Today Wisconsin’s First District congressman and speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, spoke with WCLO’s Tim Bremel and WISN’s Jay Weber about the challenges Congress is currently tackling and what lies ahead on the legislative agenda.
Rolling back burdensome regulations:
“We’re just doing our work. We’re busy getting our job done. We’re in the middle of what we call our CRA season, the Congressional Review Act. We have a tool, a procedural tool that can block filibusters and repeal recent regulations by the last administration . . . so we’re focused on doing it right now.
“[Like the] stream buffer [rule], which is an Obama regulation he put out there at the last minute that basically shuts down coal mining. It would wipe out tens of thousands of coal mining jobs, and it was a regulation that was rushed . . . there are some others ones that we put through dealing with energy. And so we’re going through and getting rid of these regulations that he did at the last minute that he didn’t even go through the proper process.
“We don’t [really] have coal mines in Wisconsin. We get our power from coal—over 60% of our power, our electricity comes from coal—so [this rule] would have given us a huge price shock on our utility bills and that’s how it would have affected us.”
Describing the 200 day legislative plan:
“We have a 200 day plan that we’re working off that Senator Mitch McConnell and myself and President Trump worked on together, for the priorities of the legislation that we want to pass this year. It is: Repeal and replace Obamacare . . . the regulatory stuff I just described . . . [and] doing comprehensive tax reform.
“We’re on path. We’re on track. We have our timeline [and] we’re in the middle of drafting our bills. . . . Remember, we’re in a rescue mission here. Our healthcare system is collapsing. . . . Our economy is not growing like it needs to [and] we’ve [got to] get it going. That’s regulations, that’s tax reform; there is so much work to do to make people’s lives better and we’re not going to be daunted from doing it.”
“As far as our phone lines are concerned, we prioritize constituents. When you have a lot of calls coming in, with only so many staff [members] to answer the phones, it can take some time to get to those calls. My priority is doing my job as the 1st Congressional district Congressman. . . . And again, because our phone lines get clogged sometimes, I encourage our constituents to just email us, that’s the easiest way to get to us. Just go to paulryan.house.gov.
"I’m Paul Ryan, the same person I’ve always been: living, raising my family in Janesville, Wisconsin, serving as the first Congressional district Congressman, but also as Speaker of the House. I think it’s a great privilege that my colleagues wanted me to become the Speaker of the House. . . . I take this responsibility very seriously, and I see it basically as a huge opportunity to get the policies done that we’ve been fighting for and trying for so many years, which I think are really important to get our country back on the right track.”