Ryan talks terrorism, fiscal issues
By Jon Brines, Kenosha News
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan talked tough on President Obama, immigration, terrorism and fiscal problems ahead for the country when he stopped at Snap-on Inc. in Kenosha Wednesday.
“I don’t agree with the president on much these days, but I do agree with him on trade,” Ryan said.
Paul outlined a Pacific trade deal he said people should support and took questions from the audience in one of eight scheduled listening sessions through his district this week.
“We could dumb down our standards like China is going or we can be a counter weight to China,” Ryan said. “Let’s write the rules.”
Kenoshan Jil Wilson wanted to know if his staff has read the Quran, the religious text of Islam, because she is frightened by terrorism around the world.
“The Quran? No. I don’t ask my staff to read anything,” Ryan told her.
He said he takes terrorism seriously and the arrest of the alleged ISIS helper and Dane County resident Joshua Van Haften coming off a plane from the Mideast as an anti-terror success (see related story on page A8).
“This is going to be a challenge for our country for a long time. So far so good except for Boston and Ft. Hood,” Ryan said. “We have to be aware of the civil liberties of our citizens. They need to be upheld what is more concerning is individuals training themselves on the internet and hooking up with elements on the Internet and carrying out attacks.”
Immigration, Iran issues
On immigration Ryan said the government needs to separate the “economic immigrant” from the “criminal immigrant” with reform, secure the border, enforce the laws on the books and get undocumented immigrants right with the law.
Ryan defended the letter written by congressmen to Iran warning the foreign government that the nuclear deal could expire with Obama’s presidency.
“It is not a treaty. This has to be treated as agreement that expires with his presidency. That’s what that letter to Iran was about.”
Ryan said the agreement is so important Congress should have taken a look at it.
“We don’t want Vladimir Putin on the Security Council blocking sanctions when they don’t comply,” Ryan said.
America’s debt, budget
As the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Ryan spoke extensively about America’s debt and how it could be like Greece if we don’t get discretionary spending as well as entitlements like Social Security and Medicare under control for the future. He said gridlock has prevented progress on it.
“Our government is stuck. It’s not too late to tackle these things on our own terms in our own way,” he said.
Ryan defended the Republicans’ budget, saying it was “putting a down payment on tax reform.”
“How do we get people to work together? Leadership is the big difference maker,” Ryan said.
Nathan Stanley a Bradford High School senior, admitted he was a fan and didn’t care what Ryan spoke about. He said he just wanted to hear him speak and was disappointed Ryan’s not running for president in 2016.
“He would be my personal favorite,” Stanley said. “He’s doing good for our local government and national government. As chair of the Ways and Means Committee he can do a lot of good.”