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Ryan on Iran Deal and Pope Francis’ Address to Congress

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August 25, 2015 | Ian Martorana (202-225-3031) | comments

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday morning, Wisconsin’s First District Congressman and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan spoke with WLIP’s Bill Lawrence and WRJN’s Mike Clemens about his concerns with the Iran deal and his excitement for Pope Francis’ upcoming address to a Joint Meeting of Congress.

Excerpts of Ryan’s interviews with WLIP and WRJN follow.  

On the Iran Deal:  

“Well, it legitimizes Iran’s search for a nuclear weapon and all but guarantees that they end up getting a nuclear weapon, and they can march toward a nuclear weapon under the conditions of this deal. And it also frees up 150 billion dollars of cash right up front for them. Remember that Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”  


“This is Iran; the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. This is a country that has openly declared that its goal is to annihilate another country like Israel. This is a country that has a ‘death to America’ march every year – it is a holiday in their country. And we are now saying that if they fulfill the terms of the agreement they can have nuclear weapons. And, we are giving them cash up front to be able to procure the kinds of weapons that they want and to fuel terrorism. It legitimizes this country which should not be legitimized, and that to me, is the worst of it all. I think the President went into these negotiations too desperate for any agreement. That’s what he got, and I think they took us to the cleaners. And, I think the world is going to be much less safe if this agreement prevails.”  

On Pope Francis’ visit:  

“The Pope, as you know, is also the head of the Vatican, which is a state. And so, the Pope is addressing a Joint Meeting of Congress. This is the first time a Pope has ever done this. We’ve had papal visits before but I’m very excited about it myself as a practicing Catholic. I think it’s really exciting to see, and he’s coming in a few weeks.”  


“I worked quite a bit on issues of poverty. I have shared a lot of those [ideas] with people of the Church. Actually, my welfare reform proposal models are very similar to the Catholic Charities model for how to get people out of poverty and move them from welfare to work. I think Catholic Charities has one of the best ideas of how to do that, and it’s something that was one of the basis of my poverty plan for getting people out of welfare.”
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