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Ryan Outlines 2017 Congressional Priorities on WPR

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

WASHINGTON, DC Yesterday, Wisconsin’s First District congressman and speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, spoke with WPR’s Rob Ferrett on Central Time.

The scandal at Tomah VA Medical Center:

“Tomah has been under such a microscope and yet they still have these terrible problems. We see persistent management failures here. And what is frustrating to [me] and to Ron Johnson and others is lack of accountability at the VA at large, but especially at Tomah. They cannot have the kind of discipline and management restructuring that is necessary to get this place whipped in to shape. And that is why we think we need to have more wholesale reform at the Veterans Administration. . . . We need to hold people accountable. The bureaucracy is bloated, and it is inefficient and unaccountable, and we need to bring accountability to the VA so that our veterans get the care that they deserve.”

Building a stronger economy:

“Well, we’ve got a lot of number-one priorities, I guess I’d say. The first we’re going to do is start working on a budget. And in that budget we’re going to try and bring Obamacare relief.”

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“But also [cutting back] the regulatory state, which is really putting a chilling effect on jobs, and reforming the tax code to make American businesses, particularly our manufacturers, much more competitive globally so we can grow more jobs here at home and increase take home pay, and just get faster economic growth.”

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“What we ought to be doing is cleaning up our economic policy so that we’re the best . . . with a healthy economy, with strong companies that are in America, building, selling, exporting and engaging in the world, and pushing the values of freedom and free enterprise. That to me is what American leadership needs to look like.”

Discussing health care reforms:

“Right now, Medicare Advantage is a very popular program that seniors get to choose from among private plans for their comprehensive Medicare benefits. That’s something seniors today enjoy. The federal employees get to choose among competing comprehensive private plans for their benefit so that they have more choices and lower prices. Those are the kinds of reforms that are being discussed for younger people. It’s very important to note that any discussion of Medicare, those changes do not affect anyone in or near retirement. So anybody who’s on Medicare today or about to go on Medicare is not a part of this conversation.”

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