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Ryan Talks Defense and Foreign Policy on Wisconsin Radio

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September 06, 2016 | Ian Martorana (202-225-3031) | comments

Today, Wisconsin’s First District congressman and speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, spoke with WBEL’s Stan Milam and WRJN’s Glenn Klein about national defense and foreign policy. Excerpts of Ryan’s answers follow:

Condemning the Obama administration’s ransom payment to Iran:

“The last thing you want to be the lasting impression of America is that we will pay cash for hostages because all you’re doing is encouraging more hostage taking. This had been long-standing American policy and . . . now [we] have learned that they actually paid this cash and they didn’t let the pallet money go off on the airplane until they knew the hostages were . . . leaving Tehran. This is more than appeasement. This is more than accommodating what I think was a really bad agreement. They’re bending over backward to accommodate Iran. Let’s just remember who they are. They are the world’s No. 1 sponsor of terrorism. They finance terrorism all across the world. This is the country that created the really lethal IEDs against our soldiers in Iraq. This is the kind of country we’re dealing with and this is the kind of country our government just gave $400 million in cash to; our country just signed a deal, which I think legitimizes them as a nuclear power. Even if they stick to the deal and don’t cheat, which we have no reason to believe they won’t cheat, we’re basically telling Iran that you can become a nuclear power in the near future. I think it was a colossal mistake.”

Discussing the administration’s political strategy to veto the defense bill:

“This is pretty much the same old playbook you’ve seen from the Obama administration for years. We’re very concerned that our men and women in uniform are not getting what they need to do their jobs. . . . Not to mention the fact that we do have troops over in Afghanistan and they also need to be funded. . . . The Pentagon is actually trying to spend less money on the basic things that our troops need—a pay raise for example—and they want to hold hostage spending more money on domestic government agencies in exchange. I think it’s shameless and political. . . . And what the political leadership at the Pentagon seems to be doing, based upon this memo, is politicizing this in an effort to try to leverage more domestic spending, which has nothing to do with the men and women serving in our military.”

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