Every day this week, we've brought you examples of how House Republicans are promoting A Better Way around the country and in your neck of the woods. Thanks for following along with us, and to learn more about these ideas, just go to better.gop. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 And here's the final five in this series:
Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) “has held town halls across the district, extolling Speaker of House Paul Ryan’s ‘A Better Way’ plan. … ‘The initiatives we have are initiatives that came about as a result of the input of the constituents. It is very well received,’ he said.” (Effingham Herald)
“Carter reviewed six initiatives that Republicans in the House are proposing to drive the legislative agenda for the 115th Congress in January. Details can be found at abetterway.speaker.gov. The proposal addresses poverty, national security, the economy, the Constitution, health care and tax reform.” (Savannah Morning News)Read More
The Real Obama Liberal Legacy is a periodic series to highlight the results of liberal progressivism put into practice.
Next up, Dodd–Frank. Thanks to this law’s thousands of pages of regulation, community banks have been closing their doors.
The promise: “And responsible lenders, including community banks, doing the right thing shouldn't have to worry about ruinous competition from unregulated competitors.” — President Obama, 9/14/2009.
The reality: Instead, they’re worrying about Dodd–Frank’s ruinous regulation. This legislative behemoth is over 2,300 pages long and requires federal regulators to write some 400 rules—all of which are hurting our community banks.
In fact, the number of community banks shrank by 14 percent between 2010 and 2014. There are now fewer than 6,500 banks in total, the lowest level since the Great Depression. And many services that people took for granted, like free checking accounts and small dollar loans, are in danger of being eliminated.
So what did we get out of this? Well, the law did create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, yet another federal agency, which can outlaw any consumer-credit product it considers “unfair” or “abusive.” Bonus: Congress has no control over CFPB’s funding, so its unelected director is unaccountable to the people.
There is a better way to protect our economy and expand opportunity. House Republicans have put out a plan to expand banking services to low-income families and to lay down clear, firm rules for job creators and workers. Learn more at better.gop.Read More
— AL Today (@AlabamaToday) August 24, 2016
In a series of forums across his district, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) is promoting A Better Way to Do Tax Reform.
— RepKevinBrady (@RepKevinBrady) August 10, 2016
Every day this week, we are looking at how House Republicans are taking the Better Way agenda to the country. As we mark the 20th anniversary of welfare reform, today's entry focuses on our plan to fight poverty, which shifts the emphasis from one-size-fits-all programs to local solutions.
— Richard Hudson (@RepRichHudson) August 18, 2016
As part of his Better Way to Fight Poverty Tour, Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) held a roundtable discussion and visited with nonprofits that are making a difference.
From the Salisbury Post: “During the roundtable, Hudson promoted the ‘A Better Way’ plan — a policy package introduced by House Speaker Paul Ryan. … When describing the plan to the nonprofit groups gathered Wednesday, Hudson briefly focused on the importance of tailoring benefits to individuals.”
Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) talked about A Better Way at the ground-breaking ceremony for Klamath Works, a new facility in Klamath Falls, Oregon, that will include emergency shelters and kitchens as well as job training services.
From the Herald and News: “Walden … told the story of how he hand-carried the proposal by Klamath Works for the human services campus to Paul Ryan in 2015… ‘Over the course of the last now nine months, we have been working in the House on a whole plan to deal with various issues … One of the five categories is a better way to fight poverty, and you will find in this program … some of the very principles and proposals that originated right here in the basin.”
Rep. French Hill (R-AR) held a Better Way Anti-Poverty Initiative Roundtable in Little Rock to “hear ideas from community leaders who are involved with successful upward mobility programs.”
From the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: “The Little Rock meeting was the sixth such roundtable he has held since taking office in January 2015. Its theme was 'career and technical education and skilled workforce.' ... Hill said his previous roundtables have focused on early child nutrition and health, foster care, homelessness, community development and educational improvement. 'The theme here is 'How do we lift people up out of poverty,' Hill said.”Read More
The Real Obama Liberal Legacy is a periodic series to highlight the results of liberal progressivism put into practice.
Next up, "You didn't build that."
The delusion: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” President Barack Obama, July 13, 2012
The reality: Hardworking Americans who devote their time, money, and creativity to starting businesses are responsible for their success—not the government.
Individual achievement is just that—individual: Americans are known for their ingenuity and the drive it takes to turn ideas into action. That’s why, when a business hits the ground running—employing workers and expanding opportunity—we should celebrate the entrepreneurs and creative minds who made it happen.
That’s the problem with big-government Democrats: We’re of the camp that hardworking Americans deserve the credit. If you break out of D.C. and into our communities, you’ll find the smaller role the government plays, the more opportunity exists—just look at California. Because of the Golden State’s overbearing taxes and regulations, more and more small companies are fleeing to more business-friendly states like Texas—a state that offers a more hospitable environment with fewer regulations.
Success looks good on you: Our economy soars when the people are in control. Extreme regulations only stifle innovation and infringe on liberty—and House Republicans want to reduce regulations and give American entrepreneurs the freedom they need to succeed. By regulating smarter, we can cut down the unnecessary while making what we do need more efficient and effective—so small businesses that shoulder a disproportionate share of the federal regulatory burden can regain productivity and growth. Why? Well . . .
Because you did built that: There are over 28 million small businesses in the United States—accounting for 54 percent of sales and 55 percent of all jobs. Here’s an even bigger number: The latest numbers show that small businesses are responsible for creating 63 percent of new jobs in America. You see? Businesses are built by hardworking Americans every year. They’re the backbone of our economy, and their contributions should not be denigrated—they should be celebrated.Read More
All throughout this month, House Republicans are promoting A Better Way, a bold agenda to tackle our country's biggest challenges. Every day this week, we will highlight some of these stories. Here are the first four:
At a town hall meeting in Smithville, Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), “who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee, shared her ideas for her plan, called 'A Better Way,' which would address ways to reform the tax code, combat poverty, rebuild the economy, replace Obamacare, protect our national security, and restore the constitutional separation of powers.” (Smithville Review)
Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) recorded the weekly Republican address at a small business in her district that makes security systems. She “outlined a plan to accomplish the GOP-controlled House objectives, focusing on defeating radical Islamist terrorism abroad with their agenda 'A Better Way.'” (CBS News)
Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) “discussed his project proposal, 'A Better Way,' during a Rotary meeting Wednesday in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Clarksburg Rotary.” (The Exponent Telegram)Read More
Twenty years ago today, landmark welfare reform was signed into law. And you know what? It was a success. We moved people from welfare to work. In fact, employment for single mothers increased by 15%.
But you know what else? That was just one program. Washington has created dozens more that need a second look. That's exactly what House Republicans are doing with our plan for A Better Way, and it starts with a simple principle: Welfare should be tied to work.
In the 52-second video below, Speaker Ryan explains why.
"The problem with our welfare system today is it's basically a work replacement system. It's a system that discourages work. It's a system that penalizes work, and as a result, people don't work!
"So people stay stuck in poverty. It's as if this War on Poverty approach is to treat the symptoms of poverty to make it more tolerable but more persistent instead of going at the root causes of poverty.
"The reason many people are in poverty is because they're not working or they're not getting an opportunity to make the lives that they want for themselves.
"What we're doing is changing the incentives and removing the penalties that are placed upon people in poverty so that work always pays. It always makes sense to take a job. It always makes sense to get the raise. You will not be severely penalized if you take that risk; you'll be encouraged.
"That is the core principle of our welfare reform plan."
The Real Obama Liberal Legacy is a periodic series to highlight the results of liberal progressivism put into practice.
Next up, Red Line in Syria. As the tragedy in Syria continues to unfold before our eyes, we are reminded of the costs when America fails to lead in the world.
The promise: “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.” —President Obama, 8/20/2012
The reality: Almost a year to the day later, Assad unleashed a chemical weapons attack that killed 1,400 civilians in the Ghouta region outside Damascus. In response, the administration proposed an “unbelievably small” military response that would do nothing to prevent the regime from massacring its own people. A bipartisan majority in Congress rejected the plan.
But wait, didn’t the administration strike a deal to get rid of Syria’s chemical weapons? Well, sort of. The agreement claimed to eliminate Assad’s stockpile, but chemical weapons attacks continued afterwards. Moreover, the deal stabilized the regime, which to this day slaughters civilians with barrel bombs, mortars, and other heavy weaponry.
Exactly four years since President Obama drew his “red line,” Assad is still in power. Over 400,000 people have been killed. The civil war drags on with no end in sight. The administration’s peace efforts have gone nowhere. ISIS and other extremists have infiltrated rebel factions, and Russia has stepped in to prop up the regime.
There’s a better way: The president’s strategy in Syria has been a complete failure. There is a better way to restore American leadership and protect our homeland. Learn more about our plan at better.gop.Read More
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) discusses how the agenda unveiled by House Republicans—a #BetterWay—addresses the security threats facing both the nation and the world. The address takes place in Rep. Walters’s district at a small business focused on domestic security. Rep. Walters’s message is clear: When America is strong, the world is safer. “If we've learned anything over the past eight years, it's that the president's foreign policy is not doing the job,” Rep. Walters said in the beginning of her address. She continued, “A Better Way is our answer to the challenges we face. Our plan includes 67 specific ideas to strengthen our national security. . . . America will be safe only when we are strong. And I believe our plan will accomplish just that.” NOTE: The audio of the weekly address is available here, and the video will be available on speaker.gov.
Remarks of Congresswoman Mimi Walters of California Weekly Republican Address August 20, 2016 Irvine, CA
The first job of the federal government is to keep our country safe. And if we've learned anything over the past eight years, it's that the president's foreign policy is not doing the job. Look no further than: the vanishing red line in Syria, the faulty reset with Russia, the attempt to "lead from behind" in Libya, followed by the rise of a terrorist safe haven on the Mediterranean Sea. He made a dangerous nuclear deal with Iran. He has not done enough to take on ISIS. You add all of this up, and what do you see? All across the world, our enemies don't fear us, and our friends don't trust us. The president's foreign policy has left a power vacuum, which our rivals are all too happy to fill. So to say this foreign policy is not making us any safer is—well, an understatement.
But we House Republicans need to take action. It's not enough to sit on the sidelines. It's not enough to criticize. We have to propose an alternative. And we have. We're calling it A Better Way. We are showing the American people what we will do in 2017 and beyond if given the opportunity. We developed this plan from the bottom up, hearing from our constituents and working with all the members of our conference. And now we're taking our case to the American people. In fact, I'm talking to you from a small business in my district that makes security systems for public buildings. As I've met with people I represent across my district, so many of them have told me that national security is an issue. It’s an issue that concerns them the most.
A Better Way is our answer to the challenges we face. Our plan includes 67 specific ideas to strengthen our national security. We lay out our four objectives: Keep Americans safe at home, defeat the terrorists, advance America's interests abroad, and renew our national security tools. We focus a lot of attention on defeating radical Islamist terrorism because rooting out this extremist ideology is crucial to protecting Americans at home and abroad.
We also wrote our plan with the understanding that our homeland faces a number of threats—from border security to cybersecurity—and with the understanding that new threats will emerge. It renews our friendship with our allies. It makes sure our military and law enforcement officers have the tools they need to complete their missions. It makes sure our veterans receive the care they have earned. It also requires the federal government to work with technology experts—and bring together the best minds in one room to find ways to combat cyber threats.
President Reagan famously called for "peace through strength." That is still the case today. America will be safe only when we are strong. And I believe our plan will accomplish just that. To learn more about our plan, go to our website: better.gop. Thank you.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) will deliver the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, August 20. In the address, Rep. Walters will discuss the national security plank of the #BetterWay agenda House Republicans introduced earlier this summer, and how it would make America—and the world—a safer place.
“For the past eight years, President Obama's failed foreign policies have made us less safe,” said Rep. Walters. “The American people deserve a comprehensive national security strategy that directly addresses the challenges we face and those we will face in the future. House Republicans have put forth a better way to keep our country safe, and we will continue to fight for our national security.”
“A confident America not only keeps its people safe, but helps promote peace in a dangerous world,” said Speaker Ryan. “Take a look around—it’s clear the Obama administration hasn’t held up its end of the bargain. We need a Better Way that keeps America safe and secure—and that’s what Mimi will discuss in her address this week.”
Congresswoman Mimi Walters represents the 45th Congressional District of California and currently serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. She previously served in the California State Senate from 2008–2014, representing California's 37th District of the California State Senate. A champion for job creation, lower taxes, less intrusive government, and fiscal responsibility, Congresswoman Walters has been active in conservative causes for many years.
Note: The Weekly Republican Address will be available starting Saturday, August 20, at 6:00 a.m. ET on speaker.gov.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement today on the Obama administration's $400 million ransom payment to Iran:
“Today, the State Department admitted what we've long suspected—that the president and his administration have been misleading us since January about whether he ransomed the freedom of the Americans unjustly imprisoned in Iran. The president owes the American people a full accounting of his actions and the dangerous precedent he has set.”Read More
Next up, Illegally Funding Obamacare. We're hearing a lot lately about how Obamacare is not sustainable. Remember, parts of it are also essentially illegal.
The promise: “Now, part of the reason I faced a trillion-dollar deficit when I walked in the door of the White House is because too many initiatives over the last decade were not paid for—from the Iraq war to tax breaks for the wealthy. I will not make that same mistake with health care.” —President Obama’s first State of the Union Address, 9/9/2009
The reality: The administration is so desperate to keep Obamacare in place that it's actually paying for part of the law without approval from Congress. This isn't just illegal—it's unconstitutional.
The Constitution is clear: Only Congress controls the federal purse strings. However, the administration has already paid out billions of taxpayer dollars to insurance companies under Obamacare without approval from the people's representatives.
And now, thanks to our oversight work in the House, we know that senior officials within the administration expressed concern over the lack of authority to fund the program, but they were overruled. This revelation shows that the administration knowingly ignored the Constitution in order to prop up Obamacare.
Here’s the good news: The House is suing the administration for improperly spending taxpayer dollars for this part of Obamacare. In May, a federal judge ruled that these payments are indeed unconstitutional. This was a big win for the Constitution, and now we’re taking this fight to the Supreme Court.
There is a better way: House Republicans recently proposed a strong replacement plan that will drive down costs and put patients in control of their health care. There is a better way to give every American access to quality, affordable health care. Learn more at better.gop.Read More
Here's the deal: There is a better way to fix health care.
You can have a system in America where everyone has access to affordable healthcare, including people with pre-existing conditions, without a costly government takeover or double-digit premium increases.
That's what our plan does.
I hope you'll read more about it on this website → www.better.gop.
President Obama promised Obamacare would lower premiums for the typical family by $2,500. Instead average premiums in job-based coverage increased by $3,775.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday, August 16, 2016
REP. BOB GOODLATTE (R-VA): “‘A better way' to fix health care. When will this Administration realize there is a better way? It’s time to start over. One plank of the ‘A Better Way’ agenda put forth by House Republicans does just that. The recently released agenda, which is available online at better.gop, includes our ideas, step-by-step, to create a health care system that improves every American’s access to the care they need.” (The News Virginian)
REP. MORGAN GRIFFITH (R-VA): “Ninth District Agriculture and a Better Way to Do Tax Reform. Among other things, Chairman Brady’s ‘A Better Way to do Tax Reform’ would work to make the tax code simpler, fairer, and flatter. It would also make it easier to create jobs, increase wages, and expand opportunities. And rather than almost encouraging the shift of jobs overseas, as does our current tax code, Chairman Brady’s plan would reduce the tax penalty for those businesses wanting to bring overseas earnings home to America to invest.” (The Roanoke Times)
REP. JOHN KLINE (R-MN): “Better Way for Economy: Removing Barriers That Hold Us Back. … I remain focused on removing regulatory barriers that hold workers and entrepreneurs back, lowering health care costs that burden families, and helping more Americans acquire the skills and education they need to compete in today’s workplaces. Our pro-growth agenda offers a better way for every American to achieve a lifetime of success and prosperity.” (The Kenyon Leader)
REP. BILLY LONG (R-MO): “As part of the new ‘Better Way’ plan to reform the tax code this Congress, the House passed H.R. 529 with more than 400 votes. This bill would expand and strengthen tax-free 529 college savings plans, and modernize the program so that students can use these funds to purchase a computer. By making these savings plans more accessible, Americans will be able to plan for their kids’ future.” (Springfield News-Leader)
REP. JASON SMITH (R-MO): “There is a better way. Today we have the opportunity to stop being reactive and become proactive about our future, just like the small business owners and farmers I met with this week. I have helped author solutions as part of the Better Way agenda which from healthcare to regulations to taxes will shrink the size of government in all our lives and restore American’s confidence in their future and the future of this country.” (Houston Herald)
REP. STEVE STIVERS (R-OH): “A better way on foreign policy and national defense. This summer, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans released the ‘Better Way’ plan to offer ideas and solutions to get America back on track. One portion of this plan is a better strategy to handle our national security and foreign policy challenges. This includes ideas to better protect our country, defeat ISIS, tackle new threats, and defend freedom around the world.” (Chillicothe Gazette)Read More
Morning, noon, and night, House Republicans continue to tout A Better Way—a bold agenda to tackle some of our country's biggest challenges. Take a look:
“Over pastries and warm cups of coffee, Congressman David Rouzer tuned in as a group of Sampson County residents voiced their concerns about political matters and social matters. During the visit, he presented a comprehensive policy platform — ‘A Better Way.’ The ideas unveiled from House Republicans centered around poverty, national security, economy, constitutional authority, health care and tax reform.” (The Sampson Independent)
I spoke with South Bend Kiwanis Club today about how we can work together to move our community forward. pic.twitter.com/D2Q6YzXf86— Jackie Walorski (@RepWalorski) August 11, 2016
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) “told the lunch audience at Century Center about chairing a subcommittee on nutrition that is ‘looking at the past, present and future of food stamps.’ The panel is working with House Speaker Paul Ryan's policy agenda called ‘A Better Way to Fight Poverty.’ ... ‘There really is a welfare cliff,’ she said, referring to the idea that low-income people face disincentives to earn money if it leads to cuts in their welfare benefits. ‘It does exist, and it's our jobs — since it was built by bureaucrats — to dismantle it and find a better way for success for people.’” (South Bend Tribune)“Congressman discusses GOP ‘Better Way’ platform. . . . Arkansas's District Four Representative, Bruce Westerman (R) supports ideas outlined in the 'Better Way' platform and discusses how they impact his constituents. Backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, the 'Better Way' platform provides an overview of a set of Republican solutions that address six main areas of concerns. . . . poverty, national security, the economy, the constitution, health care and tax reform.” (KTAL)Read More
There's an important campaign going on right now. It won't be decided in a single day at the ballot box, and it has much farther-reaching repercussions than just the next four years. It's a campaign of ideas, and it's being waged by all those who are tired of our nation going down the wrong path and are ready for a better way.
House Republicans have proposed a full slate of solutions to address some of the biggest challenges of our time. You can read about each of these ideas in great detail at better.gop, but if you're on the go, here are six graphics that explain our campaign to offer you a clear and compelling choice for the future of America.1. Poverty National Security 3. The Economy The Constitution Health Care Tax Reform
This week, Democrats reached a new low in their politicization of the Zika crisis. While Senate Democrats are filibustering new funding passed by the House, Republicans have repeatedly called upon the Obama administration to use funds already available to combat Zika. But the White House has refused, choosing instead to let much-needed funds sit idle as Zika spreads, so it can point fingers at Congress. In early July it was reported that the administration has spent only one-sixth of the nearly $600 million it has to fight the virus.
But now, in response to a group of Florida Democrats making the same request to the administration to use the funding already available, the Obama administration is suddenly complies. Again, this is after a month of ignoring the same request from Republicans. Even the outbreak in Florida didn’t make the administration comply with Republicans’ request.
We’re pleased that the Obama administration is finally activating funds it has to combat Zika. But it’s a shame that it’s come after months of shameless political posturing. Democrats in the administration and Congress have shown over and over again that they’d rather mischaracterize history to demonize Republicans instead of swiftly address a public health crisis. That’s a new low.
Now, Democrats should drop their filibuster so we can get all the resources we need to fight this disease.
The promise: Back in 2008, President-elect Obama said putting a tax on gasoline would be a "mistake" because it would put "additional burdens on American families."
The proposal: In his State of the Union address this year, President Obama sought to cement his anti-energy legacy by proposing a $10 tax on every barrel of oil produced.
The kicker: After the president’s proposal was announced, White House economic advisor Jeff Zients admitted, "We recognize that oil companies would likely pass on some of the costs.” What are those costs? Independent analysts estimate this policy would raise gas prices by about 24 cents per gallon—effectively the same as that gas tax President-elect Obama thought was such a mistake.
Yikes: Who will bear the brunt of that cost? American consumers. Which consumers are hurt the most? Folks who live paycheck to paycheck, who really feel the pain of increased energy prices.
Flashback: "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." That was a quote from former Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu before he was named head of the agency in Obama’s first term. And in case you didn’t know, gasoline in Europe is double or triple the price of gasoline in the U.S., thanks to massive taxes. After a lot of heat, he tried to walk back his radical view saying, “Of course we don’t want the price of gasoline to go up, we want it to go down.” Riiiiight.
Here’s the good news: The $10 tax on gasoline is dead on arrival in Congress. House Republicans will never let this policy—which hurts families and the poor above all else—become law.
There is a better way: House Republicans are committed to affordable American energy and a strong U.S. economy. Instead of radical policies from the Obama administration that drive up the cost of energy, House Republicans have proposed policies that release regulatory burdens and increase energy production—which help to drive down the cost of energy, giving all Americans access to the freedom and mobility that low-cost energy brings.Read More
As a country, if we simply react to the news of the day—if we just chase the loudest voices—then we're not going to serve the people of the country the way that they ought to be served.
The reason I push so hard for ideas—the reason we're pushing so hard to offer this "Better Way" agenda—is because ideas are really what make this country great, and we have ideas for making this country great. We have ideas for getting this country back on the right track.
And so it's very clear that there is going to be noise and news of the day that can clearly distract government. It can distract Congress. It can distract the people of this country.
But to me, what gets me up in the morning—what gets me excited—are ideas, good ideas, ideas that work, ideas that improve people's lives, ideas that get our country to reach its potential. That is why we stand here and fight for ideas, and we know if we stick to it—if we keep pushing and pounding good ideas—we will cut through all of the noise.Read More
On July 14, in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, Speaker Ryan signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act—bipartisan legislation to tackle America’s opioid epidemic. With his signature, CARA was sent to the president’s desk, where it was signed into law on July 22.
This is a big deal. Sure, it’s an example of the work the House is doing, but what matters is how this will help everyday Americans struggling with addiction. Americans like the Jaskulski family of Franklin, Wisconsin. Michelle Jaskulski—one of Speaker Ryan’s constituents—spends her Saturday mornings (every one, from 10 to noon) leading an addiction and recovery ministry for those in her community who are suffering at the hands of opioid abuse.
It’s called Beyond Addiction. What started as a support group for individuals—six participants the first time—now partners with its church congregation and community, area high schools, and even the police department to raise addiction awareness—and reassure those struggling they aren’t alone.
Michelle’s story begins four years ago, when she and her husband, Darrell, learned that their sons were addicted to heroin.
“We found out a few years ago that our two boys were abusing prescription pills,” recalled Michelle during a phone call last week. “Eventually, over the course of four years, they progressed to using intravenous heroin.” Her sons, Kyle and Darrell Jr., were all-American athletes in high school. In fact, the Jaskulskis are exactly what you think of when you think Wisconsin—four kids, Packers loyalists, vacation time up north. But addiction didn’t care about the normalcy of their family. Why? Because addiction doesn’t discriminate—and it’s affecting communities all over the country. “I went through a period where I was depressed, ashamed, confused,” Michelle explained. “Then, I happened to see on the news another family who lost their son to heroin. So I started googling stuff, and I found a family support group, which really and truly was a life saver to me. I realized I wasn’t alone. It wasn’t my fault. “So after that, my husband and I started to get really involved. We knew of a few other people at our church—the Southbrook Church in Franklin—that were experiencing the same thing. So we started a ministry at the church—an addiction and recovery ministry.” And that ministry has grown exponentially. It’s become a safe haven for addicts and families alike to turn to when they have nowhere else to go. They are offering community and accountability. Which brings us back to July 14. Michelle was among those in the audience at the bill signing. She was joined by Darrell Jr., who, along with his brother, is 13 weeks sober. Afterwards, Speaker Ryan had a chance to say hello, having met the Jaskulskis earlier in the year to talk about this important legislation. “He gave [Darrell Jr.] a big hug, and said how proud he was of him. It was very touching—it was a great experience.”
Help is on the way. The legislation Congress passed to battle back against the opioid epidemic will help thousands win...Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday, August 1, 2016
Byrne’s Better Way to Fight Poverty Tour took him to Haven of Hope, where he learned about their recovery program that helps people break the chain of addiction. At the Washington County Baptist Association, he heard about the thrift store they operate, and how they help families with everyday skills such as paying bills.
“This is what we should be all about: giving people the tools they need to live instead of just giving them another government program,” Rep. Byrne said. “We get people a better life by moving them out of poverty.”
To learn more about our plan—and the Better Way agenda—just go to better.gop.
“Byrne toured parts of the state to see how organizations are helping in the fight against poverty. Today’s tour was called ‘A Better Way to Fight Poverty’ tour.’ … Byrne went on to say this will help develop policies that reduce the rate of poverty here in America.“ (WPMI)
“Byrne held ‘A Better Way to Fight Poverty’ tour today. And that tour made a number of stops throughout the southwestern part of the state to take a look at organizations that are making a difference in the fight against poverty. He explained how he will able to translate this idea into something he can take back to Washington. … Byrne took some time looking at both rural poverty in Washington County and urban poverty in Mobile.” (WALA)
The next time someone uses the outdated expression "do-nothing Congress," be sure to forward them this email. The work of the people's House does not always make for the best prime time TV, but it is always steady and ongoing. And these days, it's been marked by a lot of real, common-sense progress. (But then again, you probably already knew that because of all the positive stories in your newsfeed. . . no?)
Regardless, here are eight bills that Congress recently sent to the president's desk. Every single one of them are now law.
(Click on each photo to learn more.)
1. Global Food Security Act – requires a results-based approach for U.S. food aid spending, saving lives and money all at the same time.
2. FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act – updates airport security and safety requirements, allowing travelers to spend more time enjoying vacation and less time waiting in a TSA line.
3. Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Extension Act – extends sanctions against a Venezuelan regime that denies its people basic human rights.
4. United States Semiquincentennial Commission Act – lays the groundwork for a national celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the United States.
5. Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act – battles back against the nation's growing opioid epidemic by helping people get the information they need to prevent or overcome addiction.
6. Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act – increases benefits for disabled veterans.
7. Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act – requires greater transparency for foreign assistance programs, because you deserve to know where your money is sent.
8. Protecting Our Lives by Initiating COPS Expansion (POLICE) Act – allows first responders to use federal grant funds to train and better prepare for active shooter situations.Read More
The Real Obama Liberal Legacy is a periodic series to highlight the pitfalls and consequences of liberal progressivism.
Next up—as back to school season gets underway—Taxing College Savings Plans.
The proposal: “[T]he President’s plan will roll back expanded tax cuts for 529 education savings plans that were enacted in 2001 for new contributions, and . . . repeal tax incentives going forward.” President Obama’s State of the Union address fact sheet, January 2015
The reality: For years now, families saving for college have been able to use college savings accounts—called 529s—tax-free to help afford the cost of college. But in his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama proposed to change this by reinstating a tax on these plans, threatening to make college out of reach for many American families.
Wait—what? Our thoughts exactly. Stronger, modernized 529s means fewer middle-class families struggling to pay the high tuition costs at colleges nationwide. 529s mean families can start saving for their child’s education the day they’re born—and contributions large and small can be withdrawn tax-free to pay for various costs, like textbooks and housing, when it’s time to enroll. Does taxing these tried-and-true plans sound like a good idea?
Well, this is awkward: Members of his own party—and even his own cabinet (!)—agreed that this is a bad idea. Asked about taxing college savings accounts, former Education Secretary Arne Duncan said encouraging these plans “would be fantastic,” and the government should “incentivize and reward that.”
Hindsight is 20/20: Citing it as a “distraction,” the Obama administration eventually dropped its proposal to tax 529s—something that should’ve been obvious from the beginning. Because during a time when student debt is out of control and financial challenges are burying families, taxing a tool that promotes education should be out of the question. The American people clearly agreed. Today, total investment in 529 plans is at record levels, while the number of accounts has risen to 12.5 million.
There’s a better way to do this: Instead of taxing families who are saving for college, House Republicans want to help them by strengthening, expanding, and improving 529 plans. Legislation introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) passed the House on a bipartisan basis, and is part of the #BetterWay agenda released this year to reform our tax code. By making 529s more accessible and easier to use, Americans can have more control over their families’ futures—and their kids’ education.Read More
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) discusses the House agenda Republicans unveiled earlier this summer—a #BetterWay. This month, Rep. Carter is hosting a series of events to highlight these proposals and solicit feedback from his constituents. The address comes at the end of the first week full of town halls in Rep. Carter’s district. “These are the kind of ideas we need to get America back on track,” said Rep. Carter. “And this is how we can make real change in Washington: by listening to the people who sent us there. If you want to learn more about our plan, go to our website: better.gop.” Note: The audio of the address is available here, and the video will be available on speaker.gov.
Remarks of Representative Buddy Carter of Georgia Weekly Republican Address Savannah, Georgia Saturday, August 6
Hello, I’m Buddy Carter, and I represent the first district of Georgia.
This week, I held seven town-hall meetings with people from all over our district. We talked about a lot of different issues. But the one thing I heard over and over again was this: People are frustrated. They’re working as hard as ever to pay the bills and put food on the table. But they’re just not getting anywhere. Their problems are growing. But their paychecks aren’t. And at this point, they’ve come to see Washington as the place where bad ideas go to take root—and where good ideas go to die.
That’s why House Republicans are taking action. Earlier this year, we decided we had to go from being an opposition party to a proposition party. If we didn't like the direction the country was going in, then it was up to us to offer an alternative. Well, now, we have offered that alternative. And we’re calling it a Better Way. It's our six-part plan to get the country back on track. In it, we tackle some of the biggest issues of the day: poverty, national security, the economy, the Constitution, health care, and tax reform.
What I like best about our plan is that it isn’t some top-down, Washington-imposed mandate. Instead, we took a bottom-up, organic approach. This is a plan we developed with input we got from all of our members—and our constituents—over many months. We put out the call for the best thinking out there, and these are the ideas that rose to the occasion.
I want to tell you about one issue in particular: health care. I’ve been a pharmacist for many years now. In fact, I’m speaking to you from a hospital in my district. So this issue is especially important to me. And the health care law we have right now is a mess. It is destroying the health care system I worked in for more than 30 years—the best health care system in the world. This law makes some people pay less by making other people pay more. It tries to give more choices to some people by taking them away from others. And lost in the constant back-and-forth between insurers and Washington bureaucrats is the most important person: the patient. So our plan would repeal and replace Obamacare. We would clear out all the red tape and mandates that are taking away your choices, and let you pick a plan that works for you.
Our plan would also help accelerate the development of life-saving devices and therapies. For instance, this week I had the pleasure of visiting the Anderson Cancer Institute at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia. These doctors are developing the very treatments we need to beat cancer and to save lives. And now what we need to do is to tear down barriers so that the innovative research being done at places like Anderson can go to the people who need it.
These are the kind of ideas we need to get America back on track. And this is how we can make real change in Washington: by listening to the people who sent us there. If you want to learn more about our plan, go to our website: better.gop. Thank you very much.Read More
REP. MARTHA MCSALLY (R-AZ): “While the Republicans have the majority in Congress, McSally said that much of their efforts have been defensive, something that they are trying to pivot away from with a new collection of policy goals called A Better Way. ‘We’ve spent a lot of time trying to stop things from happening under this administration — which are important to stop, because a lot of things coming down are harmful to our businesses and our country — but also need to show what our ideas are, going forward,’ she said.”
REP. JEB HENSARLING (R-TX): “Hensarling instead advocated the ‘Better Way’ agenda advanced by House Speaker Paul Ryan…That agenda outlines solutions to national problems that emphasize limited government, a simplified tax code, a strong defense and a return to the U.S. Constitution’s Article I - and the principle of the separation of powers. ‘The Founders insisted on a separation of powers to protect our constitutional liberties. But over time, especially in recent decades, the executive branch has collected more power for itself, enabled by a judiciary that defers to the bureaucracy and a Congress that has yielded some of its most fundamental duties. James Madison warned that the Constitution is ‘a mere parchment barrier’ unless each branch asserts its powers to keep the others in check,’ the Better Way website contends.” (Tyler Morning Telegraph, 8/3/16)
REP. JOE WILSON (R-SC): “‘A Better Way’ really is a reflection of Speaker Paul Ryan….to promote what I think is so positive, and that is initiatives to create jobs, initiatives for a strong national defense, to protect the American families at home, and so over and over again, we have a positive initiative, and that’s what I’ll be working on.” (WACH, 8/4/16)
REP. BUDDY CARTER (R-GA): “‘We’re going to have seven town hall meetings in the district in four days, so we’re going to be very busy, but I’m very excited about it,’ he said. ‘We’re going to be talking about what’s been referred to as ‘A Better Way.’ It’s a group of initiatives that we’ve come up with in the House to help set the legislative agenda for the next Congress.’” (Coastal Courier, 8/3/16)
REP. MIKE CONAWAY (R-TX): “The Republican majority in the House published a policy agenda for the next four years. The initiatives include welfare reform, health care reform, and tax reform. Speaker Paul Ryan has a website describing the initiatives called “A Better Way.” On Obamacare, Conaway recognized that premiums are unaffordable and likely to go up. Conaway said: ‘The health care initiative that’s in our ‘A Better Way’ program will repeal Obamacare, and then here are the things it will do to address the cost issue … We can try to increase competition in the market by allowing buying insurance across state lines, allowing small groups to get to together to form attractive risk pools.’” (San Angelo Live, 8/4/16)Read More
Back in January, President Obama approved loading $400 million in untraceable, cold hard cash in foreign currency onto an unmarked airplane and flying it to Iran within hours of Americans hostages being released.
Don’t worry though. This was definitely not ransom!
But don’t take our word for it. Just check out what White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Wednesday: “Well, what I will say is that the United States, under President Obama, has not paid a ransom to secure the release of Americans unjustly detained in Iran, and we’re not going to pay a ransom.”
Ok, fine. So the Wall Street Journal did report that the Iranians have long characterized the $400 cash infusion as a ransom payment for American hostages. And we also learned that President Obama’s own Justice Department objected to the payment out of concern that it would be received as ransom, but they were overruled by the State Department.
But c’mon. As the White House said, it’s only hardliners in Iran and right-wingers in Congress who think this was ransom.
After all, it’s longstanding U.S. policy to not pay ransoms because doing so encourages countries like Iran to take more hostages. We’re not really sure why the regime already arrested more Americans since releasing prisoners in January, but it obviously had nothing to do with this payment.
We’ve also heard what the critics are saying. Speaker Ryan argues that this scandal exemplifies the lengths the administration will go to in order to accommodate Iran. He also points to a series of dangerous concessions to Tehran that go well beyond the requirements of the nuclear agreement. And the speaker asserts that this episode demonstrates how the administration continues to mislead the American people about its dealings with Iran.
Look, we get it. The timing was odd. The payment method was downright bizarre. And the explanation has been iffy at best. But just trust us on this one: this was definitely not ransom.*Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) will deliver the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, August 6. Following his week of town halls throughout the state of Georgia, in the address, Rep. Carter will discuss House Republicans’ Better Way agenda to tackle the biggest challenges facing America, like implementing a patient-centered health care system.
"The message I continue to hear across Southeast Georgia remains the same—people are frustrated with a broken Washington, and I stand with them,” said Rep. Carter. “Georgians and Americans across the country deserve a better way, which is why I hosted events across the district this week to share our agenda and hear from the people I am proud to represent. Together, we will tackle our greatest challenges and get Washington back on track."
“Voicing what you’re against isn’t enough—you have to back it up with what you’re for, and what you’ll do to fix our nation’s challenges,” said Speaker Ryan. “Buddy has done that by taking our ideas straight to his constituents in Georgia and hearing what they have to say in return. I’m looking forward to hearing about those conversations in his address this week, and continuing to work toward a better way for all Americans.”
Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter is a businessman, healthcare professional, and faithful public servant. As the owner of Carter’s Pharmacy, Inc., South Georgians have trusted Rep. Carter with their most valuable assets: their health, lives, and families for more than thirty years. While running his business, he learned how to balance a budget and create jobs. He also saw firsthand the devastating impacts of government overregulation, which drives his commitment to ensuring that the federal government creates policies to empower business instead of increasing burdens on America’s job creators.
NOTE: The Weekly Republican Address will be available starting Saturday, August 6, at 6:00 a.m. ET on speaker.gov.Read More
Next up, Closing Guantanamo.
The promise: “I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that.” —President Obama, 11/16/08
The reality: But the president waited until February 2016—with less than a year left in his term—to finally submit a proposal to Congress. The plan? Transfer these detainees—some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, including some of the 9/11 architects—to American soil. Where? It didn’t say. How much would it cost? It didn’t say.
Whoa, if true: Data shows that nearly one-third of former Gitmo prisoners have been confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorism.
You know it’s bad when: your own attorney general says your plan to bring detainees to the United States is against the law. She’s right. These restrictions were first put in place under a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2009, and they’ve been renewed annually ever since.
Here’s the good news: The American people and their representatives in Congress swiftly rejected this plan.
There is a better way: The president’s dangerous proposal to close Guantanamo is a textbook example of the administration prioritizing politics over national security. There is a better way to keep Americans safe. Learn more about our plan at better.gop.Read More
The following op-ed by Speaker Ryan appears in today's USA TODAY:
We shouldn’t be politicizing the Zika threat. We should be fighting it. From the start, the Republican-led Congress has made it a priority to enact smart measures and secure resources to protect the public.
Back in February, we urged the Obama administration to jumpstart this effort with existing resources. Eventually, officials came back to us and agreed to utilize $589 million, much of it already in the pipeline for Ebola response that could be easily re-directed. Yet to this day, hundreds of millions of dollars remain unspent. This is allocated money that the administration fully controls — money it seemingly refuses to spend.
Regardless, we have worked to make sure additional resources are in place if needed. In June, the House approved a plan that provides $1.1 billion in additional funding and includes critical steps — like spraying mosquitoes — to stop the spread of the disease.
One important thing to know about this plan is that it is a compromise. We agreed to the exact level of funding Senate Democrats have supported. Democrats sought to have none of the funding be offset, and we agreed to partially offset it.
Unfortunately, when this plan went to the Senate for a vote, Democrats derailed it. This was despite months of calling for action, and even voting in favor of that exact funding level just weeks prior. They blocked our plan not once, but twice — a blatant ploy in an election year. Because of their actions, this funding is in limbo. It shouldn’t be.
For its part, the White House turns a blind eye to all this. It demands more funding while sitting on unspent funds. It calls for more aggressive mosquito control while Senate Democrats block that authority. It points fingers at Republicans, knowing full well that Senate Democrats are being obstructionist.
Those are the facts. We need the White House and Senate Democrats to drop politics and put the public’s health first. We hope for a change of heart, and soon.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement regarding the passing of former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH):
“All of us in the House will miss our friend and colleague, Steve LaTourette. Nobody could match his fierce sense of duty—or his great sense of humor. I will keep his wife, Jennifer, and the entire LaTourette family in my prayers.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the Obama administration’s reported $400 million cash payment to Iran:
“If true, this report confirms our longstanding suspicion that the administration paid a ransom in exchange for Americans unjustly detained in Iran. It would also mark another chapter in the ongoing saga of misleading the American people to sell this dangerous nuclear deal. Yet again, the public deserves an explanation of the lengths this administration went to in order to accommodate the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism."Read More
Given the newly reported cases of Zika in Florida and the Olympics about to start in Rio de Janeiro, there’s a growing fear of the severity of the Zika virus threat. People have been saying a lot of things, not least among them that Congress has failed to act to protect Americans. Unfortunately, the reality is that the Zika crisis has been hijacked for political gain.
Here’s where we are:
VERIFIED: The resources to fight Zika are already in the pipeline. It was reported in early July that of the nearly $600 million set aside for the Zika virus, the Obama administration has only spent one-sixth of that amount. On July 14, members of the House and Senate appropriations committees sent a joint letter to President Obama urging the White House to take rapid action with the remaining Zika funds. As CQ Roll Call reported yesterday, “The Obama administration is struggling to explain why it is pressing Congress for more money to fight the Zika virus while sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars that it already controls and could be used instead.”
VERIFIED: The House has passed a plan to put more resources in place. In June, the House passed the final conference report for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Zika Response Appropriations Act. This responsible bicameral compromise ensures that the administration continues to have resources in place to protect the public from the Zika threat. The conference report includes $1.1 billion in funding and other logical steps—like making it easier to spray for mosquitoes—to help stop the spread of this disease in the United States.
VERIFIED: Senate Democrats have repeatedly blocked funding—with cover from the White House. Senate Democrats—not once, but twice—blocked the $1.1 billion funding bill to combat Zika despite months of demanding action and even voting in favor of that exact amount at an earlier date. This was a blatant political ploy. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Senate Democrats “walked out on their own bill…to use the issue as a campaign bludgeon against Republicans.” And now, the Obama administration is issuing major warnings for Florida, but it’s still not making a real effort to push Congressional Democrats to pass this funding legislation.
VERIFIED: The federal government recommends more mosquito control—Democrats blocked this too. Despite calls from the CDC and EPA for more mosquito spraying in Puerto Rico, Senate Democrats have blocked a commonsense proposal to make it easier to do so. The House-passed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), removes duplicative regulatory barriers which make mosquito spraying too expensive for small businesses.
The truth is pretty clear. As the Wall Street Journal summed up in an editorial yesterday, "Democrats are calling Republicans obstructionists in hopes that frustration with government . . . will deliver them the Senate and perhaps even the House in November. But the root cause of Washington’s Zika pathology is Democrats who are exploiting the virus to score political points."
The end of the Obama presidency is near. In its wake are a string of broken promises, a stagnant economy, growing global threats, and an anxious nation.
Predictably, the president has begun to put his spin on the last eight years. He’s even taken to parroting conservative themes—channeling Reagan, some have suggested—to recast his time in office as somehow centrist. But let’s get real. No one’s being fooled. The real Obama legacy is one of sprawling liberalism, divisive identity politics, bigger government, and America ceding leadership in the world.
Today we’re introducing a new periodic series—The Real Obama Liberal Legacy—to highlight the results of liberal progressivism put into practice. Republicans are offering A Better Way, but we must also not overlook the failures of the last eight years.
First up, Recovery Summer.
The promise: “I'm calling this the summer of recovery,” Vice President Biden declared in July 2010 amid a months-long campaign by the administration to sell its stimulus plan to the public.
The reality: Remember how well the economy recovered that summer? Yeah…we don’t either. In fact, with the middle class disappearing and wages stagnant, we still haven't really recovered. A new nonpartisan study shows that the president's policies "produced the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression."
What went wrong: The stimulus package passed in 2009 was full of pet projects, from $3.4 million for that tortoise eco-passage tunnel (no joke) to the corrupt $535 million Solyndra experiment (we’ll get to that later). Or how about the $783,000 that was spent on a study of why young people consume malt liquor and marijuana? Millions of dollars went simply to highway signs that advertised stimulus-funded projects.
Talk about malarkey: Then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner contributed to the Recovery Summer push with the now-infamous op-ed headline: “Welcome to the Recovery.” Days later, the Labor Department reported that the economy had lost another 131,000 jobs.
Wipeout: There would be no sequel to Recovery Summer. By early 2011, the White House decided to stop defending the "stimulus" or even using the word altogether. “It was pretty obvious that people didn’t see a difference in the economy yet,” Bill Daley, the president's chief of staff at the time, said.
There's a better way: Recovery Summer is a microcosm of the president's economic legacy: boasts and slogans giving way to anxiety and stagnation. There is a better way to grow our economy. Learn more about our plan at better.gop.Read More
WASHINGTON—On Wednesday, September 21, leaders of the U.S. House and Senate will dedicate a statue of late scientist and inventor Thomas Alva Edison during a ceremony held in National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will take part in the bipartisan, bicameral ceremony.
Mr. Edison was one of the world’s greatest inventors, developing devices like the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and, most notably, the electric light bulb. The statue will represent the state of Ohio, the birthplace and childhood home of Mr. Edison, as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. As each state is given two representatives, Mr. Edison’s statue will join that of President James Garfield and replace that of Governor William Allen.
Mr. Edison was chosen by votes at historic sites in Ohio in 2010, followed by a legislative process to make it official. Currently sitting in Ohio’s Milan-Berlin Public Library, the statue has traveled the state of Ohio since May of 2015 and will begin its trek to the Capitol in September.
Additional details regarding the dedication of the statue will be announced closer to the date of the ceremony.Read More
1. The Constitution – Speaker Ryan holds up a pocket Constitution as a reminder that Congress' first responsibility is to support and defend the Constitution.
2. Happy Birthday, Bob Dole – This American hero just celebrated his 93rd birthday.
3. Heroes from Orlando – Speaker Ryan personally thanked these two deputies who helped end the terrorist rampage in Orlando.
4. CNN Townhall – Jake Tapper and CNN hosted a townhall with Speaker Ryan to discuss a #BetterWay forward on the big issues facing America.
5. Live Facebook Q&A – Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) joined Speaker Ryan for an in-depth discussion about a #BetterWay to fight poverty in our communities.
6. Emmitt Smith – The legendary Cowboys running back and his wife visited the Capitol, where they received some good-natured ribbing from Packers fan (and owner) Paul Ryan.
7. Squad – Members of Congress eagerly awaited the enrollment of landmark legislation to combat the growing opioid epidemic in our country.
8. More than words – Moments after signing legislation to help those struggling with opioid addiction, Speaker Ryan shared a special moment with fellow Wisconsinite Michelle Jaskulski, whose sons are in recovery from heroin addiction.
9. In Remembrance of the Fallen – Speaker Ryan pauses for a personal moment of prayer and remembrance for Capitol police officers killed in the line of duty.
Related stories:Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement:
“America's greatness is built on the principles of liberty and preserved by the men and women who wear the uniform to defend it. As I have said on numerous occasions, a religious test for entering our country is not reflective of these fundamental values. I reject it. Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice. Captain Khan was one such brave example. His sacrifice—and that of Khizr and Ghazala Khan—should always be honored. Period.”Read More
Live Facebook Q&A on Poverty with Rep. Mia Love
Front row seat for Facebook live with Rep. Mia B. LovePosted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Earlier this month, Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) invited thousands of Facebook users to participate in a live Facebook Q&A to talk about a Better Way to fight poverty in America. This issue is personal to Rep. Love, whose own parents came to America with just ten dollars in their pockets. It's from those humble beginnings that she formed her perspective on the federal government's War on Poverty—an effort that has barely moved the needle after more than 51 years and trillions of taxpayer dollars.
The discussion lasts about 20 minutes, and makes for great lunchtime viewing, but if you're pressed for time, here are the 4 main takeaways you should know about:1. Work works.
Our welfare system is rigged to replace work, not encourage work. The system traps families in a cycle of poverty, shuffling them from program to program instead of helping them break free altogether. The House Republican plan for a #BetterWay starts with work.2. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
That's one big reason why the federal government has failed in the War on Poverty. Poverty-fighting programs should be matched with an individual's specific needs, and local communities are the ones who know best how to help their people get back on their feet.3. Education is key.
Whether it's a child in grade school, a teenager aspiring to go to college, or an adult who needs more training to move ahead in their career, education and skills training is what makes it possible to rise above your present circumstances. That's why a #BetterWay focuses on providing high-quality educational opportunities for those who need them most.4. Measure outcomes, not just inputs.
Too often, the federal government defines success by the number of people enrolled or the amount of money spent. Yet very few, if any, programs are assessed by whether they are making a real difference in people’s lives. Common sense says that taxpayers should only fund programs that have a track record of success.Read More
Did you know? If you haven’t heard by now, there’s a #BetterWay to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing America, like reforming our health care system and updating our anti-poverty programs. It’s all part of the agenda introduced by House Republicans earlier this summer—and in a time when many Americans are feeling uncertain about their futures, it’s just what the nation needs. Speaker Ryan outlined these points with Michael Medved earlier this month: “One: We’ve got to reform our welfare system. It is trapping people in poverty. It is keeping people from working. We’ve got to transition people from welfare to work and fight poverty—that’s number one. “Number two: We have got to fix our national security. A new doctrine that actually puts us on offense, giving the military what they need to do their jobs, and securing the homeland—that’s securing the border and going after homegrown jihadists. “Number three: [The] regulatory state is killing jobs. It is suffering—it is basically making small businesses suffer, and it’s injecting lots of uncertainty in our economy. We’ve got a plan to address that. “Four: We’ve got to restore Article I of the Constitution—self-government. The legislative branch of the government writes the laws, not the executive branch. So we need to change the fact that we have all of these unelected bureaucrats running our laws of the land. . . “Five: We have a coherent plan to replace Obamacare . . .we now have consensus on exactly what we would replace Obamacare with. How would we reform the entitlement programs that are bankrupting themselves and the country so that we can a balance the budget, pay off our debt, and give ourselves patient-centered health care?” And six? Updating our tax code to make it simpler, flatter, and fairer. Sometimes interviews are cut short, but you can learn more about that here.
In closing, I’ll leave you with this: “Go to better.gop and look at our Better Way agenda,” said Speaker Ryan. “We spent all year working on a very specific, clean, coherent agenda to take to the country. We took our principles, we applied them to the problems of the day, and we’re offering solutions.”Read More
On June 12, at 5:02 a.m., an explosive charge was detonated to breach the outer wall of Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Fewer than 13 minutes later, the terrorist who cut short the lives of so many innocent Americans was killed.
The men and women who wear the badge and did not hesitate to act that night—and every night in city after city across the United States—deserve our thanks.
That's why Speaker Ryan recently welcomed Matt Fulch (left) and Tony Kavis (right) to the U.S. Capitol. These Orange County deputies on the Hazardous Device Team helped end the terrorist rampage that night in Orlando, and they are heroes for their refusal to back down in the face of terror.Read More
On Friday, Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) visited Rochester to learn more about the area's anti-poverty programs, and discuss A Better Way to Fight Poverty, an initiative to get more people onto the ladder of opportunity. Read Rep. Reed's observations on the tour, and check out these highlights: WHAM: Rep. Reed visits Rochester to delve into anti-poverty initiative “Reed and several other local leaders walked along East Main Street and neighboring streets as part of a listening tour. Rep. Reed does not represent Rochester, but said he is taking on the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative and working on it with House Speaker Paul Ryan. ... "George Moses, a community leader and president of the 14621 Community Association, said it was good to have another influential politician see what is being worked on. ... Reed also stopped to talk with students at the Freedom School on North Goodman Street before having a closed round-table discussion on ways to better collaborate efforts to combat poverty.” Democrat & Chronicle: Rep. Reed, Mayor Warren tour Rochester's poverty “U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, visited the city to tour its Beechwood neighborhood with Mayor Lovely Warren, a Democrat, and a slew of other city, county and state officials from both major political parties. ... To explain why he organized the visit, Reed said he was working with House Speaker Paul Ryan on a recently released GOP plan to address poverty, and that he wanted a broader perspective of what was working on the front lines and what wasn't. ... 'Poverty is not an urban or a rural matter. It's both,' Reed said. 'It is an American issue.'” WXXI: Officials Tour Impoverished Rochester Neighborhood in Anti-Poverty Tour “Congressman Reed says the anti-poverty agenda in the House of Representatives takes a new and better approach to a problem he says can be conquered. 'Looking at the front line, what's working, what doesn't work, and how can we change our policies going forward, because the status quo is not addressing this issue. And I care deeply about these people that are in poverty and are trapped in poverty, and we need a different way to get things done,' he said.”Read More
In 1982, I lost my partner and best friend, Sergeant Sam Hicks, who was ambushed and shot to death while attempting to arrest a homicide suspect. Sam would not be the last friend and colleague I lost over my 33 years in law enforcement – eight of which I spent as the elected Sheriff of King County, WA. The pain of their deaths will never go away.
My experiences with loss are not unique for those in the law enforcement community. Men and women in uniform face threats every day. This is part of the job, and officers go into law enforcement knowing this reality.
But something has changed. Now the threats go beyond the day-to-day perils of patrolling the streets and responding to calls for help.
As we have seen in Dallas and in Baton Rouge, members of law enforcement have become victims of growing tensions. We cannot let this continue. The consequences are too great.
Working towards peace starts with recognizing that we are all on the same team and are mutually dependent on one another. Communities need law enforcement to maintain stability and keep us safe. They are the local guardians of our democracy. Our men and women wearing the badge also need the partnership and support of the people they serve to protect neighborhoods to the best of their ability.
As representatives of our great country, the burden is on Congress to put politics aside and demonstrate by example that Americans can come together and work to end the tensions that permeate communities across the nation. This means walking in each other’s shoes and having what at times can be uncomfortable conversations. We have already begun to do so with the start of the Bipartisan Policing Strategies Working Group, but there is a great deal to be done.
I understand in some areas the wounds are deep, the rifts are wide and healing will take time, but we owe it to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives to work toward peace.Read More
WASHINGTON—A new federal panel tasked with improving the government’s use of data in policymaking held its first meeting on Friday. The Evidence-Based Policy Commission is the result of a bipartisan initiative authored by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).
The commission brings together leading researchers and social scientists to conduct an inventory of the data the government collects and to determine the best methods for policymakers to make use of that information. Speaker Ryan has touted the commission as integral to a new approach to fighting poverty that emphasizes policies and programs with a track record of success.
“This is not just another commission. It is part of a sea change in how we solve problems,” Speaker Ryan said. "You always hear people in Washington talk about how much money was spent on a program, but you rarely hear whether it actually worked. That has to change. This panel will give us the tools to make better decisions and achieve better results. I’m very pleased that the commission is getting to work, and look forward to its findings.”
Background. The Evidence-Based Policy Commission Act, which became law in March, started with conversations between Speaker Ryan and Senator Murray about ways they could work across the aisle to make government better serve the people.
The commission is charged with reviewing the inventory, infrastructure, and protocols related to data from federal programs and tax expenditures while developing recommendations for increasing the availability and use of this data in support of rigorous program evaluation.
In addition, the commission is required to evaluate the merits of and provide guidance for creating a clearinghouse for program and survey data.
The commission consists of 15 members appointed by the president, the speaker, the Senate majority leader, and the minority leaders in both chambers. Its findings are due to Congress in the next 15 months. Speaker Ryan’s appointees to the commission include Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution, Bruce Meyer of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and Robert Hahn of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford.
Track the commission’s work here.Read More
This week, Speaker Ryan sat down with NPR's Steve Inskeep to talk about the first plank of A Better Way: a plan to fight poverty.
Now, there are a few ways you can check out the interview:
THE AMERICAN IDEA “A lot of people don't believe in the American idea anymore. The condition of your birth doesn't determine the outcome of your life. This is America, you can make it. You work hard, play by the rules, you can rise, you can do well. That's what we're taught, that's what we believe, that's what we think of as America.”
POVERTY FIGHTERS “I see problems that can be fixed because I see solutions that are actually occurring. That's what's exciting about this issue ... because there are people in communities who are actually out there fighting poverty eye to eye, soul to soul, in neighborhoods that actually do well, that succeed.”
A GOOD EXAMPLE“[The] violence-free zone in Milwaukee is now been applied in Racine, Wis., which is ... having mentors from former gang members. ... And we're seeing a huge decline in violence, a big increase in academic performance, and we're seeing, you know, families kind of put back together because of a homegrown idea, which started in Dallas and then got replicated in Milwaukee and now we're bringing it to Racine. That's a good example of something that I think is just very interesting and exciting and inspiring that we want to replicate.”
MAKE WORK PAY“Just cutting off welfare — you know, it's sort of the cold love cutting off cliffs without actually getting a person on a path doesn't work. But tapering these benefits so that work always pays, it always makes sense to take the next step forward, is the way to go. And the only way you can really do that right is to customize a benefit to a person's particular needs.”
BREAK UP THE WELFARE MONOPOLY“The way I look at this is: Let's break up the welfare monopoly, instead of having just the welfare agency at the county level give people their benefits, which they basically rubber-stamp. ... They don't actually treat the person. Let other providers also provide these full-scale wraparound benefits. Let the Catholic Church do it. Let Lutheran social services. Let America Works, a for-profit agency that's good at this.”
SKILLS AND SCHOOLS“What you need to do is amplify their ability to get a better job by education, by skills training. Maybe it's technical college. Maybe it's a GED. That is where I think these benefits and the customization of benefits comes into play. Every person has a different problem. Sometimes a person has an even deeper problem, like an addiction or something like that.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement on the passing of Rep. Mark Takai (D-HI):
“I am saddened by the passing of our colleague, Mark Takai. He was an exemplary soldier, public servant and beloved member of the House of Representatives. His love for Hawaii and the people he represented was evident every day. My prayers are with his wife, Sami, and his children, Matthew and Kaila.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement on the deadly shooting in Baton Rouge:
“I am deeply disturbed by today's shooting in Baton Rouge. We will not tolerate brutal violence against law enforcement—the people who dedicate their lives to protecting Americans. Our nation grieves with Louisiana today. My prayers are with the fallen officers and their families."Read More
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, House Republican leaders make the case for a #BetterWay—the bold, conservative agenda put forth to tackle the nation’s biggest issues, like reforming our health care system and reducing poverty. The address features House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and House Republican Conference Vice Chair Lynn Jenkins (R-KS).
“Today, people are anxious. We are all anxious. We’re on edge. You know what? There’s a better way,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers.
“These ideas work in a pretty simple way. We take our timeless principles,” continued Speaker Ryan, “we apply them to the problems of the day, and we offer people solutions that help improve their lives.”
NOTE: The audio is available here, and the video will be available at 6:00 a.m. ET on speaker.gov.
Remarks of Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin“Last fall, we came together and made the decision that it was time to go from being an opposition party to being a proposition party. We dedicated ourselves to looking at the problems facing our constituents and the country and coming up with principled solutions. . . .
“Now these ideas work in a pretty simple way. We take our timeless principles . . . we apply them to the problems of the day, and we offer people solutions that help improve their lives. . . . We offer a better way to secure our homeland, to produce national security. . . . We offer a better way to give us the kind of military we need to do the job that we ask of our brave men and women serving in our military. . . .
“Our job in these jobs is to look at the problems facing this country and offer solutions. That’s what we are doing. Seven out of 10 Americans do not think America is headed in the right direction. We agree. But rather than simply complain—rather than simply just throw bombs—we are offering solutions.”
Remarks of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California“For the last number of months this entire Conference has been working hard to come together, find the legislation to put the plan out . . .This is a better way. . . . And as we go back to our districts in the next month, we not only will talk about it, we will show a better way for all Americans . . . But it doesn’t just reach a few, it will reach all—from poverty into the lowest realms of America.”
Remarks of Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana“. . . Bold plans that can get the economy moving again; a bold plan to rebuild the middle class, to make America competitive again . . . I think it’s pretty clear now that people know that we don’t like Obamacare as House Republicans. But they want to know what we’re for, and our Better Way plan lays out a way to put patients back in charge of their healthcare, to focus on lowering costs and getting rid of the mandates that are killing jobs under Obamacare.”
Remarks of Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington“A Better Way to make America the best place to live, to work . . . Today people are anxious. We are all anxious. We’re on edge. You know what? There’s A Better Way. . . . But more than anything, what people want right now is to be heard. And that’s why it is so important and fundamental that we restore [the] people’s voice in their government and uphold the Constitution. . . . So let’s reaffirm a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Remarks of Republican Conference Vice Chair Lynn Jenkins of Kansas“It is comprised of policies that are based on commonsense principles everyone that can agree on: rewarding hard work, stimulating growth, building a fairer, flatter tax code, and holding the IRS in check. . . . The American people deserve a better way – and that is exactly what House Republicans are going to deliver.”Read More
If you're planning on flying anywhere during your summer vacation—or really any time at all in the next year or so—then this bill that Speaker Ryan signed and sent to the president is for you.
It's called the Federal Aviation Administration Extension, and in a nutshell, it will update airport security and safety requirements. For travelers, that means you can spend more time enjoying your vacation, and less time waiting in a TSA line.
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) appointed Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) to the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico as part of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability (PROMESA) Act, which addresses the Puerto Rican debt crisis while protecting taxpayers. It was passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by the president last month.
“PROMESA is simply good, bipartisan legislation and I’m proud that it is now law. It puts Puerto Rico on a path to fiscal health, and does so without a bailout from taxpayers,” Speaker Ryan said. “It’s crucial that the Puerto Rican government enacts common-sense, pro-growth reforms. Reps. Duffy and MacArthur are the leaders we need to make the right recommendations so Puerto Rico can create jobs and reboot its economy.”
Today, Speaker Ryan marked the one year anniversary of the release of the videos which exposed Planned Parenthood officials engaging in the trafficking of fetal body parts. Below are his remarks:
“It’s been one year since the nation was shocked by the disturbing videos which showed senior-level Planned Parenthood employees bartering over the body parts of aborted babies. It was grisly. It was something out of a horror movie. And we were outraged.
“So we took action. We launched investigations and hearings to figure out what happened. We formed the Select Panel on Infant Lives to investigate Planned Parenthood. The panel found these weren’t isolated incidents—there’s an entire black market in aborted baby parts. And some of it is receiving taxpayer funding.
“That’s why we passed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and redirect those taxpayer dollars to community health centers with clean records of protecting women. We sent this legislation to the president’s desk but he vetoed it, even in the aftermath of such barbaric disregard for human life.
“So there’s more work that needs to be done. The Panel on Infant Lives has issued 36 subpoenas to profit-driven companies and late-term abortionists who have been stonewalling the investigation. They send back documents with heavily redacted information, hiding their real practices. But we will get answers and keep fighting against this practice.
“Because what these videos revealed horrified the American people. Because this is not who we are as a nation. We are nation that was based on the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We fight for the weak and the defenseless.
"We are the pro-life generation and we have to stand up for these values. Women and babies are not products to be bidded upon for the highest profit. And we won’t rest until this illegal and despicable practice is stopped once and for all."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and members of the House and Senate took part today in an enrollment ceremony to mark the passage of S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid epidemic in our country. Speaker Ryan made the following remarks at today’s ceremony:
“Good morning, everyone. Today, I will be signing S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. I would like to point out a few people [and] we wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for these people. Just a few of them: Alex Laliberte . . .Jason Simcakoski . . .John Thomas Decker. . .These are just some of the people that we have lost to opioid abuse.
“They represent the thousands of Americans who die every year because of opioids or heroin or poor health care. They represent the basketball games never played . . . the Thanksgiving dinners never shared . . . the college graduations never reached. They represent the lost moments—and the lost lives—that can never be recovered. This is a national epidemic. And that’s why—with this legislation—we are authorizing national resources to confront this national epidemic. We need the latest research and treatments. We need our local communities to develop innovative solutions. We need to help people get the information they need so that they can prevent or overcome this terrible addiction. That’s what this legislation will do.
“And that’s why I’m so proud of my colleagues. Look at these men and women who are standing here today. Look at these colleagues. They have put their heart and soul into this. They have been listening to their constituents. They have been grieving with the families. They have been talking with the experts. They have been learning about how to overcome this terrible epidemic. I am so proud of these men and women in Congress for what they have done to confront this challenge. I am so proud that we’ve been able to come together, Republicans and Democrats, to come up with a solution. And that’s why this is a very good moment for our country. Thank you.”
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after Senate Democrats voted again to block needed resources to help our veterans and stop the spread of the Zika virus:
“Senate Democrats have put politics above the health and safety of the American people and our veterans. Let’s be clear about what happened here: Last month, the House acted in a responsible way by passing a bipartisan package that included previously agreed-upon levels of funding and other commonsense steps—like making it easier to kill mosquitoes—to combat the spread of Zika. Since then, Senate Democrats have repeatedly blocked this bill despite demanding Zika funding for months. Playing politics with this crisis is shameful, and the American people deserve better.”
NOTE: The House passed the final conference report for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Zika Response Appropriations Act on June 23, 2016.Read More
At his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan shared a few key numbers: 3.4, 11, 500, and 71. So what exactly was he talking about? Take a look at his opening remarks below to find out: “First I’d like to share a few numbers with you today. The first number I’d like to share with you is 3.4. The number of deaths in our country from opioid overdoses has more than tripled in recent years. So today, for the first time in decades, Congress is sending comprehensive anti-addiction legislation to the president’s desk. “The second number: 11. More than 11 million Americans suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression—yet so many go without treatment. So last week, in an overwhelming bipartisan vote, the House passed Tim Murphy’s bill providing for a complete overhaul of our mental health system. “The third number: 500. Of the more than 10,000 known diseases, we only have treatments for 500 of them. Ten thousand known diseases—we only have 500 treatments. So right now, the House and the Senate are working on legislation to make sure that we can deliver cutting-edge cures and treatments to patients. “These are all great strides in health care. These ideas will save lives and these ideas will keep families together. I know that gridlock tends to dominate our time and our energy, but we should not take away from the hard-won progress that is made every day. “Of course, there is only so much that can be achieved in divided government. Which brings me to my last number: 71 percent. “More than seven out of 10 Americans think the country is on the wrong path. Well, if you don’t like the direction the country is going, there is a better way. And this better way is a bold agenda to take on some of the nation’s biggest challenges. “The way I look at this is—we are elected here to serve. We represent our constituents and their views. And when seven out of 10 Americans do not like the path our country is on, we have a duty, an obligation, and an opportunity to offer a better agenda—a better way.
“We are offering a better plan to fight poverty. We’re offering real national security strategy. We’re offering a plan to grow our economy. We’re offering a plan to restore self-government. We’re offering real patient-centered health care. And a plan to reform our tax code. We need a tax code that works for us, not against us. “We can do these things. We can take a better way. And guess what? You can all learn more about this by going to better.gop. This is our duty. This is our obligation. And this is why we’re doing this.”Read More
WASHINGTON — Today, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke in honor of our nation's police officers on the House floor. "They go out there and risk their lives to preserve our lives," he said. "We throw a lot of big words around in this chamber—duty, honor, sacrifice. They do it every single day." Below are his remarks as delivered:
"I rise today to acknowledge what is happening in America.
"I think it’s important that all of us—every single citizen—takes stock with what is going on in our country. There are a lot of people upset. High anxiety. A lot of confusion.
"I think this is a time for us to take stock as citizens and to think about how we can be better listeners to each other’s concerns. I think this is a time for us to calm down and think deliberatively. How do we open our hearts, open our ears, and see if we can understand the perspective that other people share?
"But I think there’s one thing that we must all reflect on the most as citizens. I think about Chief Brown in Dallas and that press conference he gave a week ago, where he said most days, we don’t feel appreciated. Let’s not make this most days.
"When a member of our law enforcement wakes out of bed and has breakfast with their family, and kisses their loved ones goodbye, and puts that badge on, and walks out the door—they go out there to keep us safe. They go out there to protect the streets. They go out there and risk their lives to preserve our lives. We throw a lot of big words around in this chamber—duty, honor, sacrifice. They do it every single day.
"So I think it’s just so important that, as Americans, we take stock and we thank the men and women serving in our law enforcement all around this country for what they do for us. I think it’s really important that we thank their families for enduring the stress and the hardship that comes with such a job. And as we try to make most days different than most days in the past, and as we try to make sure that we give our law enforcement community the respect and the thankfulness that they deserve, let’s make sure that we listen to each other in this country so we can better understand—so that we can make most days in the future better days than we’ve had in the past.
"Our country’s hurting, and it needs to start healing. And with that, Mr. Speaker, I urge all Americans to do their best to make this country better. Thank you."Read More
Wow does time fly. A year ago today President Obama struck his historic nuclear agreement with Iran. In order to commemorate the occasion, we assembled a little photo album on our favorite moments to date.
Our First Deal (July 2015) – The Obama administration leads the P5+1 in finalizing the nuclear agreement with Iran.
Our First Ballistic Missile Test (October 2015) – Iran tests a long-range ballistic missile in direct contravention of international law.
Our Second Ballistic Missile Test (December 2015) – Iran tests a medium-range ballistic missile in direct contravention of international law.
Our First Implementation Day (January 2016) – The nuclear deal officially goes into effect, as the United States releases more than $100 billion in economic sanctions to Iran.
Our First Fight (January 2016) – Two weeks after implementation day, Iran detained 10 American sailors, and then photographed and videotaped them for propaganda. The administration thanked Tehran for ending a crisis it started.
Our First Ransom Payment (January 2016) – Questions were raised regarding whether the administration paid a $1.7 billion ransom in exchange for five Americans unjustly detained in Iran.
Our Third Ballistic Missile Test (March 2016) – Iran launches a third series of ballistic missiles in contravention of international law.
Our First Major Purchase (April 2016) – The administration announces an unprecedented $8.6 million purchase of the nuclear chemical heavy water from Iran.
Our First Dollar (April 2016) – Reports surface that the administration is considering granting Iran access to the dollar following private talks between Secretary Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
Our First Trip (May 2016) – Secretary Kerry embarks on an international tour to declare Iran “open for business,” as companies hesitate to reestablish commercial ties with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
Our First Glitch (June 2016) – After first blaming a technical “glitch,” the State Department admits to doctoring press conference footage about whether the administration lied in selling the deal.
You're Still #1 (June 2016) – State Department annual report finds that Iran remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
As you can see, there’s really nothing to celebrate or joke about today—unless, of course, you’re the Iranian regime. The president’s nuclear deal has only served to bolster Tehran’s terror proxies, ballistic missile program, and oppressive rule over its people. House Republicans are taking action this week to block additional concessions to the mullahs and impose fresh sanctions on the regime for its illicit behavior. The administration should mark this anniversary by reversing course on its dangerous game of appeasing our enemies, but we’re not holding our breath.Read More
WASHINGTON — Today on the House floor, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke in favor of the Conscience Protection Act. Below are the speaker's remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Mr. Speaker, I think we can all agree, that in this country, no one should be forced to perform an abortion. I know we disagree about when life begins. I know we disagree about what government should do about it. And however strongly I hold my beliefs, I know my friends on the other side feel just as strongly. I respect those disagreements.
"But whoever you are—whatever you believe—I think this is one thing we can all agree on: No one should be forced to violate their conscience—least of all by the federal government. That’s all this bill says. The federal government—or anyone who receives taxpayer dollars—cannot discriminate against health care providers who do not perform abortions. And if they do discriminate, this bill says the victims will have two avenues of relief: Either, file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services. Or, file a civil suit in court. That’s all this bill does.
"Now, our opponents say that this kind of thing just doesn’t happen. Nobody in their right mind would force someone against their will to help with an abortion. Well, tell that to Cathy DeCarlo. She was a nurse at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. And a few years ago, she was forced to help with an abortion.
"Mr. Speaker, this is not an isolated incident. There have been cases of nurses being suspended or threatened with firing solely for the offense of following their conscience. And now, the state of California requires all health insurance plans to cover abortion. So if you’re a church or a religious school, it doesn’t matter. You must cover this procedure. And if it violates your conscience, too bad.
"Mr. Speaker, this is a disturbing trend. And what’s even more disturbing is that the federal government has not been protecting people’s rights. There are already laws on the books to protect people’s conscience. But after Cathy DeCarlo filed a complaint to HHS, she waited three years for a resolution. And when she filed a lawsuit, an appeals court said she didn’t have standing and threw out her case. That’s why this bill makes it perfectly clear: People of faith have standing, and they deserve relief.
"Mr. Speaker, this bill does not ban or restrict abortion in any way. This bill does not change any medical standards or contracts. It does not change any laws regarding emergency treatment. All it does is protect a person’s conscience.
"And allowing this trend to continue will only erode our First Amendment rights even further. It will continue to push people of faith onto the sidelines of society.
"Mr. Speaker, that is not the kind of country we want to live in—any of us. There is nothing more fulfilling than to live out our faith. We want all people—of all faiths—to live freely in our country. But we can live out our faith only if our government respects our faith. And that’s why we need to pass this bill.
"I want to thank Congressman Fleming and Congresswoman Black for their outstanding work. They have been out in front on this issue—constantly leading the charge. They’ve written a great bill that all of us can support. And I want to urge all of my colleagues to vote for it. Thank you."Read More
Last night, Speaker Ryan participated in a live townhall with CNN’s Jake Tapper to discuss #BetterWay, a bold agenda to tackle our country’s biggest challenges. During the hour-long event, Speaker Ryan took a range of questions from audience members on everything from poverty to national security and defending the Constitution. We hope you were able to tune in, but if not, we went ahead and compiled some highlights.
Here are the top five moments:
Secretary Clinton Believes She Is Above the Law
A Proposition Party Rooted in Our Principles
Incentivize Work and Lift People Out of Poverty
Support Law Enforcement
Defend Life and Protect Our Conscience RightsRead More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement congratulating British Prime Minister Theresa May:
“Theresa May takes the reins of a great nation at a time of transition and opportunity. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom has never been stronger. I stand ready to work with the May government to deepen our economic and trade ties in the coming years. Finally, I would like to thank David Cameron for his service and unwavering friendship.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has selected Philip Kiko as the new permanent Chief Administrative Office (CAO) of the House. Kiko will take over for acting CAO Will Plaster, who has ably and professionally led the office during a period of transition.
Kiko, who first came to the House in 1979, is a former Staff Director at the House Committee on Administration. He has served the House in various other capacities over the past several decades, including as General Counsel and Chief of Staff for the House Committee on the Judiciary, Deputy Chief of Staff for the House Science Committee, Chief of Staff to Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), and most recently as Staff Director at the Select Committee on Benghazi.
Kiko has also perviously served in the Office of the CAO. For two years, he was the Associate Administrator for Procurement and Purchasing.
Kiko received his J.D. from the George Mason School of Law and is a member of the DC Bar and the Virginia State Bar.Read More
What do water, dollars, and terrorism have in common? Find out: https://t.co/AZcy2nrvO7
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 13, 2016
This week, the House will mark the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s dangerous nuclear deal with Iran by considering a trio of bills designed to block the administration from granting more concessions and to hold Tehran accountable for its illicit behavior.
Block the administration’s purchase of heavy water. Back in April, the administration announced an $8.6 million purchase of a nuclear chemical called heavy water from Iran. That means $8.6 million to directly subsidize the regime’s nuclear program or fund terrorism against the West. Rep. Mike Pompeo’s (R-KS) No 2H2O from Iran Act (H.R. 5119) blocks the administration from purchasing heavy water from Iran and prohibits funds from being used to issue licenses for these purchases.
Prevent Iran from gaining access to the dollar. Rumors have swirled for months that the administration is also considering granting Iran access to the dollar, which would be yet another unprecedented concession above and beyond the letter of the nuclear agreement. This would give Tehran access to billions of dollars in additional commerce to supplement the billions already provided in the form of nuclear sanctions relief. House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce’s (R-CA) United States Financial System Protection Act (H.R. 4992) would prevent Iran’s access to the dollar until the regime ends its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and ceases its support for terrorism.
Impose new sanctions on Iran. President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran did nothing to address the regime’s egregious human rights record, illicit ballistic missile program, or its continued role as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. While the deal lifted billions of dollars of nuclear-related sanctions, it promised to leave in place those related to Iran’s human rights abuses, ballistic missile development, and terror financing. Therefore, the president should eagerly support Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) Iran Accountability Act (H.R. 5631), which imposes fresh sanctions on Tehran for these dangerous activities.Read More
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 13, 2016
10:04p ET. Speaker Ryan is talking about an important piece of pro-life legislation called the Conscience Protection Act. Here's more about what it is and why it's so important.
10:01p ET. Another way to get the #BetterWay info you need is to watch this video.
9:50p ET. Better.gop has all you need about our ideas: the facts, the numbers, the themes, and the policy details.
9:35p ET. Want that #BetterWay booklet Speaker Ryan keeps holding up? We've made it available here.
9:30p ET. Take a look at the poverty plan that Speaker Ryan just asked folks to take a look at.
9:25p ET. Our national security plan includes ideas to reform the VA so our veterans get the care they need when they need it.
9:23p ET. Here's more on the mental health reform initiative that the House passed last week.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 13, 2016
9:19p ET. Learn more about our ideas to turn the country around at better.gop.
9:14p ET. We're posting clips throughout the hour on Speaker Ryan's Twitter feed.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 13, 2016
9:08p ET. Here's the letter Speaker Ryan wrote requesting that Secretary Clinton be denied access to classified information.
9:04p ET. For more on Speaker Ryan's thoughts on Dallas, watch the speech he gave on the House floor last Friday.
The countdown clock is set. Tomorrow night, beginning at 9pm ET, CNN is holding a townhall with Speaker Ryan. It's an event you won't want to miss, and here are three ways to ensure that you don't:1. Watch CNN at 9pm ET
The townhall will air on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español, and will be live-streamed online and across mobile devices via CNNgo.2. Make Twitter.com/SpeakerRyan your second screen
We'll have updates, highlights, and video clips coming at you in real time. Pro-tip: use the hashtag #BetterWay to be a part of the conversation.3. See behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram
Come for the behind-the-scenes photos. Stay for the throwback photos with President George W. Bush.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 11, 2016
This week, the House will consider legislation to protect health care providers that decline to be involved in abortions as a matter of conscience.
Introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), it’s called the Conscience Protection Act and here’s what you need to know about it.
Why is the Conscience Protection Act so important?
There is a law on the books known as the Weldon Amendment, which prevents the government from discriminating against hospitals, doctors, nurses, and insurance plans that decline to provide or pay for abortions. It is meant to guard against exactly what happened in California, where all employers—including churches—are now required to cover abortions.
There have also been cases in recent years where nurses have been forced to take part in abortions. Last week, at a forum led by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), Fe Vinoya, a nurse from New Jersey said, “Participating in the destruction of human life is not only a violation of my religious convictions, it conflicts with my calling as a medical professional to protect life, not to end it.”
No one and no organization should be forced to violate their conscience. Here’s how Speaker Ryan put it in an interview with EWTN last Thursday, when he first announced that the House would take up this legislation:
“This is something that I’m really worried about, which is the government is using its power to deny people their First Amendment conscience rights. And so, next Wednesday, we’re bringing legislation to the floor offered by Diane Black—the Conscience Protection Act—to give private citizens like health care workers…to protect their conscience rights. … This is something we feel very strongly about. I really worry that our conscience and our religious freedom is under attack in America by our government.”
What does the Conscience Protection Act do?
The way it works right now, those who face discrimination for exercising their conscience have only one recourse: to file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Through the Conscience Protection Act, health care providers would have the ability to file a civil suit to seek relief from discrimination. Of note, victims would not have to file a complaint with the government before filing a lawsuit. In addition, the legislation codifies the Weldon Amendment and the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion.
What happens next?
The House is scheduled to vote on the Conscience Protection Act on Wednesday.Read More
This morning, Speaker Ryan joined House Republican members to discuss a #BetterWay—the bold, clear vision House Republicans introduced for a more confident America. Below are Speaker Ryan’s opening remarks: “First of all, I want to thank all the members who are here. I want to thank all the members that put this together.
“Last fall, we came together and made the decision that it was time to go from being an opposition party to being a proposition party. We dedicated ourselves to looking at the problems facing our constituents and the country and coming up with principled solutions.
“And we did this not just to check the box. We knew that we had to go bold. The challenges facing our country are just too great.
“We also knew that we would not do this top-down. So we took a bottom-up approach. We got input and ideas from all around the country. Every member of the House Republican conference participated in this after consulting with their constituents.
“So in this booklet—which you can get by going to better.gop—there are hundreds of ideas to tackle our country’s biggest problems.
“Now these ideas work in a pretty simple way. We take our timeless principles—liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination, government by consent—these are the principles that built this country. We take these principles, we apply them to the problems of the day, and we offer people solutions that help improve their lives. That’s what good government is. That’s what this is all about. “Now, what are we offering here? We are offering a better way to get people out of poverty. We’re offering a better way to transition people from welfare to work so they can reach their potential and we can enjoy their talents. “We offer a better way to secure our homeland, to produce national security. ISIS is on the rise—we offer a better way to go on the offense. We offer a better way on how to secure our border. We offer a better way to give us the kind of military we need to do the job that we ask of our brave men and women serving in our military. “We offer a better way for smart regulations so that businesses can have the certainty to go out and take risks to reach, to go higher, to pay people more, to create jobs. “We offer a better way to get our government back. We offer a better way to make sure the laws we live under in this country are actually written by the people we vote for in this country. Not by this unelected branch of government, the bureaucracy. If we lose self-government and self-determination, we lose what makes America special. We lose self-determination. “We offer a better way for patient-centered health care. Let people make their decisions in health care. Let patients and their doctors make the decisions on what health care is best for them and their families. People are getting sick and tired of double-digit premium increases. People are getting sick and tired of these huge deductible increases. Obamacare is failing. It’s collapsing under its own weight. It’s going to end up rationing Medicare. It’s going to end up denying choices. And it’s making it harder for families to afford basic health care. We’re offering a better way. “This tax code has got to go. This IRS is too intrusive. We are offering a better way to clean up our tax code to get America in the lead economically and to create faster economic growth, more jobs, and more upward mobility. “Look, our job in these jobs is to look at the problems facing this country and offer solutions. That’s what we are doing. Seven out of 10 Americans do not think America is headed in the right direction. We agree. But rather than simply complain—rather than simply just throw bombs—we are offering solutions. “We are offering a better way. Because we believe by engaging with our fellow citizens on these solutions and these ideas, we can have the kind of inclusive, aspirational discussion we need to have in this country to earn ourselves a mandate to put these solutions in place and fix our country’s pressing problems. That is why we are here, and that is why we are offering a better way.”Read More
“There is currently no appropriation to Treasury or to anyone else, for purposes of the cost-sharing payments to be made.”
Allow me translate: Congress never authorized the administration to spend taxpayer money to fund this part of Obamacare.
That quote comes from a 2012 Treasury Department memo regarding Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction program. The memo explains in clear terms that the administration knew that this part of the law was never funded by Congress. And since the Constitution requires all spending to originate in Congress, these payments are unconstitutional.
Of course, once the Treasury officials realized this, they immediately shut down the program until Congress appropriated the necessary funds.
No, they instead proceeded to pay out billions of dollars to health insurance without authority. And Treasury officials were not alone in their concerns. Senior leadership at the IRS also questioned whether the program was properly funded. This was no mistake chalked up to bureaucratic ineptitude. It was a deliberate, calculated effort to circumvent the Constitution in order to prop up Obamacare.
This bombshell was revealed last week in a groundbreaking report authored by the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees. This is extremely concerning. As we speak, the House is in the process of suing the administration for a separate part of Obamacare funded without our approval. In May, a federal judge ruled that the administration broke the law by bypassing Congress. This was an historic win for the Constitution.
That’s why a major plank of our #BetterWay agenda is restoring the Constitution. We want to give power back to the American people and their representatives in Congress. Later today, the House will pass Rep. John Ratcliffe’s (R-TX) Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA) to help dismantle the de facto “fourth branch” of government—unelected, unaccountable government bureaucrats. This is just another step we’re taking to hold this president accountable for his executive overreach.Read More
Last week, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Global Food Security Act (S. 1252). This common sense legislation will save lives by combatting hunger and malnutrition in disaster areas around the globe. And it will do all that without increasing spending by a single dime. In fact, it requires a results-based approach for U.S. food aid spending and authorizes a humanitarian program that will better empower people to rise out of poverty instead of depending upon foreign assistance or seeking refuge beyond their own borders.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement upon passage of H.R. 636—bipartisan, bicameral legislation produced by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee to provide an extension for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) while Congress continues to work on long-term reforms:
“America’s freedom is increasingly targeted by enemies at home and abroad. It’s because of this threat that we need to ensure our aviation system remains safe, stable, and secure. With this legislation, we can protect our citizens by updating airport security and aviation safety requirements while working on a long-term solution. Chairman Shuster has provided steady leadership to get this done, and I’m hopeful the president will sign it into law this week.”Read More
Today, the House will vote on an important bill that reins in the executive branch and takes back Congress’s legislative power.
It’s a story we know too well: Unelected bureaucrats have become so powerful as to become in practice a “fourth branch” of government, essentially creating new laws through aggressive rulemaking. This is not constitutional. Regulations must be based off of law that Congress, accountable to the people, passes. As Speaker Ryan has said over and over again, “The Constitution is clear. Presidents don’t write laws. Congress does.”
The Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA) curbs the unchecked power of the regulators and stops this unconstitutional “fourth branch” that doesn’t answer to the American people.
But how did we even get here? A 1984 Supreme Court case created the “Chevron deference,” a legal precedent that says courts should typically defer to executive branch agencies when disputes about ambiguous laws arise. At the time, the Court never could have conceived of today’s executive overreach, especially by this administration. Now, wherever you turn, Obama’s agencies are creating new regulations that have literally reshaped the country. Take the Obama administration’s clean power plant rule, which would cripple America’s coal industry.
The Obama administration claims that this and others like it are simply interpretations of old laws, but this doesn’t even pass the laugh test. Good thing, because this is no laughing matter. These countless regulations have serious, disastrous consequences for the country. But because these bureaucrats hide behind the Chevron deference, it makes them almost impossible to stop.
As Speaker Ryan explained, “For too long, the Court has given deference to the executive branch in interpreting laws. This deference empowers nameless, faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats to re-write laws and attach meaning that was never Congress’s intent. With this legislation, we are clamping down on this practice—and taking a first step toward restoring power to Congress and, more importantly, to the voters who send us here.”
It’s time to dismantle this “fourth branch” of government. The Separation of Powers Restoration Act, an important part of our Better Way plan to restore the Constitution, repeals the Chevron deference, revoking this dangerous precedent of giving unelected bureaucrats in Washington the benefit of the doubt. They certainly have lost that privilege.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) appointed 44 House Republican lawmakers to serve on a bipartisan conference committee charged with producing a final National Defense Authorization Act to fund the military and secure the homeland.
“This legislation gives our military the tools and funding it needs to do its job and keep Americans safe,” said Speaker Ryan. “It also gives our men and women in uniform a well-deserved raise. If there’s anyone who deserves an increase in pay, it’s those who risk their lives every day for the safety of this country. I’m proud of the work done so far, and I look forward to sending this bill to the president’s desk.”
The House Republican conferees for this legislation are:
Committee on Armed Services
Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH)
Rep. John Kline (R-MN)
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA)
Rep. Christopher Gibson (R-NY)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Rep. Joseph Heck (R-NV)
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA)
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS)
Committee on Energy & Commerce
Rep. Robert Latta (R-OH)
Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH)
Committee on Education & the Workforce
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI)
Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
Committee on Foreign Affairs
Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA)
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Committee on Homeland Security
Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY)
Committee on the Judiciary
Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Committee on Natural Resources
Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA)
Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-NV)
Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK)
Committee on Science, Space, & Technology
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX)
Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX)
Committee on Small Business
Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA)
Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC)
Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Rep. David Roe (R-TN)
Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL)
Committee on Ways & Means
Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)Read More
Back in May, we told you about a Wisconsin family fighting to honor the memory of Jason Simcakoski—a father, son, husband, and Marine who died due to mistreatment at a VA care center. Jason was seeking care for anxiety, but under medical supervision, passed away due to mixed drug toxicity.
It was a heartbreaking—and preventable—tragedy.
Named in Jason’s honor, the PROMISE Act was passed by the House earlier this year. It makes it safer for veterans to seek opioid therapy and pain management care. One of 18 initiatives the House passed in May to tackle the nation’s opioid crisis, it went to a bipartisan, bicameral conference committee charged with producing final legislation. Today, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act was passed by the House of Representatives by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 407-5.
There are many families like the Simcakoskis who welcome this day, because this legislation will better address the national epidemic of heroin addiction and prescription opioid abuse.
How? For starters, CARA puts private- and public-sector experts on the case to identify best practices for pain management. In other words—keeping an eye on what’s working, and getting rid of what isn’t.
This bill will require the government to advance education and awareness of opioid abuse. Knowledge is power. By better educating our communities, government officials, and health care professionals alike, we can work toward a safer, healthier America, less plagued by opioid addiction and abuse.
Quite simply, this legislation will help prevent many cases of opioid abuse and stop tragedies before they occur.
With today’s vote, the bill is one step closer to the president’s desk, which means we are one step closer to ensuring communities and families have more of the tools they need to stop this epidemic and save lives. In turn, we hope to see more high-school diplomas earned, more college dreams achieved, more career goals met—and, most importantly, more families kept together.
Now that is something we can all get behind.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today on the House floor, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following statement in light of last night’s attack in Dallas. “A few perpetrators of evil do not represent us,” the speaker said. “The blame lies with the people who committed these vicious acts, and no one else.” Below are Speaker Ryan’s full remarks:
“We are all stunned by the events last night in Dallas. We are all outraged. An attack on the people who protect us is an attack on all of us.
“Our hearts are with the Dallas Police Department. Our hearts are with the victims, and especially with their loved ones. They wear the badge too. I know that to be a cop's wife or a cop's husband is to prepare for the worst, but who could fathom such horror as this.
“There is no cause or context in which this violence—this kind of terror—is justified. None at all.
“There will be a temptation to let our anger harden our divisions. Let’s not let that happen. There’s going to be a temptation to let our anger send us further into our corners. Let’s not let that happen. That script is just easy to write—it’s too predictable. Let’s defy those predictions.
“A few perpetrators of evil do not represent us. They do not control us. The blame lies with the people who committed these vicious acts, and no one else. And as the president rightfully said, justice will be done.
“We also have to let the healing be done as well. This has been a long week for our country. It’s been a long month for America. We have seen terrible, terrible senseless things.
“Every member of this body—every Republican and every Democrat—wants to see less gun violence. Every member of this body wants a world in which people feel safe regardless of the color of their skin. And that’s not how people are feeling these days. “Sometimes we disagree on how to get there. Sometimes we disagree passionately on how to get there. But in having this debate, let’s not lose sight of the values that unite us. Let’s not lose sight in our common humanity. “The values that brought those protesters to the streets in Dallas, the values that brought those protesters to the streets in Washington last night—respect, decency, compassion, humanity. If we lose these fundamental things, what’s left?
“We need to take a moment here. For reflection, for thought, for prayer, for justice, for action. Right now, let’s let justice be done, and let’s also let some healing occur, too.”
Happening now: flags at the United States Capitol are being lowered to half-staff in honor of the officers lost in Dallas.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday, July 8, 2016
This morning at his weekly press briefing, Speaker Ryan was asked, “Do you think it is an appropriate manner to take over the House floor?” His answer was one of civility, bipartisanship, and respect for the institution of the House of Representatives: “If we turn the floor into a partisan war zone,” said Speaker Ryan, “then there is no chance left for any kind of comity or bipartisanship.” Here’s his full comment:
“We are the oldest democracy in the world. We operate under the Constitution and the legislative branch of government, where we are supposed to debate our rules, our laws, our reforms civilly, with rules and laws. If we break those rules, how can we have civilized democracy? That is point one.
“Point two, you know, you don't get to know people in the other party a lot around here. That's one of the big regrets I have for the way politics works these days. I got to know Democrats in my career mostly because of the people I served with on my committees; the Budget Committee and Ways and Means Committee. But where you really get to know Democrats the best, and where Democrats get to know Republicans the best, is on the floor of Congress.
“You were there. You were in the gallery. We spend hours voting every day, every week and that floor is the best place for us to actually get to know each other, to strike up conversations, to strike up friendships, to negotiate, to compromise, to talk and discuss. This is where bipartisanship actually occurs. It's really the only message left that we have for Republicans and Democrats to actually come together. And if we turn the floor of the House of Representatives into a partisan war zone complete with tweeting, Periscoping electronic devices, then we have eviscerated any vestige of bipartisanship, any place or chance for Republicans and Democrats to actually come together and talk to each other, to actually get to know each other.
“Look, my mentor, you all know, is Jack Kemp, and he used to always regret the fact that members of Congress don't live in Washington anymore. I don't. Most of us don't. We live at home in our districts. Modern air travel, all the rest is—for a bunch of reasons, we don't do that. The reason he always regretted that is because we never got to know each other. You know, our kids didn't play on the same basketball teams together.
“And the last place we have where Republicans and Democrats actually just spend casual time with each other working out their differences, getting to know each other is the floor. And if we turn the floor into a partisan war zone, then there is no chance left for any kind of comity or bipartisanship.”Read More
Today, Speaker Ryan formally asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to refrain from providing any classified information to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He also asked FBI Director James Comey to release the full unclassified findings of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s email system. This is the latest in a series of steps House Republicans are taking to hold Secretary Clinton accountable for mishandling classified information.
Here are some of the latest headlines on our efforts:
Ryan Formally Asks DNI to Block Clinton’s Access to Classified Info“After FBI Director James Comey called Clinton’s handling of classified material ‘extremely careless,’ Ryan argued in an interview on Fox on Tuesday that the Democratic nominee shouldn’t be permitted to get top secret briefings, but the letter formalizes that recommendation. Ryan cites his own experience receiving classified intelligence briefings as his party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012 in his letter, saying he understands Clinton is set to begin getting similar briefings after her party formally nominates her at the Democratic convention later this month.” (CNN)
Paul Ryan Has a Very Simple Idea for How Obama Admin Can Keep Classified Secrets Safe From Hillary“[T]he House Speaker is appealing to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who reports directly to resident Obama and is responsible for the classified email briefings that are given to each presidential nominee. His message: Deny Hillary Clinton those briefings.” (IJ Review)
Paul Ryan, GOP Officials Blast Clinton Over FBI Email Findings“House Speaker Paul Ryan blasted FBI Director James Comey’s decision Tuesday not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server at the State Department, saying the ‘announcement defies explanation. . . . Declining to prosecute Secretary Clinton for recklessly mishandling and transmitting national security information will set a terrible precedent.'” (USA Today)
Ryan: Clinton’s Handling of Emails ‘Disqualifying’“Paul Ryan on Tuesday night continued harshly criticizing Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while in office, saying that ‘she clearly lives above the law’ and that her actions were disqualifying. ‘What bothers me about this is that the Clintons really are living above the law,’. . . . Asked by Kelly whether he thought Clinton’s actions were disqualifying, Ryan replied: ‘Oh, sure I do.’” (POLITICO)
FBI Director Grilled Over Clinton Email Claims at Tense Hearing“FBI Director James Comey acknowledged Thursday that multiple public statements made by Hillary Clinton about her email use were not true, at a tense Capitol Hill hearing where he faced tough questions from GOP lawmakers over the bureau’s decision not to seek charges against the former secretary of state despite her handling of classified information.” (Fox News)
Ryan: ‘Hillary Clinton Clearly Lives Above the Law’“House Speaker Paul Ryan weighed in on the FBI’s decision not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, saying that the Democratic candidate ‘lives above the law.’ Ryan said that it sounded as if FBI Director James Comey was preparing to recommend prosecution against Clinton for mishandling classified information and being grossly negligent, only to recommend against.” (Fox News)
GOP Mulls Congressional Action to Punish Clinton“House Republicans are considering whether to take punitive action against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, including the appointment of a special prosecutor, in response to Clinton’s careless use of classified emails during her tenure, just a day after the FBI said it wouldn’t recommend criminal charges against her. ‘We’re not going to foreclose any options,’ House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday after meeting privately with House Republicans. (Washington Examiner)
House Republicans promise Clinton email probe is not over“Republicans in Congress are promising the headlines over Hillary Clinton’s email server won’t go away anytime soon. On Wednesday, Republican leaders announced that FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch will be testifying on the subject on Capitol Hill over the next two weeks, and additional probes may follow.” (USA Today)Read More
Today at his weekly press briefing, Speaker Ryan discussed the letters he sent to FBI Director James Comey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper earlier today in response to the FBI’s conclusion of its investigation of Secretary Clinton, as well as other measures House Republicans are taking to restore effective oversight. Below are his opening remarks:
“This morning, FBI Director James Comey is testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Right now, there are still far more questions than answers regarding the investigation of Secretary Clinton. The director himself has said that this matter requires ‘unusual transparency.’ And I completely agree. “That is why I have sent a letter to Director Comey requesting that he release all of the unclassified findings of this investigation.
“In addition, I have sent a letter to the Director of National Intelligence requesting that he refrain from providing classified briefings to Secretary Clinton during the campaign. Here is why. In Director Comey’s statement on Tuesday, he said, and I will quote: “‘This is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.’ “And just this morning, he stated that there are often ‘very severe consequences’ for mishandling classified information.
“So it stands to reason that individuals who are ‘extremely careless’ with classified information should be denied further access to that type of information.
“I want to make an additional point here. The recklessness we have seen from Secretary Clinton—this sort of cavalier attitude toward accountability and responsibility—it is not confined to one person or one government agency. It goes on every day in this administration. “Just this morning, two congressional committees released a report detailing how the administration unlawfully spent billions of dollars [on] Obamacare. This was not an inadvertent violation. There was a clear, concerted effort to circumvent the law and the Constitution.
“Also this week, a commission established by Congress released a report that shows that the Veterans Administration still has not changed the way that they do business. As a result, too many veterans continue to wait too long for care. Meanwhile, VA bureaucrats face little or no accountability for their failures. “These things are going on every day in our government. We in Congress have a responsibility to provide oversight, and we will fulfill that obligation. “In addition, as part of our Better Way agenda, we have put forward several ideas on how best to restore accountability and reclaim the separation of powers. I encourage you to learn more about this by going to better.gop.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) continued to press for action regarding the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized email system. In a letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Speaker Ryan requested that the intelligence community refrain from providing any classified information to Secretary Clinton. “This is necessary to reassure the public that our nation's secrets are secure.” Ryan writes.
In addition, Speaker Ryan sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey requesting that he release all of the unclassified findings from the Bureau's investigation. Director Comey is testifying today before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.Letter to Director Clapper
“As a former vice presidential nominee, I am keenly aware that Secretary Clinton is set to begin receiving classified intelligence briefings after the Democratic National Convention. However, Director Comey stated that ‘this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.’ Given the FBI’s findings, denying Secretary Clinton access to classified information certainly constitutes appropriate sanctions. This is necessary to reassure the public that our nation’s secrets are secure.”Letter to Director Comey
“Right now, there are simply too many unanswered questions. While we have started oversight hearings, as you stated earlier this week, ‘given the importance of the matter, I think unusual transparency is in order.’ I completely agree. That’s why I am requesting that you release all of the findings from your investigation. The American people deserve to know exactly what your investigation uncovered and why the FBI came to the decision to recommend that no criminal charges be brought against Secretary Clinton.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which reforms the nation’s mental health care system:
“Today, the House took a major step to change the way our nation’s health care system deals with mental illness. We need to make sure that the people who suffer from mental illness—just like any other patients—get the care and medications they need. H.R. 2646 does just that. This is good, bipartisan legislation, and I applaud Rep. Murphy for his years of leadership and dedication to this cause.”
At a press conference this morning, Speaker Ryan discussed his concerns with the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton:
“Number one, I think Director Comey’s press conference . . . raises more questions than provides answers. That’s point number one. Point number two, there’s a lot of questions that have to be answered. So we’re going to be asking those questions. I know the Judiciary Committee sent a letter last night with a number of questions. Oversight and Government Reform . . . is going to invite the FBI Director to come up and testify.
“He did say that short of prosecution, some kind of administrative action might be in order. Look, I was on the ticket in 2012. After the convention, you get the full deep classified information as part of transition, as part of being a nominee. I think the Director of National Intelligence Clapper should deny Hillary Clinton access to classified information during the campaign given how she so recklessly handled classified information. . . .
“Director Comey’s presentation shredded the claims that Secretary Clinton made throughout the year with respect to this issue. He laid out a case how the things she had been saying she had or had not done were false. We have seen nothing but stonewalling and dishonesty from Secretary Clinton on this issue and that means a lot more questions need to be answered.”Read More
This morning at a press briefing with House Republicans, Speaker Ryan discussed the common-sense legislation the House will vote on this week to address the threat of terrorism in America:
“From the beginning, I have been saying that we need to be clear-eyed about who the enemy is. We need to stay focused on the threat of homegrown terrorism. But right now, we have an administration that simply refuses to step up its game. “Last month, as part of our Better Way agenda, we put out 67 recommendations to keep America safe. Last week, Leader McCarthy—working with our terrorism task force—proposed common-sense legislation to address the threat to our homeland, including the Zeldin legislation. “It’s common sense because it requires our government to prioritize its efforts to counter violent extremism. That includes defining the enemy as radical Islamic terrorism. Believe it or not, we do not do this already. “This legislation is also common sense because it takes steps to make sure that guns don’t fall into the hands of terrorists.
“This is something that we have to get right. Law enforcement has been telling us, over and over, we have to get this right. Because if we get this wrong, we could undermine their own terrorist investigations. “Let me say this. There isn’t a person in Congress that wants a terrorist to get a gun. But we also want to make sure that we do not undermine those ongoing terrorist investigations that law enforcement is conducting. “And, as I have said, we are not going to compromise the Constitution. We are not going to infringe upon anyone’s rights without due process. This is very important. “The Constitution is a beautiful document. It is so efficient, you can fit it in your pocket. We are not going to actually pass legislation that infringes upon a person’s constitutional rights. So we have to get this right. “We don’t want to infringe upon the 2nd Amendment. We don’t want to infringe upon the 5th Amendment. We don’t want to infringe upon anyone’s basic constitutional rights. We can get this right while honoring the Constitution. “This is what we all swear to serve. When we take the oath of office, we swear to support and defend the Constitution—and that is our duty.
“Now, we need to define this enemy. We need to defeat this enemy. “I also want to take a moment to note today that the House will take up landmark legislation to reform our mental health system. This is what Congressman Tim Murphy—a clinical psychologist—has poured his life into. He has spent years working on mental health reform. This is bipartisan reform. It came out unanimous from the [Energy and] Commerce Committee. That also is something we think needs to be addressed to address the gun violence that is occurring in America, which is dealing with the issue of mental illness. That is coming to the floor today. So I want to thank Congressman Murphy for that. “Because of this bill, people will get the treatment they need when they need it. It’s a great breakthrough, and I look forward to today’s vote.”
Following are excerpts from Speaker Ryan’s appearance last night on The Kelly File, during which he discussed the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
We’re already acting on the ideas that are part of A Better Way. Today, for instance, the House is taking up two bills to help startups raise capital when they need it most.
Both authored by Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (R-NC), these initiatives update SEC rules to make it easier for startups to attract a broader and deeper pool of investors. Here’s what they do:
Here’s what Rep. McHenry said after these bills were approved by the Financial Services Committee:
“Today, small businesses--particularly those in rural America—face immense challenges raising capital as traditional lenders have greatly reduced small business lending. To confront this challenge, we must harness technology and encourage innovative forms of capital formation to fill the void.”
Learn more at better.gop.Read More
On Friday, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) introduced the Homeland Safety and Security Act (H.R. 5611), which comes in response to a spate of terrorist attacks across the globe, including the heinous assault in Orlando. The administration cites these attacks as proof that ISIS is on the run. We disagree. They are painful reminders that we have much more work to do to defeat terrorism. That’s why we’re taking action with this bill to protect our homeland.
Here a 4 things you need to know about it:
1. It Counters Islamist Radicalization in the U.S. As we saw in Orlando, domestic terrorism can take the form of Americans who are radicalized online by ISIS propaganda. This bill includes language similar to what was approved on a bipartisan basis in committee to establish a unit within the Department of Homeland Security focused on combating radical Islamist terrorism. This would be the first program of its kind to call the threat by its real name: radical Islamist terrorism.
2. It Revokes Passports of Known Extremists Another way to prevent attacks within our borders is to revoke passports of individuals with known ties to foreign terrorist organizations. This would stop extremists seeking explosives training—or trying to carry out an attack abroad—from being able to travel. A bipartisan majority in the House passed similar language last year.
3. It Assesses Existing Security Vulnerabilities In addition to countering extremism here at home, this bill takes action to prevent terrorists from infiltrating our borders. In particular, it requires the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a national test to assess security vulnerabilities that terrorists can exploit to enter our country. This is yet another proposal with strong bipartisan support in the House.
4. It Prevents Potential Terrorists from Purchasing Weapons And finally, this bill helps prevent potential terrorists from purchasing weapons. This measure notifies law enforcement if a known or suspected terrorist attempts to buy explosives or firearms. At that point, the sale can either be delayed for a maximum of three business days or denied only if there is probable cause to believe the individual poses a risk. This will help keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists while protecting Second Amendment rights and preserving due process.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement regarding the recommendation from FBI Director James Comey that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not be prosecuted for her "extremely careless" mishandling of classified information:
"While I respect the law enforcement professionals at the FBI, this announcement defies explanation. No one should be above the law. But based upon the director's own statement, it appears damage is being done to the rule of law. Declining to prosecute Secretary Clinton for recklessly mishandling and transmitting national security information will set a terrible precedent. The findings of this investigation also make clear that Secretary Clinton misled the American people when she was confronted with her criminal actions. While we need more information about how the Bureau came to this recommendation, the American people will reject this troubling pattern of dishonesty and poor judgment."
While I respect the professionals at the FBI, this announcement defies explanation. No one should be above the law. pic.twitter.com/OqctxglquI— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 5, 2016
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement in commemoration of Independence Day:
"On this year’s Fourth, we can celebrate the historic document that was signed—and the self-evident truths it declared. We can celebrate the historic battles that were fought so that those truths would embrace all of our people. We can remember the extraordinary men and women, so dedicated to those truths, who died on this day—and the millions of others whose names we’ll never know. Or we can remember—and give thanks—that we live in a country where all these things are possible. We still believe in those self-evident truths. We still struggle to live up to them. And really, what that struggle represents is the pursuit of happiness. So today, with great gratitude, we celebrate our independence."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement regarding the passing of Elie Wiesel, who was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1984:
“We mourn Elie Wiesel’s passing with profound gratitude for his life. Professor Wiesel gave the voiceless not only a voice, but a lasting influence on the world. He made it his life’s work to ensure the horrors of the Holocaust are never forgotten or repeated. This will forever be his legacy.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after introduction of H.R. 5611, the Homeland Safety and Security Act, by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA):
“While the enemy’s tactics are evolving, the Obama administration’s strategy to defeat radical Islamist extremism is not. We have to step up our game. This counterterrorism legislation provides new tools to protect our homeland, including a provision to prevent terrorists from buying guns. It is a responsible measure that confronts this threat while protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens. I look forward to a debate and vote on the House floor next week.”
BACKGROUND: THE HOMELAND SAFETY AND SECURITY ACT
This is the second counterterrorism package that the House will vote on since the Orlando shooting. On June 16, the House passed H.R. 5471, the Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act.
Read the Homeland Safety and Security Act here, and a summary of its provisions below:
1. Authorizes an office within the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize counter Islamist terrorist radicalization in the U.S. The text of the legislation calls the threat by its true name—radical Islamist terrorism—which is a first.
2. Requires a nationwide exercise to game out the threat of individuals traveling from the U.S. to join a terrorist organization and terrorist infiltration into the United States (by US citizens and foreign nationals)
3. Revokes U.S. passports of individuals who belong to designated foreign terrorist organizations or have aided, abetted, or provided material support to such an organization.
4. Requires that law enforcement be notified if an individual investigated as a known or suspected terrorist in the last five years attempts to purchase a gun:
WASHINGTON—In this week’s Republican address, Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), and Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) discuss the select committee’s final report detailing new information regarding the September 2012 terrorist attack in Libya that killed four Americans.
“By focusing with dogged determination on uncovering all relevant documents and talking to new eyewitnesses, the Select Committee is now able to tell you, the American people, about these important new facts that fundamentally change what we know about Benghazi,” the members said. “Because we want to do everything possible to ensure this never happens again.”
Remarks of Chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, Representative Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, and Representative Susan Brooks of IndianaWeekly Republican AddressWashington, DCJuly 2, 2016
Today, as we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, we can take pride in the fact that brave men and women, through their own ingenuity and determination, were able to achieve independence for our great nation.
This same essential American spirit was on full display in Libya on the night of September 11, 2012, where brave men and women—serving at one of our highest threat foreign outposts in one of America’s least secure diplomatic facilities—had to rely on their own ingenuity and determination and one another to survive.
The Select Committee on Benghazi sought from the beginning to tell their story and provide the final, definitive accounting of that fateful night for their families and the American people.
It is because of this investigation, we now know no American forces were ever going to Benghazi the night of the attacks.
And the small group from Tripoli that did go, did so on their own initiative. Because of this investigation, we now know the full story of all the security agents and personnel who made it from Tripoli to Benghazi—who faced assaults, gunfights, ambushes, and ultimately a fatal mortar attack that left two heroic rescuers dead.
And now we know were it not for the extraordinary efforts of a CIA security contractor, we would have lost two more Americans that night.
The real story of Benghazi is truly a tale of two cities. In Benghazi, where our people were valiantly fighting for their lives, and Washington, DC, where administration officials sat on a teleconference and talked for two hours.
Meanwhile, half a world away in Europe, forces that were ready to respond were forced to wait on the transport and to change into and out of uniform four times.
The end result of this previously unknown teleconference was a list of action items, half of which had to do with an online video.
It is sad and telling that instead of a singular focus on rescuing our people in harm’s way, key decision-makers in the administration were worried about a video and the appearance that our rescuers could be perceived as invaders because of the clothes they were wearing.
By focusing with dogged determination on uncovering all relevant documents and talking to new eyewitnesses, the Select Committee is now able to tell you, the American people, about these important new facts that fundamentally change what we know about Benghazi.
Because we want to do everything possible to ensure this never happens again—and if it does, that we are better prepared to respond, the majority makes a series of recommendations for the Pentagon, State Department, intelligence community, and Congress.
On behalf of a grateful nation, we honor the service and sacrifice made by Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods, and all those who served in Benghazi. On this Independence Day weekend, we recognize them as true American heroes and patriots. And we thank them, and we thank their loved ones. May God bless our citizens and may God bless the United States of America.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today announced that members of the Select Committee on Benghazi will deliver the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, July 2. In the address, Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), and Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) will discuss the select committee’s new report, which details new information with regards to the September 2012 terrorist attack that killed four Americans.
“Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were heroes who gave their lives in service to our country, and their courage and bravery should be honored,” Chairman Gowdy said. "I simply ask the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions. This report can be read in less time than our fellow citizens were taking fire and fighting for their lives on the rooftops and in the streets of Benghazi.”
“By interviewing more than 80 witnesses who had never before been questioned by Congress, and obtaining more than 75,000 pages of new documents, the committee was able to issue a report that finally provides answers for the families of the victims and for all Americans,” Speaker Ryan said after the report's release. “We must ensure that those who hold positions of responsibility do better for the men and women who serve in harm’s way.”
To read the committee’s full report, visit benghazi.house.gov.
The Weekly Republican Address will be available starting Saturday, July 2 at 6:00 a.m. ET on speaker.gov.Read More
Looking for a few conversation starters ahead of the Fourth of July weekend? We thought you might be. And because they—whoever “they” are—say to keep politics out of social conversations, we’ve got just the perfect alternative for you.
That’s right—Speaker Ryan joined Erick Erickson’s podcast last week for a 16-minute long discussion about everything but politics. We’re talking fly fishing, hunting, and…classical music? (Bet you didn’t see that one coming.)
So, in the spirit of his favorite band, turn on a little Led Zeppelin and continue reading—here are 10 non-political things you probably didn’t know about Speaker Ryan:
1. When he was a child, he practiced fly fishing in a field.“When I was a kid, I practiced in a field—in a park. We had this little park in our neighborhood and I’d just go practice up there. It’s all about getting the cast right.”
2. His favorite sport is bow hunting.“That’s my favorite passion . . . my favorite sport, my favorite hobby of all is bow hunting.”
3. He takes his family to Deer Camp.“I grew up doing Deer Camp, which is during opening weekend of deer season . . . I hunt in the morning by myself and then I hunt with kids in the dusk.”
4. Homer is his favorite character on The Simpsons.“Troy McClure's not so bad—he's a good side character. I mean, you can't get better than Homer—what can you say? Homer's the best."
5. He listens to Beethoven.“I listen to country, I listen to heavy metal, hard rock, and classical music. I’d say Led Zeppelin is probably my favorite thing, but I do listen to classical music—and Beethoven’s 9th is by far my favorite.”
6. He wanted to be a doctor.“I wanted to be a doctor growing up. I wanted to be a doctor when I was a kid, like my grandfather. My grandfather—I adored the guy . . . He was a doctor in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin—and when I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. And then I realized, you know, I just sort of lost my interest after taking chemistry.”
7. When he came to Washington, he figured he’d become an economist.“Jack Kemp, who I adored, was looking for a young staff economist—basically somebody to do his economic policy work at this new think tank he was forming called Empower America. And he hired me to do that, and I thought all along, ‘I’ll do this for a few years—you know two years, three years.’ And then I wanted to go further my education in economics and go into the field of economics.”
8. But, as time would tell, Jack Kemp inspired him to do something different.“Jack was my mentor, and he basically taught me that the Battle of Ideas—as he described it—is fighting for principles, public policy, we were part of the conservative movement. And I learned so much as a young sort of ‘foot soldier’ in the conservative movement in those days that I just really took it on as my vocation. And I realized that was my passion—fighting for conservative ideas.”
9. He was reading Milton Friedman books at the ripe age of 16.“My parents were Milton Friedman fans so I read Free to Choose when I think I was like 16 or something like that.”
10. And finally, you can take the guy out of Wisconsin, but…“I drink Miller Light and Pabst Blue Ribbon . . . it’s what we drink where we come from. You know, you can take the guy out of Wisconsin, but you can’t take the Wisconsin out of the guy.”
“This is the first [conversation] I’ve had like this in a long, long time,” the speaker said in closing. We think conversations like this ought to happen more often—don’t you?Read More
This month, House Republicans hosted six separate events in just three weeks to launch their plan for A Better Way, a bold policy agenda to address some of the country’s biggest challenges. Better.gop is your one-stop-shop to learn about all six issues in-depth, but for those who are already thinking about the long 4th of July weekend, here's a very quick recap featuring six photos and six quotes from Speaker Ryan.1. Poverty
"Instead of trapping people in poverty, let's get them on a ladder of opportunity." (click to retweet)
"America must secure the border once and for all." (click to retweet)
"States are best equipped to regulate energy development. That’s a #BetterWay to grow the economy." (click to retweet)
"We can't rely on the courts alone to protect our rights. There's a #BetterWay to uphold our Constitution." (click to retweet)
"Remember when Obamacare was going to deliver big decreases in health care premiums? There's a #BetterWay." (click to retweet)
"We want a tax code that works for the taxpayers—not the tax collectors. This is a #BetterWay." (click to retweet)
See more photos:
Bonus photo: Speaker Ryan posted his first 360° photo on Facebook earlier this week. Click below to check out the speaker's balcony from any angle.
Good morning from the Speaker's balcony at the United States Capitol! Swipe around the photo to see the view from all 360 degrees.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday, June 27, 2016
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after the Senate passed the bipartisan Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA):
“I am pleased that the Senate has passed PROMESA, the result of months of work by the House. This bipartisan legislation addresses the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico while protecting American taxpayers from a bailout of the territory. The legislation creates an oversight board that will institute the necessary reforms so Puerto Rico can begin to turn its economy around and get on a path to fiscal health. Congress has fulfilled our constitutional obligation and I urge President Obama to sign PROMESA immediately.”Read More
What if I told you about a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity in a centrally located emerging market? If you hurry, you can beat out the competition and be one of the first investors on the ground there.
The catch? Well, the country may dabble in terrorism. Actually, it may be the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. And it may have one of the worst human-rights records of any nation in modern history.
We’re talking, of course, about Iran—a country with a rich cultural heritage dating back many centuries, but one under the oppressive grip of a brutal, theocratic regime. It’s a regime that hangs gay people. And imprisons innocent Americans. And threatens the annihilation of Israel. And denies the Holocaust. And sponsors terrorist organizations around the globe. And it’s a regime bent on acquiring nuclear weapons while pursuing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the eastern seaboard of the United States.
Over the past decade, this behavior has prompted strong backlash from Congress in the form of crippling economic sanctions. The nuclear deal struck last summer—against the will of the American people and their elected representatives—lifted nuclear-related sanctions, but promised to keep in place those related to Iran’s human rights abuses and terror financing. In some instances, however, the line between nuclear and non-nuclear sanctions is blurred, causing confusion as to what business is now permitted. As a result, foreign banks and companies are hesitant to reenter the Iranian marketplace. So now Secretary Kerry, under mounting pressure from Tehran, is embarking on an overseas tour to declare Iran open for business.
A report last month entitled “John Kerry’s Awkward Push for Investment in Iran” explains that the secretary of state “has negotiated himself into the odd position of explaining to Western banks how they can do business in Iran.”
It’s not going well. According to the Associated Press, “The Obama administration’s calls for restoring global business ties with Iran are falling flat in Europe, where risk-averse banks told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry they don’t believe they can do business in the Islamic Republic without triggering U.S. sanctions.”
Moreover, earlier this month Secretary Kerry’s own State Department released its annual report on state sponsors of terrorism, which says that “Iran remained the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2015, providing a range of support, including financial, training, and equipment, to grounds around the world—particularly Hizballah.”
In addition, just last week, the Financial Action Task Force—an international organization that sets standards for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing—decided to keep Iran on its list of “high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions.” So while Secretary Kerry is encouraging banks to do business in Iran, neutral third parties continue to “remain concerned with the terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system.”
It’s important to keep in mind that the nuclear deal in no way, shape, or form obligates the U.S. government, much less the secretary of state himself, to lobby foreign banks or companies to do business with Iran. This effort by Secretary Kerry, along with the administration’s recent purchase of nuclear materials from Iran’s nuclear program, is just another unprecedented concession to Tehran.
As Speaker Ryan said this week, “Where does President Obama’s nuclear agreement state that Secretary Kerry must serve as Iran’s chief salesman? The fact remains that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Until that changes, businesses are right to be wary about reentering the Iranian marketplace.”Read More
Every year, an estimated 265,000 children are removed from their homes by welfare officials, thrown into a foster care system that often isn’t prepared to welcome them. Every one of those 265,000 children represents a family torn apart: parents who won’t raise them; siblings who won’t grow up together.
This bill would allow states to use federal foster care dollars to pay for family services, preventing the need for foster care for some and keeping more families together.
It would provide funding for evidence-based services to prevent child abuse and neglect—in other words, make sure there are real, substantive reasons for a child to be removed.
And, when foster care is the best option, this bill would ensure foster children are placed in appropriate, family settings—not group homes or communal facilities.
By providing evidence-based prevention services, we can work to keep children out of foster care who don’t have to be. We can reduce the number of inappropriate group housing placements—meaning more family-friendly, pre-vetted homes, ready to welcome their foster children with open arms. And most importantly, we can reduce the risks of substance abuse and homelessness and ensure America’s children grow up in safe, healthy environments.
That’s why, this month, the bill passed both the Ways and Means Committee and the House on a bipartisan basis, to the satisfaction of dozens of organizations across the country:
The Children’s Defense Fund said this bill “takes historic and long overdue steps to direct federal child welfare dollars to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families.”
Generations United applauded that it “offers relatives the support they need to keep children out of foster care and help them strive.”
It “expand[s] the availability of such services and reflects the reality that many families, including adoptive families, need targeted, effective services to meet their children’s needs and prevent foster care entry,” said the North American Council on Adoptable Children.
As Rep. Buchanan said, breaking up families should be a last resort—and this bill will help make it so.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after Senate Democrats voted to block needed resources to help our veterans and stop the spread of the Zika virus: “This is ridiculous. Senate Democrats, after demanding Zika funding for months and supporting this exact funding level for weeks, now block it to create a political issue. Putting politics before a public health crisis is about as irresponsible as it gets. So much for all those lectures about doing your job.”
NOTE: Today, Senate Democrats voted to block the following:
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today released a video announcing the publication of the final report from the Select Committee on Benghazi.
"Trey Gowdy and the Benghazi Committee have been working hard to get the truth for the American people. They just released their report, and I encourage you to read it for yourself. "The report contains a significant amount of new information, about what happened before, during, and after the terrorist attack that left four of our fellow citizens dead. "By interviewing more than 80 witnesses who had never before been questioned by Congress, and obtaining more than 75,000 pages of new documents, the committee was able to issue a report that finally provides answers for the families of the victims and for all Americans. It makes clear that officials in Washington failed our men and women on the ground when they were in need of help. And the report makes key recommendations for how we can prevent such a tragedy from happening again. "We must ensure that those who hold positions of responsibility do better for the men and women who serve in harm’s way.
"To read the report, go to benghazi.house.gov."Read More
Following last week’s referendum vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, Speaker Ryan has said that the special relationship between our two nations will endure. To demonstrate that commitment, the speaker is calling on the United States, in parallel with its negotiations with Europe, to pursue a free trade agreement with the UK, once it has formally separated from the EU. He made these comments in interviews Friday with Wisconsin media.
Speaking with Mike Gousha on WISN, the speaker said:
"Number one, we need to emphasize that they are our indispensable ally, we have a special relationship, and I think that does mean we should have a trade agreement with England – with Great Britain. That is something we should begin discussions with Great Britain to ease concerns so that we do have a smooth trade relationship with Great Britain because they are our indispensable ally. And we need to show our solidarity. . . . Obviously it takes time to do something like this, but I think it is something we should be working on.”
And later, on WBEL with Mike Daly, the speaker made the following call for a trade agreement:
“We would probably want to put together our own trade agreement with Great Britain, which would be easier to do actually. We’re in talks with Europe on something we call TTIP, but I think we should do a parallel track of Great Britain—United Kingdom, excuse me—United Kingdom trade agreement while we talk with Europe about TTIP. It’s very important that we maintain our very strong alliance with England. They are a special relationship—[a] very, very indispensable ally. Trade with England is very big between our two countries and very beneficial for our two countries, not like some of the other countries we’ve had problems with. . . you would not put England in that kind of category. . . . I think we should make sure that our trading relationship is stable, so that our respective economies are not affected but actually improved."
Aim big. Go bold. Tackle the big things so we can restore a Confident America. That’s what A Better Way is all about, and no plank of the plan may represent this vision better than tax reform. Make it so that most Americans can do their taxes on a form so simple it could fit on a postcard. Cut taxes on the people who hire workers so they can hire more of them and grow our economy. And bust up the IRS so it serves the taxpayers, and only the taxpayers.
Don’t take our word for it. Here’s a glimpse at what the experts are saying:
The House Republican plan for A Better Way offers a clear and compelling choice for America's future, but that doesn't mean you have to wait to start seeing results. That future starts now.
Just last week, Speaker Ryan signed the FOIA Improvement Act (S.337), sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) in the House, which will make it harder than ever for the federal government to withhold information from the public. It's simply a better way to do business in Washington, and this meaningful legislation to hold Washington accountable now heads to the president's desk to become law.
A lot happened this week. Think about it...
That's not all. Also this week, we sent more bipartisan legislation to the president’s desk. That includes the Recovering Missing Children Act, an initiative authored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) that would make it easier for investigators to locate abducted children.
And this is the Speaker signing the Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act. The VA found that, from 2000 to 2010, the suicide rate for women veterans increased by 40 percent. This bill would improve our ability to get women veterans the help they need.
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today announced the appointments of two distinguished attorneys to positions that are critical to the function and operation of the House.
WASHINGTON — Today, House Republicans launched the sixth and final plank of their #BetterWay agenda—fair, simple, pro-growth tax reform. Joined by Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and other committee members, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following remarks as prepared for delivery this morning at the roll out event: “Thank you very much. First, I want to say just how proud I am of my colleagues. They have done outstanding work over the past six months. They have put together a serious, principled agenda for 2017. And this tax-reform plan is no exception.
“The way I’d sum it up is: We want a tax code that works for the taxpayers—not the tax collectors. We want to make it simpler, flatter, fairer. Bring the number of tax brackets down from 7 to 3. Lower rates for everybody. Bring the top rate down to 33 percent. Close those special-interest loopholes. Consolidate those deductions and credits. Make it so simple that the average American can do their taxes on a postcard, and that the average IRS agent can understand it.
“But more than that, we want to make America the best place in the world to do business. Cut taxes on small business. Lower their top rate to 25 percent. Cut our corporate tax rate—which is the highest in the industrialized world—from 35 to 20 percent. Stop taxing people when they bring money into our country. Stop taxing new investments. Don’t punish people for saving and investing. Reward them.
“All these things will grow our economy, create jobs, and raise wages right here in America.
“And finally, the IRS needs to get its act together. It needs to put taxpayers first. So we streamline the IRS. Install a new commissioner. Clear out the bureaucracy. And update their technology so taxpayers get the help—and the privacy—they deserve.
“All these things will fix our tax code. And all six parts of our agenda will get our country back on track.
“I think it’s good to remember why we started this project. We did it because we are living in a very uncertain time. Seventy percent of Americans don’t like the direction the country is going in. And neither do we.
“But the way we saw it, that meant we had an obligation to offer an alternative. What we are doing is offering the country a better way. “A better way to lift people out of poverty, to keep America safe, to grow our economy, to protect self-government, to fix our health care. And now, a better way to fix our tax code. If you want to learn more about all six parts of our plan, go to our website: better.gop. “To close, I want say how I see the moment we’re in: We are going into a global economy that’s faster than anything we’ve seen before. One part of the country is OK with this. Another is more skeptical. “They’re wondering, ‘How are we going to preserve our values? How are we going to preserve opportunity for all of our people? How are we going to keep America strong?’ “Or really, the question is, are we going to shape the global economy? Or is it going to shape us? I think, with this plan, America can once again take the lead.
“With this plan, everyone in our country—the anxious and the eager, the Old America and the New America—can unite and build a confident America.
“With this plan, we can take our founding principles—liberty, free enterprise, government by consent—and bring them to life in the 21st century.
“With this plan, we can turn this country around and expand opportunity for all Americans.
“This is what our country needs. This is a better way. Thank you very much.”Read More
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
The Speaker acts as leader of the House and combines several roles: the institutional role of presiding officer and administrative head of the House, the partisan role of leader of the majority party in the House, and the representative role of an elected Member of the House. By statute, the Speaker is also second in line, behind the Vice President, to succeed to the presidency.
The Speaker presides over the House, administering the oath of office to Members, calling the House to order, and preserving order and decorum within the Chamber and in the galleries. Additionally, he appoints the chairmen to preside over the Committee of the Whole, appoints special or select committees, appoints conference committees, has the power of recognition of Members to speak, and makes many important rulings and decisions in the House. The Speaker may vote, but usually does not, except in the case of a tie. The Speaker and the Majority Leader determine the legislative agenda for the House, and often confer with the President and the Senate.