Ryan to meet with constituents
By Terry Flores, Kenosha News
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will host listening sessions in the First Congressional District next week, wrapping up in Kenosha County on March 20.
Ryan, who was in Kenosha to attend the Boys and Girls Club’s annual awards dinner Monday, said the listening sessions are being held while Congress is not in session next week.
Ryan has been critical about the federal budget and spending under President Obama’s administration as it relates to proposed cuts to the military and last week released a report that takes aim at government funding of poverty programs.
Ryan said the national debt will continue to grow, rising from $17 trillion to $25 billion in the next decade.
Ryan said his report on poverty reviews $800 billion the federal government spent on dozens of programs that provided food, housing education and other assistance for the poor in 2012.
“Given that this is the 50th anniversary on the war on poverty, we should be assessing whether it has been effective or not,” he said. “This report is an attempt to have an accounting by the federal government, how we can make it better and what we can do more effectively.”
Ryan said he will be visiting with people and organizations, especially those that have been successful in the fight against poverty, including the Boys and Girls Club.
“They’re helping young kids in a critical stage of their life get through critical moments,” he said. “I’m looking at what’s working and seeing what I can do and doing my part as a federal policy maker to do that.”
Ryan said homeless programs and earned income credit are among those he believes are working.
“There’s also an element of local control that needs to be implemented. A lot of these programs are tied by these bureaucratic systems in place,” he said. “What I’ll be doing is looking at what’s working and what's not working in our communities with an eye toward challenging the status quo. This affects everybody in Kenosha.”
Ryan said the listening sessions are open to the public and anyone with concerns can talk about any other issues.
If you go
What: Kenosha County listening sessions with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.
When: March 20, two sessions: