Statement on Passage of Interior, Environment and Financial Services Funding Bills

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today released this statement on the passage of the Interior,  Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act and the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act:

“With these critical funding bills, the House is taking action to make government work more effectively for communities. This Interior and Environment Appropriations bill provides vital resources to firefighters battling wildfires throughout the West. It empowers local governments to provide services in their communities and it reins in needless regulation, including fully repealing the harmful Obama-era Waters of the United States Rule. Our natural resources and federal lands are part of America’s unique heritage, and this funding will help continue their preservation.

“The Financial Services Appropriations bill provides much-needed funding. It continues Congress’s relentless efforts against the opioid epidemic by providing funding for the Office of National Drug Policy. It puts resources in the hands of law enforcement so they can continue keeping our communities safe and cracks down on terror financing globally. And it promotes business formation and economic growth by funding loan programs for small businesses and programs for veterans and women entrepreneurs. With these bills, the House is continuing its work to carry out responsible funding while maintaining accountability to the American taxpayer.”   

Additional information on these bills is available here, here, and below:

  • They maintain the overall funding levels from fiscal year 2018—a total of $23.4 billion for Financial Services and $35.3 billion for Interior and Environment.
  • The Financial Services Appropriations bill promotes long-term fiscal responsibility, setting aside $585 million for a new Fund for America’s Kids and Grandkids, which can only be spent when there is no longer a budget deficit.
  • This bill also makes important financial services industry reforms to promote transparency and accountability, including bringing the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection into the appropriations process.
  • The Interior and Environment Appropriations bill invests in critical infrastructure projects, including funding directed specifically at updating our nation’s water infrastructure. 

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Speaker Ryan Names Farm Bill Conference Committee Members

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today named Republican lawmakers to the House-Senate conference committee on the Farm Bill. Last month, the House passed H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act, which includes critical reforms to close the skills gap and help more Americans move from welfare to work.

“We see this Farm Bill as pivotal for building a sturdier ladder of opportunity in America,” Speaker Ryan said. “With all this momentum in our economy, there could not be a better time to help more people move from welfare to work. This is a chance to close the skills gap, better equip our workforce, and support much-needed development in rural communities. I look forward to working with Chairman Conaway and all of these lawmakers on these vital reforms.”

Earlier today, the Speaker’s office released an overview of how the House Farm Bill helps more Americans move from welfare to work. This represents the last plank of our Better Way agenda.

House Agriculture Committee

1. Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX)

2. Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA)

3. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)

4. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK)

5. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)

6. Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA)

7. Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR)

8. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)

9. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)

10. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL)

11. Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC)

12. Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS)

13. Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX)

House Education and the Workforce Committee 

1. Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC)

2. Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA)

House Energy and Commerce Committee

1. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL)

2. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND)

House Financial Services Committee 

1. Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)

2. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI)

House Foreign Affairs Committee

1. Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA)

2. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH)

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

1. Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC)

2. Rep. James Comer (R-KY)

House Natural Resources Committee

1. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT)

2. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR)

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee

1. Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA)

2. Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL)

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

1. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA)

2. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH)

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Today: Moving Forward on the Farm Bill

Today, the House will take the next step toward critical reforms to help more Americans move from welfare to work. We will vote to establish a conference committee with the Senate to develop a final Farm Bill—a main plank of our workforce development agenda. Here are three reasons this is so important:

1) More Americans are looking for work and more companies are looking for workers. Last month, more than 600,000 people joined the workforce. That is great news. We have 6.6 million jobs open right now in our country—at least one job for every American in search of one. But our labor participation rate still remains relatively low. “Between 1965 and 2015, the number of prime-age men neither working nor looking for work grew more than three times faster than the number in the workforce,” resulting in 7 million men missing from the labor force. One in seven 16-24 year olds in the U.S. are neither in school nor working, totaling more than 5.5 million “disconnected” youth nationwide.

2) Our federal benefits framework is not doing enough to incentivize work. The growth of federal programs provides some color—the last time the unemployment rate was at  4 percent, there were 17 million Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. Today, with that same unemployment level, there are more than 42 million. We need to make reforms so that these programs encourage work and provide training for those who are work-capable but may not have the adequate skills to secure a good-paying job.

3) The House Farm Bill ties work requirements to work supports, empowering people to get back into the workforce, find a career path, and fulfill their true potential.

It’s a model that works. A new Council of Economic Advisers report noted, “evidence suggests that welfare programs that require work in return for benefits increase adult employment and may improve child outcomes.”

The report, which looks at welfare reform during the 1990s, uses the shift to the work-focused Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program as one of the factors in improved outcomes among the program’s recipients. Between 1996 and 2000, TANF receipt by single mothers fell by 53 percent, their employment rate increased by 10 percent, and their poverty rate fell by 20 percent.”

The report also notes the effectiveness of work-promoting incentives like the Earned Income Tax Credit. Work requirements for SNAP may act as a complement to these credits, pulling even more people out of poverty and onto a path to prosperity.

As The Wall Street Journal editorialized earlier this year,  “Paying people to make it easy not to work—and thus languish for a lifetime in poverty—is not compassionate. It’s destructive of human dignity and leads to more inequality. Republicans are right that welfare reform will assist American upward mobility, and they should take the case to the public.”

Americans are better off now in this booming economy, and this is one way we can make things even better for more families. “If we can get these things right—helping more students get into good jobs and careers, and helping more people get out of poverty into the workforce—those are big changes,” Speaker Ryan said last week, “Those are things that will help restore intergenerational mobility for families and communities.”

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Speaker Ryan Welcomes Czech Speaker Vondráček to the U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with Speaker Radek Vondráček of the Czech Chamber of Deputies:

“This year marks a major milestone—100 years—in relations between the United States and the Czech Republic. The deep ties between our countries, grounded in common values, are represented in the Václav Havel bust in Freedom Foyer of the U.S. Capitol. It was Havel who said to Congress in 1990, ‘Our freedom, independence and our newborn democracy have been purchased at great cost, and we shall not surrender them.’

In this spirit of solidarity, it was my honor to welcome Speaker Vondráček to the Capitol, and repay his hospitality of earlier this spring. We continued our dialogue on the critical issues we discussed in March, including the importance of the NATO alliance and regional security cooperation. As I said when I was in Prague, it is more vital than ever for our countries to be united in our commitment to Western ideals and interests.”

NOTE: In March, Speaker Ryan made an official visit to Prague to mark the centennial of U.S.-Czech relations. In an address to the Czech Parliament, he called for solidarity in the defense of freedom and democratic institutions, and stronger economic and defense ties among Western allies.

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Better Off Now: Speaker Ryan Discusses Building on Economic Growth at Leadership Press Conference

Summary: At the weekly Republican Leadership press conference, Speaker Ryan discussed a package of bills the House will consider today to promote capital formation and job creation, to build even further upon recent economic success. “The American people are better off now,” Speaker Ryan said, and “we need to keep it going.”

Opening Statement:

“Morning. I recently had the chance to visit a couple manufacturers up in Minneapolis-St.Paul.

“And the story there is very similar to what we are seeing all around the country.

“More people are finding work. Companies are expanding. Confidence is surging.

“Our policies have helped create this climate. This is a climate of growth.

“The American people are better off now. And we need to keep it going.

“This week, we’ll consider legislation to make it easier for small companies to access the capital markets—it’s a key source of financing.

“This is where most new jobs come from: new companies.  

“It will cut down on regulations that are holding back small businesses and start-ups.

“It’s the third piece in a line of critical bipartisan bills aimed at creating jobs, unlocking innovation, and driving growth.

“This will help us sustain the positive growth that we are already seeing.

“And this all gets us back to creating an environment where entrepreneurs can succeed and workers can get ahead.

“I want to commend Chairman Jeb Hensarling, and I want to commend Mia Love, from the Financial Services Committee, for their efforts in bringing this really critical bipartisan legislation to the floor.

“One thing I heard about in the Twin Cities is the need for more workers and especially workers with the right skills.

“This is a new, sort of good problem that we have these days: We have jobs, but we need workers with skills to fill those jobs.

“Soon, we will be taking the next step on the Farm Bill.

“Our version would retool the SNAP program to focus on encouraging recipients to enter the workforce.

“This is a model that we should be moving to—helping more Americans reach their potential, moving from welfare to work, getting on the ladder of life.

“In this economy, there is no better time to do this.

“Just go to better.gop to learn more.”

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Speaker Ryan Welcomes President Macron to the Capitol

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

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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On Wisconsin TV, Speaker Ryan Talks 20 Years in Congress

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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Speaker Ryan Welcomes Kids, Talks FAA at Annual ‘Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day’ Press Conference

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

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.

 

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