Speaker of the House

Paul Ryan

Taking Action Against Opioids

2018/06/18

This week, the House continues its bipartisan work to address the opioid epidemic. By the end of this week, we will have considered more than 50 pieces of legislation to support prevention, aid recovery, and protect our communities.

Chances are, you or someone you know has been affected by the opioid epidemic—whether that means wrestling with addiction, supporting a loved one in recovery, or providing comfort to a friend or neighbor dealing with loss.    

This epidemic is extremely personal. Last week, Speaker Ryan shared the stories of Kyle Pucek, who is now in recovery following a heroin addiction, and Michelle Jaskulski, a mother whose sons also overcame addictions. Both of them now do outreach to others who may be struggling and advocate for more resources to help prevent and treat addiction.   

The stories are staggering, as are the statistics:

  • For the second consecutive year, American life expectancy has declined, driven by this growing crisis. Opioid overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.
  • The rate of babies born in U.S. with neonatal abstinence syndrome—meaning they were exposed to opioids in the womb—quadrupled between 1999 and 2013.
  • Opioid-related overdoses caused more than 33,000 deaths in 2015, and more than 40,000 in 2016. That is a greater than 20 percent increase from one year to the next.

One place we see this is in how it has affected communities and public services:

  • Firefighters are now on the frontlines, as many of their departments are more likely to respond to an overdose than a fire.
  • Hospitals are overwhelmed: Between July 2016 and September 2017, opioid-related ER visits rose 30 percent.

So that’s where these bills will come in—equipping communities with the resources they need to handle this on the ground.

Here’s another way to look at the scope of this epidemic: how it’s making it harder for people to keep a job. One expert found that the jump in opioid prescriptions “could account for about 20 percent of the observed decline in men’s labor force participation during that same period, and 25 percent of the observed decline in women’s labor force participation.”

An initiative the House passed last week will help people stay clean and gain independence by providing for transitional housing, specifically for those in recovery from opioid addiction. This is one of example of how we can support people on their journey back into lives of opportunity.

While this effort is a substantial one, the House will not relent. We will continue to confront this epidemic and work to bring hope to many American families sharing this struggle.

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Small Business Solutions → The White House

2018/06/15

  The House is hard at work passing bills that to build a stronger economy. This week, Congress sent four bills to the president’s desk, including two that will go a long way in helping America’s small businesses.   Authored by House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH), the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act of 2018 strengthens the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Credit Risk Management. Recently, there has been an uptick in the popularity of these particular loans, so this bill ensures the program is run efficiently and effectively.   The Small Business Investment Opportunity Act of 2017, authored by Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) makes it easier for our communities’ small businesses to access capital they need to grow and expand.   This is all about improving people’s lives—whether that means passing more than 50 bills related to fighting the opioid crisis this week or sending these two small business bills to the president’s desk. Related: Speaker Ryan Enrolls Three Bills to Support Veterans, Help the Terminally Ill, and Ease Financial Regulations Legislation to Fight MS-13 Goes to President's Desk A Few Important Things Read More

Bad Dad Jokes

2018/06/15

Jokes so bad, they're good, featuring Speaker Paul Ryan (father of three) and Rep. Patrick McHenry (father of two).

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Statement on Department of Justice Inspector General Report

2018/06/14

WASHINGTON—Following the release of the Department of Justice Inspector General report, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued this statement:

"The American people expect their most powerful law enforcement agency to act with professionalism and in accordance with established policies designed to guard against its power being used based on political assumptions or bias. The Inspector General report documents how time and again particular senior FBI officials, starting with Former Director Comey, made ad hoc, poorly reasoned decisions that were premised in part on an expectation that Secretary Clinton would win the election. 

“I agree with the Inspector General’s conclusion that agents’ use of FBI systems and equipment to mix work decisions with blatant political bias injured the 'heart of the FBI’s reputation for neutral fact-finding and political independence.' I know that the FBI is home to many dedicated public servants, and Director Wray now has an enormous responsibility to earn back the public’s trust in this institution. One way to win back that trust is to fully cooperate with congressional oversight examining the use of authority and resources provided to the FBI by Congress."

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Speaker Ryan Discusses the Urgency of Opioid Legislation

2018/06/14

Summary: At his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan underscored the urgency of the opioid epidemic and discussed why the bills the House is considering now are so important.

Opening Statement:

“Take a look at this. This opioid crisis—this is an epidemic in the true sense of the word.

“I want to paint a picture of just the urgency we are facing in this country.

“This chart shows you that the national death rate—the national death rate—13.3 opioid overdoses for every 100,000 Americans.

“As you can see, there has been a huge spike. This goes from 1999 to 2016. We had a 28 percent spike in the opioid death rate from 2015 to 2016. Twenty-eight percent increase in deaths, in the death rate of opioids, in one year in this country.

“This is an alarming scale. This spike represents so many families who are grappling with the loss of a loved one.

“So much potential, squashed and squandered in this life. People at the peak of their lives, losing their lives.

“All told, an estimated 2.7 million people across the country are struggling with opioid dependence or addiction.

“You heard those heart wrenching stories yesterday. This is very serious. This is costing us lives.

“This is why we are so focused on ending this opioid epidemic. It’s why the bills we are passing this week and next week are so critical.

“We are acting on more than 50 initiatives covering a range of areas: prevention, treatment, recovery support, strengthening law enforcement tools, helping veterans, expanding research.

“This is all hands on deck, and we are going to keep at this, for the sake of the families who are hurting right now.”

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“A Grateful Heart Can Do So Much”: Remarks at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast

2018/06/14

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today talked about gratitude and civil society in remarks at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast. Following are Speaker Ryan’s remarks, as prepared for delivery: Good morning, everybody.

This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I am so glad to be here with you this morning. Thank you, Reverend Cortes, for bringing us together.

Before I begin, I want to talk about a commitment I know we all share, and that is finding a way to fix our broken immigration system.

In the House, we have brought together lawmakers from across the spectrum, moderates and conservatives, to find a path forward.

As a result, we will have a debate and votes on the House floor next week.

My goal has always been a lasting solution, to address our security challenges, and to address the DACA program so we don’t have another problem five, ten years down the line.

Next week’s votes are an important step and I want to thank you for your leadership. Your voice plays a critical role in this discussion.

Now I am also glad that this morning is very different from the morning we had a year ago on this day.

At around this time last year, I was in my office on the phone with Jennifer Scalise.

Her husband, my dear friend, had just been shot on a ball field across the bridge in Alexandria.

That is about as much as we knew. We didn’t know how bad it was yet. We certainly didn’t know that Steve had such a long fight ahead of him.

There is one thing from that time I remember so vividly. No matter where I went, the first thing people would say to me was always, ‘How’s Steve Scalise? How’s his family? How are his kids? Please tell them we’re praying for them.’

I know many of those prayers came from the people in this room.

I am glad I have this chance to thank you on Steve’s behalf. Our prayers were answered. Thank you.

Days like that, trials like that, they make you think about what truly matters. They make you realize: we have so much to be thankful for.

We have this precious gift of life God has given us.

Gatherings like this make us grateful, too; grateful for fellowship and compassion.

It’s not always easy to be thankful, is it? We tend to wake up thinking about what we don’t have, what we haven’t figured out.

But every day we have this beautiful opportunity to give thanks.

A grateful heart can do so much. When things are getting away from us, it can slow us down to reflect. At our wit’s end, it can take us back to the start. In the trenches, it can counsel us to respond with kindness instead of in kind.

God gives us peace. He gives us a sense of wonder. He gives us the capacity to love unconditionally.

That, most days…that is more than enough.

And it doesn’t take much to have a grateful heart.

Jesus said all you need is “a grain of a mustard seed.”

One of my mentors is Bob Woodson, founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, one of the great poverty-fighters of our time.

Bob puts it so well when he says: “Faith in God transforms the inside, and that faith transforms the outside.”

Faith transforms the outside. It makes us healers.

There are people living out this message every day.

There is a ministry in San Antonio called Outcry in the Barrio. It is run by a friend of mine, Jubal Garcia.

Basically, they take heroin addicts off the street.

But they don’t just get them clean. They get them on the right path. They help them change their lives, and they do it through Christ.

I first visited Outcry four years ago. I can recall Jubal taking me from bed to bed. We knelt down, and he pulled me in, and showed me the scars, the track marks, on the arms of one of these men.

Then Jubal said—I’ll never forget this—he said, “help me pray for him.”

I have to tell you, in that moment, in that place, I did not see suffering. I saw possibilities. I saw how unifying, how transforming faith can truly be...how it sees the person, not the problem…how it heals soul-to-soul, eye-to-eye.

I saw how, as Jubal says, we can ‘heal ourselves’ as a country.

Look at how, right now, our economy is doing well. Hispanic unemployment fell to its lowest level on record this year. Wages are finally picking up.

We have this economic recovery. Now we need a recovery in our civil society too.

Too often, faith is used to divide us. It is used as a wedge, a cudgel for judging each other. And social media is a self-appointed jury that speeds all this up until it feeds on itself.

These debates often end up focused on the individual and the government. It diminishes what comes in between, which are the great mediating institutions in our lives.

Edmund Burke called them the “little platoons,” the places where we begin our “public affections.” They are the family, the churches and charities, the Scouts and the youth sports teams, the Esperanzas and the Outcry in the Barrios.

Tocqueville thought this was the genius of our system, how these institutions bond us to one another in a way land or government never can. They are the antibodies of the community, defending against both isolation and dependence.

They help foster that distinct sense of purpose that keeps us going…those things that, when the tank runs empty, they keep the heart full.

At the core of this is freedom, especially religious freedom.

Whether we are Republican or Democrat or independent, it does not matter.

We should all want our faith-based organizations to have the maximum freedom to carry out their missions…whether it is changing lives ravaged by opioids, empowering people to find a steady job, or building charter schools so more children can get a decent education.

The ‘little platoons’ can be the great equalizer. We should be an example for the world on this.

I want to close with a few words as a father.

When I announced my retirement from Congress, much of the media focused on what I was giving up.

All I could think about was what I was gaining.

What I am most grateful for these days is the chance to spend time with my kids.

We have three teenagers. Our son Charlie just graduated 8th grade from our parish school actually. It’s true what they say, how ‘the days go slow, but the years go fast.’ They really do.

I could go on and on about how their games went on Saturday, but it’s what we do on Sunday, on the Sabbath, that always sticks with me.

We just spend that time together—no real structure to it. But that time is where we really form those lasting bonds.

I want them to lead long, productive lives, and to prosper. But I think just as much about how I want to them to live.

That’s why those in-between moments mean so much to me.

That’s why this revival of civil society, of these mediating institutions, is so important to me.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Peter says:

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.”

It all begins with a grateful heart, with planting those mustard seeds of grace.

I truly believe that if we all do our part...if we start this recovery in our civil society…if we make room in our hearts, make time for one another…we can have a new time of thanksgiving, and a new birth of freedom in this country.

I pray for this. I pray for you. I pray that we all have more days to rejoice and be glad, to work together to ‘transform the outside.’

May God bless you all. May God bless the United States of America.

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Portrait of a Hero: Rep. Sam Johnson

2018/06/13

Yesterday, Speaker Ryan accepted the newest addition into the House's Portrait Collection, and for him, it was personal. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) has served and sacrificed a lot in his life: a Prisoner of War, Interim Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and hero to Speaker Ryan (along with so many others).

Although Rep. Johnson will be retiring at the end of this term, his legacy of service will continue to serve as examples for all who know him and look upon his portrait, which will soon find its permanent home in the Sam Johnson Room in the Rayburn House Office Building. 

Watch the video below for the unveiling of the portrait.

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At Leadership Press Conference, Speaker Ryan Discusses the House’s Work to Tackle the Opioid Epidemic

2018/06/13

Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan joined Republican Leadership, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), and several other House members to share stories of people from their districts who have been impacted by opioid addiction. As the House considers more than 50 bills to combat the opioid epidemic from all sides, Speaker Ryan spoke about a Wisconsin mother who is spreading hope to families facing the trials of addiction.

Opening Statement:

“You’ve heard some stories here today. Let me give you a number: 115. 115 lives lost every day in America.

“Addiction can feel all-consuming. It can seem impossible to live out your true purpose. But it does not lower the inherent value of a human life.

“Every life has meaning, and no drug can take that away.

“All of us can offer our compassion to one another so that people struggling feel that they have a place to turn.

“That is also something we’re tackling here today. Look—this is Michelle Jaskulski. It’s a really good Wisconsin name.

“This is Michelle and one of her sons. She’s got two sons. Former high school athletes. Yet, as the case is so often, they became addicted to prescription painkillers, from injuries, and then, later, heroin.

“They are alive, they are clean now. But it was a long road there, and Michelle still worries—as you all know, sobriety is—it’s very fragile.

“Friends and relatives facing addiction, they don’t fully recover, it takes a long time.

“The one thing that strikes me about how she describes dealing with her sons’ addiction: It’s the pervasive loneliness.

“She says that she felt like no one else was dealing with her same struggle. She felt disconnected from her friends, she felt disconnected from her parents, from her faith.

“It goes to show that this can be such an isolating battle. Not just as one struggling with drug use, but for those trying to figure out how they can be there for their loved ones. Mothers taking care of their sons.

“But there is hope that came out of Michelle’s family’s struggle.

“Michelle has made it her mission to help families like hers get through the wilderness of drug addiction and the difficult road to recovery. She has been a tireless advocate for more resources to prevent and treat addiction.

“Congress has heard that call, too. We are taking action to tackle this opioid epidemic.

“Among other things, these bills will stem the flow of opioids into our country. They change the way opioids are prescribed and encourage non-opioid treatments. And they crack down on deadly synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

“And then they strengthen resources for prevention and treatment, including establishing more comprehensive recovery centers.

“We’ve learned a whole lot about this problem in a short period of time.

“In fact, the recovery community—the community that Michelle now helps uphold—is one of the most resilient. This is what she is doing now with her life—making sure that other families don’t fall into the trap that hers did.

“We should applaud that model of support. Our institutions should emulate and encourage this kind of fellowship.

“In those overcoming addiction, and in those supporting them, this is where I see America at its strongest.

“People coming together to help each other through these difficult times, getting rid of the isolation, and having a multi-pronged approach to tackle this opioid crisis.

“This is all about restoring hope, it’s about lifting up communities, and it’s about, hopefully, saving lives.”

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Not So 'Hip': More Jobs, Bigger Paychecks Drown Out Democrats' Economic Message

2018/06/12

By now, you may have seen Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) recent sarcastic comments in response to the lowest unemployment rate in half a century. “Hip, hip, hooray,” she said, going on to say that America’s workers are thinking, “I need a bigger paycheck.”

Now, we get it. The economy is on a roll. All those predictions of tax reform leading to “Armageddon” and “the end of the world” didn’t exactly pan out. So, naturally, why say you were wrong when you can pretend to still be right?

Just this morning, for instance, we got word that, with the help of tax reform, small business optimism has hit its highest level in more than 30 years. Expectations for increased sales are the highest in more than 20 years. And—wait for it— “reports of compensation increases also hit their highest in the history of the index.”

All this matters because, as is often said, “small businesses, as we know, are the backbone of our economy.” (Leader Pelosi’s words, and good ones too.)

There is this from Joint Economic Committee Chairman Erik Paulsen (R-MN):

Average hourly earnings for rank-and-file production and nonsupervisory workers in May 2018 were 2.8 percent higher than a year ago, the fastest increase since July 2009. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and regulatory reform, American workers’ wage growth is finally approaching the previous expansion’s 3 percent average.”

This is not just data. After years of being stuck, these are American workers and American families getting ahead.

This isn’t to say we should be sitting on our laurels, and all that. That’s why we just enacted critical legislation to help community banks and unlock credit for Main Street. We are working on improving infrastructure, and making it easier to get people out of poverty and into the workforce.We are never going to stop fighting to make our economy better,” Speaker Ryan said recently.

Closing thought: So perhaps a rebranding is in order for our friends across the aisle? They could go the Stanley Cup Bandwagon route, and put it in #ALLCAPS. They could go with a renaming gimmick, in the style of IHOP (hence the subject line of this e-mail.) Or they could turn to the experts who really have their finger on the pulse of the working families in this country. Oh wait, they’re already doing that:

Democrats turn to Hollywood for messaging help

Thanks for reading.

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Statement on Summit with North Korea

2018/06/12

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement at the conclusion of President Trump’s summit with North Korea:

"For decades, American policy toward North Korea has failed, and I commend the president for not accepting the status quo. As negotiations now advance, there is only one acceptable final outcome: complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization. We must always be clear that we are dealing with a brutal regime with a long history of deceit. Only time will tell if North Korea is serious this time, and in the meantime we must continue to apply maximum economic pressure. The road ahead is a long one, but today there is hope that the president has put us on a path to lasting peace in the Korean peninsula." 

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With Tax Reform, Workers Get Ahead

2018/06/08

It’s been almost six months since the enactment of the biggest tax code overhaul in more than three decades. Already, more than one million jobs have been created in that time. And unemployment is at its lowest level in half a century.

Yet, Democratic leaders say that progress like this “means little” to families. It actually means quite a lot, especially in terms of how it’s helping workers get ahead—and we’re not just talking about bonuses and bigger paychecks.

In recent months, several companies have announced new investments in lifelong learning programs, credits employees can put toward tuition and books, and partnerships with educational institutions. These benefits are critical, helping employees advance and lay the groundwork for a better future.

Here are some examples:

  • Boeing: This week, Boeing announced it would invest $100 million in employee education programs, “the latest step in fulfilling its 2017 pledge to invest $300 million in employees, infrastructure, and local communities as a result of U.S. tax reform.” The company started a new partnership to provide online educational resources to employees, funds programs to equip employees with necessary skills, and is teaming up with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Historically Black Colleges and Universities to support scholarships and technical training. As CEO Dennis Muilenburg tweeted: “Thanks to #taxreform savings, we continue to invest where it matters most—our people.”
  • McDonald’s: Following the passage of the tax law, McDonald’s decided to add $150 million to its Archways to Opportunity program, which provides tuition assistance to employees. It also expanded the program, making it available to more employees.  
  • Walmart: Walmart began several initiatives to make degrees in relevant areas more accessible to its full-time and part-time employees. Through the program—a collaboration between the company and online education institutions—employees will pay $1 per day toward their degree, and Walmart will cover remaining tuition expenses, books, and fees. It will also offer college prep classes as part of the initiative, and has recruited an independent party to measure the program’s success.
  • Disney: Disney, citing tax reform, made a new $50 million investment into an education program for employees to “make higher education more accessible.” Through the program, employees can receive either vocational training or higher education—adding on to existing educational reimbursement programs the company currently offers to full-time workers.  
  • Kroger: In April, Kroger “announced it would ramp up its education benefit programs following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For both part-time and full-time employees, the company has committed to reimbursing a portion of tuition each year, whether that means a GED, technical school, college, or other career advancement courses. Introducing the new Feed Your Future program, Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said “We’re offering an investment in our associates’ future.”   

As Speaker Ryan said this week, “This economic momentum—it doesn’t happen by accident. We don’t just fall into this stuff.” This is what happens when we pass worker-oriented, pro-growth policies. By making the ladder of opportunity a bit easier to climb, these important investments can change Americans’ lives for the better.

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Statement on White House Initiative to Fight Youth Opioid Abuse

2018/06/07

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement on the White House’s new initiative to combat the opioid epidemic with a focus on educating young Americans about the dangers of opioid use and addiction:   

The opioid epidemic has no boundaries—it has brought harrowing losses to our communities and has cut short too many futures. We are resolute in the fight against this scourge, and with this new initiative to better educate young people about the realities and dangers of opioids, more lives can be saved. The measures the House will begin considering next week continue our work to prevent and treat these destructive addictions.” 

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Legislation to Fight MS-13 Goes to President’s Desk

2018/06/07

WASHINGTON—A bill to help communities take on violent gangs like MS-13 heads to the president’s desk after being signed today by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). Authored by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act makes resources available to state and local law enforcement agencies working to curb the rise in gang activity and violence. The measure passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Rep. Comstock joined Speaker Ryan for today’s signing, along with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA).

Speaker Ryan: This is about protecting our communities. These gangs prey on young people in the worst way, with chilling violence and recruitment tactics. We want local law enforcement to have every resource at its disposal to stomp out this monstrous threat. Barbara Comstock has really stepped up to get Congress to focus on MS-13, and this initiative is a direct result of her efforts.”

Rep. Comstock: “Our communities need critical resources to battle violent transnational gangs like MS-13. The Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, comprised of 13 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, explains that the best anti-gang method is a three-pronged approach: education, intervention/prevention, and enforcement. I have seen firsthand the good work that gang taskforces can do to remove the gang threats in our community. They are an important tool in crime prevention, and this legislation will make sure they have the tools they need to take on violent gangs like MS-13.”

Read more:Congress to Combat Brutal Gang Violence‘Why We Are Here’: Speaker Ryan Discusses New Laws for Veterans, Patients, and Communities

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‘Why We Are Here’: Speaker Ryan Discusses New Laws for Veterans, Patients, and Communities

2018/06/07

Summary: At his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan discussed immigration and three major pieces of legislation—two of which have been signed into law—to improve veterans’ care, expand pediatric cancer research, and help communities combat threats from violent gangs like MS-13.  

Immigration

“Morning. We just had a very productive conference meeting, in the House Republican Conference, to discuss solutions to our broken immigration system.

“Members were very engaged, and it’s clear that there are a lot of areas of consensus.

“I am pleased that members on all sides of our conference are engaging directly to find a solution.

“You know, one of the things that I don’t like about this job is how things just flow up to leadership to make big decisions. How we often, too often, centralize power around here.

“I’m happiest when the members—not the leaders—when the members are making policy decisions, going through the committee process. I’m happy that we have had this process on display this morning in our conference.

“So this is a conversation that will continue, and hopefully we can find a path ahead that is consistent with the four pillars that the president laid out and avoids a pointless discharge petition.”

Achievements for the American People

“And one of the things I do like about this job is getting big things done for the American people.

“Our economy is on a roll, workers are getting ahead.

“Unemployment is at its lowest level in half a century. Wages are up, confidence is up. More than 1 million jobs have been created since the passage of tax reform.

“Here are three vital pieces of legislation that either have become law or are about to become law:

“The most significant pediatric cancer bill in history, which will make it easier to find cures and treatments for these brave patients.

“A sweeping measure to improve the care of our veterans, with more bold reforms to fix problems at the VA.

“And critical resources to help local law enforcement take on violent gangs like MS-13.

“Next week, the House is going to take action on more initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic, which is a scourge that is killing 115 Americans a day. 

“All of this is about improving people’s lives.

“It is about addressing the things that families and communities deal with each and every day.

“That’s why we are here. And that’s why we are seeing such success.”

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Speaker Ryan: ‘This Economic Momentum—It Doesn’t Happen by Accident’

2018/06/06

Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan shared some of the biggest economic news from the past week, highlighting the healthy job market, rising wages, and economic growth that have been strengthened by the House’s policies. He also previewed the water infrastructure bill the House will consider today to improve America’s ports, dams, and waterways.

Opening Statement:

“What I’m about to say may sound familiar because it’s worth repeating.

“This economy is on a roll, there is just no two ways about it.

“There are 6.7 million jobs open in this country. This is a record.

“In fact, as Kevin just said, the number of jobs that are open actually exceeds the number of jobs that people are seeking.

“Think about this for a second. This is a great time to enter the job market.

“Unemployment is at 3.8 percent. 3.8 percent unemployment rate is the lowest unemployment rate in half a century.

“Wages are growing too. The wage growth is truly impressive.

“Every decline to unemployment represents one more American getting off the sidelines, getting in the job market, climbing the ladder of life. Every job that is open represents a new opportunity for another American.

“This is why we’re doing this.

“This economic momentum—it doesn’t happen by accident. We don’t just fall into this stuff. We’ve worked hard to create an economic environment where this kind of growth is possible.

“That’s what these policies produce.

“Last week, I went to a Kroger plant in Springdale, Ohio, with Steve Chabot. This is where they make the ice cream at Kroger.

“After tax reform, they used the savings to hire more people, to raise wages, to improve benefits.

“They put new education benefits for lifelong learning for their employees, and they increased their 401(k) match.

“These are the types of changes that help workers put food on the table, helps workers get better education to get ahead, and helps people feel more secure in their retirement.

“Why? Because employers are giving more benefits to employees, they’re hiring more people, there are more opportunities.

“Again, this good news—these don’t come together by accident. They come together because of good policies.

“And this result is what matters most.

“The purpose of all of these policies is to improve people’s lives. It’s to build a stronger, healthier, more prosperous America.

“This week, we’re voting on another infrastructure bill, a water infrastructure bill, which is critically important to keep our economic growth going.

“It will make it easier to complete projects improving our ports, our waterways, our dams, our harbors.

“This is yet another way that we are supporting the competitiveness of an American economy and helping put our industries in a position to drive future growth in the future.”

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Water Infrastructure for a More Competitive America

2018/06/05

This week, amid strong economic momentum, we will be moving forward with another piece of our agenda to bolster our nation’s infrastructure—specifically, water infrastructure.

The bipartisan Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct projects improving water infrastructure: the ports, dams, and waterways that help facilitate commerce throughout our country and with the world.

This policy is yet another step to cut through barriers to economic growth, by enabling federal investments in locally proposed projects that will make our water infrastructure operate more efficiently and productively. If passed, WRDA will add to the progress we’ve already made this year when it comes to rebuilding America’s infrastructure. Congress sent the president a government funding bill that included $21.2 billion in new funding for infrastructure improvements. The administration announced a series of permitting reforms based on tools Congress provided in the most recent highway bill. And the House has passed a critical FAA reauthorization bill to upgrade airports and air travel.

This bill will help our industries maintain their competitive edge. To compete globally, a country needs efficient, high-quality ports. Ours, which process nearly $4 billion in exports and imports each day, can now get the updates they need. It will help maintain our network of inland waterways, which weaves through every state in the country. These waterways support $230 billion worth of cargo annually, connecting manufacturers and builders with essential commodities that support their trades and American jobs. And the bill includes reforms to prevent project delays.

By passing bills in 2014, 2016, and now with this bill, Congress has returned WRDA to a two-year cycle to ensure regulatory hurdles aren’t preventing infrastructure from being kept up to date.

All of this goes toward building on the economic gains we’ve already made during this Congress, and making changes that people will see in their everyday lives.  

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'Break The Cycle': Speaker Ryan Discusses Fighting Poverty on ‘Firing Line’

2018/06/04

In 1966, the first episode of the original "Firing Line with William F. Buckley” explored the federal government’s War on Poverty. Now, 52 years later, Margaret Hoover and PBS are relaunching the iconic program with a conversation about that same issue with Speaker Ryan.

The conversation comes at an opportune time. Through the new tax law, states are setting up opportunity zones to bring much-needed private investment to distressed communities. The House is making progress on reforms to help more people get out of poverty and into the workforce. “We want to break the cycle,” Speaker Ryan says in the interview.

Watch the full interview here and check out excerpts below.

“Defining success based on results”

Speaker Ryan: “For 50 years, people, mostly in the left, have defined success in the war on poverty based on how much money are you throwing at a problem. How many programs are you creating? How many people are on the federal programs? Not defining success based on results. Are there fewer people in poverty? I mean what ought to happen if we are successful, is fewer and fewer and fewer people are using the program because they aren't poor anymore, and that is how we think success ought to be defined, so I think the metrics had been distorted for a long time, and now we finally can get to a conversation where what works is what we ought to do.”

“This is about saving souls, not dollars”

Speaker Ryan: “We'll save money in the back end when people are out of poverty. That’s where that money will be saved…this is like our food stamp reforms we are pushing right now. This is not about a big money saving exercise, this is about saving souls, not dollars. So the federal government should monitor supply lines, provide resources, but they shouldn't micro-manage the front lines in fighting poverty. The people and the groups on the ground, eye-to-eye, soul-to-soul, person-to-person, they are the ones best equipped to solve these problems and help people. That's why we want society to get re-engaged in…these groups and mediating institutions to help solve these problems. And then now, in the 21st century, we have a bill that does this. We can actually measure success very accurately and measure it based on results and outcomes, not on output and dollars.”

“Opportunity zones are now law of the land”

Speaker Ryan: “And there are things we have done that are in law just this year that we believe will bring people into fighting poverty…When I was a young Jack Kemp guy, we were fighting for something called "enterprise zones.” We now have opportunities zones in law, part of our tax law, something that I worked on with Tim Scott, a senator from South Carolina…Opportunity zones are now law of the land. What that means is 25% of the poorest census tracts in America are now eligible for an opportunity zone. A person can sell an asset, not pay capital gains on it…invest that money into an opportunity zone. If they keep it there for ten years, that investment in these poor areas, they don't pay capital gains taxes on it. So what this means is there’s about six trillion dollars of untapped wealth, of unrealized capital gains, that can now be directed into the poorest communities of America, to bring back jobs, to bring education, to bring revitalization into these neighborhoods. We also had something called social impact bonds, which is we want to have a social good that we want to focus on, we can bring private capital to it, float a bond to finance fixing these social problems in these poor communities and if it works, the bond pays off. If it doesn't, it doesn't, so it is all evidence-based policy making. Two great private sector ideas to focus on getting people in the private sector in our communities on fixing problems in poor communities.”

“It is a perfect time in this kind of economy, with a low unemployment rate, with the lowest jobless rate in [nearly] 48 years, to get people out of poverty [and] into the workforce”

Speaker Ryan: “We had two pilot projects to prove this ideaone in Maine and one in Kansaswhich says if you introduce a work requirement for an able-bodied adult on food stamps that doesn't have small kids, so we’re talking about people ages 18 to 59, there are 12 million who are not working, who are not looking for work, or not in school, so their skills are atrophying. They are on the sidelines. We want to pull them in the workforce. We’ve got over 6 million jobs available right now in America that are going unfilled. So it is a perfect time in this kind of economy, with a low unemployment rate, with the lowest jobless rate in [nearly] 48 years, to get people out of poverty [and] into the workforce. What we are saying is you have to put 20 hours of work in a week or 20 hours of going to school or serving in a community, like a charity. And if you want to go to school, your costs will be covered. So this is, again, not about saving money, it is about saving lives. It says if you are an able-bodied person, don't have small kids, you have to put in 20 hours of work, you have to go to work or go to school and your cost of school will be covered, because we believe this is how you pull people off the sidelines…and what we’ve learned is when you introduce a work requirement like that, it actually works.”

“We want to get people on to the life they want”

Speaker Ryan: “I think at the end of the day, a person who will go from food stamps to school, into a career and to be able to support themselves and have a family and live a great life and meet potential, that person will not be consuming these benefits and we'll save money at the back end. But what's more important than saving money is a person will reach their potential. The American Idea will be revitalized so that the condition of your birth doesn't determine the outcome of your life in this country. A lot of people don't think that's true for them anymore. A lot of people are [in a] multi-generational poverty [trap]. We want to break the cycle. We want to get people into the life they want, onto the ladder of life. And we really believe that this kind of tool does that and we tried it and it's worked, so that's why we are pushing it.”

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The Economy Is on a Roll

2018/06/04

By most accounts, the U.S. economy is roaring. “The US economy has this incredible head of steam,” one analyst said. In the past week, there’s been tons of good news showing the country’s economic momentum—and most importantly, how this growth is reaching working Americans.

All this good news has Democrats “worrying.” That's because they fought tax reform at every turn, and continue to do so, pledging to raise taxes if given the chance. They want to return us to the economic rut we faced for years.

But we aren't going back. The results speak for themselves, including a jobs report so strong the New York Times “ran out of words” to describe how good it was:

  • 3.8: Friday’s jobs report exceeded expectations, with 223,000 jobs added to the economy across a variety of sectors, and a 3.8 percent unemployment rate—the lowest in half a century. And as Joint Economic Committee Chairman Erik Paulsen (R-MN) found, 1 million jobs have been created since tax reform was enacted.
  • 2.7: As the Washington Examiner pointed out: “The good news is not confined to the fact that there is an abundance of jobs.” Wages are up 2.7 percent over the last year, and the rate of those who have been discouraged from trying to find work fell to 7.6 percent.
  • 0.6: Consumer spending increased by 0.6 percent in April, the biggest number in five months, according to the Department of Commerce. The Wall Street Journal noted, “Rising incomes, extra dollars from last year’s tax cut and low unemployment helped propel spending on both goods and services in April.”
  • 68.7: For the fifth straight quarter, the MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index rose, “amid the strongest local economic outlook in the history of the survey, a firmer hiring environment, and a stronger backdrop for investing.” Small business owners feel confident about the days ahead, with nearly two-thirds of them expecting earnings growth and one-third expecting to hire.
  • 4.8: The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s GDPNow tracker estimates real GDP growth of 4.8 percent for the second quarter of 2018. The uptick was boosted by the strong jobs report, construction spending and manufacturing activity, and more growth in consumer spending and investment.
  • 58.7: American manufacturing is having a moment. In the Institute for Supply Management’s latest manufacturing Report On Business, the overall index grew to register at 58.7 percent. New orders, employment, and production all grew this month, as well. 
  • 128.0: Consumer confidence reached a 17-year high in May, as measured by the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index. Consumers expressed optimism about current conditions, including business conditions, and the percent of those who believe jobs are “plentiful” climbed by more than 4 percent. Both the Present Situation Index and the Expectations Index improved, suggesting consumers’ outlooks are positive.

 

Read more from our by-the-numbers series below:

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Opportunity Summer: States Gearing Up for Economic Boosts

2018/06/01

If today’s jobs report tells us anything, it’s that the American economy is in great shape. Thanks to tax reform, business owners and workers alike are seeing an economic environment ripe with opportunity—which leads us to our next point.

Recently, we’ve been talking about opportunity zones and how they’re designed for “pockets of the country in desperate need of revitalization.” More and more, states and local communities are starting to realize just how transformative these zones could be. In fact, opportunity zones have been approved in all but four states nationwide—that’s a whole lot of economic potential for communities that need it.

Here are some highlights from areas across the country welcoming new opportunity zones to their neighborhoods:

In North Carolina, 252 of its lowest-income areas have been designated as opportunity zones. This is especially great news for the state’s rural communities.

In Illinois, Governor Bruce Rauner announced 327 opportunity zones throughout 85 counties in the state. In his words, “These zones include some of the most underserved areas of the state that have the greatest potential for improvement.”

In Massachusetts, the community of Gloucester is hopeful its two designated zones will attract investors and, in turn, boost its economy.

In Michigan, local leaders are hopeful the new incentives will generate investment, and are working with federal officials to learn and share more information about the program to designated neighborhoods.   

In West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) recently announced 55 opportunity zones across the state had been certified. Justice said this new economic development tool “continues our movement forward and the hope for brighter days ahead.”

In Iowa, officials say they’ve seen a “waiting list” of potential investors, springing optimism for the potential success of the opportunity zones program in the state’s 62 designated communities.

In Oregon, business owners are excited about what the zones mean for their businesses, with one saying “We really have an opportunity to create jobs.”

And that’s only just the start. To learn more about opportunity zones, visit speaker.gov—and be sure to keep an eye out in your own neck of the woods. 

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Statement on Tariff Announcement

2018/05/31

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the decision to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union:

“I disagree with this decision. Instead of addressing the real problems in the international trade of these products, today’s action targets America’s allies when we should be working with them to address the unfair trading practices of countries like China. There are better ways to help American workers and consumers. I intend to keep working with the president on those better options.”

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Full Steam Ahead: May in Photos

2018/05/30

Our economy is soaring. The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in nearly 20 years and workers are seeing better wages and benefits. Businesses are creating jobs. This is all good news. But that doesn’t mean the People’s House is slowing down.

May was a heavy legislative month: Nearly 60 bills—many bipartisan—passed the House. President Trump also signed several major pieces of legislation, including “Right to Try” legislation to provide hope to terminally ill patients and their families, and a major reform of the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure our veterans get the care they’ve earned and deserve.

Here are nine photos that show some of our favorite moments from May:

1. The Enrollment Ceremony – Last week, Congress sent three major pieces of legislation to the president’s desk—three items that have been in the works for a long time. Joined by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), and Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Speaker Ryan signs a financial reform bill that cuts overregulation in order to help small businesses and American families.

2. Ceremony Honoring Fallen Law Enforcement – Speaker Ryan joins President Trump, Vice President Pence, and members of the cabinet for a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol honoring fallen law enforcement officers during National Police Week.

3. The Cowboy Boots – Speaker Ryan sports a pair of cowboy boots at his weekly press conference.

4. The Coast Guard Commandant – Speaker Ryan shares a laugh with the incoming United States Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz.

5. The Student Stop-By – Speaker Ryan surprises a group of students from Fort Worth, Texas on the Speaker’s Balcony during their tour of the Capitol.

6. Familiar Faces – Speaker Ryan meets with members of the Wisconsin Trucking Association, who were in town discussing issues facing their industry.

7. The Kay Coles James Sit-Down – Kay Coles James, President of The Heritage Foundation, sits down with Speaker Ryan to discuss workforce development. They agreed that the role of government should be to empower people to achieve their own American Idea.

8. The Great Laurel vs. Yanny Debate – Speaker Ryan settles the Laurel/Yanny debate at a weekly press conference: “I’d like to declare something that is just so obvious: It is ‘Laurel’ and not ‘Yanny.’…How many ‘Laurel’ fans here? Right? Thank you.”

9. Blast from the Past – Speaker Ryan meets with Wisconsin YMCA leaders to discuss their summer programming. When he was a teenager, the speaker served as a counselor at Camp Manito-wish. As he stated: “I’m a Y guy!”

Related stories:

April in Photos: Running through the Tape

Speaker Ryan’s Made-in-Wisconsin Business Tour

Photos: President Macron’s Address to Congress

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

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A Few Important Things

2018/05/29

There was so much happening last week, we wouldn’t be surprised if you missed some things. The House was busy at work with a “flurry of legislative activity,” sending three bills to the president’s desk: the VA MISSION Act to improve care for veterans; a Dodd-Frank reform bill lightening the burden of financial regulations; and Right to Try legislation to ensure terminally ill patients have access to expanded treatment options.   

But we wanted to highlight a few of the House’s other achievements from the past week that may have gone under the radar—all steps taken to help improve Americans’ lives:

  • Moving People from Welfare to Work: Good news out of the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday: It passed the Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services (JOBS) for Success Act. This bill, which is another plank of the House’s poverty-fighting agenda, overhauls the current Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. It shifts the program to a system that holds states accountable and ensures funding is being used as effectively as possible to equip people to become and stay employed. Our economy is brimming with opportunities—this will help us better match people with them.
  • Reforming the Criminal Justice System: The House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan prison reform bill to cut down on recidivism and support federal prisoners as they reenter society. The bill would provide evidence-based programming to improve public safety while ensuring that returning federal prisoners can become productive members in their communities. The House and the Trump administration have made reforming the federal prison system a priority—this bill is the result of their hard work and collaboration and is supported by faith groups, law enforcement, and advocates.   
  • Advancing Lifesaving Research: The House unanimously passed the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act—the most significant pediatric cancer research bill in Congress’ history, sending it to the president’s desk. The bill enables the National Institutes of Health to expand research into childhood cancer and supports ways for states to better track cancer among children, in the hope that fewer and fewer children will have to cope with this disease.  
  • Strengthening Water Infrastructure: As Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) wrote, “This week, we turn our attention to the ports, levees, dams, inland waterways and other components of the nation’s water transportation system. This delivery network improves the arteries of commerce that move goods from our heartland to the coasts.” And the committee did just that, unanimously approving the Water Resources Development Act to begin upgrading our nation’s water infrastructure.

On top of all these positives, news came that the U.S. has now reclaimed the title of world’s most competitive economy. Things are continuing to look up for Americans. 

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Remarks Honoring the Fallen at the Rochester, WI Memorial Day Service

2018/05/28

ROCHESTER, WI—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke today at the 152nd Memorial Day Service in Rochester, Wisconsin. His remarks, as prepared, are below:

"This, to me, is small-town tradition—small-town patriotism—at its finest. 

“Think about how, before this—before a local telegrapher organized a small ceremony to honor his younger brother, who died for the Union—this really hadn’t been done before in America. 

“Think about how, before America—before our Founders conceived a government by the people, based on a vision of liberty and justice for all—that idea had never been tried before in the world. 

“It is an idea so inspiring, so animating that generations have given their lives to preserve it. 

“They met those gravest moments—on the beaches, in the muck and the jungle, through the fire—they met them so honestly and courageously. 

“They loved their country.

“This is why we come here, year after year—not because any law or ordinance requires it. 

“We gather here out of a deep love of country, and a shared recognition that the blessings of freedom come at a dear cost.  “Memorial Day is such a profound statement of our patriotism. 

“It ties simple ritual to ultimate sacrifice.

“It ties our daily lives to the greater things. 

“It ties our darkest hours to the torch of liberty.

“There are, I think, at least three things each of us can do in our own way to honor Memorial Day. 

“The first is, remember the fallen by honoring the living. 

“Many of these men and women laid down their lives to protect their comrades. Many died thinking about their loved ones back home, maybe holding a picture of them, praying they would be okay.

“We should think about what each of us can do to take care of the heroes who live on: our veterans, our wounded warriors, our Gold Star families. God bless them all.

“The second thing is, we should really think about what each of us can do to rekindle and renew this beautiful American Idea—these principles of liberty and self-determination—so that we can pass it on to our children, just as we will pass on this great tradition itself.

“The third thing we can do is think about the service members from our communities who wear the uniform today.

“I have had no greater privilege on your behalf than spending time with them, wherever they are stationed in the world. 

“They are truly the best of us.

“After September 11th, I began to carry around a list of young men from this area who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, sons of Racine, Rock, Kenosha, and Walworth counties. 

“In closing, I would like to read their names and observe a brief moment of silence:

Private First Class Sean SchneiderU.S. ArmyJanesville 

Specialist Justin LindenU.S. Army Clinton

Private First Class Andrew Halverson U.S. Marine CorpsMuscoda

Lance Corporal Daniel WyattU.S. Marine CorpsCaledonia

Sergeant First Class Donald EachoU.S. ArmyBlack Creek

Specialist Eric PoelmanU.S. ArmyRacine

Lance Corporal Ryan NassU.S. Marine CorpsFranklin

Staff Sergeant Nathan VachoU.S. ArmyJanesville

Private First Class Eric ClarkU.S. ArmyPleasant Prairie

Private Evan BixlerU.S. Army Racine 

Corporal Keith NurnbergU.S. ArmyGenoa City

Captain Rhett SchillerU.S. Army Waterford

Private First Class Timothy Hanson U.S. Army Kenosha

Staff Sergeant Christopher Frost U.S. Air ForceWaukesha

Corporal Richard Nelson U.S. Marine CorpsRacine

Sergeant First Class Brian NasemanU.S. ArmyRacine

Specialist Kevin GrahamU.S. ArmySalem

Lance Corporal Jacob MeinertU.S. Marine CorpsFort Atkinson

Specialist Robert RieckhoffU.S. ArmyKenosha

Specialist Scott NagorskiU.S. ArmyGreenfield

Private First Class Donnell Hamilton, Jr. U.S. ArmyKenosha

"God bless America. Thank you."

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Statement on Today’s Department of Justice Briefing

2018/05/24

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released this statement following today’s Department of Justice briefing:

“In 1977, the House of Representatives created a permanent intelligence oversight committee to protect the public and our constitutional liberties. That committee is provided by law with access to our most sensitive secrets and charged with protecting from disclosure anything that would harm the security of this nation. Inherent in the committee’s work is the responsibility to ask tough questions of the executive branch. That is why we have insisted and will continue to insist on Congress’s constitutional right to information necessary for the conduct of oversight.

“I appreciate the Department arranging today’s briefing. As always, I cannot and will not comment on a classified session. I look forward to the prompt completion of the intelligence committee’s oversight work in this area now that they are getting the cooperation necessary for them to complete their work while protecting sources and methods.”

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A Busy Morning

2018/05/24

8:00 a.m. Address to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

In an address at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Speaker Ryan urged all Catholics to come together to combat the spread of tribalism and identity politics. 

“Let us recommit ourselves to living not just successful lives, but the faithful lives that the grace of God makes possible for all of us. Let us recapture these beautiful, unifying principles of Catholic social teaching. That’s how we can give America a new birth of freedom rightly understood.”Read the Speaker’s full remarks here.

9:15 a.m. Enrollment Ceremony for Three Major Pieces of Legislation

Back at the Capitol, Speaker Ryan was joined by a number of committee chairs to send three important pieces of legislation to the president’s desk:

  • Financial reform to help American families and small businesses.
  • Right to try legislation to give hope to terminally ill patients and their families.
  • VA reform to provide veterans better access to quality care.

“Today, these three bills are set to become law. Today, months—in some cases years—of hard work come to a successful conclusion. Today, we turn good ideas into real results to help improve people’s lives.”Read the Speaker’s full remarks here.

9:35 a.m. Floor Remarks on the National Defense Authorization Act

On the House floor, Speaker Ryan called for passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which builds on the recent historic increase in defense funding, and gives our troops their biggest pay raise in nine years. The House approved the measure with 351 votes.

Mr. Speaker, this is a very busy week in the House. . . . Earlier this year, we enacted a historic increase in military funding, made possible by the bipartisan budget agreement that came before it. This allowed us to advance the bill that we have before us right here today. . . .  This National Defense Authorization—it presents another major step toward rebuilding and reforming our military.”Read the Speaker’s full remarks here.

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Speaker Ryan Enrolls Three Bills to Support Veterans, Help the Terminally Ill, and Ease Financial Regulations

2018/05/24

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act, and the VA MISSION Act, sending them to the president’s desk. Below are the remarks he delivered at the enrollment ceremony:

“Hello everybody. We are here to send three significant pieces of legislation to the president’s desk. This is legislation that will make a real difference to improve people’s lives.

“It’s incredible what this Congress has achieved just this week.

“First up is the financial reform bill.

“This is going to help community banks that have been hurting for years under overregulation.

“It will create a better environment for Main Street to thrive. It will open up more opportunities for families and small businesses. It will make the economy stronger.

“I want to thank Chairman Jeb Hensarling and the members of the Financial Services Committee for their work on this legislation.

“Then is the right-to-try bill.

“Because of this law, terminally ill patients will be able to get access to experimental treatments and therapies to have a chance for a longer life.

“This gives families—those who have been really hurting—this gives them something that they have not been able to get: more time and more hope.

“I want to thank Chairman Walden and the Energy and Commerce Committee—I want to thank Ron Johnson, from Wisconsin—for their tireless efforts that have made this day possible.

“And then third, we have the VA MISSION Act.

“Memorial Day reminds us of our moral obligation to do right by our nation’s heroes. This bill will give veterans better access to the care that they need and the care that they deserve.

“It is another critical step in the work, led by Chairman Roe and the members of his committee, and Chairman Isakson, to put the VA back on track.

“All of these are promises that we have kept. And there is more to come.

“Today, the House will act on legislation to continue rebuilding our military, and give our servicemembers another well-deserved pay raise.

“And in the coming weeks, we will be acting to combat the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our communities.

“But today, these three bills are set to become law.

“Today, months—in some cases years—of hard work has come to a successful conclusion.

“Today, we turn good ideas into real results to help improve people’s lives.

“I am just so proud of that.

“Before we sign these bills, I’d like to ask our committee chairs to say a few words about these very important pieces of legislation.”

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Speaker Ryan’s Floor Remarks on Keeping the Promise to Our Armed Forces

2018/05/24

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed today with overwhelming bipartisan support:

“Mr. Speaker, this is a very busy week in the House.

“I just came to the floor from a ceremony where I just signed three major pieces of legislation that are now headed to the president’s desk to become law.

“This House has been very busy keeping its promises: to unleash our economy, to take care of our veterans, to provide hope for the terminally ill. We just signed those three things that are now on their way to the president’s desk.  

“But perhaps the most important promise that we made was the one that we made to the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces.

“We promised to start rebuilding our military. To give them the resources that they needed to do their jobs. To reassert the United States' dominance in our military, in the world.

“After tax reform, that was my most important legislative priority, because that was our most important legislative priority. And, Mr. Chairman, it is another promise kept.

“Earlier this year, we enacted a historic increase in military funding, made possible by the bipartisan budget agreement that came before it.

“This allowed us to advance the bill that we have before us right here today.

“I want to thank the members of the Armed Services Committee—the ranking member—but I especially want to thank Chairman Thornberry for his work on this bill and his tireless advocacy for our men and women in uniform.

“This National Defense Authorization—it presents another major step toward rebuilding and reforming our military. It will repair the damage done over the previous decade.

“It starts with readiness. It starts with readiness because this country has had a readiness crisis that has been costing us lives. More American servicemembers are being killed in accidents and training exercises than on the battlefield.

“As Secretary Mattis put it, he was shocked by the poor state of our readiness. We must reverse that.

“So this bill invests in training. This bill invests in equipment. It grows the size of all branches of our military. And it prioritizes missile defense and our nuclear deterrent.

“It’s a very dangerous world, and this legislation will help us counter the threats, whether they’re new or traditional—whether from China or Russia or Iran or North Korea.

“But like I said, we are not just rebuilding our military, we are reforming our military.

“The legislation streamlines the bureaucracy and improves the buying practices so that we are not devoting more resources to what wastes, we are devoting more resources to what counts: keeping this country strong and keeping this country safe.

“And of course, we are taking care of our servicemembers and their families with the biggest pay raise for our troops in nine years.

“I am so proud of this legislation. I am so proud of our legislators. I’m so proud of the chairmen for making this moment possible.

“Here we are, not just keeping our promise, but making this a better, stronger, safer United States.

“This will have a lasting impact and this will ensure that America continues to lead in the 21st century.

“I thank the chairmen and the members of the committee. And I urge adoption of this bill.” 

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Statement on North Korea

2018/05/24

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after President Trump announced there would be no summit with North Korea next month:

"The North Korean regime has long given ample reason to question its commitment to stability. We must continue to work with our allies toward a peaceful resolution, but that will require a much greater degree of seriousness from the Kim regime. At the same time, Congress has provided significant tools to hold North Korea accountable, and it is important that the United States not relent in this maximum pressure campaign." 

 

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FULL TEXT: Speaker Ryan’s Address to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

2018/05/24

WASHINGTON—At the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) urged all Catholics to come together to address the spread of tribalism and identity politics in our country. Following are Speaker Ryan’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:   

“Good morning, everybody. I am honored to be here with friends and colleagues—people I have admired and worked with for a long time.

“So there is a psalm I like a lot. It is the 46th psalm: ‘Be still and know that I am God.’

“We live our lives at such a relentless pace. There’s rarely time to slow down, let alone be still.

“But the stillness of reflection—of prayer—is where we reconnect with our faith, with our place in the circle of humanity.

“Stillness is even more precious in a time when our public discourse has become more raucous than rational. ‘The survival of the shrillest,’ some have called it.

“We tend to fixate on the shrillness, but let’s talk about survival for a moment. It seems like we are always in survival mode, doesn’t it? Trying to get through the day, if not the hour. We go through the motions, we argue on the margins. We get absorbed in intrigue that isn’t so intriguing.

“There is a line attributed to Saint Augustine: ‘God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are too full to receive them.’

“I want to spend a few minutes reflecting on some of the gifts God is trying to give us, namely what Catholic social doctrine brings to public life.

“Because there is a deeply serious problem we see right now within our society.

“We see moral relativism becoming more and more pervasive in our culture. Identity politics and tribalism have grown on top of this. All of it has been made more prevalent by 21st century technology. And there is plenty of money to be made on making it worse.

“If there was ever a time and place where Catholics—from the clergy to the laity—are needed, it is here and now, in helping to solve this problem.

“Our social doctrine is a perfect antidote to what ails our culture. It begins with a vision of a free and virtuous society—not a set of policy prescriptions or even a toolkit for producing those prescriptions—but a vision of dignity and possibility.

“It is a vision that inspires us to serve the common good, to live faithfully, and to renew the hope that our Founders' vision of liberty and justice for all can be achieved in our less-than-perfect world.

“As lay Catholics, nothing is more fulfilling than living out our faith, with joy, with passion, with purpose. It is why this breakfast was founded, to heed Saint John Paul II's call for a ‘new evangelization.’ ‘Cast out to the deep,’ he would say.

“Because again, we are so often stuck in the shallow end, in survival mode.

‘Our social doctrine does not offer instant answers or easy outcomes. It gives us something far more important, far more animating: a way to conduct our public discourse so that a measure of wisdom is achieved through common work toward noble ends.

“This goes beyond a call for civility. The problems we are facing are bigger than the tone we take.

“Our social doctrine teaches us that democracy requires solidarity, a sense of civic friendship. We see our neighbors as partners in this common enterprise—even when we disagree, especially when we disagree.

“That friendship is the foundation for a mature civic patriotism, where we live our freedom for the common good, not just our personal gain.

“It is a patriotism grounded in respect for the inherent dignity and inalienable value of every person. We believe every person has a role and a voice in the community of concern and protection. No one is written off.

“The good news—the great news—is that there are new evangelizers living out this doctrine all around us.

“One of them is a woman named Heather Reynolds. Heather runs Catholic Charities Fort Worth.

“For years, I had been hearing about all the great work they were doing down there. Last month, I finally had the chance to see it firsthand.

“We sat down with some of their clients and case workers. That's how they do everything: case management, a customized approach.

“One gentleman, his name was Chris. Chris grew up in a big family, and he watched his older siblings get into all kinds of trouble.

“His fate was the farm or the oil field. That was it. No way out.

“One day Chris told his wife, he wanted to go to nursing school. He reached out to Catholic Charities.

“They helped him navigate the system, figure out how to make it work. Even after he graduated, they are still there for him and his family.

“What stands out for Chris is not any one thing Catholic Charities did to help him. It is, he said, ‘the feeling that you have an out, that you don't have to settle.’

“This, to me, is the great manifestation of the social magisterium. It is that sense of self-worth and meaning we can receive only from the institutions closest to us.

“People and problems are not treated as abstractions. The work is done eye-to-eye, soul-to-soul.

“That capacity to flourish—and to falter—is at the very heart of subsidiarity.

“See, that’s a word I can use with this audience, subsidiarity. It is a beautiful principle, especially when conjoined with its rightful partner: solidarity.

“Catholic social teaching tells us that our public moral culture—the foundation of our political culture—is shaped by these natural institutions and free associations of civil society.

“And it cautions us against allowing the state too great a reach into civil society.

“Otherwise, we risk stifling what de Tocqueville found so admirable in our young republic: those instincts for free association, philanthropy, and voluntarism.

“We need these mediating institutions in our lives. We need them to be healthy and vibrant. They are not just a pause from the noise, or a refuge from the ugliness. They are part of the antidote to what ails our society.

“Pope Francis has called all Catholics to be healers of the walking wounded. We should welcome that reminder, for it brings us back to what Catholics in this country have done for generations.

“We should all insist that public policy at every level permits Catholic institutions the maximum freedom to serve the poor...the elderly...children yearning for foster families...women in crisis pregnancies…families torn apart by the opioid epidemic: all those who look to the church for the help they need to live lives of purpose. We should insist on this.

“Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa, once said this: ‘God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.’

“The journey is the thing. It always has been. We obsess about how things look. Everything in politics is about 'optics,' a word I assure you I will not miss.

“Think of the good we could do if we spent a little more time looking inward, pondering how we are all imperfect, we are all fallen. Everything flows from that common humanity, from that stillness.

“Let us recommit ourselves to living not just successful lives, but the faithful lives that the grace of God makes possible for all of us. Let us recapture these beautiful, unifying principles of Catholic social teaching. 

“That’s how we can give America a new birth of freedom rightly understood. That’s how we can sustain the institutions of self-governance. That's how we can transform the public debate.

“At this moment, with these challenges before us, I see a tremendous opportunity for Catholics to lead…to help bring our culture and our country closer to their great moral potential.

“We are uniquely suited for this task, but from the clergy to the laity, we all have to be willing to step up. We all have to be willing to ‘cast out to the deep.’

“Now I do not know what lies in store for me next.

“But I promise you this: I am going to continue thinking about, and talking about, these things.

“Even if it is just as a parishioner in Janesville, Wisconsin at coffee and donuts after Mass, I will be there.

“Thank you for listening this morning.

“I pray that the peace of Christ will be with you, with your families, and with this nation we love, always.”

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Another Step Toward Rebuilding Our Military

2018/05/23

The biggest increase in defense funding in 15 years recently became law. We have entered a new era for our military, and now we are passing new reforms to keep building this 21st-century fighting force.

Tomorrow, the House will consider the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This bill, which passed out of committee with a 60-1 vote, authorizes $717 billion in defense spending. It gives our troops their biggest pay raise in nine years, and gives special pay and bonuses to those in high-demand fields.

This NDAA does several things to ensure our armed forces can operate safely and efficiently. It provides training funding for all branches and updates military aircraft to address the troubling rise in accidents. In an investigation earlier this year, the Military Times found “accidents involving all of the military’s manned fighter, bomber, helicopter and cargo warplanes rose nearly 40 percent from fiscal years 2013 to 2017,” killing at least 133 servicemembers.

This underscores how serious and important this legislation is. Our servicemembers make up the strongest armed forces in the world, and they deserve to be equipped with resources matching that caliber.

The bill authorizes funding to go toward updating and replacing Army equipment and strengthening the Naval fleet. It will help rebuild military infrastructure, including through $11.3 billion authorized for military construction.

Our military must be able to confront challenges emerging in key areas like the Indo-Pacific Region. This bill helps them do that, while maintaining long-term goals in the area. It supports strategic initiatives and joint exercises with our regional allies, and strengthens our ability to confront continued aggression by China.

The bill ensures we are prepared to face modern threats by supporting the development of new technologies, and by investing in our nuclear deterrent and missile defense system. And not only does this NDAA take a major step toward restoring military readiness—it also cuts down on bureaucracy that limits our military’s flexibility by reforming defense agencies.

As Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) said, “Our troops are our most valuable asset, and it is important to make sure they have the tools and support they need to be successful.”

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Statement on Title X Regulations and the Protect Life Rule

2018/05/23

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after the Trump administration released its Protect Life Rule to amend the Title X family planning program:

“This is a good day for the cause of life. These changes will protect the unborn and prevent Title X taxpayer funds from being used to support abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. Just as vital, this will ensure that Title X health providers are not forced to choose between their patients and their conscience. We are pleased with this progress, and remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting life and religious liberty.”

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Statement on the Passage of Financial Reform, Right to Try Legislation

2018/05/22

Washington—Today, the House passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act and the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act. Following their passage, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released this statement:

“Today, the House passed two critical pieces of bipartisan legislation that are soon to become law. We look forward to sending these bills to the president’s desk.”

Financial Regulatory Reform

“This is a major step forward in freeing our economy from overregulation. Our smaller banks are engines of growth. By lending to small businesses and offering banking services for consumers, these institutions are and will remain vital for millions of Americans who participate in our economy. By tailoring regulation for these institutions, this bill opens the door to new opportunities for families and small businesses. This critical reform could not have happened without the commitment of my friend Jeb Hensarling, who has driven the House’s efforts to bring regulatory relief to the financial system and the Americans who depend on it.”

Right to Try

“Terminally ill patients—and their loved ones—deserve the opportunity to try whatever option is available that may offer a chance for a longer life. For patients who may not qualify for certain trials—or who have tried all other options—this bill will allow them to access experimental treatments and therapies. I want to recognize Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Andy Biggs, as well as Chairman Greg Walden, for all their work on this issue. Fundamentally, this is about honoring the will of patients and their families.”

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Speaker Ryan: “We Are Never Going to Stop Fighting to Make this Economy Better”

2018/05/22

Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan spoke about work the House is doing this week to make the country’s economy even stronger, building on policies that have already created a healthier environment for working Americans. In particular, he discussed the financial reform bill the House will consider this afternoon, which will ease overly strict regulations on small banks, enabling them to better serve consumers and fuel economic growth.

Opening Statement:

“So this is, as Kevin just mentioned, a very, very busy week here in the House. We are sending the president a number of important bills.

“It starts with the financial services reforms that we’re going to pass today.

“This is a bill for the small banks that are the financial anchors of our communities.

“If you crisscross the country, you will find that community banks have been drying up.

“We’ve been losing them, and that means capital has been starved to businesses that need it to expand. This will help reverse that.

“It addresses some of Dodd-Frank’s biggest burdens to ease the regulatory costs on these smaller banks—costs which are ultimately transferred on to consumers.

“It encourages capital formation to ensure businesses have access to reliable financing.

“And it improves credit access for small businesses and Americans by making it a lot easier for these community banks to stay in business and lend.   

“I want to thank Chairman Hensarling for being a consistent champion of these efforts. No one has been more committed to getting this done than our Financial Services Committee chairman.

“These reforms are yet just one other way that we are unlocking economic growth, so that we can make a real difference in people’s lives.

“We are never going to stop fighting to make this economy better, to make it deeper, and to make it so that everyone has a shot at their version of the American Idea.

“We are already seeing these policies working, by the way.

“Just yesterday, the Gallup poll released this: Sixty-seven percent of Americans believe that now is a good time to find a quality job in the United States. That is a record high.

“Two-thirds of our fellow citizens in this country now believe it is a good time to find a quality job in the United States.

“This means Americans looking for work, they’re encouraged by the opportunities that they’re seeing.

“It means students coming out of college or coming out of technical school can feel optimistic about the job market they’re about to enter.

“And it means workers who may have been unsure about taking that leap forward in their careers now feel more confident that they can do that.

“This good news does not just stop there.

“Utility bills are coming down; wages are going up.

“And business investment is up and set to increase even more. That leads to higher wages, more productivity—a sounder, firmer, healthier economy.

“All of this means Americans are truly seeing the benefits of our country’s economic momentum.

“We want to keep it going, and that is why these bills are so important and this is such a productive week.” 

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Financial Reforms Focused on Growth and Opportunity

2018/05/22

Today, the House will vote on the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, sending to the president ideas put forward by Chairman Jeb Hensarling and the members of the House Financial Services Committee to provide relief for consumers and community financial institutions.

Indeed, this bill takes the House’s approach to regulatory reform, striking a balance between ensuring a safe and sound banking system and promoting economic growth. It is an important part of our plan to untangle financial regulations from their hold on our economy, and bring common sense and financial opportunity back to communities across the country.        

Here are some of the key changes this bill will make to improve our financial system:

  • Regulatory Relief: Under Dodd-Frank, regulations have disproportionately impacted smaller banks, including through spiked compliance costs. This bill raises the threshold for banks that are required to comply with Dodd-Frank’s strictest prudential standards—regulations that can lead to higher cost of capital that ultimately translates into higher costs for consumers. Smaller banks will no longer be required yearly participation in Federal Reserve stress tests and will operate under a streamlined capital structure.
  • Enhancing Consumer Protections: This bill strengthens and creates protections for homeowners, consumers, and those with student loans. It also includes important provisions for veterans and servicemembers and promotes financial literacy.
  • Improving Access to Credit: Access to credit enables participation in a growing economy: from small businesses that need start-up capital to families looking to take out a mortgage. This bill will help facilitate lending at credit unions and small- and medium-sized institutions, which do the majority of the country’s small business lending. It also amends mortgage rules, so that more creditworthy borrowers will have the chance to own their own homes. This is especially critical since both credit to middle-income families and small business lending have been diminished following the passage of post-crisis reforms.
  • Encouraging Capital Formation & Enriching Market Liquidity: The bill amends the Volcker Rule to exempt banks with under $10 billion in assets and smaller trading portfolios. This rule has proven difficult to implement and could lead to deteriorated market liquidity, posing potential risks to the financial system in downturns. The bill also relaxes certain rules on securities trading, to ensure capital markets continue to be a reliable source of financing for U.S. businesses.     

The country’s smaller institutions play an integral role in our financial system, facilitating lending and retail banking services. Finally, they’re getting the relief they need. 

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‘Momentum’ ‘Take Off’ ‘New Heights’ ‘Extraordinary’

2018/05/21

The folks at Gallup are out with more good news this morning:

Optimism About Availability of Good Jobs Hits New Heights. Sixty-seven percent of Americans believe that now is a good time to find a quality job in the U.S., the highest percentage in 17 years of Gallup polling. … Americans in all age, income and education groups are decidedly more positive about the job market now than before Trump's election. . . With unemployment continuing to drop, Americans now survey the job market with a higher level of confidence that jobs are available and that the jobs are ones worth having.”

This follows a new CBS News poll yesterday showing that “nearly 2 in 3 Americans think the nation's economy is in good shape. . .”

And—rule of threes—it comes after a separate Gallup survey showing that Americans are more satisfied with the way things are going in the country than they have been in nearly 13 years.

If you look at some of the great economic news from just the past week, it is not hard to figure out why Americans are feeling so optimistic:

  • 21%: With tax reform, companies are investing in their businesses at higher rates, with a 21 percent jump in first-quarter capital expenditures compared to the same period last year. It’s the biggest increase in nearly seven years. One analyst said tax reform will help business investment “take off and for longer.”
  • 48: Jobless claims continue to hover near a 48-year low. The unemployment rate is at its lowest level since December 2000.
  • 0.7%: Industrial production rose in April for the third straight month, “another sign the economy is gaining momentum.”
  • 0.3%: Retail sales rose in April for the second straight month as “the recent tax overhaul helped buoy spending.”
  • 72%: Nearly three in four manufacturers are increasing employee wages or benefits, according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM.) “Manufacturing in America is now rising to new heights, thanks to tax reform,” the chair of NAM’s board said.
  • 17: Starting in July, customers of 17 Pennsylvania utility companies will see lower rates because of tax reform, with the state’s public utility commission calling the savings from tax reform “extraordinary and substantial.” All told, utility companies in 48 states and DC have taken action to pass their federal tax savings on to their customers.
  • 150: The federal government has approved 150 areas in Louisiana to become opportunity zones, a part of the new tax law that will foster more private investment in distressed areas. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) noted that these opportunity zones are “new tools at our disposal to bring much-needed investment and new jobs to the areas of Louisiana who most need them.”

On Thursday, Speaker Ryan talked about some of this good news, saying, “A thriving economy means there are more job openings. A thriving economy means there are more opportunities. A thriving economy means families get ahead, people get out of poverty, kids come out of college with opportunities and offerings. That’s what a thriving economy means.”

Read more from our by the numbers series:Four More Reasons to Feel Good About The EconomyMay These Four Numbers Be With YouTax Reform Lifting Outlooks for Consumers and BusinessesTax Reform Continues to Help Families, Drive MomentumTax Reform Keeps Delivering for America’s Workers

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A 'Thank You' to Our Country's Law Enforcement

2018/05/19

  This week is National Police Week, where we honor our country’s law enforcement officers, as well as mourn those lost in the line of duty this past year.    There is a saying in the law enforcement community: “In this family, nobody fights alone.” When an officer goes down, the whole force feels the loss and carries the burden. It is so moving to see that spirit of solidarity on display this week.   I know this is a challenging time for law enforcement. If there is one thing I’ve come to recognize, it is that we must not take any of this for granted—whether it’s the dangers that the men and women who wear the badge face, or the sacrifices that their families make; all the long nights and holidays that they don’t get to spend together. We must not take any of it for granted. It is where our safety comes from every day. To all the cops on the beat, and to your loved ones: You do not fight alone. We are with you, and behind you, always. Thank you, and God bless you.       Read More

Statement on Santa Fe, TX Shooting

2018/05/18

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

“Our hearts are filled with grief over this horrific loss of life. We are thinking of all the students, educators, families, and first responders affected by the attack at Santa Fe High School. No community should have to endure this. It is a tragedy. While we need to learn more about what took place here, it is urgent that we implement the reforms Congress recently passed to make schools safer and keep deadly weapons away from those who should not have them. This is a time to come together in support of the Santa Fe community.”

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Speaker Ryan Discusses Economic Optimism, Farm Bill at Weekly Press Conference

2018/05/17

Summary: At his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan discussed how a healthier economy has sparked renewed optimism among Americans. He also talked about the 2018 Farm Bill, remaining pieces of the Better Way agenda, and all the work the House is doing to make progress on “these things that matter most in people’s lives.”

A Thriving Economy Means More Opportunities

“You know, there is a lot of good news out there today.

“And let me just start with this: Americans are more satisfied than they have been in nearly 13 years with the way things are going in the country.

“That is according to the Gallup poll, just today: Americans are more satisfied than they have been in nearly 13 years.

“This is great to see.

“On the economy: Jobless claims remain near a 48-year low.

“Retail sales are up for the second month.

“Industrial production is up for the third straight month.

“So the economy is growing, workers are getting ahead, there are new jobs and opportunities being offered by the day.

“But if you saw yesterday’s Ways and Means hearing, Democrats are still using the same old doom-and-gloom talk that they were using six months ago.

“They seem to be in deep denial about all of this good news.

“It was bizarre before, and it is even more bizarre now, when Democrats are openly calling for tax increases, which will do nothing but harm our economy.

“A thriving economy means there are more job openings. A thriving economy means there are more opportunities.

“A thriving economy means families get ahead, people get out of poverty, kids come out of college with opportunities and offerings.

“That’s what a thriving economy means.”

This Is the Right Time to Take Action on Workforce Development

“And there could not be a better time to take action to help more people join our workforce.

“That is why the Farm Bill that we are debating today is so critical. 

“It sets up a system for SNAP recipients where, if you are able to work, you should work to get the benefits.

“And if you can’t work, we’ll help you get the training you need. We will help you get the skills you need to get an opportunity.

“This is going to get more people out of poverty. This is going to get more people a steady job. This is going to get more people moving toward a good career.

“It will help people go from where they are to where they want to be, to realize their own version of the American Idea.

“I am very pleased that we are moving forward with this phase of the ‘Better Way’ agenda.

“If you recall, when we ran on this in 2016, this was a core component of what we told the country we would do if given the opportunity.

“Well, here we are.”

Continuing to Deliver on the Better Way Agenda

“Another part of that agenda also calls for helping our veterans, and yesterday the House took a big, bipartisan step to improve healthcare at the VA.

“The House took a big, bipartisan vote to toughen penalties for those who intentionally target law enforcement officers as well—this being Police Week.

“Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee has its final markup on legislation to crack down on the opioid crisis in America.

“And we will soon move forward on financial services reforms that will help small businesses get better access to loans and capital.

“So it is good to see the country feeling better.

“It is good to see the country feeling better about how things are going. And it’s good to see confidence and optimism coming back.

“And it’s very good for us to be making progress on these things that matter most in people’s lives, which is why we are here.”

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Speaker Ryan Talks Farm Bill, Tax Cuts, Israel on ‘Benson & Harf’

2018/05/17

This week, Speaker Ryan joined Fox News Radio’s Benson & Harf for a wide-ranging interview on everything from the Farm Bill, to the Democrats’ promise to repeal the tax law, and the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Watch their conversation here and check out excerpts below.

On the Farm Bill:

Speaker Ryan: “We are well on our way to executing our agenda…We’ve passed well over 500 bills here in the House, the fastest pace in about four presidents, since the President has taken the oath and we’ve been in the majority here…At the end of our agenda was working on people. Getting people from welfare to work, working on skills, closing the skills gap, closing the opportunity gap. So what does that mean? We have on the floor this week our welfare reform, and our workforce development reforms…We’re saying for able-bodied people on food stamps, there’s going to be a work requirement. We think that’s really important. We think it gets people from welfare to work, and a job training requirement. We’re also doing career [and] technical education reform, we’re doing prison reform. We’ve passed one major infrastructure bill, which is a part of the Trump agenda that’s out of the House. Another one’s coming down the pike, not to mention appropriations, and many other regulatory relief issues. Our Dodd-Frank Bill is going to be moving to the House in about a week, which is repealing and replacing Dodd-Frank. So we are well on our way in executing our agenda, and we’ve got plenty more that we’re going to be doing in the weeks and months ahead.”

On Tax Reform:

Guy Benson: “I think the crown jewel, you could argue, of that agenda, at least the successes so far, is tax reform.”

Speaker Ryan: “Absolutely, because look at the economy that it is helping produce…It’s really turning out economic growth in jobs, which makes it easier to do welfare reform, to pull able-bodied people who are on welfare off of the sidelines, into the work force. So it puts us into a virtuous cycle where we want to get people on the sidelines back in the work force, and that’s why we’re now moving with our work force development agenda.”

Guy Benson: “You’ve got Nancy Pelosi saying that if the Democrats win, she wants to repeal or roll back tax reform. You’ve been talking about making the middle-class tax cuts permanent. Is that going to happen?”

Speaker Ryan: “We’re working on the timing with it, but that is something that we obviously intend on doing. That’s something that we think most people want, and that is something that we will be bringing through here in the House.”

On Israel:

Speaker Ryan: “Obviously, I’m for the embassy. We voted for this years ago, on a bipartisan basis. Hamas is a terrorist organization. Hamas is pushing people through the border. And so any sovereign country obviously has a right to defend its own border when people are, when there are incursions occurring across the border. These civilian casualties, loss of life, it’s very regrettable, but clearly Israel has a right to defend its border against these incursions, and, yes, I would put the blame on Hamas, as well, because Hamas is the one who’s responsible for trying to push people in and through the border, into conflict. If Hamas didn’t do that, you wouldn’t have the conflict. Israel has a right to defend its own borders, like any sovereign country.”

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Statement on the Passage of the VA MISSION Act

2018/05/16

Washington—Upon passage of the bipartisan VA MISSION Act, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement:

It is a good day for America’s veterans. This is another critical step in fulfilling our promise to fix the Department of Veterans Affairs. With these reforms to vital care services, we are returning the VA to its core mission. Importantly, the Veterans Choice Program will remain funded while a streamlined community care program is established, because no veteran should be without access to quality care. 

Our veterans represent the best of our country, and while nothing can measure up to their sacrifice, we owe them the absolute best care we have to offer. Chairman Roe and all the members of the Veterans' Affairs Committee should be proud of the work they have put in to bring real change for those who have served, and I commend their commitment to our nation’s heroes.”

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Speaker Ryan's Floor Tribute for National Police Week

2018/05/16

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following remarks on the House floor today in honor of National Police Week: 

My colleagues: I rise today to welcome all the law enforcement officers and their families who have come to Washington in honor of National Police Week. There is a saying in the law enforcement community: “In this family, nobody fights alone.” When an officer goes down, the whole force feels the loss and carries the burden. It is so moving to see that spirit of solidarity on display this week. This year, the names of 360 fallen officers have been added to our National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial--including four from the state of Wisconsin. One of them is Detective Jason Weiland of the Everest Metropolitan Police Department. He was shot and killed in the line of duty last March. His daughter Anna, 10 years old, spoke at his memorial service. She said, “All of the amazing people in the world will always outnumber the criminals.” Those words resonated so much that Anna’s teacher helped her start a group called “Be Amazing.” They honor her dad’s memory by doing community service projects. Now how inspiring is that?  Another Wisconsin story I want to share is that of Officer Brian Murphy of the Ashwaubenon Police Department. Last July, Officer Murphy was hit by a drunk driver on Interstate 41. He sustained a number of life-threatening injuries. Yet just weeks later, he left the hospital able to stand on his own, surrounded by his family and fellow officers. It won’t surprise you to hear that he is back on the job. This week, Officer Murphy said the decision to return to work was not difficult at all. It’s about a “good sense of purpose,” he said. We have seen this resilience and devotion to duty right here in the Capitol. I don’t think I will ever tire of seeing of Agents David Bailey and Crystal Griner back at their posts. As Speaker, I have had the chance to work closely with the dedicated professionals of the Capitol Police. It has been an incredible honor, it truly has. My colleagues, I know this is a challenging time for law enforcement. If there is one thing I’ve come to recognize, it is that we must not take any of this for granted--whether it’s the dangers that the men and women who wear the badge face. . .or the sacrifices that their families make, all the long nights and holidays that they don’t get to spend together. We must not take any of it for granted. It is where our safety comes from every day. We should consider it a privilege to serve those who serve and protect us. To all the cops on the beat, and to your loved ones: you do not fight alone. We are with you, and behind you, always. Thank you, and God bless you.

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Speaker Ryan: ‘We Are Focused on Empowering People’

2018/05/16

Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan discussed why now—in an economy rich with opportunities—is the right time for the House to be moving forward with the Farm Bill, including important reforms to better equip our workforce.

Opening Statement:

“Well it is certainly a good time to be a worker, or a job seeker, in America today.

“You just heard some of the statistics. This economy is thriving. Business optimism and consumer confidence are at all-time highs.

“Tax reform has helped fuel more jobs, bigger paychecks, and better benefits.

“Retail sales are up, too.

“And I can’t say this enough: Our unemployment rate is below 4 percent for the first time in [nearly] 20 years.

“In fact, right now, we have one open job for nearly every unemployed person in this country.

“We have employers who can’t keep up with incoming business because they don’t have enough qualified workers.

“We’ve built an economy full of opportunities—now we need to connect people with those opportunities so that they can make the most of their lives.

“That’s what Chairman Conaway is talking about: Closing the skills gap, closing the opportunity gap, so everyone can get their version of the American Idea.

“That is one of the reasons why this farm bill is just so critical.

“In addition to helping our farmers, this bill includes important workforce development reforms, attaching work requirements to help get people out of poverty and on to the ladder of opportunity.

“It will reinvest savings into education and training programs that help develop those skills that closes that opportunity gap.

“It sets up a system where SNAP recipients who are able to go to work, can work. And if they can’t, they will be guaranteed training that they need.

“With these reforms, we are focusing on empowering people. We are focusing on empowering people so that more people have the chance to realize their piece of the American Idea.

“So I want to thank Chairman Conaway and the members of the Agriculture Committee.

“This is a critical pillar of our Better Way agenda that we talked about, that we campaigned on, that we believe in. It’s a priority for this unified government.

“And it’s yet another promise we are committed to fulfilling to help working families get ahead.

“Finally, I’d like to declare something that is just so obvious: It is ‘Laurel’ and not ‘Yanny.’ Alright? Come on. How many ‘Laurel’ fans here? Right? Thank you.” 

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Statement on Conclusion of Litigation to Protect House Spending Power

2018/05/16

WASHINGTON–House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today released the following statement after all parties settled in the case United States House of Representatives v. Alex M. Azar II, et al. This suit, originally known as House v. Burwell, was initiated to challenge the Obama administration’s action to spend money without a House appropriation. The settlement today at the DC Court of Appeals preserves a lower court ruling that found the executive branch did not have the authority to make the payments. 

“In a battle over the separation of powers, the House has prevailed. When former Speaker John Boehner initiated this suit, it was to protect one of the House’s most primary authorities: the power to spend. Fighting for a successful conclusion has been an important priority for my speakership, and the result today preserves that only Congress, not the executive, can authorize spending. This is a historic outcome that leaves this institution stronger."

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Guest Post: A Week of Remembrance

2018/05/15

During my 33 years in law enforcement, I faced countless dangers—but nothing was more difficult than losing a fellow officer. I think about these friends and their loved ones every day, as if they were part of my own family.

This is the week Congress sets aside each year to honor fallen law enforcement officers.

For National Police Week, officers and families from around the country travel to Washington, D.C. to remember their loved ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

The names of 360 officers who died in the line of duty will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, 129 of whom were killed in 2017. Every name added to the wall is a reminder of the beautiful life that was lost and the spouses, children, parents, friends, and fellow officers who have been left behind.

Every day, our law enforcement officers put on a uniform, which places a target on their backs. They kiss their loved ones goodbye, not knowing what they will encounter on their shift or whether they will make it home.

This week, we remember these officers, and take the time to say thank you to the more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers currently serving in the United States, for they continue to protect and serve despite knowing the very real dangers that their work entails.

Our men and women in uniform display bravery and courage that cannot be rivaled. Even in the face of increasing violence, they put their lives on the line every day to protect our families.

There are no words to describe the heartbreak and sadness we face each time a life is lost in the line of duty.

This week, and every day, I am reminded of their service and sacrifice. Let us all take a moment to thank our law enforcement officers and remember how they run towards danger, instead of away from it, to keep our communities safe.

About the author. Rep. Dave Reichert, a 33-year veteran of law enforcement, is in his seventh and final term representing the Eighth Congressional District of Washington. In 1972, he joined the King County Sheriff’s Office and in 1997 he became the first elected sheriff in 30 years. Under his leadership, the county saw a significant drop in violent crime. Reichert brought national recognition to the Sheriff’s Office as head of the Green River Task Force solving the largest serial murder case in U.S. history.

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A Busy Week for the People’s House

2018/05/14

It’s another busy week in the People’s House tackling the problems Americans face in their daily lives. Let’s take a look at what’s on the docket:

  • Lifting Americans Out of Poverty: The House will be considering the 2018 Farm Bill this week, a key plank of our workforce development agenda. The bill includes critical, workforce-oriented reforms, including attaching work requirements to federal benefits and investing in education and training programs—a model that has proven successful at the state level. This encourages Americans to reach their full potential, by ensuring every person receiving nutrition benefits in America is working or is guaranteed training for the skills they need to find a good job. The Agriculture Committee has a full slate of resources on this critical legislation.
    • “This is about giving Americans the right incentives and the right skills to get into the labor force. It’s what the economy needs. It’s what we need. And it’s what can help people move into lives of self-determination. We need their talents, and we want to make sure that people can flourish and succeed.”Speaker Ryan
  • Better Care for Our Veterans: The VA MISSION Act is a bipartisan package of three bills to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and improve care for our veterans. This includes funding for the Choice program, which helps ensure veterans have access to quality care no matter where they live. Through reforms like consolidating community care programs and extending the Post-9/11 Caregiver Program to all eras, the bill aims to refocus the VA back on effectively serving our nation’s heroes.
    • “Today, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs doubled down on our promise to build a stronger VA for our nation’s heroes and ensure veterans are receiving the care and benefits they deserve by passing the VA MISSION Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation supported by leading veterans service organizations, VA and the White House. This is a transformational, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reform VA.” House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN)
  • National Police Week: This week, we will recognize the invaluable, brave service given by law enforcement officers across the country. We’ll consider three bills to support law enforcement by: ensuring they have the resources needed to prosecute cold cases advanced by new DNA evidence; enabling correctional officers to better protect their own safety; and encouraging the creation of alliances between police and their communities. The House will also be voting on the Protect and Serve Act, which allows for the federal prosecution of anyone who deliberately tries to injure law enforcement officers, helping prevent attacks on our police officers as they risk their lives to protect our communities.
    • “We must ensure that there are steep consequences for anyone who targets our law enforcement officers. The Protect and Serve Act will serve as a significant deterrent for anyone who deliberately targets officers with violence.Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL)

Of course, that’s just what’s on the floor. Our committees continue to work on legislation to combat the opioid epidemic, and the House is nearing action on the largest rescissions package in history, reviving a budget-cutting tool that will pare back money which has not been put to use in years. And last week, the House again used the Congressional Review Act to protect Americans from a harmful Obama-era regulation.

“This just shows that while this economy is cooking,” Speaker Ryan said on Thursday, “there is still a whole lot more we can do to strengthen it and to ultimately improve people’s lives.”

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Statement on Dedication of U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

2018/05/14

WASHINGTON–House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement:

“Today is about friendship. It is about an unwavering bond that dates back to this day in 1948—11 minutes into it, to be exact—when President Truman made the United States the first country to recognize Israel’s independence. Now, more than five decades after the reunification of Jerusalem, this holy city will be home to our embassy. Today’s dedication is far more than symbolic—it is a concrete reaffirmation of America's commitment to the Jewish state and her people. America stands with Israel in recognizing Jerusalem as its eternal, ancestral capital—never to be divided again.”

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Four More Reasons to Feel Good about the Economy

2018/05/11

A wave of positive indicators continue to show our economy is bustling. With pro-growth reforms like the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, American businesses feel reinvigorated. Best of all, working families are the ones who benefit from that renewed confidence, in bigger paychecks, more jobs, and better benefits.

But this week, Democrats confirmed they want to erase the gains we’ve made. First they were predicting “Armageddon.” When that didn’t go as planned, now they’re openly saying they want to increase taxes on Americans and take all this positive economic progress away.

Right now, 57 percent of Americans say things are going well in the U.S. today—“the largest proportion to say so since January of 2007.”

Here are four reasons to feel good about how things are going:

  • 3.4 percent: The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently reported real disposable income rose 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018. This means workers’ post-tax earnings are higher. Thanks to tax reform, they’re getting to keep more of their paychecks. Joint Economic Committee Chair Erik Paulsen noted, “The bureau specifically credited tax reform for higher wages as well as lower taxes.”
  • 104.8: The National Federation of Independent Business’s (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index remained near record highs in its newest report, with businesses reporting increased hiring, higher worker compensation, and positive outlooks for capital outlays and sales growth. The report also noted: “The average family saw wages and salaries grow last year. Gains are likely to increase for many families this year due to tax cuts.” As NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said, “Consumer spending, the new tax law, and lower regulatory barriers are all supporting the surge in optimism across all small business industry sectors.”     
  • 19.8 percent: U.S. employers are hiring. A LinkedIn report found that the year-over-year increase for hiring in April was 19.8 percent, with the biggest jumps in the transportation, financial services, and manufacturing sectors. The number was also an increase from hiring in March.
  • 6.55 million: There are 6.55 open jobs in America, according to the latest Labor Department report. For the same month, there were 6.59 million unemployedThat means there is now an open job for almost every single American seeking work. The report also showed a higher quits rate, indicating workers are confident in quitting their jobs to seek better opportunities.

We’ve been focused on creating an economy that works for working families—and the good news just keeps on coming.

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Speaker Ryan Discusses Thriving Economy, Workforce Development at Weekly Press Conference

2018/05/10

Summary: At his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan highlighted some of the brightest spots in today's economy, and discussed how the next phase of the House’s plan to bolster the workforce will help fill the record number of job openings. He also gave an update on the other important work underway in the House, and reminded everyone to celebrate their moms this Mother’s Day weekend.

Thriving Economy

“3.9 percent. You guys know what I’m talking about?

“3.9 percent. That is the unemployment rate in America today, 3.9 percent. I never thought I’d be standing up here saying that number.  

“This is the lowest unemployment rate since the year 2000.

“Jobless claims have been hovering around a 48-year low.

“The unemployment rates for minorities are at or near record lows.

“Small business optimism is at a record high. Business investment is up 24 percent over last year. Wages are higher.

“There is good news everywhere you look.

“These are not just statistics. These are American workers and American families getting ahead.

“After trudging along for so long, economic confidence in America has finally returned. The economy and our agenda are improving people’s lives. That’s why we are here.

“When we passed tax reform, our Democratic friends literally said that this was going to be Armageddon.

“Six months later, that prediction looks really silly.

“And worse, now the Democrats are calling openly for tax increases.

“We’re not going to move backwards. We’re not going to take away all the progress that has been made for families, for workers, for our economy.”

Workforce Development

“Right now, job openings are at all-time high. There are as many jobs open today as there are people looking for jobs.

“Which is why the next phase of our agenda—part of our Better Way agenda—is so important: We need to connect people to jobs and we need to connect people to the skills they need to get good jobs.  

“It’s about workforce development. And soon we will be voting on a farm bill that includes important reforms that are proven to get people off of the sidelines and into full-time employment.

“These ideas have been tested, they’ve been demonstrated, they’ve been proven.

“The concept is really simple: If you are capable of work, you should work to get benefits. If you can’t find work, we’ll guarantee a spot in a job training program. That is how you get people off the sidelines, out of poverty, into the workforce, into the careers, on the escalator of life. We call it SNAP E&T—Education and Training.

“This is about giving Americans the right incentives and the right skills to get into the labor force.

“It’s what the economy needs. It’s what we need. And it’s what can help people move into lives of self-determination. We need their talents, and we want to make sure that people can flourish and succeed.

“This is the perfect time to do this in this kind of an economy.”

More Work Being Done to Improve People’s Lives

“Of course, there’s a whole lot more that’s happening here in the House.

“Just this week, we sent the president yet another bill to repeal an Obama-era regulation. We are moving forward on financial services reform to improve access to loans and capital for small businesses.

“At the Energy and Commerce Committee, they are preparing a package of bills to take on the opioid crisis in America. And that is just to name a few of the things that are happening right now.

“This just shows that while this economy is cooking—and it is—there is still a whole lot more we can do to strengthen it and to ultimately improve people’s lives.

“Finally—most important point. Sunday is Mother’s Day. Do not forget to call your moms, maybe make a meal, send some flowers, or both. Alright? Don’t forget that.”

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Afternoon Listen: Speaker Ryan and Kay Coles James Discuss Today’s War on Poverty

2018/05/10

This week, Speaker Ryan sat down with Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James to discuss how conservative principles encourage an opportunity society—one that prioritizes equality of opportunity and entices Americans to move from welfare and into the workforce. Watch their full conversation here and check out excerpts below.

Where We Are

Speaker Ryan: “I got into this by touring the country with Bob Woodson, finding out about what the poor were facing and what their uphill challenges were. I also looked at, ‘What does the government do about this?’. . . .We are coming [up] on the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty. We were looking at the fact that trillions of dollars had been spent and the poverty rates were stubbornly similar. Meaning, we really didn't move the needle. With all this effort, with all these dollars spent, the question was, ‘Have we won the War on Poverty?’ And the answer is, ‘No.’…Not by any measure. That's why we decided we've got to rethink this. We should be measuring success in the War on Poverty, not based on how much money are we spending, how many programs has government created, how many people are on those programs?

Kay Coles James: “[But by] how many people aren't on those programs?”

Speaker Ryan: “Exactly! How many people are out of poverty? Are we actually getting at root causes? Are we measuring success by results not based on effort? So, we've been turning the ship of state in that direction...What we also learned was the basic take on this War on Poverty is we were telling people in America, ‘You are stuck in your current station in life and government is here to help you cope with it.’ Which is antithetical to the American Idea of opportunity, and upward mobility, and flourishing. What we wanted to do was attack that notion and get back into the minds of Americans, those who have lost hope, those who have been in multi-generational traps of poverty—this is America. You can make it. You can be who you want to be. There are ways of doing this. That, to me, is the mental change on our approach to poverty. It's really important.

“The other thing was because of this War on Poverty, we basically took so many Americans who were not poor and pushed them off to the sidelines and told them, ‘Don't worry about it. Pay your taxes, government will fix this problem.’ Which is false. We need everybody involved. We need people that care. We need them to get involved. We need to do it at local level. We need to do it with their dollars, with their time, with their instincts, with their ingenuity.”

Where We’re Going

Speaker Ryan: “As conservatives, we always believe in equality of opportunity. I just so believe in the American Idea that the condition of your birth does not determine the outcome of your life. In a free society, with a free economy, and freedom, and limited government that helps the most people flourish as possible. Our conservative principles applied to the problems of the day give lift to the least among us. I'm very excited about that. I'm very excited about helping get people out of poverty into the work force. Helping get people to where they want to go in life. That's what our principles are all about.

“That's so refreshing to see it actually happening in practice. There's so many policies we've already gotten done that we're really excited about. Opportunity zones, private sector solutions like social impact bonds. That's all nitty gritty stuff. But what's exciting is human flourishing, it's about getting people on the path of life and it's about creating that opportunity society that we've been talking about as conservatives for so long that we now have a really good chance of actually dramatically advancing.”

 

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A Healthy Economy Needs a Healthy Workforce

2018/05/10

There’s no question the economy is thriving. The unemployment rate has now dipped to 3.9 percent, its lowest point since December 2000. Wages and disposable income are climbing, and growth remains strong.  

But amidst all these positives, employers are still struggling to recruit skilled workers to fill job vacancies.

As we started explaining earlier this year, America is experiencing a substantial worker shortage. Consider these snapshots published over the last week alone from a few towns across the country:

In Missouri: “McCarthy Building Cos., a St. Louis-based general contractor that builds hospitals, airports and other public-works projects nationwide, says business is booming but it’s struggling to find workers. On any given day it is working on $8 billion to $9 billion worth of projects across the U.S., up from $6 billion two years ago," CEO Mike Bolen says.

'There are more jobs than there are qualified people to do them,’ he said. ‘Regardless of geography, regardless of whether it’s a $25-an-hour general laborer or an engineer with 10 years of experience. It seems like the marketplace has eaten up all the individual talent and we’re all trying to poach each other.’”

In Nebraska: “The North Platte, Neb., chamber of commerce last year started offering up to $10,000 to move into town for a job. At the time, Gary Person, the chamber’s president, said the money was intended to encourage people to ‘put down some roots,’ while helping the town of 24,000 fill some of its hundreds of open jobs.”

In Iowa: “Employers in Marne, Iowa, population 100 or so, also struggle to find workers, said Randy Baxter, the town’s mayor. The state has an unemployment rate of 2.8%, one of the lowest in the U.S. A local committee in Marne offers newcomers free land to build a house.”

At this moment, there are 6.6 million job openings across the country—yet we have many work-capable Americans on the sidelines who are not participating in the workforce.

It is imperative that we bring these people into the fold. A look at the growth of federal benefits recipients provides some perspective on the need for reforms that prompt people to join the workforce. Consider this: The last time the unemployment rate sat below 4 percent, there were 17 million SNAP recipients. Today, there are 42 million.

As The Wall Street Journal wrote this weekend, “There’s a debate about how many workers continue to sit on the sidelines given the still-low labor participation rate. But the best way to find out is to keep the economy growing and pass welfare reforms to improve the incentives to work.”

This is why we’re working to advance a workforce development agenda—including the 2018 Farm Bill—that will tie work requirements to federal benefits, reinvest savings into skills training and vocational programs to help workers become qualified or retrained, and ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to share in the dignity of work.

As Speaker Ryan said this week, “We are going to keep pushing to close the skills gap, to close the opportunity gap, to make sure that all these jobs that are being made available are being filled with workers who are getting great careers and good lives, and going from poverty and welfare to work, so that they can find their own vision of the American Idea.”

Read more about our efforts to develop America’s workforce and unleash opportunity:

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Listen: Speaker Ryan Talks House Agenda, News of the Day on WI Radio

2018/05/09

Today, Speaker Ryan joined Milwaukee’s The Steve Scaffidi Show to discuss the news of the day—like North Korea releasing three American citizens and President Trump’s dismantling of the Iran Deal—and the House's agenda going forward. Listen to the interview here and check out excerpts below.

On North Korea:

Speaker Ryan: “The President’s pressure campaign against North Korea has been working, is working, and I think it gave the North Koreans, Kim Jong-un in particular, it made him pause and think, ‘is this the path I want to do down or not?’ We’ve got a ways to go here and the North Koreans are notorious for not necessarily keeping their ends of bargains, but I think the positive developments we have had, including this piece of news today, really is because the President put a lot of pressure on this regime and made them think twice about their activities.”

On Iran:

Speaker Ryan: “Well, I think the risk of staying in the deal was that we we're going to bless, effectively, Iran eventually becoming a nuclear power. And the mistakes of the deal were that they were more or less silent on all the other things that Iran was doing, with ballistic missiles, with all their malign activities, meaning funding proxy wars around the region to try and topple governments. And that is basically what Iran has been doing.”

Speaker Ryan: “So, I think, you know, obviously we—myself included—the Republicans, we did not like the deal to begin with. We thought it had enormous holes and gaps. What I wish our allies would have done is work with us within the deal to make it stronger, tighter, and more effective to truly prevent Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon.”

On entitlement reform:

Speaker Ryan: “That’s the challenge here. If you want to deal with the debt, you’ve got to deal with the drivers of the debt. And the drivers of the debt are our entitlement programs. And the point that I keep making to people...is: We can do a better job of meeting the mission of these programs—health and retirement security for all Americans—without jeopardizing that mission. But we have to reform these programs so that that mission is better fulfilled. We can do a better job of making these goals be realized without bankrupting the country, without driving us into a mountain of debt that our kids can’t get over.

Speaker Ryan: “. . . . The good news is because of innovation, and our free enterprise system, and using the power of choice and competition in health care, you can actually make good on the mission of these programs and avoid bankrupting the country at the same time.” 

 

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Statement on the Passage of Congressional Review Act Repeal of Auto Lending Rule

2018/05/08

Washington—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement on the passage of S.J. Res. 57, which marks this Congress’s 16th use of the Congressional Review Act:

“Today’s vote will bring change and make things easier for consumers and businesses alike within the auto lending marketplace. By rescinding this guidance—which was issued without consideration of the adverse effects on consumers—we are building on our efforts to ensure onerous, unnecessary regulations no longer interfere with the growing economy. I look forward to sending yet another repeal of a harmful Obama-era rule to the president’s desk, and continuing to look for opportunities to relieve Americans—and our economy—from overregulation.”

Note: For more information on S.J. Res. 57 and this Congress’s use of the Congressional Review Act, click here

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Speaker Ryan Statement on Iran

2018/05/08

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after the president’s announcement regarding the Iran Deal:

"From the beginning, the Obama-era Iran Deal was deeply flawed. Iran’s hostile actions since its signing have only reaffirmed that it remains dedicated to sowing instability in the region. The president’s announcement today is a strong statement that we can and must do better. I have always believed the best course of action is to fix the deficiencies in the agreement. It is unfortunate that we could not reach an understanding with our European partners on a way to do that, but I am grateful to them for working with the United States toward that goal. The president is right to insist that we hold Iran accountable both today and for the long-term. There will now be an implementation period for applying sanctions on Iran. During that time, it is my hope that the United States will continue to work with our allies to achieve consensus on addressing a range of destabilizing Iranian behavior—both nuclear and non-nuclear."

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Speaker Ryan: ‘Americans Are Right to Feel Good about how Things Are Going’

2018/05/08

Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan discussed the strong state of the economy—highlighting low unemployment and increased optimism among workers and businesses—and spoke about the workforce development agenda the House will keep moving forward to ensure workers are equipped with the skills needed to fill good jobs.      

Opening Statement:

“Remember just five months ago? Five months ago, Democrats were saying that tax reform would lead to literally ‘the end of the world.’ That’s an exact quote: This was going to be ‘the end of the world.’

“Don’t look now, but our economy is thriving.

“People are seeing more money in their paychecks, they’re seeing more money in their retirement accounts.

“Businesses are expanding and businesses are hiring. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 18 years.

“Hispanic unemployment is at the lowest level it has ever been. African-American unemployment is at the lowest level it has ever been. Wages are up.

“Americans are feeling more confident as well.

“There has been a surge in consumer confidence, a surge in housing confidence, small business optimism, and manufacturing optimism.

“Last week, I was in California’s Central Valley—up the road from Kevin—at a plant with David Valadao in his district.

“MEC: It’s a company that makes boom lifts and scissor lifts. It’s a classic small-town company making things right here in America. 

“MEC is on track to double their sales this year over last year.

“Already, they have awarded bonuses to all of their workers. They are now matching their 401(k) contributions. And they are planning on hiring more workers.

“This is the difference tax reform is making across the country.

“And tax reform is helping bring an end to years of economic uncertainty and stagnation.

“Now, we have got a lot more to do. Today, we’re taking action for more relief from burdensome regulations. That’s also a real tax on businesses and jobs and workers.

“We are working on reforms to get more people out of poverty and into the workforce. We need to make sure that workers have the right skills they need to get a job and a good career.

“Right now, our economy is thriving. Americans are right to feel good about how things are going. And we have not seen those kinds of optimism statistics in a long, long time.

“So we are going to keep pushing.

“We are going to keep pushing to close the skills gap, to close the opportunity gap, to make sure that all these jobs that are being made available are being filled with workers who are getting great careers and good lives, and going from poverty and welfare to work, so that they can find their own vision of the American idea.

“That is what our Better Way agenda was all about.

“It is what we are in the middle of executing and implementing right now. And we’re really excited to see the great economic news that comes as a result of all these things that we’ve been working on.”

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More Relief for Consumers and the Economy

2018/05/07

This week, the House will move forward with our efforts to protect consumers from burdensome Obama-era regulations that hurt jobs, stifle growth, and diminish opportunity. Yes, it's another repeal through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Lucky number 16.  

“Can Harm the Very Consumers They Intend to Protect”

The House will take action on S.J.Res. 57, which would restore competition and fair lending for auto dealers that enable customers to indirectly finance their car payments. Specifically, the resolution would rescind a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) guidance that was based on a flawed assessment and written without examining how meddling in the auto lending marketplace could potentially raise borrowing costs for consumers. 

As a report from the House Financial Services Committee examining the guidance’s approach found, the rule is “a textbook example of how regulators that don’t understand business and economics can harm the very consumers they intend to protect.”

The Congressional Review Act

This type of relief is a meaningful component of our jobs and economic growth agenda. So far, the House has used the CRA to strike down 15 Obama-era regulations that were adding unnecessary layers of bureaucracy, hindering growth and competition. American Action Forum data shows that “projected savings from these resolutions will save $3.7 billion in total regulatory costs ($1.1 billion annually) and eliminate 4.2 million hours of paperwork.”

Before this Congress, the CRA had been used just once. Now, we are fully employing all the tools we have to keep the economy growing and relieve Americans of overregulation.

Our Economy Is Thriving

We have worked hard this Congress to jumpstart the economy—and it’s workingJoblessness is at a 17-year low; Americans, on average, claiming unemployment benefits is at the lowest level in 45 years; and confidence among businesses large and small is up, spurring investment and expansion.

The House is focused on continuing to create a regulatory environment that allows economic growth to reach its full potential. And with the passage of S.J.Res. 57, there will be one less costly regulation standing in the way.

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May These Four Numbers Be With You

2018/05/04

In a recent conversation with Ben Shapiro, here’s how Speaker Ryan described the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“This takes a tax system that was the worst in the industrialized world, and gives us a tax system that we think is in the top three of the industrialized world’s tax systems. That means more jobs in America, more opportunities in America, businesses coming back to America, bringing capital back to America, expanding, and that is a phenomenally good thing.”

For all those phenomenally good things about tax reform, Democrats’ rhetoric about it has sounded like something from a spec script for a bad Star Wars sequel. ‘Armageddon.’ ‘Dark cloud.’ ‘Unpatriotic.’ ‘The end of the world.’

But here are some facts we learned just this week:

  • 3.9 percent: The nation’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since the Clinton administration. “The job market hasn’t been this good for a very long time,” CNN noted. “Economists expect that low unemployment will lead to increasingly big pay bumps for workers,” according to The New York Times. One analyst for a jobs site told The Washington Post: “We’ve seen great movement in jobs creation.”
  • 3.25 percent: Hourly wages for small business workers grew at an annual rate of 3.25 percent in April—the highest rate in more than two years, according to a new report. And optimism among small businesses is at record levels. “Tax reform has been described as a game-changer, and they’re investing back in their businesses, and you can see it,” a Bank of America official told USA TODAY.
  • 87 million: We are now tracking that in at least 48 states, and the District, utility bills already have or will go down because of tax reform. This means that more than 87 million customers across the country—so far—will save money on these bills. Another big win for consumers and taxpayers.
  • 27: On Thursday, the governor of New Hampshire nominated 27 areas of the state to be Opportunity Zones, joining dozens of governors who have already done the same. Part of the new tax law, Opportunity Zones bring help to economically distressed areas by providing tax incentives for private investment. “We definitely need new industry in town,” one thrift store volunteer in Franklin told New Hampshire Public Radio. “We have many storefronts that are empty.”

Indeed, tax reform is helping many middle-income families live long and prosper. (Nope, wait, wrong one, sorry.)

With the help of tax reform, the Force is strong with this economy. There you go. Thanks for reading.

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Speaker Ryan Statement on the House Chaplain

2018/05/03

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

“I have accepted Father Conroy’s letter and decided that he will remain in his position as Chaplain of the House. My original decision was made in what I believed to be the best interest of this institution. To be clear, that decision was based on my duty to ensure that the House has the kind of pastoral services that it deserves. It is my job as speaker to do what is best for this body, and I know that this body is not well served by a protracted fight over such an important post. I intend to sit down with Father Conroy early next week so that we can move forward for the good of the whole House.”

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48 States Seeing Lower Utility Bills Following Tax Reform

2018/05/03

48/50. That’s an on-base percentage of .960. Or a 96% free-throw percentage. What if your football team’s kicker had made 48 out of his 50 field goals and it wasn’t even the playoffs yet? The point is: That’s a pretty darn good ratio.

In the few months following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, utility companies in 48 out of 50 states, and DC, have taken action to pass their federal tax savings on to their customers. This means more than 87 million customers across the country—so far—are set to see lower monthly utility bills.

Just this week, Alabama Power Company announced that it would be reducing its customers’ bills by $257 million this year. That’s 1.4 million Alabamians who will now be paying less each month for their utilities.

Washington Democrats may tell you these are just more “crumbs.” But a lower utility bill each month is a big deal for so many families. As Speaker Ryan said: “If you’re living paycheck-to paycheck, if you’re having a hard time just heating [or cooling] your house? This is real relief that's real tangible.”

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Statement on Faith-Based Initiative and National Day of Prayer

2018/05/03

Washington—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement today in response to the president's executive order and in recognition of the National Day of Prayer:

“Since our country’s founding, faith has been a source of our strength, and our renewal. I commend the White House’s creation of an initiative that will give faith-based organizations a stronger voice in solving the challenges we face. These groups are doing important work in their communities—by learning from and supporting their efforts, we can empower more Americans to lift themselves out of poverty.          

“On this National Day of Prayer, we ask God for His guidance and His forgiveness; we pray that He continue to watch over this great country and unite us through His grace.

“Let us also remember that while we are blessed to practice our faith openly in our own country, there are millions who cannot. We pray for the persecuted and stand by them, today and every day.”

 

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An Economy in Which Small Businesses Can Thrive

2018/05/02

There’s good news this Small Business Week. According to a new report from Paychex, “Small business employees saw their wages grow last month at the strongest rate in more than two years.”

And there’s more:

  • Optimism among small business owners has risen for the past four quarters as measured by CNBC. It said in its survey release, “For the first time since CNBC and SurveyMonkey began taking the pulse of Main Street more than a year ago, a majority of small-business owners across the country say business conditions are ‘good.’”
  • In a Bank of America report published last week, 58 percent of small business owners said tax reform has been a “game-changer for small business overall,” and 63 percent said the new tax law makes them more optimistic about their business outlooks.

 The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has eased the tax burden on small businesses in a few ways: 

  • A new 20 percent tax deduction for qualified business income to support small business owners. 
  • Full and immediate expensing of capital expenditures like equipment. That translates into savings that can then be reinvested into the business and its workers.  
  • Simplified accounting rules to allow small businesses to operate on a cash flow basis, rather than dealing with complicated inventory accounting and capitalization requirements. 
  • Business owners will receive the same benefits as individual filers, like lower rates and a nearly doubled standard deduction. 

The updated tax system is having a meaningful impact—both by creating an economic climate where small businesses can thrive and giving individual owners the confidence to do so. Just last week, Speaker Ryan visited small businesses in his district, one of which has already started expanding because of tax reform.  

When these businesses do well, it means good things for our economy, beginning with job growth. Nearly two-thirds of the private-sector jobs created in our country are generated by small businesses. With a new tax code that supports entrepreneurship—rather than putting up barriers to it—these businesses and their owners can continue spreading the spirit of enterprise, creating jobs, and driving growth in our communities.

As House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) said this week, “The fact is, when small businesses are strong, America is strong. So, to the innovators, the risk-takers, and the opportunity creators, this week and every week we celebrate you.”

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April in Photos: Running Through the Tape

2018/05/01

As you may have heard, the Speaker announced last month that after nearly two decades in Congress, this session will be his last. After that, it was right back to business: constituent meetings, advancing the House’s legislative agenda, press conferences and interviews, business tours, and more. April also brought a visit from President Macron of France, who delivered an address to a joint meeting of Congress, and a United States Army Soldier’s Medal ceremony honoring a hero among us.

Here are nine photos that show some of our favorite moments from the month of April:

1. The Press Conference – Members of the media gather as Speaker Ryan announces his retirement at the end of his term.

2. The Constituent Meeting – Speaker Ryan shares a laugh with the Schaeffer family, who were visiting from Burlington, WI.

3. The Squawk Box Interview – Speaker Ryan sits down with CNBC’s Squawk Box during their live Tax Day show from the Capitol.

4. The Soldier’s Medal Presentation – Speaker Ryan congratulates Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) on receiving the Soldier’s Medal for Heroism from the United States Army. Rep. Wenstrup, a Colonel with the U.S. Army Reserve, received this award for his actions to save the life of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) during the shooting at the Congressional Baseball Game practice.  

5. Take Your Children To Work Day – Following his annual “Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day” press conference, Speaker Ryan takes a photo with the children of Capitol Hill reporters.

6. The Made-In-Wisconsin Business Tour – Speaker Ryan tours AMTEC, a Janesville, Wisconsin-based company, that provides our military with state-of-the-art equipment.

7. The Office Tour – Speaker Ryan gives Janesville, Wisconsin’s St. John Vianney 8th graders a tour of his office, including a stop on the balcony to see one of the best views in DC.

8. President Macron’s Address – Speaker Ryan welcomes French President Emmanuel Macron to the House Chamber for his address to a joint meeting of Congress.

9. The Southwest Airlines Employee Q&A – Joined by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, Speaker Ryan listens as workers share how they're using their tax reform bonuses at the company's headquarters in Dallas, TX.

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Opportunity Zones: Help for Distressed Communities Is on the Way Thanks to Tax Reform

2018/05/01

There’s a lot of good news when it comes tax reform—like how it’s helping families, driving momentum, and boosting small businesses nationwide. But there’s one key facet of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that you may not have heard as much about: Opportunity Zones—something Speaker Ryan has long fought for to reduce poverty and develop communities.

What are Opportunity Zones? In layman’s terms, they are just what their name implies—areas of the country in need of economic opportunity. By definition, they’re distressed communities identified by the states that qualify for private investment in exchange for tax incentives for said investors.

As the speaker recalled on The Hugh Hewitt Show recently, “When I was a young staffer working for Jack [Kemp], we worked on this idea called Enterprise Zones to have zero capital gains taxes on investments in poor areas. That was a dream of Jack’s his entire career. I’ve worked on it my entire career.” He also discussed this long sought-after win on Squawk Box: “[Opportunity] zones are now law of the land. So the critical component of our poverty fighting agenda, that’s now the law of the land.”

The law of the land, indeed. Following enactment as part of the tax bill, these zones are now being set up around the country. This month, the Treasury Department and the IRS announced the first round of Opportunity Zone designations for 18 states, including the speaker’s own stomping grounds of Wisconsin. Since that announcement, Opportunity Zones have been added in six additional states and U.S. territories.

Make no mistake: We are seeing great economic turnaround thanks to tax reform—but pockets of the country remain in desperate need of revitalization. As the New York Times put it, “In huge swaths of the country, the economic recovery has yet to arrive.” A 2017 study found that “52.3 million Americans live in economically distressed communities,” or low-income areas that qualify as designated by the Census. That’s a lot of untapped potential left on the sidelines simply because of their zip code.

Enter Opportunity Zones, which provide a tax incentive for investors to pour capital into these areas to help stimulate long-term growth. This new private investment will support a wide range of development activities—like entrepreneurship, charter schools, or job training—which in turn will lead to boosted economic growth and job creation.

As Speaker Ryan said last week, better empowering the individual will allow more Americans to “realize their own independence—and the economic and social benefits that come along with it.” By setting up Opportunity Zones in distressed communities nationwide, more people will be able to do just that.

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FAA Reauthorization Is a Boost for America’s Infrastructure

2018/04/27

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after House passage of H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act:

“This is the next step in our efforts to rebuild America’s infrastructure, which is critical to job creation, economic growth, and our daily lives. Thanks to the work of Chairman Shuster and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, this package upgrades our aviation system at every opportunity. This bill will make air travel easier and safer for families, cut red tape so manufacturers can compete, help update our airports, and better prepare our communities for natural disasters. This long-term reauthorization brings the certainty our aviation industry needs to make important improvements as we continue rebuilding our infrastructure. We look forward to working with the Senate to get this initiative to the president’s desk.” 

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Photos: Speaker Ryan's Made-In-Wisconsin Business Tour

2018/04/27

While Washington Democrats continue to deny the new tax law is helping middle-income families, Republicans continue to hear directly from American workers and businesses who are benefitting. Earlier this week, Speaker Ryan visited four made-in-Wisconsin businesses, located in the First District, to hear how the companies, and their workers, are benefitting from tax reform.

AMTEC—Janesville, WI

AMTEC provides our military with state-of-the-art equipment. Speaker Ryan stops to watch the assembly of various equipment components. 

Speaker Ryan talks with one of the AMTEC workers, who shared with the speaker memories of his prior visit to the company.

In his nearly 20 years in Congress, no company has ever taken the speaker up on his offer of pushing buttons on the machine. All of that changed when the speaker visited AMTEC. It may have taken a few tries, but with a little coaching, the speaker finally starts the machine.

 

Palmer Hamilton—Elkhorn, WI

Palmer Hamilton manufactures furniture for schools, libraries, and other commercial spaces. Speaker Ryan learns about the manufacturing process of table tops from CEO John Gardner.

Speaker Ryan looks through custom logo decals with Palmer Hamilton’s CEO.

Business leaders brief the speaker on how they’re already benefitting from tax reform and their work in local schools to promote jobs in manufacturing.

 

Vision Plastics—Delavan, WI

Vision Plastics, a family-owned, custom injection molding business, has already been able to purchase new equipment because of tax reform. Co-owners Craig and Jamie Hubertz discuss their plans to expand with Speaker Ryan.

Co-owner Craig Hubertz shows Speaker Ryan one of the products their company produces.

Vision Plastics produces components that contribute to LED lighting solutions. Speaker Ryan examines one of their products, in action.

 

Adams Electric—Elkhorn, WI

Speaker Ryan meets with leaders of Adams Electric to hear how their company is benefitting from the new tax law.

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Tax Reform Lifting Outlooks for Consumers and Businesses

2018/04/27

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act continues to lift consumers’ and businesses’ spirits when it comes to the future of our economy. That became even clearer this week, with the release of two indicators measuring confidence and economic outlook. This comes on top of lower jobless claims and recent projections for higher wages.  

Get the details on how tax reform is boosting economic confidence—which translates into real, positive changes for American workers and their communities:

  • 128.7: Consumer confidence climbed to this level in the Conference Board’s monthly index released this week. In the accompanying survey, Americans expressed optimism for economic conditions, including their own incomes, with the number of Americans expecting their incomes to decline falling to the lowest level since December 2000. As the Associated Press noted, “Analysts said the strength in confidence reflects a strong labor market with unemployment at a 17-year low, as well as the impact of the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts approved in December, which began showing up in workers’ paychecks earlier this year.”  
  • 48: Initial weekly jobless claims fell to 209,000 this week—their lowest point in 48 years. As Speaker Ryan put it yesterday, “This is yet another sign of a healthy job market and a growing economy.”
  • 98.5: Leading CEOs expressed the highest level of economic optimism in the 15-year history of Business Roundtable’s Economic Outlook Index. The reading for CEOs who planned to increase hiring jumped 22.8 points from last quarter to 98.5, and they projected increases in their companies’ capital spending. According to BRT CEO Josh Bolten: “Tax reform is already prompting more investment, jobs and increased wages and benefits for American workers.”
  • $1.2 trillion: The Congressional Budget Office estimates the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will grow wages by $1.2 trillion over the next decade. This, paired with newly lowered rates, means more take-home pay for hardworking Americans.

Thanks to the new tax law, our economic future continues to get brighter and brighter.

Read more:

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Five Reasons to Reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration

2018/04/26

In a decade, nearly a billion Americans will travel by air each year. Those families deserve first-rate infrastructure that provides them with the best, safest experience possible. That’s why today, the House will begin taking up a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)—the first long-term reauthorization package since 2012.  

This initiative is the latest in our ongoing efforts to upgrade America’s infrastructure. The recent government funding bill included $21.2 billion in new funding for long-overdue infrastructure improvements, including resources to improve airports. Earlier this month, federal agencies initiated reforms based on tools provided by Congress to expedite critical projects. This FAA package continues that progress. 

Here are five reasons the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 is the right, needed way to reauthorize FAA programs:

  1. Bolsters Aviation Infrastructure: As part of our infrastructure initiative, this bill puts long-term, stable funding toward rebuilding our nation’s airports. By reauthorizing FAA programs for five years, it provides members of the aviation industry the certainty needed to focus on improvements, undertake major projects, and operate most efficiently.
  2. Restores Competitiveness for the U.S. Aviation Industry: The aviation industry supports 11.3 million jobs and generates $1.5 trillion in economic activity. It’s an engine for our economy. But American manufacturers and developers are being held back by slow FAA certification times and convoluted bureaucracy that is stifling innovation. The FAA Reauthorization Act implements reforms and creates a new committee to address these issues, ensuring businesses in the American aviation industry can produce the most advanced products and compete in the global market. 
  3. Enhances Flight Experience and Safety for American Travelers: This bill prioritizes American travelers by increasing transparency and options for consumers. Through improved safety workforce training and stronger voluntary reporting programs, among other things, the bill will also ensure America continues to have the safest aviation system in the world.
  4. Strengthens Disaster Relief: The package includes the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, bipartisan legislation that reforms federal disaster relief programs and bolsters resources for disaster mitigation so that communities are prepared for hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and other events. The bill focuses on preparing communities on the front end to lessen the impact of crises, aid recovery, and spend taxpayer dollars most efficiently.
  5. Responsibly Integrates Unmanned Aircraft Systems: America is leading the way in developing unmanned aircraft systems. This bill will modernize the FAA by implementing processes to evaluate and integrate this new technology safely into the National Airspace System, while continuing to allow for flexibility and innovation.  

This bill secures important, long-term investment in one of the cornerstones of our nation’s infrastructure. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) said it best: “Our aviation system is essential to our economy and to the American way of life.” 

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Remarks at Soldier’s Medal Ceremony Honoring Rep. Brad Wenstrup

2018/04/26

WASHINGTON—This afternoon, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) took part in a Soldier’s Medal Ceremony honoring Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) for his heroic actions on June 14, 2017 during the shooting at the Congressional Baseball Game practice in Alexandria, VA. The Soldier’s Medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces for actions taken that do not involve conflict with an enemy. Following are Speaker Ryan’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

"Secretary Esper, General Milley: Thank you for conducting this ceremony here in the Capitol. It means so much to help honor one of our own.

"Monica: I am so glad that you, Brad Jr., and especially Marie could be here.

"Colonel Wenstrup: I know I speak for every single one of our colleagues, Republican and Democrat, when I say congratulations.

"No one is more deserving of this kind of recognition: not only for what you did on that day, but for what you do every day to answer the call to serve.

"You elevate all of us. You make all of us want to be better. Thank you.

"Steve is always a tough act to follow, especially these days.

"His presence here alone is proof of why this medal is being awarded.

"Every day, I thank God that our prayers were answered.

"I thank God for putting Brad Wenstrup on that field that morning.

"I didn’t really have the chance to talk to Brad until that night. We were on the House floor.

"And he walked me through everything.

"From the moment he decided it was safe to run out there. What the wound was like. How he treated it. What he used to treat it.

"You know how doctors are. They don’t skimp on the technical stuff.

"I was amazed by how he remembered all of it so clearly, so clinically.

"His code, his training, his years of experience had kicked in.

"But something more kicked in at that moment too.

"Brad, I know that one of your heroes is Dr. John Pryor. He was a trauma surgeon, who like many Americans, enlisted after 9/11.

"On that day, he drove straight to Manhattan, and made it to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Midtown. Dozens of other doctors were there too.

"But instead of waiting for instructions, Dr. Pryor headed outside, flagged down an ambulance, went to Ground Zero, and cared for anyone he could.

"Our heroes always say they were at the right place at the right time.

"But really, they just have the right stuffthe stuff that drives them to run into fire. The valor that goes beyond what words can describe.

"Colonel Wenstrup: We are humbled to share this moment with you.

"It shows that we should always do what we can to serve, and never wait to do what we can for others.

"Thank you for saving our friend’s life.

"Congratulations.

 

.@RepBradWenstrup is a hero. Today, the Army awarded him the Soldier’s Medal for his heroic actions during the shooting at the Congressional Baseball game practice. Colonel Wenstrup, there is no one more deserving of this recognition. https://t.co/30PmMqwvOS pic.twitter.com/pbmYeFaur6

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 26, 2018
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Speaker Ryan Welcomes Kids, Talks FAA at Annual ‘Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day’ Press Conference

2018/04/26

Summary: At his annual "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" press conference, Speaker Ryan welcomed junior members of the press corps. He also spoke about the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) package the House will begin considering today and about the positive impact tax reform continues to have on the American economy.

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

“Welcome to all our junior members of the press.

“I always look forward to this. And I just want to say, it’s great that you get to come here and see what your parents do every day.

“I want all of you to know something. I want you to know that what your parents do is really important. It’s very important for our country.

"Your parents are here upholding and protecting the First Amendment of our country. That’s a really big deal. And you should be really proud of your parents for what they do.

“And we don’t always say it, but we’re very grateful for what they do.”

Supporting Aviation Infrastructure

“First, on to some business here.

“I want to highlight an important piece of legislation that the House is working on today. It is H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act.

“For families, this will make air traffic and air travel safer and easier.

“For workers, it is going to make the airline industry more competitive, which means more jobs.

“For communities, we are improving disaster relief so that they are better prepared for hurricanes and wildfires.

“And this is a very significant infrastructure bill. This is one of our big infrastructure bills that we planned to bring through here as part of our rebuilding of our nation’s infrastructure.

“As you know, upgrading our infrastructure is one of our top priorities this year. And this bill will help fund critical projects at our airports. 

“I’ll spare you the puns about how this bill is ready for takeoff, but it is a good piece of legislation that is going to make people’s lives better.

“And we look forward to getting this done.”

Tax Reform

“Lastly, I would like to say a few things about tax reform—I know that’s a big shock to you.

“This morning, the Labor Department reported that initial unemployment claims fell to their lowest level in over 48 years. Think about this: The Labor Department reported that the initial unemployment claims fell to their lowest level in more than 48 years.

“This is yet another sign of a healthy job market and a growing economy.

“I saw this firsthand of this on Monday when I was visiting businesses in the First District of Wisconsin, the district I represent.

“One of them was Vision Plastics in Delavan. They do custom injection molding. And because of tax reform, they have already purchased new equipment.

“This is going to help expand their business, this is going to help bring new workers. This is going to be good for their workers.    

“I also went to Palmer Hamilton in Elkhorn. They make furniture for school cafeterias and libraries.

“They are partnering with local schools to recruit and train workers, to make sure that they have the right skills.

“So tax reform is making a real difference for our workers every day. We see bonuses, we see raises, we see better benefits, we see more take-home pay.

“This economy is thriving, and thanks to tax reform, better days are ahead.”

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On Wisconsin TV, Speaker Ryan Talks 20 Years in Congress

2018/04/26

Last week in his Janesville office, Speaker Ryan sat down with Milwaukee TMJ4’s Charles Benson to discuss his 20 years serving Wisconsin’s First District. The two “took a trip down memory lane” and discussed his accomplishments as the 54th Speaker of the House. Watch their interview here and check out excerpts below.

Charles Benson: “History will always say he was the kid who grew up in Janesville to become the 54th Speaker of the House…Ryan is the youngest of four children. At age 28 he was the second youngest member of the House when elected in 1998. At age 45 he was the youngest elected House Speaker in nearly 150 years.

“Now at age 48, he's leaving Congress at the end of his term, though some are trying to talk him out of it.”

Speaker Ryan: “Oh, sure. A lot of people have.”

Charles Benson: “Why did it come down to this moment in time?”

Speaker Ryan: “You know, it’s because I got a lot done. . . .It’s the ticking time of the family…It's my kids are 13,14, 16, and on this job, I travel so much more than an ordinary member of Congress.”

Charles Benson:The to do list included cutting taxes, which was accomplished in December.”

Speaker Ryan: “Ninety percent of Americans are getting bigger paychecks because of the tax cuts. They are starting to see that.”

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Photos: President Macron's Address to Congress

2018/04/25

This morning, a time-honored tradition took place as President Emmanual Macron became the eighth President of France to address a joint meeting of Congress. The United States' partnership with France dates all the way back to our nation's founding, and Speaker Ryan welcomed President and Madam Macron to the Capitol in the spirit of our longstanding friendship.

1. Speaker Ryan and President Macron sit down together moments before the joint meeting begins.

2. Speaker Ryan welcomes President Macron to the Hall of the House to address a joint meeting of Congress.

3. The first foreign dignitary to address the United States Congress was also French: General Marquis de Lafayette, whose portrait hangs in the House Chamber as seen in the photo below.

4. President Macron receives a standing ovation from the United States Congress.

5. Speaker Ryan and his wife, Janna, bid farewell to President Macron and his wife, Brigette.

To watch President Macron's full address to Congress, click the video below.

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Here’s How to Watch French President Macron’s Address to Congress

2018/04/25

This morning, President Emmanuel Macron of France, our nation’s oldest ally, will address a joint meeting of Congress, accepting an invitation from Speaker Ryan.

This continues a storied tradition that dates back to 1824, and Marquis de Lafayette, the French general whose service to our cause during the Revolutionary War made him a hero across our new nation. President Macron will speaking in the Hall of the House near a portrait of Lafayette.

There’s more history below, but first, we have all the coverage you need for this special day:

For The Trivia Buffs

  • President Macron is the eighth French president to address a joint meeting of Congress. He is the first since Nicolas Sarkozy, on November 7, 2007.
  • This is the second address by a foreign leader to a joint meeting during this speakership. Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India addressed Congress on June 8, 2016.
  • While this tradition dates back to Lafayette, the practice of foreign leaders addressing formal joint meetings became standard practice after 1945. Here is a complete list of addresses by foreign leaders.
  • Note that this is different from a joint session of Congress. Joint sessions are traditionally reserved for presidents to fulfill their constitutional responsibility to report on the state of the union. The House Historian breaks down the difference.
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Speaker Ryan Welcomes President Macron to the Capitol

2018/04/24

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement welcoming President Emmanuel Macron of the French Republic to the Capitol ahead of his address to a joint meeting of Congress:

“The first foreign leader to address Congress was Marquis de Lafayette, the French general whose heroism during the Revolutionary War earned him honorary American citizenship. In the spirit of this longstanding friendship, it is an honor to welcome President Macron to the Capitol.

“With the graves challenges we face in the 21st century, our partnership with France is as important today as it was in Washington and Lafayette’s time. The fight against terrorism in the Middle East and Africa is one of our top priorities. We are particularly grateful to the French for taking part in our joint action against the Syrian regime. We must also re-double our efforts to counter Iranian aggression. That means improving the JCPOA and tackling a range of non-nuclear aspects of the regime’s regional behavior.  

“Our republics must always stand together when our shared interests and values are at stake. Today’s joint meeting is another step in strengthening this historic alliance even further.”

 

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THURSDAY: Speaker Ryan’s Annual 'Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day' Press Conference

2018/04/24

I look forward to this day every year. Thanks to all the junior journalists (& their parents) for participating in #TakeYourChildToWorkDay. pic.twitter.com/JU5FKlXfGT

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 27, 2017

WASHINGTON—This Thursday is 'Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day' nationwide. Here on Capitol Hill, as he has each year, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is inviting members of the media to bring their children to his weekly press briefing.

“There may be no such thing as looking forward to a press conference, but this is about as close as it gets,” Speaker Ryan said. “Bringing your kids to work is a great way for them to see what you do for a living—and the pictures are priceless. I encourage everyone in the Capitol Hill community to take part in this wonderful tradition.”

Speaker Ryan’s 'Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day' Press Conference Thursday, April 26, 2018 11:30 a.m. ET Capitol Visitor Center, HVC Studio A, HVC 114 For questions regarding location, please contact House Radio-TV Gallery staff at 202-225-5214.

NOTE: Speaker Ryan’s weekly press briefing will, as always, be live-streamed on speaker.gov/live.

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Highlights from Speaker Ryan's Tax Day Roundtable

2018/04/23

This afternoon, Speaker Ryan is visiting Wisconsin manufacturers to talk about how tax reform has boosted their businesses.

Wisconsin is first in the nation for manufacturing jobs added in 2018. At home in Janesville this morning, these AMTEC workers showed me how they are also helping provide our military with state-of-the-art equipment. pic.twitter.com/a9gJdiaLh8

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 23, 2018

Today's trip follows a Tax Day roundtable last week, where Speaker Ryan, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) met with members of the small business and franchise community to talk about how tax reform has impacted their lives and businesses.

Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, business owners have been able to hire more, support their employees through promotions and higher wages, and expand their businesses. Hear some of their stories below. 

Investing in Workers

American businesses are using their tax savings to reinvest in their workers. #TaxReform has allowed Dave’s trucking company provide wage increases for its drivers, as well as increase its contribution to employees’ health plans. pic.twitter.com/i0TYia1Zsn

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 19, 2018

Expanding their Enterprises

#TaxReform has given some businesses the confidence they need to expand. Debra recently took the risk of opening up another location for her business, which will also allow her to create at least 10 more jobs. pic.twitter.com/mXbW5foRGn

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 20, 2018

Supporting Employees

Because of #TaxReform, 90% of workers will see more money in their paychecks. At our #TaxTalk earlier this week, Kasey told @RepKevinBrady, @CathyMcMorris, and me that she’s using her increased monthly pay to complete her education. pic.twitter.com/PukriBQbte

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 19, 2018

Increased Optimism

Optimism amongst #SmallBiz owners is at a record high. Following #TaxReform, John has been able to create more jobs and give raises to his workers. The optimism has spread to his workers, who are now seeing more money in their paychecks. pic.twitter.com/yzDN9XtG04

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 22, 2018

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Tax Reform Continues to Help Families, Drive Momentum

2018/04/20

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act continued to drive economic momentum this week, with more news of companies expressing confidence and investing in their businesses. And we marked a big milestone in the relief families will get because of this new law.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at how tax reform is continuing to boost American manufacturing, support working families, and save consumers money:  

  • 1.1 million: The Congressional Budget Office reports that our economy will add an average of 1.1 million jobs over the next 10 years as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • 48: Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we have now tracked utility companies in at least 48 states which have taken action to decrease their customers' utility bills. Just this week, Entergy Louisiana announced that $105 million in savings will returned to its customers through lower utility prices.
  • 53 percent of manufacturers surveyed in the Philadelphia Fed’s latest Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey said they planned to increase capital spending this year. The companies also expressed a general sense of optimism and expectations for continued growth.
  • $2,059: The average tax cut the typical family of four will receive this year under the updated tax code. Tax Day this week marked the last time Americans will have to file under the old, outdated code.
  • $500 million: Kroger’s investment in its employees over the next three years, some of which it can now accelerate, thanks to tax savings. The company announced this week it will be increasing training and development and raising wages, as well as upping its 401(k) match and offering better educational benefits for its employees.

Yet another strong week for the American economy, unleashed by tax reform. As Speaker Ryan wrote this week, “Fixing our tax code is a major part of what I came to Washington to do: pass reforms that will create an economic climate where more Americans have the chance to realize the American Idea. The new tax law is making that happen.”

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

2018/04/19

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

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

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

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

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

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A New Tax Code Deserves a New IRS

2018/04/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018/04/18

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

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

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

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

“Formidable’ does not even begin to describe it.

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

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

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

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

“And I mean that quite literally.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“A pioneer. A grandmother. A giant.

“I will miss her very much.

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

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

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

Thank you.” 

 

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On Wisconsin Radio, Speaker Ryan Looks Back, and Ahead

2018/04/18

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

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

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

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

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

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Speaker Ryan Statement on Committee Passage of 2018 Farm Bill

2018/04/18

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

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

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

 

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Statement on First Lady Barbara Bush

2018/04/18

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

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

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

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

2018/04/17

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

Opening Statement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018/04/17

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

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

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

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

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Father Conroy to Step Down as House Chaplain Next Month

2018/04/16

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

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

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

 

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Speaker Ryan Meets With Conservative Leaders to Discuss Agenda

2018/04/16

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

Attendees at today’s meeting included: 

·        David Christensen, Family Research Council 

·        Ryan Ellis, Conservative Reform Network 

·        Kay Coles James, Heritage Foundation 

·        Karen Kerrigan, SBE Council 

·        Michael Needham, Heritage Action 

·        Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform

·        Tim Phillips, Americans for Prosperity

·        Ralph Reed, Faith and Freedom Coalition 

·        Tom Schatz, Citizens Against Government Waste

·        Pete Sepp, National Taxpayers Union

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WATCH: Speaker Ryan on ‘Meet the Press’

2018/04/15

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

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

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

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Statement on Military Action Against the Syrian Regime

2018/04/14

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

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

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

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

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Tax Reform Keeps Delivering for America’s Workers

2018/04/13

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

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

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

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

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

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Speaker Ryan Opens Ceremony Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

2018/04/12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We saw all that was possible for our children.

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

We saw the nation’s knees buckle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018/04/12

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

Farm Bill

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

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

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

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

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

Tax Day

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

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

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

2018/04/12

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Watch Speaker Ryan's Interview with Jake Tapper

2018/04/11

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

Handing Over the Gavel

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

Making a Difference in People’s Lives

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

Advancing His Poverty-Fighting Agenda

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

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Watch Speaker Ryan's Interview with Dana Perino

2018/04/11

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

A Wisconsin Guy Who Came to Washington to Make a Difference

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

We’ve Gotten a Lot Done

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

Moving Forward on Workforce Development

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

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

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Speaker Ryan Announces Retirement at End of Term

2018/04/11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Thank you.”

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

2018/04/10

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

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

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

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

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

 

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THURSDAY: Speaker Ryan to Attend Communities of Color Breakfast Series

2018/04/10

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

2018/04/10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We Must End Sex Trafficking in the United States

Human Trafficking is an American Problem

The House is Taking More Action to End Human Trafficking

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Another Step Toward Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure

2018/04/09

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

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

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

2018/04/06

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos courtesy of Caleb Fisher, House Republican Conference.

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Tax Reform Continues To Bring U.S. Businesses Home

2018/04/05

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Contact Information

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

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

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