Yesterday, Speaker Ryan addressed the new HHS report at his weekly press conference—but that wasn’t all. He also discussed two bipartisan efforts that were on the House floor this week: bills to combat child abuse and reform the VA’s broken appeals backlog.
“Today, the House is taking up bipartisan action to combat child abuse and exploitation. A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds in this country. And human trafficking is one of the world's fastest-growing crimes.
“While worrying comes naturally for parents, it is staggering to consider the different forms that child exploitation can take. It could be a coach or someone close to you, or it could be a total stranger on social media acting alone as part of a global operation.
“Together, Republicans and Democrats are taking action to protect the most vulnerable and to punish those who abuse them. With these initiatives, we will go after child sex offenders, and we will make sure that survivors have the highest protection under the law.
“Second, ahead of Memorial Day, we are tackling bipartisan challenges, and we're taking bipartisan action to help our veterans and their families. It is especially good news that we are making progress on fixing the longstanding problems with the VA claims backlog. So many of us in Congress have been working on this for so many years, dealing with our own constituents and their problems.
“Veterans have got bills to pay. They have families to support. The last thing they should have to deal with is endless bureaucracy. Unfortunately, that's what's gone on with the VA with this claims backlog.
“So if you've been involved in Congress working on these caseworkers, it is just heart wrenching to see a veteran who needs healthcare get stuck in this claims backlog. The initiative that the House passed this week with bipartisan, unanimous support will expedite the process so that veterans can get timely decisions and have real peace of mind and we can get rid of this claims backlog.”Read More
In case you missed it, yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services released a new report finding that average health care premiums have more than doubled since Obamacare took effect. Speaker Ryan addressed this report today at his weekly press briefing:
“I want to talk about a very important health care report. It’s a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s the ASPE data point report.
“The Department of Health and Human Services has released an analysis that says that since Obamacare went into effect, average premiums have more than doubled nationwide. Since Obamacare went into effect, average health care premiums have doubled nationwide. Remember—remember when President Obama promised that his health care plan would lower a typical family’s premiums by up to $2,500? Under Obamacare, average premiums have gone up by nearly $3,000.
“This law did not drop premiums by $2,500 as promised. Average premiums have gone up by nearly $3,000. “Just yesterday—a new shoe drops every week on Obamacare it seems. Just yesterday, Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced that it will pull out of 32 counties in Kansas and Missouri. This will affect 67,000 people. Citing all the losses that it taken over 2016, the company said, and I quote, 'This is unsustainable.' “This is exactly why we are on a rescue mission. Between premiums surging up and choices going away, Obamacare is on an unsustainable path. Look, the Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, they’re the non-profits. They’re typically the last plan standing in the market. And when they’re pulling out of states like Kansas and Missouri, we have a serious problem on our hands.
“This law is in the middle of a collapse. We need to bring down the cost of coverage. And we need to revitalize the market so that people have real choices and real access to affordable health care. That’s what our plan will do. “So we’re happy to get you a copy of this report if you need it, or, if you want, you can just go to hhs.gov and see it for yourself.”
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed H. Res. 354, legislation condemning violence against protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence on May 16, 2017:
“The violent crackdown on peaceful protesters by Turkish security forces was completely indefensible, and the Erdogan government’s response was wholly inadequate. Turkey is an important NATO ally, but its leaders must fully condemn and apologize for this brutal behavior against innocent civilians exercising their First Amendment rights. In the meantime, we stand fully committed to helping bring all those responsible to justice. I want to thank Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and all members of the Foreign Affairs Committee for taking swift action on this issue.”Read More
Here's what they didn't want you to know:
Democrats are already trying to blame Republicans for Obamacare’s collapse. Don’t be fooled. This law has been crumbling to pieces since its enactment, and now Americans are paying the price.
This is a rescue mission. We need to replace this law with truly affordable, patient-centered reforms before it’s too late. That’s exactly what the American Health Care Act will do.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of the American Health Care Act:
“Under Obamacare, premiums have more than doubled, and choices have dwindled to the point that many families have no options at all. We are on a rescue mission to bring down the cost of coverage and make sure families have access to affordable care. This CBO report again confirms that the American Health Care Act achieves our mission: lowering premiums and lowering the deficit. It is another positive step toward keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
NOTE: A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that average individual market premiums have increased by more than 105 percent since 2013, the year before many of Obamacare’s regulations and mandates took effect.Read More
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just released a new report that shows the rising cost of premiums since Obamacare taxes, regulations, and mandates went into place in 2013. You may have heard some folks on the Left pointing fingers at the House-passed American Health Care Act. They wouldn’t want you to see this report. But the proof is in the pudding: Obamacare is to blame.
Here’s the report by the numbers:
39: All 39 states using healthcare.gov saw an increase in individual market premiums since 2013.
105%: The percent individual market premiums have increased since that time. In other words, premiums have more than doubled.
$2,928: The staggering average annual premium increase since Obamacare mandates and regulations went into effect. Ouch.
3: Three states saw premiums not double, but triple since 2013.
223%: The percent increase in premium costs Alabama residents experienced!
Read the full report here.Read More
This morning, Speaker Ryan joined Mike Allen for an Axios News Shapers one-on-one, where the speaker discussed the need to replace Obamacare with a patient-centered system, reform our broken tax code, and revitalize the American economy.
Here are the top moments:
Roll Back Obama-Era Regulations
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 24, 2017
Rebuild the Military and Secure the Border
We've got ambitious plans for tax reform, rebuilding our military, and border security. We will keep our promises. pic.twitter.com/9PB93vcgZN
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 24, 2017
Replace Obamacare With A Patient-Centered System
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 24, 2017
Restore a Confident America
Economic growth and strengthened foreign policy will build our country's confidence. America will handle whatever comes our way. pic.twitter.com/TUy0xpvM5p
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 24, 2017
Last night, Speaker Ryan appeared on Fox News’ The Story with Martha MacCallum. Here is video of the full interview, along with excerpts from the transcript:
Let’s balance the budget
"For the first time in 8 years, we actually have a president now who is proposing we balance the budget, we’ve never had that with Obama. He never even tried to balance the budget let alone even propose to balance the budget. So we now have a president saying, I agree with Congressional Republicans, let’s balance the budget."
Getting things done
"We here in the Republican Congress are staying here and getting our work done, making a difference for the American people, getting things done."
The kind of problems that affect people’s lives
"Today we’re bringing legislation through to get rid of these waiting lists the VA has where veterans are waiting for their health care. These are the kind of problems that affect people’s lives. We were talking about tax reform half the day today to get this economy growing, to get the tax code simplified, restrain the IRS, and to get businesses hiring again, bringing in wages. These are the things that we’re working on."Read More
Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan offered his condolences on behalf of the House to the families of the victims of the Manchester terrorist attack.
Key quote: “Terror is a threat that we all face together—and with our might, and with our humanity too. In that spirit, I want to express solidarity of the whole House of Representatives to Prime Minister May and her government. We stand ready to help in any way we can. Because freedom, compassion, and peace will always prevail over violence and hate.”
Opening statement: “The whole House of Representatives extends its condolences to the families of the victims. Our prayers are especially with those who are still searching for their children. “I don’t know—maybe it’s because I am a father of teenagers, but that is the part that keeps me coming back to this. I mean, think about the kids who had this date on their calendar circled. Think about the kids who got their parents to agree to take them to the concert. Or maybe it was a birthday present, or maybe it was a surprise.
“Or think about the kids who went to the concert with their friends on the agreement that they would get together and meet their parents outside right after it. Those are the kinds of conversations that go on in families with teenagers. And then all those moms and dads waiting outside when disaster struck—think about that for a second. Many rushing in, hoping to God and fearing the worst. “To deliberately target innocent children is cowardice in its most heinous form. So we should not be surprised that ISIS has claimed responsibility for this attack. But we will never bow or bend to radical Islamic terror.
“In Manchester, we have seen hotels taking in survivors. We have seen local residents offering beds to those who are stranded. We have seen taxi cabs driving back and forth through the night, offering free rides to bring people to safety. And as we speak, people on social media are reaching out to connect families with their loved ones. “Terror is a threat that we all face together—and with our might, and with our humanity too. In that spirit, I want to express solidarity of the whole House of Representatives to Prime Minister May and her government. We stand ready to help in any way we can. Because freedom, compassion, and peace will always prevail over violence and hate.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump's 2018 budget proposal:
“We can finally turn the page on the Obama era of bloated budgets that never balance. President Trump has proven his commitment to fiscal responsibility with a budget that will grow the economy. It prioritizes American taxpayers over bureaucrats in Washington, while making our military stronger so we can face the threats of a modern world. We look forward to working with Chairman Diane Black and the Budget Committee to pass a balanced budget.”Read More
Our push to reform the broken tax code for the first time in three decades continues this week.
As Speaker Ryan recently said, “Right now it is literally one of the worst tax systems in the industrialized world. We’re losing companies who are becoming foreign companies. We have an incentive that basically tells companies: Outsource your manufacturing. Why on earth are we doing that?”
After 31 years, Republicans in Congress, working hand-in-hand with the Trump administration, intend to make good on our promise to create a tax code that works for all Americans.
To learn more, visit speaker.gov or check out the links below.Read More
Today, the New York Times’ editorial board opened a piece with the following: “The mere threat that Obamacare will be dismantled or radically changed . . . has persuaded several big insurance companies to stop selling policies or significantly raise premiums.”
To use the board's own words: “This is disingenuous nonsense.”
They go on to write that as a result, “some lower-income and middle-class families may have no good options for insurance and will have to spend more on health care.”
That’s certainly true. But rather than Republicans, only Obamacare itself is to blame.
This new argument by the Times and Washington Democrats is a completely dishonest attempt to distract from the obvious failures of Obamacare.
Look no further than the Times' own archives for the evidence. Consider these two headlines pulled from 2016—you know, during President Obama’s tenure and long before the American Health Care Act passed the House:
The editorial board claims that insurance markets are collapsing because of the AHCA, yet their own reporting shows this started long before President Trump assumed office and the AHCA became a reality.
Yes, insurers are leaving the markets—but it’s because the design of Obamacare has created what some insurance professionals have called a ‘death spiral.’ And yes, premiums are skyrocketing, and deductibles are soaring—a trend that goes back to 2015 (see again: NYT.)
The writing was already on the wall that Obamacare was failing. Unfortunately, the Left is only now calling it out—with a pathetic attempt to point the finger at Republicans.
On the contrary, House Republicans knew this law was doomed and have begun a rescue mission for the American health care system.Read More
From a First District small business tour to daily meetings in D.C., Speaker Ryan took time these past couple of weeks (as he always does) to meet with fellow Wisconsinites to hear about the issues they care about. He recalled his teenage years serving as a YMCA camp counselor; demonstrated tax issues with toy cars; and learned how technology assists families of ALS patients in communicating with their loved ones. Here are six photos featuring Wisconsinites from the last couple of weeks.
Speaker Ryan welcomed YMCA’s Camp Manito-wish directors and board members to the Capitol, sharing stories from his days as a camp counselor and discussing the Child Protection Improvements Act. After the meeting, he caught some stares carrying his Camp Manito-wish paddle through the Capitol hallways back to his office.
2. Janesville Students
“Hey, I know you!” Speaker Ryan met with students from Janesville, WI on the Speaker’s Balcony during their school trip to Washington.
3. Racine Business Owners
Ahead of a major committee hearing this week, Speaker Ryan spoke with Wisconsin small business leaders and workers about reforming our broken tax code. One of his stops was a factory tour of InSinkErator, located in Racine, WI.
4. ALS Advocates
An ALS diagnosis does not just affect the patient, but entire families who often serve as caregivers. In a visit from the Wisconsin Chapter of the ALS Association, Peter and Kathy Moe shared their family’s battle with this terrible disease.
5. Wisconsin Realtors
A large contingent of Wisconsin Realtors Association members met with the speaker to discuss tax reform and the need for new technology to aid in the determination of flood insurance.
6. Motor Carriers
Speaker Ryan met with representatives of Wisconsin transportation companies to discuss tax reform and infrastructure issues. He even whipped out some toy cars to show how tax reform brings jobs back to America.Read More
At his weekly press briefing yesterday, Speaker Ryan made the case for reforming our broken tax code to make it simpler, flatter, and fairer.
“Our goal, and I feel very confident we can meet this goal, is calendar year 2017 for tax reform. And I think we’re making good progress,” he told reporters.
Progress is indeed underway. The House Ways and Means Committee held a major hearing yesterday to discuss what pro-growth tax reform looks like. Next Tuesday, the committee will host another hearing to specifically look at how we can make our tax system more competitive and prevent jobs from moving overseas.
As the speaker noted, fundamental tax reform is about creating jobs, increasing competitiveness, and growing our economy.
“We’re going through the process of looking at what is the best way to reform the tax code and lower tax rates for businesses, and to make the American tax system internationally competitive,” he explained. “Right now it is literally one of the worst tax systems in the industrialized world. We’re losing companies who are becoming foreign companies. We have an incentive that basically tells companies: Outsource your manufacturing. Why on earth are we doing that?”
Here’s what he means. Today, the federal government taxes successful small businesses upwards of 44.6 percent—and that’s before you pay state and local taxes. Meanwhile, our foreign competitors are taxing their businesses closer to 20 and 25 percent. This makes it nearly impossible for our businesses to compete.
Tax reform must include a lower corporate tax rate so we can level the playing field and drive American competitiveness. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation already found that our blueprint would create millions of full time jobs and leapfrog our economy to the front of the pack. That’s why, after 31 years, it’s time to finally get this done.
To learn more, visit speaker.gov or check out the links below.Read More
This morning, Speaker Ryan called into The Hugh Hewitt Show, and a policy discussion broke out, covering a number of things we are working on to address the problems Americans face in their daily lives.
Busy doing our work: “Look, this is what I call the white noise of Washington-Beltway media. We’re busy doing our work. We’re busy, I mean, just this week, we moved law enforcement legislation with police week to give them the tools they need to keep us safe. We put new sanctions on Syria. We improved Will Hurd’s federal information technology reform legislation, which will streamline government. Ways and Means did hearings on tax reform. The Education Workforce Committee put a bill out to close the skills gap so that people can get technical education. Mac Thornberry is working on his 3rd installment of streamlining Pentagon bureaucracy and procurement reforms. Veterans Affairs approved 11 bills. I mean, I can keep going if you want me to, and the 14th Congressional Review Act was signed into law this week. Nobody did anything in the press about those things. This Congressional Review Act, where you rescind recent regulations, in this case, from the Obama legislation, this tool was used once in history rescinding regulations. We’ve done it 14 times in four months just this year alone. So that’s what we’re working on.” (More on this list here.)
Health care rescue mission: “94 out of 99 counties in Iowa in 2018 will not have an insurer in the exchange. So that’s what’s going on. . . . We saw over 50% increase in premiums in the state of Maryland. We see five states with one health insurer left remaining. We see a third of all counties in America with one health insurer remaining. We just saw Aetna pull out nationwide. We saw United pull out nationwide. And we see another round of premium increases being announced. So the law really actually is collapsing. People will get hurt and harmed if we don’t replace it, and that is why we believe there’s a sense of urgency. This really is a rescue mission. We are on the mission of rescuing the collapsing individual market in health care.”
Tax reform: “We’ve got the highest tax rate in the world. We’re just kicking ourselves in the teeth. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot as a country. We are going to lower tax rates. We are going to do tax reform. It’s going to happen in 2017. Why? Because we know it has to happen. Every Republican agrees with this. Every Republican here agrees with this. That’s why we’re focused on it. What I want to tell you, Hugh, is yes, there’s a bunch of white noise out there in the media. But we are still doing our job. And so everybody talks about wave elections. It’s far too early to talk about politics. But I would say if we don’t keep our promises, then we’re going to have a problem. So what are we doing? We’re working on keeping our promises. We just passed repeal and replace in the House. We’re working on rebuilding our military. We are deep into our regulatory reform agenda. And we’re moving forward on our tax reform legislation. All of those are the things that we ran on that we said we would do to get this country back on track, and guess what? That’s exactly what we are doing.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced the creation of the Speaker’s Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs, a bipartisan group of lawmakers focused on balancing the interests between federal, state, tribal, and local governments. Speaker Ryan released the following statement:
“Federalism is not a Republican or Democrat principle, but an American principle—and one that is integral to a thriving culture and economy. But in recent years, the principle of federalism has been slowly chipped away at by an overzealous federal government. Under Chairman Bishop’s leadership, the Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs will study ways to restore the proper balance of power between the federal government and states, tribal, and local governments, and eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens facing communities across the nation.”
1. Partner with states, tribes, and local governments to balance the interests of governments
2. Provide a forum for states, cities, and counties to showcase their innovation and creativity in solving public policy problems
3. Examine the effects of federal rules and regulations on state and local partners
4. Develop proposals to partner with and empower states, tribes, local governments, private institutions, families and individuals
5. Examine the extent to which the burdens shared among states, tribes and local governments may be re-allocated to improve the quality of life in all communities
CHAIRMAN: Speaker’s Designee Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL)
Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN)
Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC)
Rep. John Culberson (R-TX)
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Rep. Jenniffer Gonzáles-Colón (R-PR)
Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA)
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA)
Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA)
Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD)
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL)
ADVISORY COUNCIL TO THE TASK FORCE
National Association of Counties (NACo)
National Governors Association (NGA)
Council of State Governments (CSG)
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
National League of Cities (NLC)
U.S. Conference of Mayors
International City/County Management Association (ICMA)Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after the Trump administration announced its intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):
“I welcome the administration’s effort to improve and update NAFTA for the 21st century economy. The United States values its strong economic ties with Mexico and Canada, and these negotiations should work to enhance our trilateral trading relationship. Congress looks forward to working hand-in-hand with the Trump administration to achieve the best deal possible for American workers and our economy."Read More
Summary: Today at his weekly press briefing, Speaker Ryan outlined the progress the House has made this week on the problems Americans face in their daily lives.
“Well this is another busy week as we continue to make progress on our agenda for the American people. Today, the House continues to act on legislation to make sure that our law enforcement agencies have the support and the tools that they need to keep us safe. This week, of course, coincides with National Police Week, when we honor the sacrifices made by our police and their families.
“Yesterday, the House acted on a new round of sanctions against the Syrian regime, in order to cut off resources to Assad’s war machine.
“Also this week, the House approved landmark federal IT reform legislation that will reduce wasteful spending and enhance the government’s information security. Will Hurd has really taken the lead on this. And he’s trying to bring our government into the era of cloud computing, and this is a big, big mark forward and bipartisan progress in getting waste out of government.
“As we speak, the Ways and Means Committee is holding a major hearing today on examining pro-growth tax reform. Pro-growth means just that: growth of wages, growth of jobs, growth of opportunity, and growth of our economy.
“Also this week, the Education and the Workforce Committee unanimously approved bipartisan legislation to improve career and technical education. This will make it easier to connect people with the skills they need to get good-paying, in-demand jobs. I’ve got to tell you, wherever I go—just in Wisconsin last week—we have a real skills gap between the skills people need to get good jobs and the good jobs that are out there being offered. This is something that we really have to address, and I’m very pleased that the Education and the Workforce Committee is moving forward on this legislation.
“Later today, Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry will unveil the third installment in his effort to streamline the Pentagon’s bureaucracy and improve the way that we develop weapons systems. This is an essential part of our efforts to rebuild our military for the 21st century.
“Ahead of Memorial Day, the Veterans Affairs Committee has approved 11 bills, including bipartisan legislation to fix the VA’s broken appeals process. This is a problem that we have been working on tackling for years. And under Secretary Shulkin, the VA is already taking real strides to get our veterans better care, shorter lines, and more peace of mind.
“Over in the Senate, our colleagues continue to discuss the path forward on keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“And lastly, yesterday the president signed the 14th Congressional Review Act resolution to stop President Obama’s last regulatory onslaught that he did last year. Up until this year, Congress had successfully just repealed one regulation under this law. Now, just this year already, we have done it 14 times in a matter of months. We have much more to do to end Washington’s culture of overreach and overregulation. But this is a big promise kept as we work to protect jobs and to grow our economy.
“I know it’s a long list, it is by no means complete. But every day here, we are working to advance our agenda and to address the problems that Americans face in their everyday lives.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after hosting a bipartisan meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos:
“It was a privilege to host President Santos at the Capitol today. We reaffirmed our commitment to a strong bilateral relationship between the United States and Colombia, and our support for their government’s counternarcotics efforts. We look forward to working with President Santos to build on the progress our countries have made over the past two decades, including the free trade agreement implemented in 2012.”
NOTE: Today’s meeting took place in the Speaker’s office in the U.S. Capitol. Participants included:
· House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
· House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
· House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA)
· House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel:
“My priority has been to ensure thorough and independent investigations are allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead. That is what we’ve been doing here in the House. The addition of Robert Mueller as special counsel is consistent with this goal, and I welcome his role at the Department of Justice. The important ongoing bipartisan investigation in the House will also continue."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on House passage of H.R. 1677, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act:
“Assad’s crimes against humanity cannot go unanswered. With these new sanctions, we will continue to tighten the screws on the Syrian regime and its most prominent backers, including Iran and Russia. I applaud Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel for working together in a bipartisan fashion to get this done.”Read More
WASHINGTON—After opening the House of Representatives today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered remarks to recognize National Police Week and honor Wisconsin’s fallen law enforcement officers. Following are Speaker Ryan’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“My colleagues, I am proud to stand before the House today to recognize National Police Week. Every year at this time, law enforcement officials from around the country gather here to pay tribute to their fallen brethren and stand with their families. It is yet another measure of their commitment to protect and serve
“Over the last year, four of Wisconsin’s finest have lost their lives in the line of duty:
• Trooper Anthony Borostowski of the Wisconsin State Patrol.
• Deputy Dan Glaze of the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office.
• Officer Michael Ventura of the Town of Salem’s Department of Public Safety.
• Detective Jason Weiland of the Everest Metropolitan Police Department.
“Earlier this year, Detective Weiland was killed establishing a perimeter during a standoff with a shooter who took the lives of three civilians. Jason left behind a wife and two children.
“Anna, almost 11, spoke at the funeral. ‘Our dad was an amazing man that saved lives every day,’ she said. ‘We all know he is always and will be forever in our hearts. He'll be looking down on us laughing and crying.’
“Looking down that day, Anna’s dad saw some remarkable things. He saw thousands of people—many of whom he had never met—lined up to pay their respects. He saw cops in uniform from all over—from New York, Chicago, Oregon, and Canada. He saw mourners and even pallbearers in green and gold to honor his love of the Packers.
“And he saw blue ribbons everywhere.
“In a time when law enforcement is targeted and too often politicized, we must never take for granted the dangers they face.
“Every day—and every night—they leave their homes and families to protect ours. They put their lives on the line to protect ours.
“For their loved ones, all they hope for—all they pray for—is to hear the car pull into the driveway and see that familiar face come through the door.
“And when the unspeakable happens…when their watch is cut short, ours is only beginning. The support we give to their families, the respect and appreciation we show for their fellow officers—it is the least we as citizens can do, and must do. This week, and every week.
“Today, I ask the whole House to join me in expressing our profound gratitude to law enforcement officers here in our Capitol and across the nation.”Read More
Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed the need for pro-growth tax reform.
“First, I want to thank Chairman Brady and the members over at the Ways and Means Committee—thank you very much, Kevin.
“This hearing will be an opportunity to examine how pro-growth tax reform will help us create jobs and grow our economy. This is something I heard about last week as I toured businesses in the first district of Wisconsin talking to small business leaders. Everywhere I went, they talked about how our tax code is a source of constant frustration, and it’s clearly time for a change.
“For us, and for the Trump administration, this means:
“This is how we create jobs and reach our economic potential as a country.
“So we are looking forward to this hearing tomorrow. We’re looking forward and we’re moving forward on this legislation. Remember, it’s been 31 years since we last reformed the tax code. That was the year I got my driver’s license.
“The opportunities like this come around only once in a generation. So if we’re serious about letting Americans keep more of their paychecks, if we’re serious about bringing jobs back home, bringing manufacturing back home, then we have got to reform this tax system and seize this moment.”Read More
Ahead of a major Ways and Means Committee hearing this Thursday, Speaker Ryan spoke with small business leaders and workers in Wisconsin about the need to reform our broken tax code.
On Thursday, the speaker returned to Wisconsin to tour InSinkErator in Racine and discuss how, in the three decades since we last reformed our tax system, it's become too bloated, complicated, and expensive. "What we're trying to do is fix our tax laws, so that it always makes sense to make things in America and sell them not just here to Americans, but all over the world," he told employees.
Later that day, Speaker Ryan met with local businesses in Burlington about the challenges they face with regards to our tax code. He explained that the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress agree that cutting our corporate tax rate—one of the highest in the industrialized world—will help level the playing field for American businesses.
And on Friday, Speaker Ryan joined the Community State Bank 2017 Business Economic Forum in Lake Geneva to outline why tax reform is necessary to grow our economy. He argued that real growth requires a new tax system that is more simple, flat, and fair.
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimates that our reforms will create 1.7 million full-time jobs and skyrocket American competitiveness among OECD member states. That’s why it's important that we seize this moment to finally fix our outdated tax code.
To learn more, visit speaker.gov or check out the links below.Read More
The tax code—70,000 pages of rules and regulations nobody seems to understand enforced by an agency nobody seems to trust. It’s time for a change.
This week, House Republicans will continue the process of overhauling our broken tax code through an open, transparent process. On Thursday, the Ways and Means Committee will host a major public hearing detailing what pro-growth tax reform looks like.
Reforms proposed by the House and principles outlined by the Trump administration last month take the same approach: simplify the code, bring down rates, and increase competitiveness by leveling the playing field for American businesses.
That's the key to reaching our economic potential. Don’t just take it from us.
Opportunities like this only come around once in a generation. To learn more about our plan, tune into the Ways and Means hearing on Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. ET, and check out the links below.Read More
When committee chairmen reach the end of their tenure, they leave behind a legacy full of hearings, research, and legislation. As a nod to their leadership, their portraits are accepted into the House collection and often hang in the hearing rooms alongside other former chairmen.
Recently, Speaker Ryan had the privilege of accepting two new portraits of such leaders: Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), former Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, and former Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), former Veterans Affairs Committee chairman.
Rep. Upton left a legacy of tenacity and resolve, notably introducing the 21st Century Cures Act—legislation to reform our approach to medical research and innovation—that has since been signed into law.
Former Rep. Miller was equally determined in his fight to stand up for our veterans, working tirelessly with whoever was willing to solve the problems plaguing the department to protect those who safeguard our freedoms.
And while excellent work continues on both committees, such was made possible by the honorable precedents set by Mr. Upton and Mr. Miller. And as Speaker Ryan said during both portrait unveilings, thank you for your service to the People’s House.Read More
WASHINGTON—In an interview this evening with Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) discussed the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Here is the transcript of the interview:
Bret Baier: Mr. Speaker, thanks for being with us. I want to ask you what your initial reaction was when you heard the FBI Director James Comey was fired.
Speaker Ryan: Well, obviously firing an FBI director is no small thing and quite a serious matter. You know, I think the truth is James Comey, who is a worthwhile and dedicated public servant, I think he had just basically lost the confidence of a lot of Republicans and a lot of Democrats based upon his conduct, his actions, and some of the comments that he made. Most importantly, he lost the confidence of the president, and it is entirely within the president's role and authority to relieve him, and that's what he did.
Baier: Were you given a headsup?
Speaker Ryan: Right before it happened. He basically called me when I got off a flight to tell me he had made this decision. I also think if you take a look at the fact that he was losing confidence in the Justice Department, I think the president felt the right thing to do was to let him go, move on. I think what’s really important at this point now that we find a replacement very soon, somebody who is very qualified and capable so we can get that person up and running soon, and I think the other thing that's important at this point is to make sure that the professionals of the FBI know that their jobs are valuable and they have to keep doing what they're doing, do their jobs objectively and thoroughly.
I am pleased that the White House has said the work they were doing, and investigations they were doing yesterday, will continue today and tomorrow. I think it's important. I think the DOJ, Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General should make it clear to all of the people, the professional men and women at the FBI, that they should keep doing their jobs thoroughly and professionally, while we find a replacement. It's important the administration moves quickly with a capable replacement.
Baier: Mr. Speaker, you know it's not just Democrats who are raising a lot of concerns about this and about the timing of it. It's also Republicans. This is Senator Burr, chair of the senate Intel committee. . . . Your reaction to that?
Speaker Ryan: Well, I think the president lost patience and I think people in the Justice Department lost confidence in Director Comey himself. And I think the president was looking at a situation where you had senior Justice Department officials losing confidence and he does not want to see the FBI in disarray. He wanted to see the FBI up and running and moving well. And I think Director Comey kind of became an issue himself.
And so it obviously was in the president's authority and role to do this. I think he made an important command decision, and that decision that is in his right to do it. And now let's go forward. Let's get a capable person to replace him and let's just make sure that the men and women there at the FBI keep doing their jobs. That's the way I see it.
Baier: So a couple of more things on this, and just quickly. Senator McCain and a few others are calling for a special prosecutor. Obviously, Democrats are in lockstep...
Speaker Ryan: Yes. I don't think that's a good idea. First of all, we have three investigations going on right now. We have a House investigation by our Intelligence Committee, which is the appropriate committee to do that, I believe. And we have the Senate Intelligence Committee—you just played Richard Burr—doing an investigation. And you have the FBI investigating all things Russia. So I don't think that that's a good idea.
I think that the Intelligence Committee is the one that should do this because don't forget that the methods and sources of our intelligence gathering are also at play here and we have to be very sensitive so that we don't compromise that information, as well.
So I really do believe that these three investigations are the way to go. Let's get them done. Let's see them through. Let's go wherever the facts may lead. And I do think that Director Comey was compromised. Clearly, his superiors in the Justice Department felt that way. And the president made a presidential decision and removed him.
Baier: OK, and the last thing, how it happened, are you OK with all of that? Obviously, it's his prerogative to do it, but how it transpired—and then the images today out of the Oval Office, considering that the FBI director was leading a counterterrorism investigation about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, you had the Russian foreign minister and the U.S., the Russian ambassador to the U.S., who is obviously the focus of a lot of these investigations, including Mike Flynn and why the attorney general recused himself, in the Oval Office today. And these are Russian photographs coming out, not the White House press. Your reaction to that?
Speaker Ryan: Well, first of all, there has never been any evidence presented that President Trump had anything to do with any of this. So that's—I think it's really important—I think they mentioned at the testimony just the other day in the Senate. So that's point number one. So let's make sure that there's no innuendo improperly being made here.
The second point is, these investigations are continuing on. The people at the FBI who do the investigations are still there working and on the job. So I think that's just an important point to be made there, as well.
So, look, the way I look at this is let's keep these investigations going. That's what we've been doing. That's what we will continue to do. And I don't know all that led up to this decision. The administration, I'm sure, will make that clear, about the process that led to this, but also let's make sure we have a clear process going on from here. And that means find a suitable replacement soon, make sure that people do their jobs.
And I believe that the committees in Congress that are looking into all things Russia are the appropriate committees doing that. And they're doing their jobs. So we're just going to see where this goes.
Baier: And just to be clear, we say, when we report this, that there is no evidence of collusion. James Clapper has said that. But there is also an ongoing investigation that Sally Yates and others have not talked about.
Speaker Ryan: So the investigations haven't been concluded but—that's right. But I think it's really important to know that there have been no evidence presented in any of the stage of this that suggests that this collusion occurred. So I think it's really important that people know that.
But, yes, there's a lot of things that we're still looking at. We're looking at who did the unmasking of Mike Flynn. There are a lot of those questions that still have yet to be answered.
Baier: And do you think that had a part, the president was frustrated with the lack of progress on the unmasking and leak investigation?
Speaker Ryan: Oh, I can't speak to that. I can speak to the fact that the president saw an FBI director where people had lost confidence in him from both parties, including high senior officials at the Justice Department and he acted. And that's what a president can and should do.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today congratulated former Rep. Mark Green (R-WI) on his nomination to be the next Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID):
“For as long as I have known him, Mark Green has been driven by a passion to help people in need. His years of experience fighting poverty and repression in the developing world make him an exceptional choice to lead USAID. In this post, Mark will serve as a strong voice for liberty and help strengthen American leadership abroad. I look forward to his confirmation in the Senate.”
NOTE: Speaker Ryan and Ambassador Green, who represented Wisconsin's 8th District, were both elected to the House in 1998.
Speaker Ryan discussed the American Health Care Act yesterday morning on Fox & Friends—but that’s not all. He also talked about another priority Republicans are focused on: A tax code fit for the 21st century.
“We have one of the worst tax systems in the industrialized world. It’s costing us jobs, it’s costing us economic growth. We tax our businesses and our products a whole lot more than our foreign competitors tax theirs. So we’ve got to radically simplify this tax code. Make it easier and simpler for families. Our plan says families can fill out their taxes on a postcard instead of this really complicated system with a really obnoxious IRS. And we’ve got to get our taxes on our businesses down so they can compete and hire. We think this is one of the most important things we can do to create jobs and economic growth and get people back to work.”
“Just 20 percent of American businesses are corporations. Eighty percent of American businesses pay their taxes as individuals. . . . So almost all the jobs come from small businesses, and almost all small businesses pay their taxes as individuals. So we’re going to get those tax rates down too.”
“There are two to three trillion dollars . . . of money sitting overseas that can’t come back in to America to be reinvested in our economy because of our tax laws. So we’ve got to make it so that all these businesses . . . can bring their money home. Because right now, what the tax code says is, ‘If you make money overseas, keep that money overseas, invest overseas, build factories overseas’—we don’t want to do that. Let people bring their money back home, companies bring their money back home, and reinvest it in this country. That is a critical piece of tax reform that we know will create jobs and economic growth.”
“We all agree—especially as Republicans: Simplify the tax code, get our tax rates down, we get faster economic growth. Make it easier for American businesses to stay in America, to be American businesses, to make things in America.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement congratulating South Korean President Moon Jae-in:
“I congratulate President-elect Moon Jae-in on this hard-fought victory. The strategic partnership between the United States and South Korea is critical to stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the Asia Pacific. In particular, we must continue to take action to counter ongoing aggression by Pyongyang, including its missile and nuclear programs. We look forward to working together to strengthen our alliance.”Read More
The American Health Care Act, as Speaker Ryan talked about this morning on Fox & Friends, is “aimed at getting premiums down, letting people have a plan that they want, that’s more affordable.”
Right now, many families barely have any plans choose from, let alone find something that’s affordable. More than 1,000 counties—about one out of every three—are already down to their last insurer. We’ve just learned that 27 counties in Virginia will join that list. And many Iowans may end up with no options for buying coverage next year. Now another major insurer, CareFirst, sees Obamacare in “the early stages of a death spiral.”
In a CNBC op-ed, Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, talks about “a big factor” driving the problem:
“While some health care experts have stated recently that the insurance market is ‘by and large’ stable under Obamacare, troubles are clearly piling up. . . .
“A big factor in 2017 has been the impact this year's generally large rate increases have had on the unsubsidized market, that made up almost half of those buying Obamacare compliant policies in 2016. Because these people are taking the full brunt of the higher rates, the unsubsidized market is starting to melt off in what appears to be the early stages of a classic death spiral. Not only has the CareFirst CEO used that term but so did the Aetna CEO earlier this year.”
Recall that, in its last weeks in office, the Obama administration issued a report claiming that this year’s double-digit premium increases would be a “one-time pricing correction.” The report went on to state that the premium hikes would “lay a foundation for more stable pricing” and “foster increased competition.” (emphasis absolutely mine)
But instead of a ‘one-time correction,’ this year’s double-digit premium increases are begetting more problems. This is more proof that Obamacare is collapsing, and failing fast.
Learn more about how the American Health Care Act will help patients and families.
This morning, Speaker Ryan joined Fox & Friends to discuss one of the biggest priorities on the 2017 legislative agenda: repealing and replacing Obamacare.
“I think what’s happening is the left is seeing their vision of government-run health care evaporate before their eyes, and it’s really disturbing to them. But here’s the problem: This law is collapsing. This law is failing fast. And so what we’re doing is a rescue operation, which is getting rid of this law, which is collapsing. Iowa last week? The last insurer said, ‘We’re pulling out.’ That means in 94 of 99 counties in the state of Iowa, no health insurance choices. Five states are down to one insurer left. Maryland just announced a 58 percent premium increase for next year. Aetna just pulled out of Virginia. This law is collapsing, and people aren’t getting any care, let alone affordable care.”
That’s why AHCA is critical.
“We have a better system. What our plan does is it is aimed at getting premiums down, letting people have a plan that they want, that’s more affordable, and yes, our plan has layers of protections for people with pre-existing conditions. We think there’s a much better way to do this so that people can get lower premiums and people with pre-existing conditions can also get access to affordable coverage. That’s what our plan achieves.”
More choices, better care.
“What our plan does is give people more choices. Give them a tax credit so they can go buy a plan that they want. And what we also learned is in many states . . . they had really good systems in their states that guaranteed people with pre-existing conditions got really affordable health care. And what we’re basically saying is, ‘Let’s have state and federal assistance for people with catastrophic illnesses. Directly subsidize their expensive care so that they get affordable care, but that means everybody else doesn’t have to pay for that so you can lower premiums for all other people in America.’ That’s what we’re trying to achieve here.”Read More
“This is a rescue mission,” Speaker Ryan said yesterday on ABC, discussing the House’s passage of the American Health Care Act.
Over the last week, the urgency of repealing and replacing Obamacare has only continued to grow:
And in Maryland, CareFirst has become the latest insurer to see Obamacare’s marketplaces entering a ‘death spiral’:
“The head of the largest insurer in the Mid-Atlantic region warned Thursday that the Affordable Care Act marketplaces were in the early stages of a death spiral, a statement that came as the company announced its request for massive, double-digit premium increases for next year. . . .
“‘What we’re seeing is greater sickness levels. The pool of beneficiaries is becoming sicker, in part because healthier people are not coming in at the same level we hoped,’ said Chet Burrell, chief executive of CareFirst, which insures about 215,000 people through the marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act in all three states.”
In February, Aetna’s CEO also warned that the Obamacare markets are in a ‘death spiral.’
The American Health Care Act will help lower premiums, give people more choices, and deliver real protections and peace of mind. Learn more about how this plan will help patients and families.Read More
This morning, in an interview with ABC's This Week, Speaker Ryan discussed the American Health Care Act, and addressed various claims about the bill. Here is video of the full interview, along with several excerpts from the transcript:
"THIS IS A RESCUE MISSION" "Let's remember what is happening right now. Obamacare is collapsing. Obamacare isn't working. What good is Obamacare for anybody, let alone for a person with preexisting conditions if you don't have a health insurance plan that you can even get. So this is a rescue mission to make sure that we can achieve the goals we all want, which is getting the cost of coverage down and making sure that everyone has access to affordable health care, especially and including people with pre-existing conditions. That is what our bill does.
"So let me just say a couple of things. You have got all of these health insurers. If they were doing so well, why would they be pulling out of the marketplace? Over 1,000 counties, one in three counties in America have one plan to choose from. Just this week in Iowa, their last statewide insurer said that they are going to have to pull out. So that means people in 94 of Iowa's 99 counties will have zero choices. Aetna just pulled out of Virginia. The law is collapsing. It's not working.
"You can't get health insurance in these places, whether you have a pre-existing condition or not. And so what we're trying to do here, George, is step in front of this collapsing law and make sure that we can have a system that works, a system with choice and competition and affordable premiums."
PROTECTIONS FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS "So under this bill -- under this bill, no matter what, you cannot be denied coverage if you have a pre-existing condition. And under this bill, you cannot only not be denied coverage…you can't be charged higher -- let me finish my point. You can't charge people more if they keep continuous coverage. The key of having a continuous coverage provision is to make sure that people stay covered and they move from one plan to the next if they want to. It's kind of like waiting until your house is on fire to then buy your homeowner's insurance. You want to make sure that people stay covered to keep the cost down. "...So I was getting there until you just cut me off. The point of this bill in those states that get a waiver to do what they need to do to make it work better in their particular states has support exactly for that very person who, if, in the course between a year, get extra aid for support for pre-existing conditions. And on the state waivers, they're on the condition that a state has a working high-risk pool to help specifically that person with pre-existing conditions. ...
"That is the approach we're having here, because our goal is this, George, get everyone access to affordable care, including people with pre-existing conditions. And that is not happening under Obamacare."
REGARDING PROCESS CONCERNS
"Yes, I think this is a kind of a bogus attack from the left. Let me say a couple of things. The bill has been online for two months. ... The final version was an amendment that was three pages long. It takes you 30 seconds to read. By the way, Obamacare was over 2,000 pages. This bill is under 200 pages. It doesn't take long to go through this bill, and the final amendment -- three pages long.
"But more importantly, we got two CBO scores. And the most recent CBO score show that we're perfectly in compliance with the Senate budget rules, which is what matters here. And this last amendment, a three-page amendment, is not going to dramatically alter that score. It didn't -- it was narrow changes to the bill. That has been online for quite some time." MORE ON PROTECTIONS FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
"We looked at the whole country and we wanted to see is there a situation, under any situation, with the state getting a waiver, if there is a person that could get charged higher health care costs because of their health status, because of preexisting condition? We looked and decided there might be a situation where, within the course of one year, a person could conceivably get higher health care costs. This amendment affects that.
"So we have all these multiple layers of protection to make sure that these families, that these people -- look, these are our friends and our constituents. We will want to make sure people who have bad health care status, who have a preexisting condition, get affordable coverage. And that's not happening in Obamacare. You got to remember, if you can't even get a health insurance plan, what good is it? You don't have health insurance."
REPEALING OBAMACARE'S TAXES
"A couple of things. We're keeping our word, which is we're repealing and replacing the entirety of this law, which is we're repealing all the Obamacare taxes. The Obamacare taxes are job-killing taxes that hurt economic growth and more importantly make health insurance more expensive. These taxes, and most of them are aimed at the health care system, which actually makes those premiums higher. It pushes medical device companies overseas, it makes it more expensive for you to buy your health care. That's point number one."
MEDCAID REFORMS TO HELP THE VULNERABLE "But the Medicaid, what we're doing with Medicaid, we're giving the states the ability to customize Medicaid to meet the particular needs of their vulnerable populations. You've got to remember, Medicaid is a program that is administered by the states, but micromanaged by the federal government, and not very well. More and more doctors are refusing to even accept people with Medicaid. And so we want to give the states the ability to customize the Medicaid program to work for their particular states. "We're -- we're giving states the ability to run their own Medicaid program. And it is increasing for medical inflation. And by the way, we recognize that for certain people in Medicaid, the disabled, the aged, the people in nursing homes, we're giving them a bigger increase so that their funds are even more than everybody else. And so by giving states the right to run Medicaid, and giving them a block grant, per capita bloc grant, or a bloc grant, and then increasing that the spending by medical inflation, I hardly think that's draconian." THE FATAL CONCEIT OF OBAMACARE "Again, George, here is the fatal conceit of Obamacare, it says we're going to micromanage this with bureaucrats with Washington telling every state and every community how it must work. That is failing. Medicaid is not working. Obamacare is collapsing. Insurance plans are pulling out. People are not getting no choices, if any at all. And we have to fix this. This is a rescue operation. And you have to acknowledge, every state is a little different. And so what we're trying to achieve here, and what this bill does achieve, gives states the ability to meet the needs of their populations, but put the resources in there so that everyone can have affordable health insurance coverage."
REGARDING POLITICAL CONCERNS AND WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT "Number one, health care is a complicated and very emotional personal issue. And we completely understand that. The system is failing. We're stepping in front of it and rescuing people from a collapsing system. And more importantly, we're keeping our word. That's really important here, George. People expect their elected leaders, if they run and campaign on doing something, they expect them to do that. And that's what we're doing. We're keeping our word. And I would argue that we would spell disaster for ourselves, politically, if that's your question, if we go back on our word. This is us keeping our word. But most importantly, it's us trying to fix a real problem that real people are experiencing in this country."Read More
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 4, 2017
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Ryan (R-WI) made the following comments today at a White House press conference following House passage of the American Health Care Act:
“Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you. Thank you for your leadership. There are too many people to name who played such an important role in helping us to get this part.
“I want to thank a few people in particular. I want to thank Chairmen Greg Walden, Kevin Brady, Diane Black, Pete Sessions, and the members of their committees for all the hard work they put in to getting us to this point. I want to thank all the other members who contributed to making this the best bill possible. It really was a collaborative, consensus-driven effort.
“I also want to thank the team here at the White House. I want to thank Tom Price, I want to thank Mick Mulvaney, and I especially want to thank Reince Priebus—we could not have done this without you gentlemen. You guys are the best.
“And of course, this would not have been possible if it weren't for these two gentlemen behind me. This is the fourth presidency I have served with. I have never, ever seen any kind of engagement like this. I want to thank Mike Pence and I want to thank President Donald Trump for their personal involvement in working with our members and working to get this right, for getting this done, and getting us to where we are. Thank you, gentlemen.
“Today was a big day, but it is just one step in this process. An important step. We still have a lot of work to do to get this signed into law. And I know that our friends over in the Senate are eager to get to work. They are.
“We’re going to see that work through. You know why we're going to see this work through? Because the issues are just too important. The stakes are just too high. The problems facing American families are real. And the problems facing American families as a result of Obamacare are just too dire and too urgent.
“Just this week, just this week, we learned of another state—Iowa—where the last remaining health care plan is pulling out of 94 of their 99 counties, leaving most of their citizens with no plans on the Obama market at all.
“What kind of protection is Obamacare if there are no plans to choose from? And this is a trend that we’re seeing all across the country.
“The truth is this law has failed, and it is collapsing. Premiums are skyrocketing and choices are disappearing. And it is only getting worse, spiraling out of control.
“And that is why we have to repeal this law and put in place a real, vibrant marketplace with competition and lower premiums for families. That’s what the American Health Care Act is all about.
“It makes health care more affordable, it takes care of our most vulnerable, and it shifts power from Washington back to the states, and most importantly, back to you, the patient.
“Like I said, we've got a lot of work to do, but one thing is now clear: Republicans are committed to keeping our promise to lift the burden of Obamacare from the American people and put in place a better, more patient-centered system.”Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following statement on the House floor in support of the American Health Care Act, which will repeal and replace Obamacare. Below are the speaker’s full remarks as prepared for delivery:
“I want to thank all the committee chairs who took up this bill: Chairman Walden, Chairman Brady, Chairman Black, and Chairman Sessions. I want to thank the members of those committees: Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Budget, and Rules. I want to thank all the members who made constructive contributions throughout this process.
“I want to thank the President of the United States for his steadfast leadership. In his address in this chamber, he called on Congress to act, and today we take the next step to repeal and replace Obamacare. I want to thank Vice President Pence, Secretary Price, Director Mulvaney, and their teams.
“My colleagues, there is a fundamental—and urgent—choice at the heart of this debate. We can continue with the status quo under Obamacare. We know that looks like. It means even higher premiums, even fewer choices, even more insurance companies pulling out, even more uncertainty, even more chaos.
“Look at what has happened in Iowa this week. As is the case in so many areas in this country, Iowa is down to one insurer. That, of course, is not a choice.
“But now that one insurer is saying it will have to pull out of 94 of the 99 counties in Iowa. So tens of thousands of Iowans will go from one option to no options. That is not a choice. It is a crisis. And it is happening right now.
“What protection is Obamacare if there is no health plan to purchase in your state? This is the direction Obamacare is rapidly heading. So we can continue with this status quo, or we can put Obamacare behind us. End this failed experiment.
“Let’s make it easier for people to afford their insurance. Let’s give people more choices and more control over their care. Let’s make insurance companies come in and compete for your business. Let’s return power from Washington to the states. Let’s help people get real peace of mind. Let’s put the patient—not the bureaucrats—at the heart of the system.
“This bill does all of these things. It delivers on the promises we have made to the American people. Yes, many of us have been waiting seven years to cast this vote. But many of us are here because we pledged to cast this very vote. To repeal and replace Obamacare. To rescue people from this collapsing law.
“Are we going to meet this test? Are we going to be men and women of our word? Are we going to keep the promises that we have made? Or are we going to falter?
“After all this—after seeing what is happening in Iowa and around the country—are we going to leave this collapsing law in place, knowing all the turmoil this country will face? My answer is no.
“Today is not that day. Today, this House has the opportunity to do more than simply fulfill a promise. We have the opportunity to raise our gaze, and set a bold course for our country. To show we have the resolve to tackle the big challenges before they tackle us. To stop the drift of arrogant, big-government policies in our lives. And begin a new era of reform based on liberty and self-determination. Today is the day to lead.
“So let’s pass this bill to take the next step to put Obamacare behind us. Let’s pass this bill to build a better health care system for American families. Let’s pass this bill to leave this country better than we found it. That is what is really at stake today. That is why I will be proud to cast my vote for this legislation. And I urge my colleagues to do the same.”Read More
The news out of Iowa and Virginia this week—more insurers leaving the market—is another urgent reminder that Obamacare has already failed. Today we have the opportunity to take the next step to rescue people from this collapsing law: SKYROCKETING PREMIUMS “Obamacare premiums to go up by double digits” (The Washington Post) “Is Obamacare really affordable? Not for the middle class” (CNN) “Middle-Class Americans Face Biggest Strain Under Rising Obamacare Costs” (NPR) “Obamacare Customers Face Big Price Hikes Next Year” (Huffington Post) “With Obamacare Options Slim In The Lehigh Valley, Many Feel Priced Out Of Health Coverage” (The Morning Call) “Obamacare Plan Premiums In 2017 Higher Than Expected And For Worse Coverage” (Forbes) FEWER CHOICES “One-Third Of Counties Will Have Just One Obamacare Insurer By 2017" (TIME) “Obamacare Options? In Many Parts of the Country, Only One Insurer Will Remain” (The New York Times) “Thousands of Obamacare Customers Left Without Options as Insurers Bolt” (Bloomberg) “Obamacare Costs Up, Choices Down In Missouri And Kansas” (KSHB) “S.C. residents hit with higher rates, fewer choices when purchasing health insurance through Obamacare” (The Post and Courier) “Hoosiers Face Higher Premiums, Fewer Choices For Obamacare Coverage” (Indianapolis Business Journal) COLLAPSING MARKETS
“Shaky Obamacare Market Adds to 'Death Spiral' Fears” (Bloomberg) “Obamacare co-ops at risk of failing after billions in loans” (The Hill) “Most Obamacare Co-Ops Have Now Failed” (Free Beacon) “More than half of ACA co-cops now out of insurance marketplaces” (Washington Post) THE WORST IS YET TO COME “Aetna CEO: Obamacare markets are in a 'death spiral'” (POLITICO)
“Health Insurers Warn Of Wider Defections From ACA Marketplaces For 2018” (The Washington Post)
“The Obamacare exodus has begun. Humana announced it is pulling out of Obamacare for 2018…” (CNN)
“Aetna will exit Obamacare markets in Virginia in 2018, citing expected losses on individual plans this year” (CNBC)Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive action on religious liberty:
“It’s high time that we restore the constitutional right to religious liberty. For too long, the liberty of religious groups and American citizens has been jeopardized by an arrogant and often hostile federal government. On this National Day of Prayer, I commend the Trump administration for taking action and will continue to make fighting for religious liberty a top priority of my speakership.”
Related:In Defense of Religious LibertySpeaker Ryan’s Statement on the Conscience Protection ActSpeaker Ryan: Administration Should Protect Little Sisters NowSpeaker Ryan: I Stand in Support of the Little SistersRead More
REFUNDABLE TAX CREDITS
Refundable tax credits are an important component of the AHCA, designed to give people who don't receive health care at work the same tax benefits as those who do so they can purchase the kind of coverage that is right for their family.
It equalizes the tax treatment of health care regardless of where you buy it and helps create a vibrant individual market. These credits are longstanding conservative policy goals.
One in three physicians are unwilling to accept new Medicaid patients. Unfortunately, Obamacare simply added more people to a broken system. The AHCA is a historic shift of power back to the states so that we can make it work for those who need it. It reforms Medicaid so that it is flexible and responsive to those it was created to serve.
It prohibits states from expanding into the current broken Medicaid system.
It maximizes state flexibility. It gives states the choice between a per capita allotment or a traditional block grant and provides the option for states to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients.
It ensures the rug isn’t pulled from underneath any able-bodied patient as he or she transitions to other coverage, like a plan purchased with refundable tax credits.
EXPANDS HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are tax-free health care savings accounts for Americans with high-deductible health plans. HSAs are critical for helping Americans save and spend their health care dollars more wisely.
The AHCA would nearly double the amount Americans can contribute to their accounts, which will give greater choice and flexibility in purchasing coverage. Conservatives agree: HSAs must be a focal point of health care reform.
PROTECTS PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
First and foremost, the bill contains numerous protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The law is clear: Under no circumstance can people be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. The latest draft contains two more layers of security for these individuals:
The MacArthur amendment gives flexibility to states to tackle premium prices. However, there is a very strict process for obtaining that waiver. It will only be given to states with high-risk pools and other protections in place.
For states seeking a waiver, the Upton amendment provides an additional $8 billion to allow people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage acquire affordable care.
RESTORES PRO-LIFE PRINCIPLES
The AHCA defunds Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, for one year by blocking more than $500 million of federal dollars. It redirects the money to community health centers, which far outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics.
Let’s pass the American Health Care Act. After all, seven years of Obamacare is enough.Read More
Some ask, why the urgency with the American Health Care Act? Well, on the day the House announced it would hold a vote on the American Health Care Act—legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare—two more insurers announced their intention to pull out of Obamacare state insurance markets, continuing a trend of leaving families with few or no options for coverage.
This story, being repeated across the country, explains the urgency.
Aetna announced it would be leaving Virginia’s individual market in 2018. Innovation Health will also leave the market. As a result, 27 counties in Virginia may have only one insurer to choose from if the status quo remains.
And in Iowa, a month after termination announcements from Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica announced they, too, were on the verge of not participating in the state marketplace in 2018. For Iowans, this means potentially 70,000 people who buy their own coverage wouldn’t have any options for 2018. Nowhere to go.
This is why Republicans must act with urgency and pass the American Health Care Act. If Obamacare remains the law of the land, things will only get worse—leaving thousands of Americans without options for affordable, quality health care coverage.
But with the AHCA, we will see a truly patient-centered system. One designed to protect those with pre-existing conditions, and to reform Medicaid to best serve those it was designed for. A system that will introduce refundable tax credits and strengthen HSAs to give families the flexibility and control the need over how they spend their health care dollars.
Today, Republicans have the opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare—and deliver on our promise to offer conservative solutions for the American people. Today, Republicans have the opportunity to pass the American Health Care Act—the time to act is now.Read More
As the House prepares to vote on the American Health Care Act, we wanted to take a moment to debunk some of the myths surrounding the bill:
I have a pre-existing condition. How does this bill affect me? Under our plan, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions. And your health status cannot affect your premiums, unless your state asks for and receives a waiver—a condition of which is the state having other protections in place for those with pre-existing conditions. Even if your state does obtain a waiver, so long as you’ve been continuously covered, you still cannot be charged more. And the bill provides added resources to help people in waiver states who have not been continuously covered to gain coverage. Bottom line, there are many levels of protection for those with pre-existing conditions in the legislation.
I heard about the MacArthur amendment allowing states to waive protections for pre-existing conditions. If this happens, will I lose all my benefits? No. This amendment preserves protections for people with pre-existing conditions while giving states greater flexibility to lower premiums and stabilize the insurance market. To obtain a waiver, states will have to establish programs to serve people with pre-existing conditions. And no matter what, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
And what about the Upton amendment? The Upton amendment provides an additional $8 billion for states seeking a waiver. These resources will allow people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage to acquire affordable care.
Are Members of Congress exempt from this provision? No. Members will not be exempt. This was initially included for technical reasons to comply with Senate rules, but the House is voting to fix this before voting on the AHCA.
Why are you cutting women’s health services? We’re not. In fact, we’re expanding women’s access to health services by redirecting Planned Parenthood dollars to community health centers, which vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics.
Why are you voting to kick 24 million people off health care? We’re not. AHCA will ensure everyone has access to affordable, quality health care, but we’re just not forcing people to buy insurance. Moreover, that estimate failed to take into account other planned legislative and administrative actions, which will help bring down costs and expand coverage.
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following statement on the House floor in support of legislation to fund the government until the end of the fiscal year. Below are the speaker’s full remrks:
“First of all, I want to thank the chairman, I want to thank the ranking member, and the ranking members, and the chairmen of the subcommittees, and all the staff for their very hard work in putting this big body of work together.
“I urge all my colleagues to support this package. I want to explain why.
“A few things: many of our priorities—not all—but many of our priorities, are advanced in this. And that’s because this is a bipartisan piece of legislation. And so each side doesn’t get everything they want, but we’re able to come together and find a package that advances many of our important goals.
“For me, I think it’s important because it turns the page on the last administration—on the Obama years. It completes the unfinished business of the previous administration. Remember, we came to December, we had a continuing resolution, we’re halfway through the fiscal year now. We’ve got to do the job of actually getting the government specifically funded—meeting more of our priorities. This does that.
“This marks the beginning of a new era. No longer will the needs of our military be held hostage by the demands for more domestic spending. In my mind that is what is most important here. Having negotiated budget agreements in the prior administration, this to me is paramount and first among all things.
“The rule we lived under under the previous administration basically says, you want more money for the women in the field who are in our military who need more resources to do their jobs? Ok, but we’re going to need more money for Washington programs. And not just more money for Washington programs, the same exact amount of money.
“So no matter whether we need more money for our troops—we might need more ships, more bullets, more gas, more planes—we had to have the exact same dollar amount, whether it was needed or not, for domestic spending. That’s the old formula we had under the prior administration, and that is not in here. That is really important.
“And I think that’s one of the most important game-changing accomplishments that are in here, because we really believe our military needs help. We believe our military has been hollowed out in so many areas, and this bill helps fix this. So that dollar-for-dollar parity rule is a rule no more.
“With this bill, we do not have that arbitrary standard—the standard that has contributed, in my opinion, to hollowing out of our military and declining our readiness.
“While we have much more work to do to fully rebuild our military, this is a critical first step. With this bill, we will spend 25 billion dollars more this year than last year on defense so that we can begin to rebuild our military readiness and our preparedness. And we will do so without a corresponding increase in domestic spending. And that to me is a new day under this new administration that we have with President Trump.
“Of course, this legislation also addresses many other priorities for Republicans and for this administration. For starters, there’s a big and a solid down payment on securing our border. In fact, it’s the biggest increase in border security in a decade. Funding for the DC Scholarship Opportunity Program, which reverses the Obama-era crusade against school choice. That’s in here.
“National resources to fight the opioid epidemic, which is something that is ravishing communities across America. No new money for Obamacare and no bailouts for insurance companies. This bill protects life.
“This bill is a bipartisan compromise, as I mentioned, but it is indeed a good one for conservatives. And that is why I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
“We all must agree that funding the government at all like this—and this is the last point I want to make—this is not a process we want to continue. Yes, we are finishing unfinished business from last year. But let’s all work together and endeavor to do these appropriations bills one at a time. That is the system we’re supposed to have. And that is the system that I think we all agree—Republicans and Democrats—that we need to have.
“So let’s work together to make sure that we don’t just do one big bill. That we do this individually. So that individual debate can occur. So that individual priorities can be met. And so that we can get back to regular order, and we can better guarantee and maintain our Article 1 powers as the legislative branch of government exercising the power of the purse.
“I challenge every one of us to commit to that process. In the meantime, let’s bank these wins, let’s get this done, let’s turn this page on this last year, and let’s make sure we give the troops the support they so desperately need. With that, I yield back and ask everyone to support this bill.”Read More
The funding bill is a win for Republicans. Here’s why, as laid out in documents from our office:10 Things You Should Know About the Funding Bill
1. It is a game-changer for our military.
3. It targets terrorism and foreign threats.
4. It strengthens our borders.
5. It reforms the IRS.
6. It protects life.
7. It tackles crime.
8. It encourages American energy development and limits EPA overreach.
9. It supports local communities and education.
10. It fights against the nation’s opioid epidemic.A CONSERVATIVE APPROACH
As conservatives, we believe that the federal government should have a strong role in national security and a secondary role in domestic policy. This philosophy shapes our government-funding priorities.ENDS PARITY FOR DEFENSE/NON-DEFENSE SPENDING
Democrats have long demanded that any increase in defense funding must be equally matched with more non-defense spending. That harmful precedent ends this week—a significant departure from the Obama years, and a big win for the new administration.NO NEW MONEY FOR OBAMACARE
It eliminates cost-sharing reductions. It prevents a taxpayer-funded bailout of insurance companies. It eliminates funding for the Independent Payment Advisory Board. It prevents the Prevention and Public Health Fund from being used as an Obamacare slush fund. It restricts federal funds from being used to lobby for Obamacare.A STRONGER BORDER
It provides for the biggest increase in border security funding in a long time. This means more boots on the ground, the end of “catch and release,” and stronger investigations. It also provides Trump administration limited flexibility in approaching H-2B visas.EXPANDS SCHOOL CHOICE
It promotes the start-up, replication, and expansion of high-quality charter schools. It funds implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which shifts control and accountability for schools to states and local districts.FIGHTS THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
The bill provides a big boost in resources for fighting the opioid epidemic—including grants, treatment and prevention, and support for law enforcement.STRONGER AND SAFER
America will be stronger and safer because of this government funding bill. It acts on President Trump’s commitment to rebuild our military for the 21st century and bolster our nation’s border security to protect our homeland.Read More
Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan joined The Hugh Hewitt Show, where he discussed how the government funding bill will reduce EPA employment levels, include no new money for Obamacare, and increase defense spending and border security. Listen to the full interview here.
EPA reform“There are no funds for this grant to the climate front, so we have no funds going to the Green Climate Fund, which was kind of an Obama-era pet project. We reduced the EPA staffing levels to pre-Obama, back to 1989. So we knocked the staff down to what we had in 1989. So there are the people who I would argue are kicking out regulations that are harmful to the economy. This gets at that. There are things in the EPA that deal with infrastructure. Those things are maintained, because you know, their infrastructure things are important. But we defund, we zero out the Green Climate Fund, knock the employment levels back to 1989 levels.”
No new money for Obamacare“There are no CSR payments here. Those are called cost-sharing reduction payments. Those aren’t in here. And obviously, the Democrats wanted that, and we didn’t do that.”
A win for defense“If you look year over year from 2016, it’s $25 [billion] based on what we did earlier in the year. ... What we really wanted to do is break the parity requirement that we endured under Obama, where if you wanted to put a dollar into the military for a ship, for a plane, for bullets, for gas, you had to give the domestic spending of federal government another dollar. That is the parity requirement we lived under with Obama. It held the military hostage for more bloated domestic spending. We broke that parity, and that to me, is the biggest thing here. That is the biggest accomplishment. I negotiated the Murray-Ryan budget deal four years ago, and we lived under the fact that with a Democrat president, and in many cases, a Democrat Senate, we had to hit parity. We broke that. We don’t have parity. We’ve got a big Defense increase. It’s a really good down payment. ... That’s very important. And that, to me, the breaking of that parity requirement shows that we’re now back to fixing defense, and we’re not going to allow it to be held hostage for more bloated domestic spending.”
Increase in border security“It’s actually the biggest increase in border security in a decade. It gets spent by a whole number of things. Mick [Mulvaney] ran through it. They call it bollard fencing, which is what, in many areas, the border security thinks is the smartest way to go so you can see through it, so you can see what’s happening on the other side of the border. . . . It’s also cameras. It’s detention facilities. We have an increase in detention facilities so we can end catch and release. There are lots of things that are in here like this to help us get a huge down payment on border security. . . . fences, cameras, people, more ICE agents, more detention beds, those kinds of things.”Read More
School choice puts a better education in the reach of more children. It gives parents more options, whether it’s public schools, private schools, charter schools, magnet schools, online universities, or homeschooling.
The government funding bill expands school choice, and renews the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program—an initiative the Obama administration repeatedly tried to eliminate. More from The Washington Post:
“The legislation would reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which helps 1,100 low-income students attend private schools, through fiscal 2019. The program is the only federally funded effort of its kind. … Advocates for the voucher program said they were relieved after spending years fighting for its survival under President Barack Obama, who opposed vouchers.”
Indeed, the previous administration did everything it could to eliminate the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. In its budgets, the Obama administration repeatedly zeroed out funding for the program. It tried to prevent students who were unsuccessful in getting into the program from reapplying the following year. And in 2009, Education Secretary Arne Duncan actually rescinded hundreds of Opportunity Scholarships that had already been awarded.
The DC program was just one target of this vendetta. The administration also tried to shut down Louisiana’s school choice program, and launched a years-long investigation into Wisconsin’s program.
Now parents and school choice advocates nationwide can breathe a sigh of relief. In addition to renewing the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, this funding bill:
These are all positive steps to empower parents and help more students get the best start in life.Read More
Over the last month, there have been a handful of revisions to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that reflect member input. The latest are 1) an amendment provided by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) that gives states flexibility in addressing premiums and best serving their populations; and 2) and an amendment by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) providing an additional protection for people with pre-existing conditions in states seeking that flexibility.
Here’s how the MacArthur and Upton amendments help us lower premiums while keeping protections for the most vulnerable in place:
VERIFIED: The MacArthur amendment protects people with pre-existing conditions. The amendment is very clear: Under no circumstance can people be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Current law prohibiting pricing customers based on health status remains in place and can only be waived by a state if that state has chosen to take care of the people through other risk-sharing or reinsurance mechanisms. Even if a state asks for and is granted a waiver, no person may be priced based on health status if they have maintained continuous coverage. In addition to these protections, the AHCA provides significant resources at the federal and state level for risk-sharing programs that lower premiums for all people.
VERIFIED: It provides a strict process to receive a waiver from federal mandates. Although it gives states an option to tailor coverage limitations, the process is very strict. A state must explain how a waiver will reach the goals of lowering premiums, increasing enrollment, stabilizing the market/premiums, and/or increasing choice. States must lay out the benefits they would provide. And most importantly, states may only apply for a waiver if they have their own risk pool in place. Again, the coverage of people with pre-existing conditions will be protected.
VERIFIED: It gives states flexibility in addressing health care premiums. The populations in different states have different health care needs. The health care system in Wisconsin is different than the health care system in Arizona. This amendment gives states the flexibility to address these diverse needs without letting the most vulnerable—whether it’s the elderly, children, or people with pre-existing conditions—fall through the cracks.
VERIFIED: The Upton amendment adds another layer of security for people with pre-existing conditions. The Upton amendment provides an additional $8 billion for states seeking a waiver. These resources will allow people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage to acquire affordable care. The AHCA provides significant protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but these additional resources help ensure affordable coverage for individuals in states that have received a waiver. The money will be provided to the State and Patient Protection fund.
Bottom Line: The MacArthur and Upton amendments will help lower premiums for Americans while protecting the most vulnerable. Right now, under Obamacare, there are many states with only one choice of health care provider. The premiums are out of control and many people, due to Obamacare’s costs, don't really have health care. The flexibility given by the MacArthur amendment will increase competition in the marketplace, giving Americans more choices when deciding upon their health care plans and ensuring that health care premiums will decrease. The protections put in place by both the MacArthur and Upton amendments protects people with pre-existing conditions, and ensures that there is no unwanted gap in coverage.Read More
Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan detailed how the funding bill will strengthen our military and boost our national defense.
“I want to highlight some of the important things that are in the funding bill that is coming to the floor this week. A couple of things.
“First, this puts more boots on the ground to bolster our border security. In fact, this is the biggest increase in border security funding in a decade.
“It provides more resources to combat the opioid epidemic, which is a high priority for Republicans here in Congress.
“It expands the school choice program—that’s something many of us feel very passionately about. It expands the DC school choice Opportunity Scholarship Program.
“It maintains our pro-life protections.
“It contains no new money for Obamacare. No insurance company bailouts.
“It makes major increases in defense spending while holding the line on non-defense. This is something that I think is really important that people are sort of missing in this really important story. I cannot understate how much of a game-changer this is—I used to negotiate budget agreements with the Obama administration.
“Under President Obama, Democrats insisted that an increase in defense spending be tied to an equal increase in non-defense spending. You want to help the troops? You want to help the military? I need just as much money for domestic discretionary spending. That was the Obama rule that we lived under for eight years. They insisted on this even as our military plunged further and further into a readiness crisis.
“Well, we got to a point that our Air Force pilots were going to museums to find spare parts over the last eight years. We got to a point where some of our planes are so outdated that whole fleets would qualify for antique license plates in Virginia.
“This forced parity that we lived under under the Obama years really constrained our ability to rebuild our military for this century. This appropriations bill changes all of that.
“No longer are the needs of our military going to be held hostage for increases in domestic spending. This means that we can finally make real, important strides to increase and improve our readiness. It means we can get our servicemembers the tools and the resources they need to confront the threats that we face all around the world.
“While we have lot more work to do to rebuild our military, this is a very big first step. Twenty-five billion dollars, year over year, for our military, and you do not have a corresponding $25 billion increase in domestic spending, which is what Obama would have requested and required. That is not here. We broke this parity, and we think this is a really important step in the right direction.
“The first responsibility of our government is national defense. Under President Trump, we are truly putting this first. We are excited that we’re honoring two big priorities: a big down payment on border security, and a big increase for our military so that they can do their jobs.”Read More
You’ve heard by now: The government funding bill introduced this week will make America stronger and safer. But that doesn’t just apply to rebuilding our military and increasing our border security. It also means fighting the opioid epidemic that threatens our families and communities.
Consider these headlines:
“Opioid epidemic takes its toll on Camden.” “The opioid epidemic may be even deadlier than we think.” “In Virginia's opioid epidemic, this drug is the top killer.” “Epidemic not too strong a word where opioids are concerned.”
These headlines, pulled from four different states, are alarming on their own. Even scarier? They’re all from the past week.
That’s why the government funding bill provides an increase of $781 million to fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic.
By enacting the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act—bipartisan legislation to combat opioid abuse—and the 21st Century Cures Act, this bill will increase funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs in a big way:
All told, according to the House Appropriations Committee, the bill includes an increase of $781 million for fighting the opioid epidemic—including grants, treatment and prevention, and support for law enforcement.
In too many communities around the country, people are struggling with no sign of relief. This legislation will empower states and communities to help those plagued by addiction—and it is one more step toward ending the opioid battle once and for all.
10 Things You Should Know About The Funding BillSpeaker Ryan: Funding Bill Makes America Stronger and SaferA New Day: Funding Bill Ends Democrats’ Demand to Hamstring Defense SpendingNo New Money for Obamacare, No Bailouts for Insurance CompaniesBoots on the BorderA Strong National Defense Abroad, Limited Government Control At HomeRead More
VERIFIED: The funding bill strengthens border security.
The funding bill provides $12.2 billion for Customs and Border Protection. That’s a $911 million increase from last year’s level, part of an overall $1.52 billion increase in resources for border security efforts. What does this mean? More agents, enhanced technology, and updated infrastructure to stem the flow of illegal activities across our border. It also ends the program of catch-and-release by including resources specifically targeted to detain and remove illegal immigrants.
VERIFIED: The funding bill does not increase illegal immigration.
Some have asserted that the bill contains a hidden provision to increase illegal immigration. This is simply false. The program in question is well known: the H-2B visa program. This is a narrow program for temporary, non-agricultural workers. Last time misleading claims surfaced about this program, it was proven that just a tiny fraction of the alleged increase in visas actually came to fruition.
VERIFIED: The funding bill does not take jobs away from Americans.
The requirements to obtain H-2B visas are very strict.
1) American employers must demonstrate that there are not enough U.S. workers available to do the job required; 2) They must prove that bringing a worker here would not adversely affect the wages of similarly employed Americans; 3) The visas are temporary and used on a seasonal basis. Workers must return to their home country.
In other words, these are jobs that would simply not be filled without provisions for temporary workers.
VERIFIED: Along with a strict cap, the funding bill gives the Trump administration the say in whether additional visas are issued.
The number of visas is NOT automatically increased. The funding bill gives the Trump administration the ability to increase the number of H-2B visas, if deemed necessary, with a strict limit. The Department of Homeland Security Secretary, in consultation with the Labor Secretary, can increase the cap on the program, which stands at 66,000 workers. Again, the H-2B visa waiver is limited in scope—it must be non-agricultural and it cannot compete with Americans for jobs. However, the funding bill does put limitations on this action: The administration cannot increase the program by more than 69,320 visas (the number of returning workers from FY 2007).
Bottom line: this narrow program for temporary, legal immigration has important protections for American workers, and visas will only be increased if the Trump administration sees an economic need.
As conservatives, we believe that the federal government should have a strong role in national security and a secondary role in domestic policy. In other words, decisions and capabilities abroad must be made by the federal government—with a robust military—and decisions at home are best made by you: local communities, states, and private actors.
This philosophy shapes our government-funding priorities. The funding bill breaks the harmful Obama-era precedent of matching defense spending with non-defense spending. Here’s more on how it restores the proper role of government:
+ PLUS National Security
- MINUS Government Control
From day one, President Trump has made it clear that securing the border is a top national priority. Republicans in Congress couldn’t agree more. That’s why this week, Congress will vote for the biggest increase in border security funding in a long time. Here’s what that means:
Earlier this year, Speaker Ryan learned firsthand about the challenges our law enforcement professionals face along our southern border, and together with the Trump administration, Congress will provide them the tools they need to secure the border and keep Americans safe.More from today:
Despite a heavy push from Democrats, the government funding bill does not provide new funding for Obamacare as we work to repeal and replace the law altogether. It also includes a number of oversight provisions to protect taxpayer dollars:
It prevents a taxpayer-funded bailout of insurance companies through Obamacare’s risk corridor program. In the last fiscal year, this provision saved $2.5 billion that would have been doled out to insurance companies without approval by Congress.
It eliminates funding for the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of unelected bureaucrats that would take control away from patients and ration care for seniors.
It prevents the Prevention and Public Health Fund from being used as an Obamacare slush fund. Under the Obama administration, there was bipartisan concern with how unelected bureaucrats were using the program to fund pet projects—literally. An Energy and Commerce Committee investigation found that the slush fund was used for such ‘high-priority projects’ as massage therapy, urban gardening, and pet neutering.
It restricts federal funds from being used to lobby for Obamacare.Read More
The government funding bill on the floor this week includes a substantial increase in defense funding to help keep Americans safe. This marks a down payment on President Trump’s pledge to rebuild our military for the 21st century. And it does so without breaking existing budget caps.
But that’s not all.
Democrats have long demanded that any increase in defense funding must be equally matched with more non-defense spending. That harmful precedent ends this week—a significant departure from the Obama years, and a big win for the new administration.
We have stopped Democrats from hamstringing these critical investments in our military. This comes in light of a deepening readiness crisis under the Obama administration, which has weakened our ability to defeat ISIS and led Air Force and Marine pilots to literally salvage spare parts from museum ships and planes. Thanks to this bill, ensuring our troops have the tools they need to complete their missions will no longer come at the expense of more wasteful Washington spending.
There is still work to be done to bolster our military, but this bill makes significant progress toward fiscal sanity and U.S. national security.Read More
1. It strengthens our military. It makes important progress in ushering our military into the 21st century. It includes a substantial increase in defense spending, which includes new warships, aircrafts, weapons, and missile defense systems. It also gives our troops the largest military pay raise in six years and reverses the Obama administration’s personnel cuts.
2. It reforms government and prioritizes defense. The bill provides for increases in defense spending without making corresponding increases in non-defense spending, something Democrats had insisted on for years. Additionally, the bill rescinds, consolidates, or terminates more than 150 federal programs or initiatives.
3. It targets terrorism and foreign threats. The bill provides additional funding to defeat ISIS and counter radical extremism around the world. It provides aid to our allies to combat Russian aggression. It strengthens our relationship with Israel.
4. It strengthens our borders. The bill provides $12.2 billion for Customs and Border Protection. It prioritizes increased fencing, roads, and innovative technology to keep our border secure.
5. It reforms the IRS. The IRS was a hotbed of corruption, fraud, and abuse under the Obama administration. This bill freezes the IRS at current funding levels—$1 billion less than the Obama administration requested. The bill contains structural changes to the agency to increase transparency, safeguard free speech, and protect the tax-exempt status of non-profit organizations.
6. It protects life. The bill reaffirms the Hyde amendment and prohibits federal funding of abortions. It also specifically limits the District of Columbia from using federal funds for abortion in the district.
7. It tackles crime. The bill will help get criminals, drugs, and traffickers off the streets. It increases funding for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms—while strengthening second amendment protections.
8. It encourages American energy development and limits EPA overreach. The bill supports an all of the above energy strategy—with specific focus on coal, oil, natural gas, and increasing our nuclear capabilities. It eliminates all funding for the Green Climate Fund, U.N. Climate Change panel, and eliminates aid to Paris Climate Change institutions. Additionally, the bill reduces EPA funding by $81 million, taking the agency back to spending levels from eight years ago. It also puts strict limitations on the way the EPA regulates certain industries.
9. It supports local communities and education. Centralized federal control is not the way to help communities. The bill takes a different approach by funding the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which gives states and local school districts more control over the education of their kids. It also gives $3 billion back to local communities through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which supports locally-driven solutions to economic and social problems. And it renews the groundbreaking DC Opportunity Scholarship Program.
10. It fights against the nation’s opioid epidemic. The bill provides an additional $650 million to address the prevention and treatment of opioid and heroin use, including increased funding for Mental Health Block Grants.Read More
Did you know that small businesses are the biggest source of jobs in our economy? They make for the biggest success stories too. All the early mornings and the late nights—all the headaches and hurdles cleared—every day, we are surrounded by examples of the American Dream. That is why Republicans are committed to doing everything we can to get behind small businesses—lowering taxes, cutting red tape, fixing our infrastructure. This National Small Business Week, let’s all take a moment to thank the risk-takers and entrepreneurs who make such a difference in our lives and our communities.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement after the release of a government funding bill for the remainder of the current fiscal year:
“America will be stronger and safer because of this government funding bill. It acts on President Trump’s commitment to rebuild our military for the 21st century and bolster our nation’s border security to protect our homeland. Importantly, we have boosted resources for our defense needs without corresponding increases in non-defense spending, as Democrats had insisted upon for years. At the same time, we are investing in the most critical needs of our communities, from disaster relief to the fight against the opioid epidemic. Chairman Frelinghuysen is to be commended for delivering a funding bill that meets the core priorities of this government and the people it serves.”
Read the government funding bill, which delivers on these priorities:
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement after Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) announced that she will retire at the end of the 115th Congress:
“Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is a force in every sense of the word. She has had an extraordinary life in public service, starting out as a teacher and rising to become the first Hispanic woman in Congress and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. A human rights champion, she is an unwavering voice for the voiceless in her native Cuba and around the world. For all she has achieved, Ileana remains as unassuming as ever. The joy with which she serves her constituents—and dotes on her grandchildren—is absolutely infectious. It is such a privilege to serve with Ileana, and I know the whole House joins me in thanking her and her family.”
As he always does, Speaker Ryan took time this week to meet with fellow Wisconsinites. He was inspired by the message he heard from students who beat childhood cancer; a teacher who has gone above and beyond to close the achievement gap; a group of state legislators who are moving Wisconsin forward; and many others. Here are six photos featuring Wisconsinites who visited the speaker this week in Washington.
1. Janesville Students
Speaker Ryan welcomes students from Janesville, WI, to the Capitol during their trip to Washington, DC. He often brings groups out to the speaker’s balcony to share with them one of the best views of the Washington skyline.
2. Big 10 Presidents
University of Wisconsin—Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank leads a delegation of Big 10 University Presidents to discuss federal research funding, regulatory reform, and student achievements/aid. The speaker was excited to receive a basketball signed by Wisconsin men’s basketball Head Coach Greg Gard.
3. Childhood Cancer Survivors
While visiting legislators to advocate for issues that affect cancer fighters and survivors, Wisconsin teens share their powerful stories with the speaker about their fight against childhood cancer.
4. Defenders of the Unborn
The speaker meets with Heather Weininger, the executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, to reaffirm that Congress and the administration are united in defense of the unborn.
5. Wisconsin State Reps
Washington can learn a thing or two from what this great team of state representatives is doing to move Wisconsin forward.
6. Teacher of the Year
Chris Gleason, band director and instrumental music teacher at a Sun Prairie, WI, middle school, was recently named Wisconsin Teacher of the Year. Among his many accomplishments, Chris started a program that pairs students with musicians in the community and fundraises to finances music lessons for students whose families cannot afford them.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive action on offshore drilling:
“I welcome this action that will open up Arctic waters for drilling offshore and review previously restricted waters. The United States has been blessed with abundant oil and natural gas reserves. State governments have been eager to explore offshore, but the Obama administration blocked them from allowing it. Harnessing our nation’s energy resources creates jobs and gives us leverage on the foreign stage. President Trump gets this. This action caps a productive 100 days of the president keeping his commitment to develop our nation’s vast energy potential.”
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after hosting a bipartisan meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri:
“Today’s visit by President Macri is a symbol of the enduring partnership between the United States and Argentina. We had a productive meeting about working together on a wide range of issues, particularly in the fields of energy and cybersecurity, and addressing ongoing turmoil in Venezuela. America is determined to strengthen our important alliance with President Macri and the people of Argentina in the years to come.”
NOTE: Today’s meeting took place in the Speaker’s office in the U.S. Capitol. Participants included:
Summary: Today during his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan discussed actions to improve accountability at the VA, fix our tax code, and repeal and replace Obamacare.
Opening Remarks: TAKE YOUR KIDS TO WORK DAY
“First, I want to welcome all of our special guests today. I think it is great to see you here, and it’s great you get to see the work your parents do. Don’t tell them this, but they’re actually kind of good at their jobs.”
VA REFORM AND THE FIRST 100 DAYS
“Later today, the president will sign an executive order to improve accountability at the VA. Under the Obama administration, not nearly enough was done to hold bureaucrats accountable for failing veterans at our Veterans Affairs. Despite promises to clean things up, only a smattering of people were moved out of their jobs. Only a smattering of people were held accountable. Last month, the House passed the VA Accountability Act, to make it easier to bring the kind of steady leadership that VA medical centers so desperately need.
“And last week, the president signed legislation to reduce out-of-pocket costs for veterans and to promote better access to care. These are all very positive steps to deliver the kind of fundamental reform that is needed at the VA.
“This adds to what has already been a very incredibly active first 100 days. Under the president’s leadership, we have cut red tape at record levels. Cutting red tape saves families dollars, it saves businesses jobs. In fact, we have saved families and businesses $67 billion already. Yesterday, the administration put out its principles for pro-growth tax reform. That’s the next step toward overhauling our tax code.”
AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT
“And we continue to make real progress in our work to repeal and replace Obamacare. As you saw, we have posted an amendment to the American Health Care Act yesterday. This amendment was the result of constructive conversations among our members that focused on how we can do more to lower costs for everyone.
“What this amendment does is it give states more flexibility and tools to reduce premiums and increase choices. And it does this while maintaining and preserving protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This is the important point: those protections remain on the books, even as we add new ones.
“The goal here is to give states greater flexibility, if they want it, to lower premiums. We have not yet made any decisions on a vote. But this is more progress. And we will continue our progress and our work to repeal and replace Obamacare.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) this evening delivered opening remarks and a prayer at this year’s ‘Washington – A Man of Prayer’ event, held in National Statuary Hall. Following are Speaker Ryan’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:
"Good evening, everyone. Pastor Dan, Joann, it is an honor to welcome your congregation to our Capitol."
"This, of course, is Statuary Hall. It was our House chamber for most of the 19th century. And on Sundays, when not being used for the people’s business, it was host to weekly services. They say it was the largest church on the East Coast."
"That was a time in our history when Washington was not thought of as a man of prayer, or a man at all, really. He was revered as an icon, a god-like figure."
"In the Rotunda, look up and you see Brumidi’s fresco, with Washington rising to the heavens. The piece is actually called 'Apotheosis of Washington.' Apotheosis meaning 'glorification.'”
"In all the representations of Washington in this building, he is the focal point, the center of attention."
"But there is one very notable exception."
"Just off the Rotunda, we have a small prayer room. It is a quiet place for members to reflect on big decisions. And there is a stained glass window where Washington is depicted kneeling, his hands joined together in prayer."
"Surrounding him are the words from the Psalm: 'Preserve me, O God, for in thee do I put my trust.'"
"Washington had the humility to seek God’s guidance, to ask Him to protect America. His 'earnest prayer,' he called it."
"To us, this is a birthright. It is fundamental."
"But around the world tonight, there are people—far too many—who are persecuted for their faith. They risk everything to pray—literally taking their lives into their own hands."
"Repression is the refuge of the weak and the insecure."
"But in these days after Easter, we reflect on the power of resurrection…on the ultimate truth that our lives are transformed by our belief in God. We take heart in knowing—in believing—that after a dark night, there will be cause to rejoice and be glad."
"And so, let us pray."
"Heavenly Father, give each of us the wisdom to follow Washington’s example and be unafraid in turning to you. Look with love on your servants who suffer. May they be preserved by your grace. In thee we put our trust."
"Thank you all for having me here tonight."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on Federal Communications Commission Chairman (FCC) Ajit Pai’s announcement to roll back net neutrality regulations:
“The internet is evidence of the unparalleled heights that a true free market can reach. But those heights have been threatened by federal regulations that set a dangerous precedent by focusing on controlling the internet rather than protecting consumers. Chairman Pai’s announcement that the FCC will roll back these regulations is welcome news. Congress is committed to working with the Trump administration to enact policies that protect consumers and ensure Americans have access to a free and open internet.”
WASHINGTON—Following today’s tax reform announcement by the Trump Administration, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) issued the following joint statement:
“The principles outlined by the Trump Administration today will serve as critical guideposts for Congress and the Administration as we work together to overhaul the American tax system and ensure middle-class families and job creators are better positioned for the 21st century economy. Lower rates for individuals and families will allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money and empower them to invest more in their future. Getting tax rates down for American companies, big and small, will create new jobs and make the United States a more inviting place to do business. With an eye toward fairness and simplicity, we’re confident we can rebuild our tax code in a way that will grow our economy, better promote savings and investment, provide our job creators with a competitive advantage, and bring prosperity to all Americans.”Read More
Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan discussed the 29 bills Congress has sent to the president's desk in the first 100 days of President Trump's administration, and the continued work being done toward solving some of the nation's biggest challenges.
"Since President Trump took office, this Congress has sent 29 bills to his desk. That is the most for a president’s first 100 days in office since 1949.
"Nearly half of these measures are measures to take excessive regulations off the books so we can grow this economy. After years of workers and industries bracing for the next regulatory onslaught—all the unpredictability that has been coming with that—we are providing relief for energy jobs, for small businesses, for retirees.
"It has been estimated that the steps we have taken with this administration will save families and businesses more than $67 billion. That is real relief, and that promotes real economic growth. We have been trying to cut red tape for years, and now it’s finally happening at record levels.
"Also to promote job creation, the president has signed bills making it easier for women to pursue STEM careers and to become entrepreneurs. To help our veterans, the president has signed a bill to lower out-of-pocket costs and to take steps toward fundamental VA reform—very much in need.
"We are going to keep building on this record. Right now, we are working on a government funding bill that addresses some of the country’s core priorities, including strengthening our national defense.
"Last week, I was in Europe visiting with some of our key NATO allies. And across the board, our allies are ready to see America step up and lead again. A big part of that is rebuilding our military, which is something that we’re in the middle of doing right now.
"We’re also working to fix our tax code. Today, the administration will outline its principles for pro-growth tax reform, which is a critical step forward in this effort. Pro-growth tax reform means that we will have lower rates, we will have a simpler tax code with fewer brackets, and we will have an IRS that exists only to serve the taxpayer.
"And we will continue to work to keep our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, so that we can lower costs and create more choices for families.
"We have undertaken some very big reforms to tackle entrenched problems. There is a lot of work left to do, but under the president’s leadership, this unified government has made a solid start."
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive action on the Antiquities Act:
“The Antiquities Act is a century-old law that has been hijacked by executive overreach in recent years. While designating monuments is a noble goal, this law, like many others, has strayed far from its original purpose. Presidents have used the law to lock up thousands of acres of lands and water with the stroke of a pen, disregarding the needs and concerns of local communities. I commend the Trump administration for stopping this cycle of executive abuse and beginning a review of past designations.”Read More
Tonight, Speaker Ryan swore in Representative Ron Estes (R-KS), who won a special election to fill the seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Before the official proceedings took place, Speaker Ryan greeted Rep. Estes and his family in the speaker’s Capitol office for a ceremonial swearing-in, welcoming him to the 115th Congress.Read More
WASHINGTON—This Thursday, April 27, is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day nationwide. For the second straight year, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is inviting members of the media to bring their children to his weekly press briefing.
“I am a big believer in bringing your children to work, to give them a glimpse of what your day is like and to meet the co-workers you’re always talking about,” Speaker Ryan said. “I encourage everyone in the Capitol Hill community to take part in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.”
From time to time, Speaker Ryan is able to bring his kids to work. Last spring, they joined him as he signed a bipartisan bill he authored to fight poverty.
As always, the Speaker's weekly press briefing will be live-streamed on speaker.gov/live.
Details Speaker Ryan’s Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Press Conference Thursday, April 27, 2017 11:30 a.m. ET Capitol Visitor Center HVC Studio A, HVC 114
For questions regarding location or directions to the studio, please contact House Radio-TV Gallery staff at 202-225-5214.Read More
Speaker Ryan just got back from a four-nation tour of Europe, meeting with strategic NATO allies in Norway, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Estonia. He was joined by a bipartisan delegation of lawmakers who made it their mission to reaffirm the United States' strong commitment to NATO and to deterring Russian agression in the region. Here are a few photographic highlights from the trip.Norway
2. The United States and Norway have a long standing military-to-military relationship that includes Marine Corps pre-positioned stock that allows us to respond quickly to urgent security threats in the region.Read More
TALLINN, ESTONIA—As Speaker Ryan has said, NATO is as important today as it's ever been. That's why a bipartisan delegation led by the speaker concluded a trip to Europe with stops in two nations doing their part to strengthen this alliance: Poland and Estonia.
NATO relies on an important principle of burden sharing, with member countries expected to dedicate two percent of GDP to military spending. The United States, along with the UK, Greece, Poland, and Estonia, are currently the only NATO allies hitting that benchmark. Poland
In Poland, the delegation held a meeting with President Andrzej Duda, during which they thanked the country for leading by example. The group discussed topics such as energy security, military cooperation - including the Polish procurement of US military equipment - and solidarity in deterring Russian aggression.
The members also met with the Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, along with Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz and Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski. The delegation reaffirmed the importance of the US-Poland bilateral relationship as well Poland's commitment to NATO. The members also discussed other topics, such as the recent arrival of US Army troops in Poland as part of the European Reassurance Initiative, meant to bolster NATO's eastern flank.
Estonia In Estonia, a country that achieved renewed independence in 1991 after decades of Soviet occupation, the delegation met with Prime Minister Juri Ratas, along with Foreign Minister Sven Mikser. The delegation expressed appreciation for the Estonian people's long and inspiring fight for independence and our shared values of freedom and self-determination. They discussed the important role Estonia and the Baltic states play as the eastern border of the NATO alliance, and our commitment to deterring Russian aggression in the region.
At a bilateral press conference following the meeting, Speaker Ryan remarked, "Thank you to Estonia for being a leader. We want to say thank you to you, Mr. Prime Minister, for hitting the two percent pledge that we're asking all NATO alliance partners to hit."
Afterward, members of the delegation met with American Marines and soldiers stationed in Estonia as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Later, the delegation was able to meet with the speaker of the Estonian parliament and other parliamentarians. They engaged in an important exchange about the values our two countries share and discussed ways to strengthen our bonds, particularly through trade and strategies for cyber security, a subject of which Estonia has long been on the leading edge. Finally, the delegation was hosted for a dinner by Estonia President Kersti Kaljulaid, an opportunity to reaffirm the alliance of our two nations. Throughout this trip, the message from the bipartisan delegation was clear and an unambiguous: our commitment to NATO is resolute, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies to promote prosperity and confront global security challenges, including from terrorism and Russian aggression.
Read Codel Ryan's dispatches: Promoting Economic and Security Cooperation, Ryan Delegation Meets with UK Officials London Speech: Ryan Praises NATO, Calls for US-UK Trade Deal Ryan Delegation Witnesses Military Cooperation with Norway, Visits U.S. Marines Speaker Ryan and Delegation Reaffirm Strong Partnership in NorwayRead More
LONDON—At an historic moment, a bipartisan congressional delegation led by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) arrived in the United Kingdom this week, just following the unexpected announcement of a new election in June.
In London, the delegation met with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. The members made clear to the secretary that, no matter the shifting politics in the UK, the special relationship between our two nations will be as strong as ever. The group also discussed economic issues and reasserted the importance of the NATO alliance at this time. Following the meeting, Secretary Johnson showed the speaker and delegation the Churchill War Rooms.
In addition, the delegation held separate meetings with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Secretary for International Trade Liam Fox. With these leaders, the speaker echoed messages delivered in an address Wednesday evening at the Policy Exchange. He expressed support for a bilateral trade agreement between the United States and United Kingdom, in addition to the US-EU agreement currently being negotiated. And he underscored the need for the US, UK, and our NATO allies to strengthen our partnerships to promote prosperity and combat growing security challenges around the world.
As the speaker said in his address, “We should measure the success of the special relationship not just by how we treat each other…We should measure this relationship by how it promotes security and prosperity for the world.”
Also while in London, the delegation received a briefing on current security threats in the region, as well as a review of US military activities and personnel from Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, EUCOM Commander.
From here, the delegation will head to Poland and Estonia, two important NATO allies that, like the US and UK, are meeting their obligation to spend two percent of GDP on defense.Read More
This week, Speaker Ryan is visiting NATO allies across Europe, including Norway, Poland, Estonia, and Great Britain. Yesterday, he spoke at Policy Exchange in London about the importance of NATO and the need to ensure our transatlantic alliances remain strong far into the future.
Below is a highlight reel from the event:
The Special United States-Great Britain Relationship
The US-UK relationship should draw on the characters of our peoples, and the pillars of our societies—freedom, democracy, and enterprise. pic.twitter.com/qRYOcuBeXV— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 19, 2017
NATO Is Essential to Countering Russian Aggression
NATO remains critical to the safety and security of the United States, Great Britain, and the world. It must be strengthened. pic.twitter.com/jTBUGIhkXZ— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 20, 2017
A US-UK Bilateral Free Trade Agreement
We stand ready to forge a new trade agreement with Great Britain so that we may further tap into the great potential between our people. pic.twitter.com/TwercXmYPB
President Trump’s Strikes in Syria were Appropriate and Just
We stand ready to forge a new trade agreement with Great Britain so that we may further tap into the great potential between our people. pic.twitter.com/TwercXmYPB— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 20, 2017
The strikes in Syria ordered by President Trump Were appropriate and just. We must continue to work together to end this nightmare. pic.twitter.com/D5BawDNCcm— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 20, 2017
Terrorist Attack in Westminster was Pure Evil
The terrorist attack in Westminster Was pure evil. Our ideals of freedom, compassion, and peace will always prevail over violence and hate. pic.twitter.com/FuSowYPNty— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 19, 2017
Yesterday, Speaker Ryan addressed UK think tank Policy Exchange in London to discuss the unwavering bonds between the United States and Great Britain, the importance of NATO in countering Russian aggression, and the need to strengthen transatlantic economic cooperation.
Click here to watch the full speech and check out some of the top headlines below:
Speaker Ryan: ‘NATO Is Essential’“Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) praised the enduring alliance between the United States and United Kingdom Wednesday while calling on Britain to help combat ‘Russian aggression’ through NATO, which he deemed ‘essential.’ ‘So let’s be clear: The actions of Russia are not the actions of a friend,’ Ryan said at the U.K. think tank Policy Exchange in London.” (The Hill)
Paul Ryan Calls for New US-UK Trade Deal“Paul Ryan addressed the conservative think tank Policy Exchange in London today, stating that he is in the United Kingdom to send the message that ‘the United States stands ready to forge a new trade agreement with Great Britain as soon as possible’ as Brexit progresses. Dismissing the notion that votes for Brexit and Trump meant the U.S. and U.K. were ‘turning inward,’ Ryan said: ‘We are determined more than ever to lead. We don’t want China to write the rules of the 21st century economy. We want to do that together.’” (Axios)
Paul Ryan: Brexit, Trump Victories a Blow Against ‘Arrogant’ Elites“British and American voters have called for ‘a renewal of first principles’ through their votes in favor of Brexit and President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan suggested while traveling in Europe this week. ‘Our countries have voted for sweeping change,’ Ryan said Wednesday. ‘Some try to say too much change. But if anything, we are seeing a renewal of first principles, of people reasserting their right of self-determination against arrogant and paternalistic elites. As President Trump has said, the forgotten men and women . . . will be forgotten no longer.'" (Washington Examiner)
Paul Ryan Praises ‘Bold Leadership’ of Theresa May and Proposes US-UK Free Trade Deal“Paul Ryan, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, has praised Theresa May’s ‘bold leadership’ ahead of the snap general election. . . . He was speaking shortly after MPs voted to give the May the authority to bring forward the scheduled 2020 election to this year. ‘We just had a pretty interesting election. And I guess well, you felt like you were being left out,’ Ryan told the Policy Exchange think-tank. ‘The one thought that came to mind when I watched what transpired, was that this is a time for bold leadership and Theresa May is certainly setting the standard.’” (HuffPo UK)
Paul Ryan Reaffirms US Commitment to UK and NATO on London Visit"In an address to UK think tank Policy Exchange on Wednesday (19 April), US House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke about the special relationship between the US and the UK and wished the UK luck on the upcoming general election. Ryan also praised Prime Minister Theresa May for ‘setting the standard’ on ‘bold leadership’. ‘Times like these call for bold leadership, and Theresa May is certainly setting the standard,’ Ryan said. The House speaker called news of the upcoming general election a ‘historic event’ but joked that British politicians would not receive much sympathy from the Congressional delegation.” (International Business Times)
Top Republican Paul Ryan Assures UK of US Trade Ties in London Visit“The US stands ready to agree a free trade deal with the UK as soon as possible, Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, has said in London. He also predicted that the UK would be able to sign a Brexit agreement with the EU, adding that the US, as a special ally, would be standing by the UK all the way through the talks. Ryan’s remarks, echoing previous promises by Donald Trump, will be music to the ears of the international trade secretary, Liam Fox, who was in the Policy Exchange think tank audience addressed by Ryan.” (The Guardian)
Paul Ryan Announces US Is Ready to Forge a New Bilateral Trade Deal with UK ‘as soon as possible’“Paul Ryan, the US House speaker, has said America was ready to forge a new bilateral trade deal with the UK as soon as possible. His commitment to a new economic relationship between the US and UK came almost a year to the day that Barack Obama, the former president, threatened to send Britain to the ‘back of the queue’ if it voted to leave the European Union. The House speaker said Brexit should be viewed as ‘a real opportunity for our two nations’ and warned against China ‘writing the rules of the 21st century global economy.’” (The Telegraph)Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today announced two new additions to the Office of the Speaker.
“We are excited to add these outstanding professionals to our team,” Speaker Ryan said. “Kiel is a Capitol Hill veteran whose experience building consensus and setting policy will be essential as we work to strengthen our nation’s energy sector. Paige is a first-rate talent in design and digital media who adds depth to our communications team. I am glad to have them on board.”Read More
LONDON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) addressed the UK think tank Policy Exchange in London, England to discuss the critical role that the United States and Great Britain play in promoting regional and global stability, new opportunities for trade and economic partnerships, and the enduring importance of the special relationship between our two countries, particularly following the recent initiation of the Article 50 process. Below are Speaker Ryan’s full remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you so much for the warm welcome. And thank you especially to Dean Godson and Policy Exchange for hosting us. For 15 years now, this organization has been injecting new thinking into this country’s battle of ideas, shaping the direction of your country and its role in the world. It’s a real privilege to be here.
“I am joined here tonight by a bipartisan delegation of my colleagues from the House of Representatives—both Republicans and Democrats.
“As you know, we just finished an interesting election, and I guess, well, you all felt a little left out.
“In seriousness, it’s quite something to be here at this moment.
“Times like these call for bold leadership, and Theresa May is certainly setting the standard. Yesterday’s news and today’s vote is indeed a historic event.
“And I know it will be a hard fought election, but hey, don’t expect too much sympathy from us . . . you see we in the House of Representatives are used to doing this every two years.
“Ultimately, it is up to the British people to decide their political future—as only they can. And honestly, as my colleagues can attest, we Americans have enough on our plate . . . so I will simply say good luck and please know that no matter the outcome, the United States will proudly stand by your new government.
“Now the way I see it, any American leader must do two things when in London: be grateful that we don’t have Prime Minister’s Questions . . . and quote Winston Churchill.
“In our Capitol, we have a great bust of Churchill. It has been there about three years now.
“The best way to find it, actually, is to ask to see the steps that the British used to burn down the place in 1814.
“They don’t call it a ‘special relationship’ for nothing.
“Etched on the bust is a quote from Churchill’s address to Congress in the weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“And in that speech, delivered in such a perilous hour, he challenged our peoples to turn from the ‘convulsions of the moment to the broader spaces of the future.’
“We are certainly at one of those hinges of history now.
“Over the last year, our countries have voted for sweeping change. Some try to say too much change. But if anything, we are seeing a renewal of first principles . . . of people reasserting their right of self-determination against arrogant and paternalistic elites. As President Trump has said, ‘the forgotten men and women . . . will be forgotten no longer.’
“Shaking up the status quo always takes time. We will have our share of speed bumps and roadblocks.
“There may be an instinct to simply stay put, lower our sights, and just confine ourselves to taming all this change. We can cross our fingers, and maybe just aim for good stewardship.
“Or we can raise our gaze . . . and draw on the characters of our peoples, and the pillars of our societies—freedom, democracy, and enterprise.
“Because what good is a compass without a course? What good are values without vision? What good are ideas without leaders determined to advance them?
“We should measure the success of the special relationship not just by how we treat each other, but rather by how well we can leverage this moment to seize a real opportunity for our two nations.
“We should measure this relationship by how it promotes security and prosperity for the world.
“We were reminded of this obligation in the worst way not too long ago—four weeks ago today, to be exact. “The evil in Westminster—at the epicenter of European democracy—rattled us to our core. We shared your pain. We mourned your victims. “America knows this horror all too well. We’ve seen it in New York and Boston . . . in Orlando and San Bernardino . . . in Texas and in a field in Pennsylvania. “Churches, schools, city streets, institutions of government—radical Islamist terrorism targets innocents in their everyday lives.
“And in doing so, they seek to divide us against one another. They want us to point fingers and cast blame. They want us to cower in fear of leaving our homes and living our lives. They want us to lose faith in our values and principles—to give up hope.
“We will not let that happen. We cannot let that happen. The way we defeat this scourge of evil is by working hand-in-hand. By strengthening military and counterterrorism cooperation. By winning the battle of ideas. By demonstrating how our ideals of freedom, compassion, and peace will always prevail over violence and hate.
“Under President Trump’s leadership, we are rebuilding our military for the 21st century and giving our troops the tools they need. And here in Great Britain, you have made great strides matching words with action by enacting critical counterterrorism measures to provide the resources necessary to keep your citizens safe. “Tonight, I also want to thank the British government for backing our recent action in Syria.
“The strikes ordered by President Trump were appropriate and just. They demonstrate our resolve and refusal to stand on the sidelines as Assad slaughters his people—and their children—with the cruelest weapons known to man.
“You understand, as we do, that preventing the use of chemical weapons is a vital national security interest. So we must continue to work together—the United States, Great Britain, and all of our allies—to finally end this nightmare.
“And let’s be honest, this is not just about Assad. We must also hold his enablers accountable. Iran and Russia are complicit in these crimes against humanity. But that’s not all. Russia is determined to exploit weakness and opportunity wherever it may surface.
“As they seek to expand their sphere of influence in the Middle East, they continue to challenge the sovereignty of our allies in Eastern and Central Europe. Their aggression has also taken on other forms. Russia interfered in our elections, and they are interfering in elections here in Europe as we speak.
“We have learned a thing or two about their tactics. And we commit to sharing those lessons learned with our allies so you can be better prepared.
“So let’s be clear: The actions of Russia are not the actions of a friend. We cannot allow a provocateur in Moscow to threaten our allies or interests. This is a direct affront to the post-Cold War global order. “And by ‘we,’ I do not just mean the US and Britain. To truly combat Russian aggression, we need a strong NATO alliance—and we need that now more than ever. “Our delegation has just come from Norway, and later this week we will visit two more key NATO allies: Poland and Estonia. “Please let there be no ambiguity here: NATO is essential. It has been and remains critical to the safety and security of the United States, Great Britain, and the world. “And it must be strengthened. Member states should follow the lead of the US, UK, Poland, Estonia, and Greece and contribute two percent of their GDP to defense spending. And we should enhance our lines of communication to ensure NATO countries receive the most timely, actionable information possible.
“Close security cooperation must also be coupled with enduring economic ties. Today, our countries boast the world’s largest foreign direct investment partnership, and America stands as the single greatest importer of UK goods.
“But there are those who say the United States and Great Britain are today turning inward—that we’re retreating and closing ourselves off from the rest of the world. Let me put that myth to rest.
“We are more determined than ever to lead. We don’t want China to write the rules of the 21st century global economy. We want to do that. We want a level playing field for our businesses. And yes, we want free trade deals, but they have to be smart trade deals. They need to help workers and raise wages. They need to create high-paying, sustainable jobs. The good news is that these are exactly the type of jobs you get from smart free trade agreements. And we must continue to sharpen tools to combat unfair trade practices.
“Now that Article 50 has been invoked, the UK and EU will determine the best path forward over the course of negotiations. We want the parties to come together and strike a lasting agreement. A strong UK-EU relationship is in all of our best interests.
“In that same vein, the United States will continue to work closely with our EU friends, and chart a path forward on T-TIP negotiations. At the same time, we are committed to work with President Trump and your government to achieve a bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Great Britain.
“This is one of the bipartisan messages I bring with me: that the United States stands ready to forge a new trade agreement with Great Britain as soon as possible, so that we may further tap into the great potential between our people.
“Here is the last point I would make: “At times, we will get mired in the slog of governing. But we can never lose sight of the battle of ideas. To secure freedom and free enterprise, we must believe in these things, apply them to the problems of the day, and defend them at every turn.
“So let me just close by saying thank you. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your hospitality. And, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for working to ensure our special relationship grows stronger far into the future. I look forward to your questions.”Read More
Today at 2 p.m. ET, Speaker Ryan will speak live at the UK think tank Policy Exchange in London, England.
The speaker will discuss the critical role that the United States and Great Britain play in promoting regional and global stability, new opportunities for trade and economic partnerships, and the enduring importance of the special relationship between our two countries, particularly following the recent initiation of the Article 50 process.
Here’s how you can follow along:
2. Get real-time updates and video highlights of the address by following @SpeakerRyan on Twitter.
3. Visit speaker.gov for recaps and more information about Speaker Ryan’s bipartisan congressional mission to NATO allies in Europe.Read More
STJØRDAL, NORWAY— On the second and final day in Norway, a bipartisan congressional delegation led by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) traveled north to tour military installations in Norway, meet with U.S. and Norway military personnel, and see first-hand the longstanding military-to-military relationship between our two countries.
Værnes Air Station in Norway is home to an important prepositioning program of the United States Marine Corps, with significant equipment and resources in the country to allow U.S. and NATO forces to respond quickly to urgent security threats in the region and around the world.
At Værnes, the delegation had lunch with American Marines stationed in Norway on a rotational basis for cold weather training and joint military exercises.
Later, the delegation also visited Bodø, home to the Norwegian National Joint Headquarters. There, they saw the Norwegian military’s quick reaction alert (QRA) capability, utilizing F-16s as part of Norway’s efforts to fulfill the NATO mission in the high north of the country. In Bodø, the delegation was able to witness how Norway serves as the eyes and ears of the northern flank in support of NATO.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) with Wisconsin Marines stationed at Værnes Air Station in Norway.Read More
OSLO, NORWAY — Beginning a four-nation visit focused on strengthening our transatlantic alliances, a bipartisan congressional delegation led by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) arrived in Norway to meet with top government officials.
“We believe that the NATO alliance is as important today as it ever has been, and that is something that we in the United States government and the Trump administration are in total agreement about,” Speaker Ryan told Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg at a meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence.
Norway, an important U.S. ally, plays a critical security role guarding NATO’s northern flank. The country recently committed to an increase in defense spending, something Speaker Ryan expressed gratitude for with the Prime Minister. The leaders discussed a number of issues of mutual concern, including increased Russian military activity in the region and beyond.
While in Norway the delegation also met with Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Søreide. Norway has been host to pre-positioned U.S. military assets, and in early 2017, a rotational deployment of U.S. Marines arrived in the country for training and exercises. With the Defense Minister, the group discussed this important military cooperation as well as numerous regional and global security threats.
Throughout their meetings, the delegation encouraged Norway to build on their recent increase to achieve the NATO defense spending benchmark of two percent of GDP.
Finally, Speaker Ryan and members of the delegation visited with Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. In addition to reaffirming the important alliance between our two nations, the leaders discussed the current political landscape of Europe, security challenges from Syria, Iran, and Russia, as well as economic and trade issues.
Members of the delegation joining Speaker Ryan are House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), and Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL).Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement today:
“This morning, a tragic accident on Capitol grounds took the life of Matthew McClanahan, a pipefitter for the Architect of the Capitol. Matthew and his wife, Lauren, have two young children, Evie and Matthew. Their loss is so sudden and unimaginable. I ask my colleagues and everyone in the Capitol community to keep Matthew’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”Read More
Imagine, for a moment, if you could file your taxes on a form the size of a postcard. Wouldn’t that be something? This is one of the things we are working on right now.
For too long, we have had a tax code that no one really understands. Long and complicated forms are only part of the story.
If you’re a family trying to pay for college tuition, you have to wade through more than a dozen different tax provisions and almost 100 pages of IRS instructions to figure it out. Even the word "married" takes 218 words and five paragraphs to define. I know marriage can be complicated, but that’s a little ridiculous.
So it is no wonder many of us just end up paying someone else to do our taxes, and hope for the best. But it shouldn’t be like that. Our tax code should work for us, not against us. And the same goes for the IRS.
Let’s make the tax code—and Tax Day itself—simpler for all Americans.Read More
One of the most important messages that Christianity has brought the world is one of hope.
In today’s world, that may sound naïve.
We are surrounded by stories of war, poverty, disease, addiction, loneliness, and failure—to name a few.
Our work to try and eradicate these social ills certainly has its ups and downs. It’s never over.
But today, on Easter Sunday, we are reminded that suffering isn’t the whole story. We believe that there is a different ending for us all.
Diverse though we may be, Christians around the world are united in our shared belief that Jesus rose from the dead. Yes, we will struggle. But after our struggle, there is always redemption. And there is always hope.
Today, I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Easter.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after President Trump signed H.J. Res 43 into law:
“This is a major pro-life victory. Today, another Congressional Review Act bill undoing harmful Obama regulations becomes law. H.J. Res 43 voids a regulation that forces states to use Title X money to fund Planned Parenthood. Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion, plain and simple. We remain united and steadfast in our commitment to life and religious liberty.”
GOOD NEWS → We are overturning an Obama-era regulation that tried to force states to give Title X funding to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. Next stop: The White HousePosted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Fundamental VA reform is one of this government’s highest priorities. Our veterans should get the care they need when they need it.
It was three years ago this week when the country learned that dozens of veterans died while waiting for care at the VA hospital in Phoenix. As it turned out, wait lists were being manipulated to hide the extent of the problem. This was the epicenter of a scandal that exposed fraud and abuse at VA facilities across the country.
President Obama repeatedly promised change, but the problems persisted. By the end, he was falsely claiming that he “fired a whole bunch of people.”
Congress is sending a bipartisan bill to President Donald J. Trump’s desk that preserves the Veterans Choice Program,...
Under President Trump, Congress has taken some positive steps to make good on his commitment to take care of our veterans:
This is good news as we work to make the big changes needed at the VA.
This week, Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN), chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, visited the Phoenix VA to tour the hospital and meet with its leaders. More from the Arizona Republic:
“Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tennessee, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, toured the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center and afterward stressed continuing efforts to provide more timely appointments and enhanced accountability at America's roughly 150 veterans hospitals.
“Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who accompanied Roe, said the department still faces major challenges, but added, ‘I am glad to see there has been tremendous work … to make a change.’
“Meanwhile, they said, legislation known as the VA Accountability Act already has passed the House and appears likely to win Senate approval. They said that measure would give new VA Secretary David Shulkin authority to expeditiously fire employees for malfeasance, and to hire workers quickly.”
WASHINGTON—Next week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will lead a bipartisan delegation traveling to key European ally nations, with the goal of strengthening economic and security ties with our NATO partners. In the United Kingdom, Norway, Poland, and Estonia, the delegation will meet with government officials and military leaders to review and discuss evolving security threats facing Europe as well as opportunities for greater economic cooperation.
Members joining the speaker are House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), and Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL).
While in the United Kingdom, the speaker will deliver remarks and take audience questions at an open press event. He will speak about the critical role that the United States and United Kingdom play in promoting regional and global stability, new opportunities for trade and economic partnerships, and the enduring importance of the special relationship between our two counties, particularly following the recent initiation of the Article 50 process.
Media information for that event can be found below. Photo sprays for meetings and any additional media opportunities throughout the trip will be advised locally by the host nations.
Remarks by House Speaker Paul Ryan Hosted by the UK think tank Policy Exchange Wednesday, the 19th of April at 7PM Media interested in covering the event should contact Amy Gray at the Policy Exchange Policy Exchange plans to livestream on its Facebook pageRead More
It’s that time again. Tax Day is right around the corner. For millions of Americans, that means cutting a big fat check to Uncle Sam. Frankly, we think that check is way too big. That’s why we’ve crafted a tax reform blueprint aimed at creating jobs and raise incomes for hardworking Americans.
A new analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation finds that our blueprint will:
· Create 1.7 million new full-time jobs..
· Raise average household incomes by 8.7% after taxes.
· Allow families to save $4,917 more of their income each year.
The study also breaks the numbers down state-by-state. In Speaker Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin, for instance, the plan will lead to 34,257 more jobs and an average $4,822 gain in household income. See how our blueprint will benefit your state directly.
There are a lot of reasons to support the GOP plan. It will level the playing field for American businesses, simplify the tax code to make it flatter and more fair, and usher in a new era of economic growth in our country.
But ultimately, this is about making sure you can find good-paying jobs and keep more of your hard-earned paychecks. The moment to fix our broken tax code is now.
To learn more, visit speaker.gov and check out the links below.Read More
National Pet Day is the perfect day to recognize the thousands of service dogs that help America’s disabled veterans and active duty personnel.Posted by Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday, April 11, 2017
In case you haven’t heard, it’s #NationalPetDay—which is the perfect occasion to share a little color from one of Speaker Ryan’s meetings last month.
In March, America’s VetDogs—an organization that provides guide, service, and specialized therapy dogs to America’s disabled veterans and active duty personnel—made a visit to the Capitol. Dedicated to our men and women in uniform, America’s VetDogs is one of the many organizations that gives back to those who protect us at home and ensure our safety abroad.
Speaker Ryan sat down with the organization’s CEO, two veterans—Joe and Melanie—and a service dog named Liberty to hear more about the organization’s mission. During the meeting, the speaker learned a lot about what these dogs are trained to do, like providing help with daily life activities to more specific challenges. In fact, Liberty, pictured above, is trained to contact 911 should she find her owner, Melanie, unresponsive. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
As Joe described it, life alongside his dog, Benjamin, is like “life by 1,000 hugs.” Speaker Ryan appreciated the opportunity to learn more about one of the many groups that give veterans nationwide a second chance at health, happiness, and recovery.
Have your own #NationalPetDay story? Tweet us at @SpeakerRyan—pictures encouraged.Read More
Passover is an opportunity to remember the hardships that ancient Israelites endured as slaves in Egypt, but also a time to celebrate their exodus to the Promised Land.
It is a story of suffering, resilience, and faith in God. It is also a story of hope—a reminder to never forget your roots, and to always look towards the future.
So, on behalf of the whole House, I want to wish everyone celebrating a joyous and Happy Passover.Read More
I want to congratulate Judge Neil Gorsuch on his confirmation as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. And I commend President Trump on having his nominee confirmed.
As we saw during his confirmation hearings, Judge Gorsuch is a thoughtful jurist who has the utmost respect for the rule of law. The Court—and the country—will benefit from his experience and his character.
Justice Scalia’s seat will now be filled by a judge committed to our Constitution and first principles.
This is a good day for our country.Read More
Summary: On Wednesday night, Speaker Ryan joined Charlie Sykes for an interview on Indivisible, a national radio show produced by WNYC-FM in New York, Minnesota Public Radio, and The Economist. You can listen to the full interview here, or check out two of our favorite moments below:
Making progress toward health care reform:
“We’re making progress. We’ve gotten some reforms that we’ve agreed to, and we’re working on some others. We’re making good steps in the right direction. We’ve got a number of concepts that our members are working toward to improve the bill. It’s all about how do you bring down premiums even more. And so we’ve got some ideas we’ve already agreed to, and we’re working on some others.”
“We think the Obamacare system is collapsing and failing and we want to replace it with something that will actually work, that’s going to be better health care, with better, lower prices and more choices. We believe in a patient-centered system. That means choice and competition in health care. You don’t have one insurer to choose from, but many insurers to choose from, so they compete against each other for our business.”
Getting to the root cause of poverty:
“I just don’t believe that more government, more spending, more top-down, bureaucratic micromanagement from Washington is the way to save people from poverty. . . . Fight poverty in its root causes and help break the cycle of poverty. . . . We are now in the 52nd year of the war on poverty. Trillions were spent and yet the poverty rate is about the same as it was when we started—it is a stalemate. So this idea of measuring success and fighting poverty based on how much money we spend, or how many rules and programs come out of Washington, is a ridiculous notion that doesn’t work, because we are not measuring the right thing. We should be measuring whether our reforms actually get people out of poverty, actually create wealth, and opportunity, and upward mobility, so people can get out of poverty. Those are the kinds of reforms we’re talking about. How do you do reforms to help local communities, help poverty fighters, to get people out of the cycle of poverty? And I would strongly argue that we have a lot of federal programs that make it harder for people to get out of poverty, that are trapping people in poverty, that are disincentivizing work and upward mobility. And so we have a long, wide variety of ideas and reforms that we’re moving through Congress and we’re proposing.”Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on Syria:
"Earlier this week the Assad regime murdered dozens of innocent men, women, and children in a barbaric chemical weapons attack. Tonight the United States responded. This action was appropriate and just. These tactical strikes make clear that the Assad regime can no longer count on American inaction as it carries out atrocities against the Syrian people. Resolving the years-long crisis in Syria is a complex task, but Bashar al-Assad must be held accountable and his enablers must be persuaded to change course. I look forward to the administration further engaging Congress in this effort."Read More
Summary: This morning at his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan was joined by members of the House Republican conference to discuss the progress made in our effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.
"This has been a productive week in the House as we continue our efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. As I have said before, this promise is just too important and the consequences of inaction are too dire for American families for us to just give up.
"That’s why over the last couple weeks we have encouraged members from across the conference—you see many of them represented here today—to come together and try to find consensus. In particular, I want to thank Kevin Brady and Greg Walden—our two chairman—for being so engaged in these conversations and these talks. While we still have work to do to get all the way there, we have made some real progress this week. That’s why we’re all here today.
"We have come together on a new amendment that we all believe will lower premiums and provide added protections for those facing real challenges gaining access to affordable care. This brings us closer to the final agreement we all want to achieve. This idea was offered by two of our most conservative members, Gary Palmer and Dave Schweikert, but it has been embraced by a broad spectrum of our conference, as you can see by just a few of the members here today.
"I’ll let the authors speak more about it, but let me just say briefly: This amendment would create a new federal risk-sharing program. It is a high-risk pool that will lower costs for people with pre-existing conditions and lower costs for everyone else. And the authors of this amendment will go into more detail. Following votes today, I have asked the House Rules Committee to mark up this amendment and add it to what we were already considering before.
"I want to thank Gary and Dave for being so productive throughout this process. Their amendment makes this a much better bill. It gets us closer. This is the kind of collaborative, bottom-up effort that we have been looking for. Like I said, we have more work to do, and those conversations continue to take place and they really show promise. But this amendment alone is real progress and will help us build momentum for delivering on our pledge to the country."Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today released the following statement:
“Devin Nunes has earned my trust over many years for his integrity and dedication to the critical work that the intelligence community does to keep America safe. He continues to have that trust, and I know he is eager to demonstrate to the Ethics Committee that he has followed all proper guidelines and laws. In the meantime, it is clear that this process would be a distraction for the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in our election. Chairman Nunes has offered to step aside as the lead Republican on this probe, and I fully support this decision. Chairman Mike Conaway, a senior member of the Committee, will now lead this investigation in the House. I am confident that he will oversee a professional investigation into Russia’s actions and follow the facts wherever they lead.”Read More
There is no justification for the events that occurred in Syria. pic.twitter.com/hkKt97TQWB— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 5, 2017
We need to stand up to Russia and help our allies stand up to Russia. pic.twitter.com/3jZrgecHkJ— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 5, 2017
We want to create a 21st century infrastructure system that's a good foundation for solid economic growth. pic.twitter.com/8aJPYdoeWm— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 5, 2017
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after hosting a bipartisan meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi:
“After visiting with President al-Sisi in Cairo last year, I enjoyed the opportunity to host him at the Capitol this afternoon. The strategic partnership between the United States and Egypt is essential to securing regional stability and defeating terrorism. The House is committed to building on this constructive cooperation with our Egyptian counterparts in the months and years to come.”
NOTE: Today’s meeting took place in the Speaker’s office in the U.S. Capitol. Participants included:
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)Read More
WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the chemical weapons attack in Idlib, Syria:
“No words can capture the depth of this horror. Nothing can justify the mass murder of innocents, especially children. We join the Trump administration in condemning this barbaric attack on the Syrian people.”Read More
Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan discussed the steps Congress and the Trump administration are taking to reverse the Obama administration’s regulatory overreach.
“As of today, Congress has approved more than a dozen separate measures to take excessive regulations off the books. This includes measures that save jobs in coal country, protect retirement savings, cut costs for small businesses. “After years of sluggish, pathetic economic growth, this is one way we are working to boost our economy and create jobs.
“Of course, it’s not just Congress taking action. The Trump administration has initiated a review of a number of major regulations that are strangling job creation. It has been estimated that, so far, these changes—just this year—have saved families and businesses more than $63 billion. “Think about that. That is a big, broad number, but what it comes down to is this: After years of talk about cutting red tape, it is now actually happening. We are reversing the Obama administration’s most recent and last regulatory onslaught. And, more fundamentally, we are returning power from unelected bureaucrats in Washington to the states and the people that we represent.
“For example, one of the rules that we have overturned is called the ‘BLM Planning 2.0 Rule.’ That sounds pretty innocuous and anodyne to some of us. But for the people in Liz Cheney’s state in Wyoming and all around the West, it was a huge power grab that would have hurt jobs and local industry. It was imposed with little input from the states and with no input from landowners. And it was another example of a distant, arrogant bureaucracy that simply just was not listening to the people.
“Ending the culture of overregulation is going to take more than a few months, but we have made a good start. And this is something we’re going to keep tackling so that we can help this economy create more good-paying jobs.”
The Obama administration's policy of 'strategic patience' towards North Korea was a total failure—and the results speak for themselves. The Kim regime remains a destabalizing force intent on tormenting the west and developing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. That is why, following President Trump's leadership, we are taking the concrete actions necessary to finally hold Pyongyang accountable for its actions and keep Americans safe.
Today, the House will vote on two bipartisan bills to address the threats posed by the Kim regime:
1. North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act — Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX): To require the State Department to determine whether it should designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism following recent new evidence, including the apparent regime-sponsored assassination of Kim Jung Un’s half-brother in Kuala Lumpur.
2. Condemning North Korea’s Development of Multiple Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles — Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC): To formally condemn Pyongyang’s continued development of its intercontinental ballistic missile program. This follows last year’s enactment of new economic sanctions targeting North Korea for its range of illicit activities.
As President Xi Jinging visits the United States this week, we hope President Trump will urge Chinese assistance in confronting these threats to the United States and our allies. In the meantime, these measures demonstrate our commitment to working with the Trump administration to defend ourselves against this rogue regime.Read More
Missed today’s episode of CBS This Morning? Speaker Ryan joined to discuss tax reform, health care, and more during an interview with Norah O’Donnell. Catch up on what the speaker had to say by watching the video below:
PLUS—two more media appearances:Read More
Summary: This morning at his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan provided an update on congressional action to protect jobs and reverse Obama-era overregulation.
“Congress continues to take action to reverse the tide of overregulation. The Congressional Review Act does exactly what its title suggests. It gives Congress the authority to review—and reverse—regulations that have been recently finalized. “In its first 20 years on the books, Congress was able to successfully use this authority just once. But since President Trump took office, we have already sent 11 measures to his desk. And the Senate is acting on another one today. “Many of these initiatives are designed to protect jobs, especially for America’s energy workers. With one bill, we stopped a rule that would have wiped out one-third of the jobs in coal country alone. Combine our actions with the steps that the president has taken to jumpstart pipelines and reverse President Obama’s assault on affordable energy. These things will help get people back to work, and after years of sluggish growth, give a real boost to our economy. “But with all of these measures, we are doing something very, very fundamental. And that’s the point I think is really worth seeing here. For too long, we have had unelected bureaucrats writing our laws. We have been having unelected bureaucrats dictating the rules that we have to live under, and the rest of the government just goes along with it. But now we are returning power from Washington to states and communities and to the elected branch of government. “We are giving people more control and more of a say in the decisions that are made in their classrooms, at their businesses, on their lands. This is good progress, and we’re going to make more in the weeks to come.”Read More
WASHINGTON—This morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) welcomed leaders of free-market and pro-life organizations to the Capitol to discuss advancing a conservative agenda. Below are his opening remarks from the top of the meeting:
“I asked leaders of the conservative movement here in America to come today to talk about how we move forward, and how we advance our principles. We believe in the principles of conservatism. We believe in liberty and free markets. We believe in life, the Constitution. These are important principles that we have an historic opportunity to make good on.
“And so we have here some of the leaders of the conservative movement, and people I’ve been working with in the conservative movement for over 20 years. We’ve got:
“These are leaders of the conservative movement who’ve been toiling, day in and day out, for many years to make good on our principles.
“We had a setback last week, but we’re not going to let that get us down. We’re going to talk about how we move forward and advance this agenda and truly seize this historic opportunity we have in front of us to improve people’s lives and make a difference and advance these conservative principles.”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.