ryan spoke about the prospects for enacting tax reform in 2017 on PBS NewsHour this week, calling it a “Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".

“I got my driver’s license the last year we did tax reform,” the speaker explained“With good comprehensive, across-the-board tax reform we really believe we can get the kind of economic growth we need, which will solve so many problems with have in this country. And fundamental tax reform is critical because now we have the worst tax code in the industrialized world, bar none.” 

To learn more about our tax plan, visit speaker.gov and check out the links below.

Learn more:

Momentum Builds for Republican Tax Plan (1/31/17)

A Destination-Based Tax Code to Increase American Competitiveness (1/19/17)

A Simpler and More Competitive Tax Code (1/6/17)

"I got my driver's license the last year we did tax reform," @SpeakerRyan says. He calls it "a once-in-a-generation opportunity." #PBSNews pic.twitter.com/tKTNKlUpTj

— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) February 8, 2017

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Tax Reform, Health Care, and More: Speaker Ryan’s Interview on PBS NewsHour

2017/02/09

Summary: Last night, Speaker Ryan appeared on PBS NewsHour for an interview with Judy Woodruff, where he discussed individual and corporate tax reform, repealing and replacing Obamacare, and working with the administration to solve some of the nation’s biggest challenges.

Key Quote: “Remember the promises of Obamacare: lower prices, more choices . . . those things did not happen. We believe we can make good on those kinds of promises, which is improve access to affordable health care coverage.”

Tax Reform

“We're planning revenue neutral tax reform, which means you have to take away loopholes and special interest deductions if you're going to lower tax rates. That's clearly what we're working on doing. That's what the House blueprint that we ran on does do. It does affect both what we call the individual side of the tax code and the business side of the tax code.”

“With good, comprehensive, across-the-board tax reform, we really believe we can get the kind of economic growth we need, which will solve so many problems we have in this country. And fundamental tax reform is critical because now, we have the worst tax code in the industrialized world, bar none.”

Obamacare Repeal and Replace

“What we propose—and we ran on a replacement plan, by the way, so we've long had a replacement plan for Obamacare, and that's exactly what we're focused on right now—is building a replacement plan so we repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered health care, which we are convinced will give us a better system at the end of the day.

"Remember the promises of Obamacare: lower prices, more choices . . . those things did not happen. We believe we can make good on those kinds of promises, which is improve access to affordable health care coverage. Right now, people aren't getting affordable health care coverage. And so we really do believe, to get this right, you have to repeal and replace this law with something better. And that is exactly what we ran on in 2016.”

“Five states only have one plan left to choose from. One out of three counties in America have only one plan to choose from. Those are monopolies. Seventy percent of counties in America have one or two plans to choose from. Those are duopolies. . . . massive price increases, massive deductible increases. The law is collapsing while we speak.”

Solving Problems

“I think what people want to see happen in government is people work together to solve problems. People work together to iron out their differences, to make good on making a difference in people's lives to fix this country's problems—that is what I believe I was elected to do, and that's what I'm doing.”

“I'm focused on getting that agenda done. I'm focused on making Congress work. I'm focused on making good on our promises that we made when we ran that I'm trying to implement now.”

Watch Speaker Ryan’s full interview here.

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Statement on Joyce Meyer

2017/02/07

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today released the following statement after it was announced that Joyce Meyer, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Speaker, will be leaving his office for a position in the White House. Meyer has been named Deputy Assistant to the President in the Office of Legislative Affairs, leading the House team for the new administration. 

“I am just so proud today. Joyce Meyer is more than a close confidant, more than a friend, she is family. And now her decades of hard work have given her an amazing opportunity to serve her country. Joyce and I were Senate staffers together in our twenties. When I was elected, she was among my first hires. And she’s been with me every day of the 18 years since. Through every up and down, Joyce has brought remarkable perspective, insisted on thoughtful planning, and always made sure the people of her native Southern Wisconsin are at the center of everything we do. I will forever be in awe of her devotion, her energetic spirit, and her extraordinary understanding of the House. Above all, I—and so many of my colleagues who share my admiration for Joyce—will be thankful for her friendship. She is the best of what we all aspire to in public service. And while this loss is personal for me, I’m so happy for the country’s gain. I’m thrilled that we will be working together to advance an agenda to solve America’s biggest challenges. I wish her, Don, and their daughter Eva all the very best.”

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Statement on Meeting with Canadian Foreign Minster Chrystia Freeland

2017/02/07

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland:

“Minister Freeland and I share a common commitment to the U.S.-Canada relationship. We had a productive conversation about how we can enhance these ties, including by strengthening NATO and improving dairy market access. I appreciate Minister Freeland’s friendship and support for our important bilateral partnership.”

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Speaker Ryan Announces Additional Staff Changes

2017/02/07

WASHINGTON—With the departure of Deputy Chief of Staff Joyce Meyer to the White House, today House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced several staff changes, including two additions to the Office of the Speaker.

Andy Speth will succeed Meyer as Deputy Chief of Staff. Speth has been with the Ryan since his first congressional race and served as the Chief of Staff in the First District of Wisconsin’s congressional office for 17 years. Since October 2015, he has served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Speaker. As Deputy Chief of Staff, Speth will oversee the operations of the speaker’s office as well as member services and public liaison functions.

Brendan Buck has been named Counselor to the Speaker. Since Ryan’s election to the speakership, Buck has been the speaker’s Chief Communications Advisor. As Counselor, he will take on a broader portfolio of long-term strategy and messaging in addition to his role overseeing the communications team. 

Jennifer Hemingway joins the speaker’s office as Director of House Operations, replacing Kelly Craven, who returned to her native Indiana in January. Hemingway joins the speaker's office after most recently serving as Staff Director for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. As a member of the speaker’s senior staff, she will work closely with the officers of the House on such matters as the physical and cyber security of the House, finance and administrative operations of the House, information technology, and ongoing campus renovations.

Jeff Dressler joins the speaker’s office as National Security Advisor, succeeding Jonathan Burks who was promoted in December to Chief of Staff. Dressler joins the speaker’s staff from the office of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. In this role, he will advise the speaker on the full range of foreign and security policy issues facing the country and will serve as the speaker’s designee to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. 

“I’m thrilled to welcome Jennifer and Jeff to our team,” said Speaker Ryan. “They are the kind of first-class professionals that we need at this moment. And of course Andy and Brendan have been two of the people closest to me for a long time, and I could not be more confident with them at my side. We have a great team, and we’re ready to deliver on our promises to the American people.”

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Patient-Centered Health Care: Opening Remarks from Leadership Press Briefing

2017/02/07

Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed how the House is delivering results for Americans—including relief from Obamacare through patient-centered reform. Key Quote: “We are committed to rescuing people from this collapsing law and replace it with a much better system that is a patient-centered health care system, where we as patients and our doctors are the nucleus, the decision makers of our health care system—not some distant bureaucracy.”

Transcript:

“Every day, we are focused here on delivering results for the American people. That is the trust that has been given to us by the people we represent.

“That is why we are tackling these excessive regulations—because it means job creation, it means opportunity, it means more growth and innovation across our economy. That is why you are seeing us take our precious time to focus on rolling back excessive regulations that are killing jobs in America.

“It’s also why we are working to repeal and replace Obamacare—to help people who are struggling with these higher premiums. To help people who have lost their plan or their doctor or both. To help people left with just one insurer to choose from, as is the case with one out of every three counties in America.

“This is not what the country was promised. Far from it. More and more, we see things getting worse. More and more, we see this law collapsing in front of us.

“So we could do one of two things: We could just sit back and watch the collapse happen and see people get hurt, or we could step in and conduct a rescue mission, which is to rescue the American health care system from the collapse that is coming because of Obamacare. There is no excuse for getting this wrong. “That is why, as promised, we are taking action step by step. One of those steps is also getting Tom Price confirmed as HHS Secretary, and we hope that the Senate will do that very soon. With Dr. Price in place at HHS, he will help deliver stability and reinvigorate the marketplace for consumers so that people can have more choices. “Another step is to have our committees take action on specific health care bills. That’s why Cathy McMorris Rodgers isn’t here today—because the Energy and Commerce Committee is marking up important Medicaid legislation while we speak. We are pressing ahead step by step. “Now I know there are strong views about this. There should be strong views about this. Health care is very personal. That is why we are committed to getting this right. That is why we are committed to rescuing people from this collapsing law and replace it with a much better system that is a patient-centered health care system, where we as patients and our doctors are the nucleus, the decision makers of our health care system—not some distant bureaucracy. That is why we are going to do this step and step and do this right and replace it with something that is far better for families [and] far better for patients.”

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We will defend schools against innovation-crushing regulations.

2017/02/07

We’ve told you a bit about our work to strike poorly-crafted, harmful Obama-era regulations from the books. Last week, we focused on repealing harmful energy regulations. This week, we’re focused on reversing regulations harmful to our nation’s schools.

Both in principle and in practice, we believe that education is most successful when states, local leaders, and hey, this may be a crazy thought—moms and dads—have decision-making power over education in their own communities. These are the people, not bureaucrats in Washington, who know the needs of their kids and understand how to best tailor curriculums and tests to those needs.

That’s why Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in December 2015. This bipartisan law replaced the one-size-fits-all approach created by No Child Left Behind, and empowers leaders at the state and local level to develop and implement accountability systems that work for their own students, teachers, and schools.

Unfortunately, eager to impose its top-down approach, the Obama administration used ESSA to push forward the “Accountability and State Plan Regulation.” This rule would give the Education Department Education immense power over accountability programs and severely constrain states’ flexibility to create unique plans—which goes against the entire purpose of the ESSA.

Let’s reiterate: It’s incredibly important for a thriving education system to have states and local communities making the decisions about what is working and what is not within their own schools. Another rule which flies in the face of this principle is the “Teacher Preparation Regulation.” It may have good motives (what regulation doesn’t?) but this Obama regulation ties states’ hands once again in measuring how states are faring with their teachers, by holding teacher evaluations to a de facto federal standard.

These two regulations constitute a serious expansion of federal authority with regard to the education system. States and local communities need the flexibility to be able to innovate. These rules crush the spirit of federalism that strengthens schools and helps kids across the country. That’s why we’re repealing them today.  

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Work Continues to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

2017/02/06

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Obamacare enrollments fell short of expectations—the latest example of the law’s failure to deliver on its promises. That’s why Republicans are acting with urgency to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered reform. Here’s what we’re working on this week:

  • On Tuesday, the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee will advance two bills to improve Medicaid by protecting taxpayer dollars and ensuring coverage for those who need it most. Learn more about these two bills here and tune in at 10 a.m.
  • Also happening on Tuesday: The Small Business Committee will hold a hearing to take a look at the health insurance marketplace and how Republican alternatives will improve access and affordability for Americans nationwide. That kicks off at 11 a.m.
  • The Senate is expected to vote as early as this week to confirm Dr. Tom Price (R-GA)—or, in Speaker Ryan’s words, “the absolute perfect choice.” Confirming Dr. Price, who has authority to reinvigorate the market, will be a big step forward for Americans struggling under Obamacare.

In the meantime, here’s a recap of what the House accomplished last week, as well as a plan for what quality, affordable health care looks like. 

#Obamacare is literally in the middle of a collapse. We will #RepealAndReplace it with a #BetterWay—patient-centered health care. https://t.co/HmS2iqZqup

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 5, 2017
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The Best Photos from January

2017/02/06

January was a busy month in Washington—perhaps the busiest one in years—but often times, what we see on prime time TV only tells half the story. Here are nine, behind-the-scenes photos that help fill in the gaps and highlight a few key moments from the Speaker's perspective.

1. Look Your Best - Speaker Ryan shows his son, Charlie, how to tie a tie.

2. The Gavel - After election to his first full term as Speaker, Speaker Ryan raises the gavel in gratitude to the 115th Congress.

3. Thanks, Joe -  Speaker Ryan and Vice President Biden share a laugh as they stand at the rostrum before certifying the Electoral College results.

4. Inauguration Preparation - Speaker Ryan checks out the Inauguration stage just a few days before President Trump is sworn in as the 45th President.

5. Commercial Break - During a commercial break at his CNN Town Hall, Speaker Ryan takes a moment to talk more with an audience member who asked a question about the Republican alternative to Obamacare.

6. The Peaceful Transfer of Power - Speaker Ryan waves goodbye from the steps of the U.S. Capitol as President Obama departs.

7. Congratulations, Mr. President - Speaker Ryan and President Trump shake hands and agree to get to work for the American people.

8. Unified Government - President Trump and Vice President Pence arrive at a meeting for Congressional Republicans in Philadelphia.

9. A Special Relationship - Speaker Ryan and Prime Minister May of the United Kingdom meet for a wide-ranging discussion about strengthening the special relationship between our nations.

Related → Behind the Lens: Opening Day with Speaker Ryan

BONUS Video: Kids in Congress

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Obamacare and Delivering Results: Speaker Ryan on Meet the Press

2017/02/05

Today on NBC’s Meet the Press, Speaker Ryan discussed repealing and replacing Obamacare and what a unified Republican government can accomplish in 2017 and beyond.

Obamacare

“If you’re going to repair the American health care system and fix its problems, you have to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something better. . . . It is a collapsing law. Five states have one plan to choose from. A third of all the counties in America have one plan to choose from. Seventy percent of all counties in America have one or two plans to choose from—that’s a monopoly or duopoly. Premiums are going up double digits. Deductibles are so high it doesn’t even feel like you have health insurance. So the law is literally in the middle of a collapse. And it’s our duty, as representatives of our constituents, of the American people, to step in front of this crash and rescue people from this collapsing health care system and replace it with something better.”

Delivering Results

“I’m focused on delivering results. We ran on specific reforms, specific solutions, that we believe will improve people’s lives. That’s why we’re here. That’s why people gave us these jobs and this responsibility. So really what I’m focused on is that. Get the policies done, make good on our promises and reforms to make people’s lives better in this country.” “All the division, the polarization in America, I think a lot if it can be healed if we get people back to work, if we help get people out of poverty, if we keep us safe, if we get faster economic growth, and more jobs, and higher wages—if we can fix these problems that are solvable in this country, that’s what going to matter at the end of the day.”

Watch Speaker Ryan’s full interview above.

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This is the first regulation repeal going to President Trump's desk:

2017/02/03

BIG NEWS → This is the first regulation repeal going to President Trump’s desk. It repeals the previous administration's effort to decimate coal country. Today, we are standing up for American jobs.

Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday, February 3, 2017

Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) signed H.J. Res. 38, a joint resolution disapproving the Department of Interior’s stream protection rule under the Congressional Review Act. The House passed this CRA on Wednesday and the Senate followed suit on Thursday. Speaker Ryan released the following statement:

“This is the first repeal of President Obama's policies that Congress is sending to President Trump’s desk. Fittingly, it will bring relief to Americans hurt by years of overreach and overregulation. We are repealing the Department of Interior’s stream protection rule—a rule the Obama administration pushed through at the last minute that was designed to decimate coal country.

“This is the first in a series of repeal bills that will break the chokehold of aggressive Obama-era regulations. This is so important because these bills, once signed into law by President Trump, will free up America’s entrepreneurs, create jobs, and get our economy growing again. Congress promised to stand up for American jobs, and today we fulfill that promise.”

NOTE: Reps. David McKinley (R-WV), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Evan Jenkins (R-WV), Alex Mooney (R-WV), and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) joined Speaker Ryan as he signed the legislation.

 

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Statement on New Iran Sanctions

2017/02/03

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Trump administration’s announcement of new sanctions on Iran:

“Iran’s latest ballistic missile test was a flagrant violation of UN Security Council resolutions. This swift and decisive response proves that our new administration is serious about holding the Iranian regime accountable for its illicit behavior. I applaud President Trump for imposing new sanctions to crack down on Tehran’s dangerous ballistic missile program and support for terrorism across the globe.”

I am in favor of new sanctions on #Iran. The last administration appeased #Iran far too much. It's time for that to end. pic.twitter.com/a5OqyZ3S2m

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 3, 2017
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Statement on President Trump's Executive Action on the Fiduciary Rule

2017/02/03

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive action regarding the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule:

“President Trump’s action to delay the Obama administration’s fiduciary rule for further study is a wise one. This regulation is deeply flawed. It would significantly raise the cost of seeking financial advice, making it even harder for families to plan their future and save for retirement. It is essentially Obamacare for financial planning. Now we have the chance to study any unintended consequences before it is too late. In today’s economy, people’s access to sound financial advice must be protected.”

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Week in Review: Obamacare Repeal and Replace

2017/02/03

We get it—you’re busy. There’s a lot happening on the Hill. So, if you’re wondering, “What happened with Obamacare this week?”—allow us to bring you up to speed.

Legislative Hearings This week, a few House committees held hearings to discuss fixing our health care system by way of repealing and replacing Obamacare. First up? Energy and Commerce.

Yesterday, the E&C health subcommittee looked at four specific bills designed to rebuild the collapsing health care market (more on that here)—bills that protect taxpayer dollars and give power back to states. As Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) said, “We have to save this individual health care market—it is collapsing.”

On Wednesday, the health subcommittee also took a look at three commonsense bills to strengthen Medicaid—one day after the oversight subcommittee did the same. During Tuesday’s hearing, Chairman Walden highlighted how the program’s increasing costs, fraud, and errors in determining eligibility result “in millions of wasted taxpayer dollars,” weakening Medicaid for those who rely on it.

The Education and the Workforce Committee also held a hearing to examine how Obamacare has hurt small businesses struggling to offer coverage to their employees.

These hearings reiterated just how important Obamacare repeal is. Our step-by-step approach will prioritize accountability, innovation, and quality care for those who need it most.

Even Worse Than We Thought Rewind to Monday, when the Heritage Foundation released a new report reaffirming our longstanding fear: This year, Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges are going to see even less competition and choice.

Currently, customers in 70 percent of U.S. counties have only one or two insurers to choose from. That’s not the kind of competition we need to keep costs down and quality for patients high.

The whole report—find that here—is an eye-opening omen of what health insurance will look like if we stick with the status quo. To that, Republicans say: out with the old, in with the lower costs and expanded choices.

The Drumbeat Speaker Ryan kept the drumbeat going this week, explaining that repealing and replacing Obamacare is the only way to deliver real relief to struggling Americans. He talked about it with Republican leaders, during his weekly press conference, on Fox & Friends

The shorter version? We need patient-centered reforms that increase access to affordable, quality care. The longer version? Well, that’s available on better.gop.

House Republicans are just getting started, so keep an eye out for more updates as we move closer to repealing and replacing this disastrous law.

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House Progress on Regulatory and Health Care Reform: Remarks from Weekly Press Briefing

2017/02/02

Summary: This morning, Speaker Ryan held his weekly press briefing to discuss the House’s progress this week on two fronts: regulatory reform and health care reform. Key Quote: “This law is collapsing—we have to rescue people from the failure of this law. And that is why, step by step, we are going to keep our promise to repeal and replace this law. So that consumers can do better, and so they can have more choices.” Transcript:

REGULATORY REFORM

“We continue to make progress on our agenda for the American people. By the end of this week, the House will have taken action to block five costly Obama administration regulations, including a rule that threatens to wipe out thousands of jobs in coal country. With a vote in the Senate and a signature by the president, we will be able to bring immediate relief to those workers. “And this is just the start. In the weeks ahead, we will act on more resolutions to deliver relief from excessive regulations. When you think about the fact that the Obama administration was issuing major regulations at a rate of one every three days, this is real sea change. This is job creation.” HEALTH CARE “We also continue to act on a step-by-step approach to repeal and replace Obamacare. Yesterday, the Energy and Commerce Committee held a legislative hearing on three bills to improve Medicaid. Today, the committee is holding a legislative hearing on another four bills to provide relief from collapsing markets. “In 2009, President Obama said, and I quote, ‘my guiding principle is… that consumers do better when there is choice and competition.’ I couldn’t agree more. That is the way Obamacare was sold, but choice and competition have dropped so much in our health insurance markets that one-third of all the counties in America today have only one insurer to choose from. Five states—one insurer to choice from. That is not a choice. That is a monopoly.

“On top of that, another 37 percent of all counties in America only have two insurers to choose from. That is 70 percent of all the counties in America have a monopoly or a duopoly.

“President Obama was right: consumers do better when they have choice and competition. Right now, they have neither. Instead, they are paying a whole lot more for less every single day under this law. “That is why we have to step in. This law is collapsing—we have to rescue people from the failure of this law. And that is why, step by step, we are going to keep our promise to repeal and replace this law. So that consumers can do better, and so they can have more choices.”

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Repeal and Replace: Speaker Ryan on Fox & Friends

2017/02/02

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

Summary: This morning, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss the plan of action for Obamacare: repeal this law, replace it step-by-step, and deliver relief to the American people.

Repealing Obamacare—why now?

“It’s because the American health care system is in the middle of a collapse. It’s because five states only have one health insurance choice. One out of three counties only have one health insurance choice. Deductibles are triple that of people in the large group market. Premiums are going up double digits again. So we feel the need to rescue this system here, and that’s why we’re going with health care first.”  

During the interview, Speaker Ryan discussed other top priorities of the 115h Congress, including tax reform. Watch the full video above. 

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Judge Gorsuch, Regulatory Reform, and Tax Reform: Interview with Michael Medved

2017/02/01

Summary: Moments before Ollie the bobcat was found, Speaker Ryan called in to The Michael Medved Show to discuss the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, regulatory reform, and tax reform.

Key Quote: We want a tax code built for growth, built for jobs, for manufacturing, for economic growth. And we need to get our tax rates down—they’re higher than anybody else’s. We have a plan to do that, and that’s what we’re focused on.”

Judge Neil GorsuchThis is a great pick. Gorsuch is just cream of the crop, top of the list. I think what the president said last night is pitch perfect—I had the privilege of being there. He made this the most transparent process I think we’ve ever seen. In the campaign, he put a list of judges that he was going to pick from, ran on that. I think a lot of Americans voted in this presidential election with this among the top things on their minds. And he picked from that list. And he picked somebody who has just such impeccable credentials as an originalist, as a constitutionalist—just a qualified, stellar judge.”

Regulatory Reform“There’s this window of time we have under what we call the Congressional Review Act, where we can go back and repeal Obama-era regulations that are just huge job killers. I mean, he was kicking out over 40 major regulations a year that cost over $100 million on the economy, and so we’re in the middle of doing those right now. These cannot be filibustered. So we can go reach back into the Obama administration and disapprove regulations that are just killing economic growth, send those bills to the Senate, and the process disallows a filibuster. And then that can go to the president’s desk and he can sign those.”

Tax Reform“Go to better.gop and look at our tax reform blueprint. Individuals and families would be able to fill out their taxes on a postcard. Dramatic simplification of the tax code. And an entire realigning and streamlining of the IRS. We knock it down into a service agency and not what it has been. And a complete overhaul of our business tax system, so that America leads instead of follows the rest of the world with respect to how well our tax code works. We want a tax code built for growth, built for jobs, for manufacturing, for economic growth. And we need to get our tax rates down—they’re higher than anybody else’s. We have a plan to do that, and that’s what we’re focused on. We know it’s going to lead to tremendous job growth, a resurgence of economic growth, and we believe it will help get wages up as well.” 

Just as you can continue to visit Ollie the bobcat at her home at the National Zoo, you can also visit speaker.gov for more information on the Republican plan to get the country back on track.

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TOMORROW: Speaker Ryan’s Media Schedule for Thursday, February 2

2017/02/01

WASHINGTON—Below is House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) media schedule for Thursday, February 2.

Fox & Friends, 8:30 a.m. ET Speaker Ryan will appear on Fox & Friends at approximately 8:30 a.m. ET. Learn more about the show here.

WISN’s The Jay Weber Show, 9:10 a.m. ET/8:10 a.m. CT Speaker Ryan will appear on WISN’s The Jay Weber Show at approximately 9:10 a.m. ET. Listen here.

WCLO’s Your Talk Show with Tim Bremel, 10:15 a.m. ET/9:15 a.m. CT Speaker Ryan will appear on WCLO's Your Talk Show with Tim Bremel at approximately 10:15 a.m. ET. Listen here.

Weekly Press Conference, 11:30 a.m. ET Speaker Ryan will hold his weekly press briefing at 11:30 a.m. ET in HVC Studio A, HVC 114. For questions regarding location, please contact House Radio-TV Gallery staff at 202-225-5214. Watch live on speaker.gov/live.

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Statement on Meeting with Israeli Speaker Yuli Edelstein

2017/02/01

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with Israeli Speaker Yuli Edelstein:

“After visiting Speaker Edelstein in Jerusalem last year, it was a privilege to host him at the U.S. Capitol this afternoon. I reiterated my steadfast support for Israel’s security and her inalienable right to self-defense. The historic alliance between our two nations has never been more important, and I appreciate Speaker Edelstein’s commitment to strengthening this special relationship.” 

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Statement on Meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan

2017/02/01

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan:

“It is always an honor to welcome King Abdullah and Queen Rania to the Capitol. Today we had the opportunity to discuss a range of issues critical to our strategic alliance with Jordan, including working together to defeat ISIS. On behalf of the whole House, I want to thank King Abdullah for his friendship and unwavering commitment to a strong U.S-Jordan relationship.”

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Poorly-crafted regulations that hurt people? Not on our watch.

2017/02/01

Congress has a constitutional responsibility to hold the executive accountable for rushed regulations and a bloated bureaucracy. We take that responsibility seriously. Earlier this month, the House passed the REINS Act, which gives Congress—the representatives of people affected by these regulations—an up-or-down vote on major (read: costly) regulations.

Now we are using our powers under the Congressional Review Act to undo certain regulations that were pushed through by the Obama administration at the last moment. Not just because we can—but because these regulations were poorly-crafted and hurt real people.

Take the Department of Interior’s stream protection rule.

It hurts people. The stream protection rule is really just a thinly veiled attempt to wipe out coal mining jobs. The Obama administration had a well-documented history of anti-energy policies—with coal as enemy number one. It’s estimated that the stream protection rule could wipe out one-third of the nation’s coal mining workforce.

It’s poorly-crafted. The Department of Interior’s own reports show that mines are safe and the surrounding environment is well-protected. This rule upends over 400 regulations already on the books. It ignores the federal, state, and local regulations that were already in place. During the rulemaking process, the federal government shut out the states that would be affected.

Not much more could be wrong with this rule, but the Obama administration ignored our concerns and pushed the rule through in December. That’s why we will vote to overturn it today.

Or how about the Bureau of Land Management’s methane rule?

It hurts people. This is another anti-energy policy, this time targeted at the oil and natural gas industry. Its intended purpose is to regulate emissions from production on federal lands, but it would effectively (and intentionally) make it impossible for producers to develop resources on federal lands, cutting out tens of thousands of jobs for people in the West. 

It’s poorly-crafted. This rule ignores the fact that the EPA is the agency designed to regulate air quality—and it already does. Furthermore, emissions on federal lands have gone down substantially, even though natural gas and oil production on federal lands has risen dramatically. In other words, it’s not needed. Existing regulatory regimes and industry innovation have combined to solve any potential emissions issues. 

For too long, the American people suffered under an executive branch that acted like the rules and regulations it created didn’t affect real people. That world has now changed. Thankfully, we now have a president who understands that regulations often hurt more than help. President Trump signed an executive order this week that will retire two regulations for every new regulation created. We look forward to working with this president to uphold sensible regulations and eliminate regulations that hurt Americans.  

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Statement on Judge Gorsuch's Nomination to the Supreme Court

2017/01/31

 WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court:

“In Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump has fulfilled his pledge to nominate a judge who has a demonstrated loyalty to the Constitution and a strong commitment to life. He is a phenomenal nominee for the Supreme Court. His belief in judicial restraint will serve the Court—and the country—very well. I also commend his career-long fight to uphold the constitutional right of religious liberty. I am confident my colleagues in the Senate will confirm Judge Gorsuch.”

President Trump's Supreme Court Pick

Tonight, President Trump is announcing his Supreme Court pick to fill the seat of the late Antonin Scalia.

Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday, January 31, 2017
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Momentum Builds for Republican Tax Plan

2017/01/31

We have the worst tax code in the industrialized world for businesses. Our plan will level the playing field & make America more competitive pic.twitter.com/I3JklEru7j

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 30, 2017

Over the past week, a growing coalition of American businesses and leading experts came out in support of the Republican plan to replace our outdated tax code with a more competitive system.

“The time is ripe for pro-growth tax reform in the United States,” wrote Douglas Holtz-Eakin of American Action Forum. “The House blueprint is a perfect start for the reform process.”

“A destination-based tax perfectly fits Trump’s aims," the Tax Foundation’s Alan Cole added.

These endorsements follow a new Treasury Department report highlighting the potential benefits of moving to destination-based tax system similar to those operated by most of our foreign competitors. As the study explains, “Our findings, coupled with the potential advantages that a cash flow tax provides in terms of simplicity, incentives for growth, potential progressivity, and fewer distortions on firm location choices, lead us to conclude that this style of reform is promising.”

Amid the building momentum, Speaker Ryan spoke with Politico about why the status quo is unsustainable: “We have the worst tax code in the industrialized world with respect to businesses and job growth. And this tax code basically incentivizes businesses to go overseas.”

As he explained, our plan will level the playing field for American businesses. Like 160 other countries and most of our competitors, we will tax products based on where they are produced rather than where they are consumed, and also lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. These reforms will eliminate the inherent disadvantages our businesses face under the current tax system.

Watch the full clip here, and learn more about our tax plan here.

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Progress on Health Care and Regulatory Reform: Remarks from Leadership Press Conference

2017/01/31

Summary: This morning at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed the progress the House is making on repealing and replacing Obamacare and providing relief from overbearing regulations.

Key Quote: “This law is collapsing. We hear it every day from our constituents. We hear it from the families who tell us the deductibles are so high, it doesn’t feel like they have insurance. We hear it from the people who have been denied choices. This law is collapsing, and we need to step in and restore real choices and real competition so that we can actually lower costs for patients and families.”

Transcript:

“This week in the House, we are making important progress on two fronts.

“First, our committees are set to begin holding legislative hearings on bills to deliver relief for Americans struggling under Obamacare. This is the next step in a step-by-step approach to repealing and replacing Obamacare with an affordable, patient-centered system. “We know that this law is collapsing. We hear it every day from our constituents. We hear it from the families who tell us the deductibles are so high, it doesn’t feel like they have insurance. We hear it from the people who have been denied choices. This law is collapsing, and we need to step in and restore real choices and real competition so that we can actually lower costs for patients and families. “Second, under the Congressional Review Act, the House will expedite five resolutions to block costly, harmful regulations. This includes turning the page on what has been, for the last eight years, a war on coal jobs in America. These measures will deliver relief from regulations that have threatened to wipe out thousands upon thousands of jobs in the energy industry.

“In addition, we are setting in motion reforms for a more sensible regulatory reform system. Earlier this month, we passed the REINS Act, which requires congressional approval of any new major regulation. And yesterday, the president took action to cap the costs that regulators can impose each year. This regulatory budget is something that we actually proposed in our regulatory agenda that we ran on last year, and we’re very excited to see it off and running. “So this is not just about blocking bad regulations. This is about smart regulations. This is about jobs, and economic opportunity, and entrepreneurs, and small businesses, and manufacturers. “We want to pave the way for real growth, higher wages, and more success for the workers and the small businesses who are at the heart of our economy.”

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With the Law Failing, House Moving Ahead to Repeal, Replace Obamacare

2017/01/31

As promised, we are taking a step-by-step approach to repeal and replace Obamacare. On Thursday, the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a legislative hearing on four specific bills to deliver relief from the health care law.

As we work to keep our promise, Democrats are—unsurprisingly—trying to scare folks into thinking that the status quo is the best their health care is going to get. Unfortunately, the law itself is proving its own failures to people firsthand. Here are three of the biggest promises and claims from Democrats that are being debunked right now:

1. You’ll pay less for more.  

The rhetoric: During his tenure in office, President Obama claimed dozens of times that Obamacare would lower the cost of insurance while increasing the quality of care for the average American family.

The reality: Many Americans insured under Obamacare will actually pay more for less this year—way more. A new report out last week proves how premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs are skyrocketing. To make matters worse, "36 percent of all regions in the U.S. will have only one participating health insurer on an Obamacare exchanges.” One choice is no choice at all.

2. People will flock to Obamacare exchanges.

The rhetoric: Days before President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, it was estimated that 23 million people would be insured through the program’s exchanges by 2017.

The reality: The Congressional Budget Office issued new projections last week that the actual number will be 10 millionless than half of the original amount promised when the bill was signed into law. And those who are signing up are proving more expensive to cover than expected.

3. “Repeal . . . will lead to death, disability, and suffering.”

The rhetoric: In her inaugural weekly address, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) claimed that repealing Obamacare—a law that, in her words, has experienced “immense progress”—will result in widespread death and suffering. 

The reality: Similar claims of 36,000 annual deaths made by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were already disproven earlier this month—but that didn’t stop Leader Pelosi from following suit. Unfortunately, this law has proved its shortcomings on its own. And while the scare tactics Leader Pelosi used painted a grim picture, the status quo remains: Keeping Obamacare will result in even higher costs, fewer choices, and lower-quality care for Americans nationwide.

That’s why Republicans are focused on repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a patient-centered system—one that prioritizes affordability, quality, and choice. Because being forced into something by the government is the last thing a patient needs when working with his or her health care provider. We invite Democrats to stop with the scare tactics and start working with Republicans to give American individuals, families, and businesses the relief they need and the care they deserve

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Statement on President Trump’s Executive Action on Regulations

2017/01/30

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive action on regulations:

“The explosion of federal regulations has hamstrung small business growth and crippled our economy. President Trump’s executive order helps bring the nation’s regulatory regime into the 21st century by putting regulators on a budget, and addressing the costs agencies can impose each year. These concepts build on a key plank of our Better Way agenda to unlock the potential of America’s entrepreneurs, who have been stymied for too long. 

“This action comes as the House passes legislation this week to repeal several of President Obama’s harmful regulations, including the stream protection rule, which threatens thousands of coal industry jobs. Earlier this month, the House passed the REINS Act, which ensures Congress has an up-or-down vote on major regulations. Congress will continue to work with the Trump administration to protect jobs and promote prosperity.”

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Statement on President Trump’s Executive Actions on National Security

2017/01/28

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive actions on national security:

“Our number one responsibility is to protect the homeland. We are a compassionate nation, and I support the refugee resettlement program, but it’s time to reevaluate and strengthen the visa vetting process. This is why we passed bipartisan legislation in the wake of the Paris attacks to pause the intake of refugees. President Trump is right to make sure we are doing everything possible to know exactly who is entering our country.

"I also commend the president for taking action to rebuild our military. We need to close the readiness gap and ensure our troops have the tools necessary to complete their mission. A well-equipped fighting force is essential as we work to defeat ISIS and restore American leadership on the international stage."

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A New Dawn for the Unborn

2017/01/27

Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) addressed the Americans who participated in today's March for Life: 

"Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country march on Washington today, united around a single purpose: defending life.

"And, for the first time in a while, I am happy to say that the House, the Senate, and now the White House are united around that same purpose.

"On his first full day in office, President Trump renewed President Reagan’s Mexico City policy—which bans taxpayer money from funding abortions abroad.

"This week, the House passed H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which makes the Hyde Amendment permanent, and bans taxpayer money from funding abortions here at home.

"This is truly a new dawn for the unborn and for those women and men who defend them.

"Today, you march to defend the rights of those who cannot defend themselves. You march to give a voice to the silenced.  Thank you for your passion and courage. Know that we march with you and that we will not stop fighting until every life is protected under the law."

 

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Statement on Meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May

2017/01/26

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May:

“It was an honor to welcome Prime Minister May to Philadelphia. We had an excellent, wide-ranging discussion about strengthening the special relationship between our nations. In particular, I reaffirmed our commitment to a strong security alliance and expressed Congress's interest in moving forward with bilateral trade talks. I appreciate Prime Minister May coming to meet with us and speak to our Members of Congress.”

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Speaker Ryan: A Unified Government and Bold Agenda

2017/01/26

We are working with the White House to enact a bold agenda for the country. pic.twitter.com/FGSvR6wMV3

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 26, 2017

Today at a press conference with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Ryan detailed his working relationship with President Trump and his administration:

"We are on the same page with the White House. We’re going to be hearing from the president today. We’ve been working with the administration on a daily basis to map out and plan a very bold and aggressive agenda to make good on our campaign promises and to fix these problems: To repeal and replace and repair our broken health care system; to reform our tax code to get jobs and economic growth; to clear out the regulatory underbrush so we can get economic growth going. So we are on the same page with the administration, and we’ve actually worked with the administration on just basically the kind of timetable and the legislative agenda we have for 2017." 

 

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Obamacare, Tax Reform, and Border Security: Interview with Greta on MSNBC

2017/01/26

Summary: Last night on MSNBC’s For the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Speaker Ryan discussed three of the big ticket items on the House Republican 2017 agenda: repealing and replacing Obamacare, comprehensive tax reform, and border security.

Key Quote: "We've got five states with only one insurer left. One out of three counties in America have only one insurer left. And I really think that's because of [Obamacare]—legislation we're going to repeal and replace it with something better.” 

Obamacare “We're talking about passing the legislation that repeals and replaces Obamacare with a patient-centered system that brings down prices and expands choices so people have more—better access to more affordable health care choices and options. . . . This will take a lot of legislating, because there are a lot of things that Obamacare legislated which we think contributed to the massive premium spike that's occurring. We've got five states with only one insurer left. One out of three counties in America have only one insurer left. And I really think that's because of the legislation—legislation we're going to repeal and replace it with something better.”

Tax Reform “Here is the problem with the tax code right now: You send your money to Washington, and then if you have a special carve-out for your business, for your industry, if you do something Washington approves of, then they'll let you [have] some of your money back. We don't like that. Keep your money in the first place. Let's make our companies competitive. And let's make good business decisions dominate their decision-making, not what's good for Washington carve-outs. . . . If you can clean up the cesspool of the tax code and give us a pro-growth tax code, that is how you grow the economy. That's how you take power and money out of Washington and give it back to the people. And we are so excited we have a president that is here to work with us in doing that.”

Border Security We really believe that the smartest way to do [immigration reform] is to do it in a piecemeal, step-by-step way to get it right. And the first focus has got to be security. So the first goal here is security, internal security, interior enforcement, external security, border enforcement. Get those right, make sure that violent criminals aren’t roaming our streets. Those are the things that we’re focused on right now. And then when we have confidence that we’ve actually figured that problem out, then I believe, we should fix this broken legal immigration system which isn’t working for anybody.”

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Statement on President Trump's Executive Actions on Border Security

2017/01/25

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump's executive actions on border security:

"This is about keeping Americans safe. We are committed to working with the administration to stop the influx of illegal immigration along the southern border, protect our homeland, and uphold the rule of law. I applaud President Trump for keeping his promise to make this a national priority."  

 

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House Votes to Make Hyde Amendment Permanent

2017/01/24

WASHINGTON—Today, the House passed H.R. 7, which makes the Hyde amendment permanent, blocking taxpayer money from funding abortions. Speaker Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement upon passage:

“We are a pro-life Congress. Today we renewed our commitment to the Hyde Amendment with the passage of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. I want to thank Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) for his tireless commitment to this cause. This legislation protects the conscience of American taxpayers by ensuring that not a single dollar of their hard-earned money goes to fund abortions. As hundreds of thousands of Americans flock to Washington for the March for Life, we must never forget that defending all of our people—especially the defenseless—must be our top priority if we want to be a good and moral nation.”

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Speaker Ryan Rallies Local Students for School Choice

2017/01/24

Together with @BetsyDeVos, we are going to be there for students every step of the way. https://t.co/X8bk1hETnq #ConfirmDeVos

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 7, 2017

Today, Speaker Ryan stopped by a National School Choice Week rally hosted by Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) to discuss the importance of expanding education opportunities for students nationwide. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you to Luke Messer and Tim Scott. I want to welcome all of you to the Capitol. It is so inspiring to see so many young people here. 

“Look, I am not here as a politician. I am here as a parent. My wife Janna and I have three kids. Our oldest, Liza, is now her class vice president. Can you believe that? She has a better title than I do.

“We are so thankful we can send them to good schools. It means the world to us.

“But every parent in America should have that opportunity. Every parent should have the chance to choose a decent school for your child.

“Think about it. We live in a time when you can use your phone to customize your life. So why would we limit you to a certain school in a certain zip code, even if that school is failing you? That is just wrong.

“In America, we think much, much bigger than that. In America, we believe that the condition of your birth does not affect the outcome of your life.

“You know what does affect that path? Freedom does. Opportunity does. Given that power, given that room to run, you can do so much.

“That is why we are here today, because your parents and your coaches and your teachers and mentors believe in you and want more for you.

“My mentor was a man named Jack Kemp. He used to work in this building. He taught me the power of ‘infectious optimism.’ When you believe in yourself, you will find you are capable of much more than you realized.

“And when you believe in others, they will remember that faith, and pass it on to someone else. That’s what makes it ‘infectious.’ It spreads.

“So think about how the power you have to grow this movement. Share your story. Spread that optimism. Believe in others. Don’t let anyone tell you your limits.

“In the meantime, we are going to keep up the fight. We finally have a president and vice president who believe in school choice. And soon we will have a new education secretary who believes in school choice. We are working to expand the Opportunity Scholarship Program, and we will make it a priority this spring. We are going to be there with you every step of the way.

“Thank you being here. And thank you for inspiring me this morning.” 

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Watch Speaker Ryan’s Announcement of President Trump’s Address to Congress

2017/01/24

Summary: This morning at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed the unique opportunity at hand to work with President Trump and his administration to deliver results for the American people. Key Quote: “With this unified Republican government, we have a unique opportunity to deliver results for the people. And in the days and weeks, we look forward to outlining more of our agenda. Transcript:

“As you know, I met with President Trump and Vice President Pence yesterday. We had a very, very productive discussion about our agenda, including health care, tax reform, rebuilding our military, securing the border. The president is eager to get moving on this agenda, and so are we.

“Already, we have hit the ground running, taking the first steps to keep our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. As I mentioned before, this is going to be a step-by-step approach. And one of those steps that is necessary is getting Tom Price confirmed as HHS secretary. Not only is Dr. Price extremely qualified, but with so many Americans struggling under Obamacare, with the current collapse of Obamacare, we need Dr. Price in place to help deliver relief and stability. It would be irresponsible for Senate Democrats to needlessly delay his confirmation.

“With this unified Republican government, we have a unique opportunity to deliver results for the American people. And in the days and weeks, we look forward to outlining more of our agenda.

“To that end, today I am inviting President Trump to address a joint session of Congress on February 28th. This will be an opportunity for the people and their representatives to hear directly from our new president about his vision and our shared agenda. This is an ambitious agenda, and rightly so.

“For too long, Washington has been too timid about addressing the big challenges facing our country. We want this to be a bold government. We want this to be a government of action. We want this to be a government of solutions.  And a government unified not just by party, but by a commitment to restore self-government and to get our country back on track. And so we look forward to welcoming the president to the Capitol next [month].”

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Speaker Ryan Invites President Trump to Address a Joint Session of Congress

2017/01/24

WASHINGTON—At a Capitol press conference this morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that he sent the following letter to President Trump formally inviting him to address a joint session of Congress on February 28, 2017.

The full text of the letter is below. Read a signed copy here.

January 24, 2017

President Donald J. Trump The White House Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

It is my honor to invite you to address a joint session of Congress on February 28, 2017 in the Hall of the House of Representatives.

With this new unified Republican government, we have a unique opportunity to deliver results for the country. This address will give the people and their representatives the chance to hear directly from you about your agenda to tackle the critical challenges we face at home and abroad.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Capitol on behalf of the people we serve.

Sincerely,

Paul D. Ryan Speaker

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Statement on President Trump's Executive Action on Pipelines

2017/01/24

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s executive action to advance two pipeline projects: 

“Thanks to President Trump's executive order, the Keystone pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline can finally be built. It's about time. The unfortunate reality is that these important infrastructure projects were used by special interests to advance their radical anti-energy agenda and were therefore needlessly halted by the last administration—to the detriment of America’s national interest. These pipelines will strengthen our nation’s energy supply and help keep energy costs low for American families. 

“Congress is committed to working with President Trump to move forward with safe and vital infrastructure that will boost our economy and create thousands of good-paying jobs in states across the country.” 

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Statement on President Trump’s First Executive Actions

2017/01/23

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement applauding President Trump’s first executive actions:  “President Trump is wasting no time acting on his promises. Already, he has laid the groundwork to protect Americans struggling under Obamacare. He has renewed President Reagan’s policy to ensure American taxpayers are not forced to subsidize abortions anywhere in the world. He has followed through on his promise to insist on better trade agreements. And by instituting a hiring freeze, he has taken a critical first step toward reining in Washington bureaucracy. We look forward to working with the president to build on these actions and deliver results for the people."

 

President Trump is wasting no time acting on his promises. https://t.co/wfVSl6KagV

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 23, 2017
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Inaugural Luncheon: Speaker Ryan's Toast To Vice President Pence

2017/01/20

.@SpeakerRyan toasts Vice President Mike Pence. #Inauguration #Trump45 pic.twitter.com/ASmUhoqcSG

— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 20, 2017

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.

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A Destination-Based Tax Code to Increase American Competiveness

2017/01/19

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:

Douglas Holtz-Eakin: International Tax Policy for a Vibrant American Economy (The Hill)

Stephen Moore: We Need Tax Reform, Not Tarrifs (Investors.com)

Ryan Ellis: Tax Reform, Border Adjustability, and Territoriality (Forbes)

Martin Feldstein: The House GOP’s Good Tax Trade-Off (Wall Street Journal)

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Obamacare and Tax Reform: Interview with Charlie Rose

2017/01/19

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 ReformWe 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 taxedSo there are things untaxed twice. Our motorcycle is taxed twice.”  

RECENT INTERVIEWS:1/4: Speaker Ryan on The Hugh Hewitt Show1/12: Speaker Ryan on The Mike Gallagher Show1/12: Speaker Ryan's CNN Town Hall1/16: Speaker Ryan Makes 7 Local TV Appearances 

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The Next Four Years Will Not Look Like The Last Eight

2017/01/19

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.

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What You May Have Missed: Speaker Ryan Makes Seven Local TV Appearances

2017/01/18

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.

CBS 58 “The reason we feel we need to move very quickly with respect to Obamacare is because the law is now imploding, it’s collapsing under its own weight.”

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.”

FOX 6 “However long [the] transition’s going to take, we`re going to make sure that the rug doesn`t get pulled out from under people—and that`s something we want to make very clear.”

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?)

For more information on the House Republican plan, visit better.gop and speaker.gov

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Statement on Chelsea Manning

2017/01/17

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
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Ryan Meets With Police Chiefs From Around The Country

2017/01/17

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.

Read more:

  • "PERF Exeuctive Director Chuck Wexler says officers learn techniques to slow down threatening situations to avoid the use of force. . . . Janesville Police Chief David Moore, whose department sent six officers to the training last month and plans to train all of its officers over the next three years, hopes others across the country will follow suit."  —AP: U.S. Police Chiefs Meet With Paul Ryan In His Hometown
  • “I think [Speaker Ryan’s] genuinely interested in things that will build trust between police and the community. He recognizes that any time police can reduce the use of force in encounters with citizens, it’s better government. . . . I think he’s excited to see the ways that local police can improve outcomes with citizens while at the same time keep cops safe.” —Chief Brandon del Pozo, Burlington Police Department
  • “It’s important for the chief to have these conversations, especially with the incoming administration. . . . There are a lot of questions on how the new administration will deal with certain issues here like the consent decree, so it’s crucial he’s engaging in this dialogue.” —Donovan Livaccari, Fraternal Order of Police in New Orleans
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A Cool Moment with President-Elect Trump

2017/01/17

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.

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Speaker Ryan Commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

2017/01/16

“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 Speaker

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Statement on Passage of Obamacare Repeal Resolution

2017/01/13

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.

READ MORE:

  1. Repeal Is Relief
  2. Obamacare Has Failed the American People
  3. How Obamacare Is Getting Worse
  4. The Tools It Takes to Repeal Obamacare
  5. A Stable Transition to a Better Health Care System
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Speaker Ryan: Obamacare Repeal Resolution Is ‘Critical Step Toward Delivering Relief’

2017/01/13

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.”

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Highlight Reel from Speaker Ryan's CNN Town Hall

2017/01/13

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

We want a health care system that allows Americans to access quality, affordable care. That's not what #Obamacare does. #RyanTownHall pic.twitter.com/G4zNi2T6l9

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 13, 2017

Obamacare Is Failing

We will replace #Obamacare with a plan that fosters competition, brings down prices, and improves coverage. #RyanTownHall pic.twitter.com/5wSHZBN9Vo

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 13, 2017

We Need Tax Reform

We need tax reform to level the playing field for American businesses. This will help bring back jobs and grow our economy. #RyanTownHall pic.twitter.com/QAAgFyVUvc

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 13, 2017

This Is An Epidemic

Opioid addiction is an epidemic. We will continue to act to help Americans struggling with abuse. #RyanTownHall pic.twitter.com/xalw0aNHqW

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 13, 2017

We Are a Nation of Laws

Sanctuary cities are a violation of the rule of law. We need to secure the border and enforce our laws. #RyanTownHall pic.twitter.com/iKhMGxefqq

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 13, 2017
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Why Obamacare Needs to be Repealed: Interview with Mike Gallagher

2017/01/12

Listen here.

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 TransitionThe 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.”

Don’t forget: Speaker Ryan’s town hall kicks off live on CNN at 9 p.m. ET tonight, when he’ll discuss a #BetterWay for health care and more. 

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Step-by-Step Relief: Speaker Ryan’s Remarks from Weekly Press Briefing

2017/01/12

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.”

Transcript:

“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.”

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Watch Guide: Tonight's Town Hall with Speaker Ryan

2017/01/12

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.

Second screeners: Follow @SpeakerRyan on Twitter and Instagram for #RyanTownHall updates and behind-the-scenes content.

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If you just can't wait until 9 p.m. ET tonight, here's a look back at last summer's CNN town hall

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By The Numbers: The Regulatory Accountability Act

2017/01/11

 “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.

·         $6,000,000,000: The potential cost to taxpayers of last-minute rules, known as “midnight regulations”, issued by the administration.

 

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.

 

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ADVISORY: Speaker Ryan’s Media Schedule for Thursday, January 12

2017/01/11

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. 

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This Is President Obama's Real Legacy

2017/01/10

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.

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Behind the Lens: Opening Day with Speaker Ryan

2017/01/10

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.

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Obamacare Is Failing: Speaker Ryan’s Remarks from Leadership Press Conference

2017/01/10

Summary: This morning, Speaker Ryan held a press conference with Republican leaders to discuss why Congress is acting quickly to repeal and replace Obamacare.

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.”

Transcript:

“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.”

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Speaker Ryan Meets With UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

2017/01/09

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.”

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Just how broken is Obamacare?

2017/01/09

“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?

  • Obamacare is so broken that premiums are rising by double digits in 31 states. In Arizona, premiums are likely to increase by 116 percent. In Oklahoma, 69 percent. Unfortunately, the list goes on and on, meaning more out of pocket costs for something the government is forcing people to buy.
  • Obamacare is so broken that deductibles are skyrocketing nationwide. In Laymen’s terms, a deductible is how much it costs to use your health insurance. On one of the least expensive plans, deductibles are going up by 15 percent. For many families, that means paying thousands of dollars before their insurance even kicks in. Pair that with the aforementioned premium spikes, and you’ll see the unsustainable situation in which many Americans find themselves.
  • Obamacare is so broken that many Americans have just one plan to choose from. Health policy experts have said “it’s clear there’s going to be less competition and choice” in 2017, resulting in higher costs and fewer choices for Americans. In fact, one-third of the country “may have just a single insurer to pick from.” Add the 17 failed Obamacare co-ops—to the tune of more than $1.8 billion in taxpayer dollars—and you’ll quickly see why these markets are collapsing under their own weight.  
  • Obamacare is so broken that Democrats proposed a public option—a government-run program meant to act as a lifeboat for Obamacare. Just months ago, leading Democrats offered this as a way to fix Obamacare’s problems—a sign even the law’s biggest advocates knew it was failing. This idea was supported by all of the Democratic leaders in the Senate, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton. Now, all of a sudden, they want to stay the course with Obamacare as is.

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.

READ MORE:

  1. Repeal Is Relief
  2. Obamacare Has Failed the American People
  3. How Obamacare Is Getting Worse
  4. The Tools It Takes to Repeal Obamacare
  5. A Stable Transition to a Better Health Care System
Read More

GUEST POST: To Our Law Enforcement, Thank You

2017/01/09

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.

---

Learn more about Rep. Reichert by following him on Twitter, liking his Facebook page, or visiting his website.

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Weekly Republican Address: The Time to Act to Repeal Obamacare Is Now

2017/01/06

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. 

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Statement on IC Report on Russian Hacking

2017/01/06

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.”

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Statement: Retirement of Rep. Sam Johnson

2017/01/06

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.”

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A Simpler and More Competitive Tax Code

2017/01/06

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 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.

To learn more about our tax reform plan, watch this video, read the summary, or check out the full report.

 

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Speaker Ryan: UN Anti-Israel Resolution a ‘Misguided Hit Job’

2017/01/05

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.

RT if you agree → It's time to rebuild our partnership with #Israel and reaffirm our commitment to her security. pic.twitter.com/Zp7iSVmWAJ

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 5, 2017
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Speaker Ryan: 'This law is hurting people right now.'

2017/01/05

This law is hurting people right now. We need to deliver relief to Americans hurting under #Obamacare. pic.twitter.com/kpaSSOVjkM

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 5, 2017

Contrary to what Democrats want you to think, Obamacare is failingand 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. 

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Regulatory Reform: Remarks from Weekly Press Briefing

2017/01/05

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.”

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Relief from Obamacare: Pence Joins Ryan, GOP Leaders for Press Conference

2017/01/04

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.” 

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Obamacare and the First 200 Days: Interview with Hugh Hewitt

2017/01/04

Listen here.

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."

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First Bills Taken Up By The House Help Our Veterans

2017/01/03

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.”

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Statement: Introduction of Obamacare Repeal Resolution

2017/01/03

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.”

READ MORE:

  1. Repeal Is Relief
  2. Obamacare Has Failed the American People
  3. How Obamacare Is Getting Worse
  4. The Tools It Takes to Repeal Obamacare
  5. A Stable Transition to a Better Health Care System
Read More

FULL TEXT: Speaker Ryan's Opening Day Address to the House

2017/01/03

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.

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Excerpts from Speaker Ryan's Opening Day Address to the House

2017/01/03

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.

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Statement on the Office of Congressional Ethics

2017/01/03

WASHINGTON– House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after adoption of an amendment to the Rules of the House offered by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA):

“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.”

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Advisory: Opening Day of the 115th Congress

2017/01/02

WASHINGTON—On Tuesday, January 3, 2017, the House of Representatives will convene for the first session of the 115th Congress. 

  • At 8:45 a.m. ET, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his family will join members of Congress for an interfaith service at St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill
  • At noon, the Clerk of the House, Karen L. Haas, will convene the House with a quorum call, followed by the election for Speaker. After the speaker’s remarks accepting the gavel, he will be sworn in by the Dean of the House, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). Speaker Ryan will then swear in all members simultaneously, a tradition that dates back to the opening of the 71st Congress in 1929. 
  • Beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET, Speaker Ryan will take ceremonial swearing-in photos with House members and their families in the Rayburn Room.

NOTE: For behind-the-scenes coverage and real-time updates throughout the day, follow Speaker Ryan on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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.  

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

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Statement on Russia Sanctions

2016/12/29

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." 

 

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Contact Information

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

The Speaker acts as leader of the House and combines several roles: the institutional role of presiding officer and administrative head of the House, the partisan role of leader of the majority party in the House, and the representative role of an elected Member of the House. By statute, the Speaker is also second in line, behind the Vice President, to succeed to the presidency.

The Speaker presides over the House, administering the oath of office to Members, calling the House to order, and preserving order and decorum within the Chamber and in the galleries. Additionally, he appoints the chairmen to preside over the Committee of the Whole, appoints special or select committees, appoints conference committees, has the power of recognition of Members to speak, and makes many important rulings and decisions in the House. The Speaker may vote, but usually does not, except in the case of a tie. The Speaker and the Majority Leader determine the legislative agenda for the House, and often confer with the President and the Senate.