Republican Leadership Including Congressman Paul Ryan Betray American Worker By Advocating Legal Status For 30-50 Illegal Aliens — Americans Do Not Trust Ryan or Obama — Something Big Has To Happen: Focus on Deporting Illegal Aliens And Reducing American Citizens Unemployment Rate! — Videos

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Story 1: Republican Leadership Including Congressman Paul Ryan Betray American Worker By Advocating Legal Status For 30-50 Illegal Aliens — Americans Do Not Trust Ryan or Obama — Something Big Has To Happen: Focus on Deporting Illegal Aliens And Reducing American Citizens Unemployment Rate! — Videos — Videos


unemployment_minimum_wage USA-Immigration-by-Decade

legal immgration immigration_against_population 2011-0318-origins illegal_immigration



Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs

(Roy Beck) American Jobs in Peril: The Impact of Uncontrolled Immigration

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Fred Elbel

Q and A – Deportation Numbers Unwrapped


‘This Week’: Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan on Immigration Reform

Boehner Says GOP to Discuss Immigration Reform

Tom Donohue, President & CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Immigration Reform

Mark Levin mocks “clapping seal” Paul Ryan for cheering Obama on amnesty

Rush Limbaugh: Paul Ryan doesn’t care if he loses seat over amnesty, he just wants a lobbying gig

Paul Ryan: Immigration Reform Needed to Restore the American Idea

Paul Ryan: Undocumented Immigrants Don’t Want to Be Citizens!

Paul Ryan Legal immigration is good for America CBS News Video

Glenn Beck: Interview with House Republicans Planning Revolt On Immigration Bill

Cost to detain and deport illegal aliens is exposed


Immigration reform unlikely in 2014, says Rep. Paul Ryan

Days after House Republicans unveiled a roadmap for an overhaul of the nation’s broken immigration system, one of its backers said legislation is unlikely to pass during this election year.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said distrust of President Barack Obama runs so deep in the Republican caucus that he’s skeptical the GOP-led House would pass any immigration measure. He said a plan that puts security first could only pass if lawmakers believe the administration would enforce it — an unlikely prospect given Republicans’ deep opposition to Obama.

“This isn’t a trust-but-verify, this is a verify-then-trust approach,” Ryan said.

Last week, House Republicans announced their broad concerns for any immigration overhaul but emphasized they would tackle the challenge bill-by-bill. Immigration legislation is a dicey political question for the GOP. The party’s conservative base opposes any measure that would create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living here illegally, but many in the party worry that failing to act could drive many voters to Democratic candidates. In 2012, Obama won re-election with the backing of 71 percent of Hispanic voters and 73 percent of Asian voters. The issue is important to both blocs.

Republicans have preemptively been trying to blame the White House for immigration legislation’s failure, even before a House bill comes together. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said “there’s a lot of distrust of this administration in implanting the law.” And Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., last week warned that distrust of Obama would trump the desire to find a solution for the estimated 11 million people living in the United States illegally.

“We just don’t think government will enforce the law anyway,” Rubio said, recounting conversations he’s had with fellow Republicans.

House Republicans are pushing a piecemeal approach to immigration that puts a priority on security before considering a pathway for those here illegally to earn citizenship. That strategy runs counter to a comprehensive bill, passed through the Senate seven months ago with bipartisan support, that includes a long and difficult pathway to citizenship.

The White House, meanwhile returned to its position that any legislation must include a way for those living here illegally to earn citizenship and that the system cannot divide Americans into two classes — citizens and noncitizens.

“We ought to see a pathway to citizenship for people,” White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said Sunday. “We don’t want to have a permanent separation of classes or two permanent different classes of Americans in this country.”

Last week, Obama suggested that he’s open to a legal status for immigration that falls short of citizenship, hinting he could find common ground with House Republicans.

“I’m going to do everything I can in the coming months to see if we can get this over the finish line,” Obama said Friday.

Obama’s flexibility was a clear indication of the president’s desire to secure an elusive legislative achievement before voters decide in the fall whether to hand him even more opposition in Congress. Republicans are expected to maintain their grip on the House and have a legitimate shot at grabbing the majority in the Senate.

McDonough said the White House remains optimistic that legislation that includes citizenship could reach the president’s desk: “We feel pretty good that we’ll get a bill done this year.”

Not so, countered Ryan, the GOP’s vice presidential nominee in 2012.

“Here’s the issue that all Republicans agree on: We don’t trust the president to enforce the law,” he added.

Asked whether immigration legislation would make its way to Obama for him to sign into law, Ryan said he was skeptical: “I really don’t know the answer to that question. That is clearly in doubt.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican and son of immigrants, said Congress needs to address the “completely backwards system” not because it’s good politics for the GOP but because it’s the right thing to do.

“If the president had been serious about this the last five years, we’d be further along in this discussion,” Jindal said. “But I think it’s also right the American people are skeptical.”

Ryan spoke to ABC’s “This Week.” Cantor was interviewed on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” McDonough appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS. Jindal spoke to CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Text of Republicans’ Principles on Immigration

Standards for Immigration Reform


Our nation’s immigration system is broken and our laws are not being enforced. Washington’s failure to fix them is hurting our economy and jeopardizing our national security. The overriding purpose of our immigration system is to promote and further America’s national interests and that is not the case today. The serious problems in our immigration system must be solved, and we are committed to working in a bipartisan manner to solve them. But they cannot be solved with a single, massive piece of legislation that few have read and even fewer understand, and therefore, we will not go to a conference with the Senate’s immigration bill. The problems in our immigration system must be solved through a step-by-step, common-sense approach that starts with securing our country’s borders, enforcing our laws, and implementing robust enforcement measures. These are the principals guiding us in that effort.

Border Security and Interior Enforcement Must Come First

It is the fundamental duty of any government to secure its borders, and the United States is failing in this mission. We must secure our borders now and verify that they are secure. In addition, we must ensure now that when immigration reform is enacted, there will be a zero tolerance policy for those who cross the border illegally or overstay their visas in the future. Faced with a consistent pattern of administrations of both parties only selectively enforcing our nation’s immigration laws, we must enact reform that ensures that a President cannot unilaterally stop immigration enforcement.

Implement Entry-Exit Visa Tracking System

A fully functioning Entry-Exit system has been mandated by eight separate statutes over the last 17 years. At least three of these laws call for this system to be biometric, using technology to verify identity and prevent fraud. We must implement this system so we can identify and track down visitors who abuse our laws.

Employment Verification and Workplace Enforcement

In the 21st century it is unacceptable that the majority of employees have their work eligibility verified through a paper based system wrought with fraud. It is past time for this country to fully implement a workable electronic employment verification system.

Reforms to the Legal Immigration System

For far too long, the United States has emphasized extended family members and pure luck over employment-based immigration. This is inconsistent with nearly every other developed country. Every year thousands of foreign nationals pursue degrees at America’s colleges and universities, particularly in high skilled fields. Many of them want to use their expertise in U.S. industries that will spur economic growth and create jobs for Americans. When visas aren’t available, we end up exporting this labor and ingenuity to other countries. Visa and green card allocations need to reflect the needs of employers and the desire for these exceptional individuals to help grow our economy.

The goal of any temporary worker program should be to address the economic needs of the country and to strengthen our national security by allowing for realistic, enforceable, usable, legal paths for entry into the United States. Of particular concern are the needs of the agricultural industry, among others. It is imperative that these temporary workers are able to meet the economic needs of the country and do not displace or disadvantage American workers.


One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents. It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children through no fault of their own, those who know no other place as home. For those who meet certain eligibility standards, and serve honorably in our military or attain a college degree, we will do just that.

Individuals Living Outside the Rule of Law

Our national and economic security depend on requiring people who are living and working here illegally to come forward and get right with the law. There will be no special path to citizenship for individuals who broke our nation’s immigration laws – that would be unfair to those immigrants who have played by the rules and harmful to promoting the rule of law. Rather, these persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits). Criminal aliens, gang members, and sex offenders and those who do not meet the above requirements will not be eligible for this program. Finally, none of this can happen before specific enforcement triggers have been implemented to fulfill our promise to the American people that from here on, our immigration laws will indeed be enforced.

Why Pro-Amnesty Republicans Are So Desperate To Pass Immigration Reform This Year

John Hawkins

The most intriguing question about the latest GOP push on immigration is one that no one seems to be asking: Why does the Republican Party seem so determined to push immigration reform this year?

At first glance, it makes no sense whatsoever.

After all, because of Obamacare the electoral landscape is so tilted towards the GOP that it looks likely we’ll add seats in the House and take the Senate back. With the filibuster as good as dead, why wouldn’t Republicans want to write a tough immigration bill on their terms in 2015 and force Obama to either sign on to it or veto a bill that the public supports?

Furthermore, Obama is illegally giving out work permits, refusing to deport most captured illegals and he has illegitimately created a DREAM ACT by fiat. This is a man who has made absolutely clear that he has no intention of enforcing immigration law; so how do you make any kind of deal that relies on his implementing even tougher rules? Realistically, you don’t. Until the immigration laws that are already on the books are being enforced, talking about making new, tougher laws in exchange for the carrot of legalized status or citizenship is a farce.

In addition, the Democrats’ policy on illegal immigration is driven by one overriding goal: they want as many illegal immigrants as possible in the United States so they can eventually turn them into voters. If they can transform 10 million, 20 million, or 50 million illegal immigrants into citizens, they’d be happy to do it because they correctly believe the vast majority of them will be Democrat voters. How could we possibly negotiate a good deal when the people who control the White House AND the Senate think like that?

Of course, some Republicans claim that passing this deal would help the GOP with Hispanics. However, there’s very little evidence to support that assertion.

Ronald Reagan received 37% of the Hispanic vote in 1984, signed an amnesty in 1986, and then in 1988, George H.W. Bush got 30% of the Hispanic vote. Chances are, we wouldn’t even do that well in 2016 since Presidents tend to get the credit for legislation that’s signed on their watch. Who got credit for welfare reform and balancing the budget in the nineties? Bill Clinton or the Republicans in Congress who forced him to do it? Bill Clinton. Here’s an even better example: Who got credit for the 1964 Civil Rights Act? LBJ, who was known to drop the N-word from time to time or the Republicans in Congress who voted for it in greater numbers percentage-wise than the Democrats? Lyndon Johnson got all the credit.

If you don’t believe me, take it from the biggest Republican advocate of amnesty in the Senate, John McCain.

“Let’s say we enact it, comprehensive immigration reform, I don’t think it gains a single Hispanic voter.” — John McCain

Worse yet, if the GOP signs on to a legalization bill that falls short of giving illegals citizenship, it’s entirely possible that it would work against us politically with Hispanics. The Democrats would call it “racist,” an “apartheid,” and claim we are making illegals into “second class citizens.” In other words, passing the bill could hurt the GOP in the short term with Hispanic voters and demographically flood conservatism out of existence over the long term if the Republicans cave yet again and give those illegals citizenship.

On top of all that, the bill that 14 Republicans signed onto in the Senate would have been an absolute disaster if it had been passed by the House. The bill legalized illegals on day one, put them on a path to citizenship and gave the same Obama Administration that isn’t enforcing our laws today plenty of discretion in deciding how the law would be enforced in the future. Even the CBO, which is constrained by unrealistic rules in projecting the impact of laws said that the bill would only reduce illegal immigration by about 25 percent a year.Since enforcing the laws that are already on the books would do that, there was absolutely no reason to believe the law would succeed. If Republicans and Democrats collaborating together came up with a law that bad, what makes anyone think the Republicans in the House could do any better? John Boehner does two things well: cry and give in. Negotiation isn’t his strong suit.

So if politically it makes more sense for the GOP to wait until 2015 to take up immigration, we know the bill won’t help the GOP with Hispanics and we know the Democrats have no intention of honoring any security provisions, then why bother? It’s almost as if the House Leadership in the GOP is willing to pay a big price to pass a bill, even though they know it has no chance of working…and there’s the big secret.

There are a lot of businesses out there that want an endless supply of cheap labor, which would be fine, except that they want everyone else to pay for it. An illegal alien with no car insurance, no health insurance, who claims he has 14 kids so he can get an earned income tax credit can work cheaper than a law abiding American. So, when the illegal crashes his car, you pay for it. When he gets sick, you pay for it. Your taxes put his kids through school. Your taxes pay the bills if he goes to jail. Your tax dollars go into his pocket when he cheats on his taxes — meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce crowd makes so much money off of these illegals that they can afford to donate some of it to politicians like John Boehner, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Lindsey Graham and John McCain in order to get them to keep the gravy train going.

Ironically, the reason they’re so desperate to ram the bill through this year is because the political landscape looks so favorable to Republicans right now. Since the filibuster is essentially dead, if the GOP adds seats in the House and takes over the Senate, suddenly the GOP wouldn’t be able to use, “It was the best deal Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would sign off on” as an excuse for signing on to a terrible bill. Additionally, both John McCain and Marco Rubio are up for reelection in 2016 and could face strong primary challenges. That means the two biggest advocates of amnesty in the Senate would both have to at least pretend that they want to “build the dang fence.” and stop illegal immigration in 2015. Moreover, no legitimate contender for President on the Republican side is going to back an amnesty bill. All of them would oppose a terrible bill because the primary voters would insist on it. That means the GOP would either have to legitimately deal with the issue in 2015, which Boehner, Ryan, Rubio, McCain, Graham, etc. have no intention of doing, or they’d have to wait to see what the landscape looks like in 2017.

In other words, this whole immigration push that the GOP leadership in the House is embracing is a scam. It doesn’t matter what they tell you, what they promise or how good they make it sound; immigration reform this year would be about as legitimate as a letter from a Nigerian prince.

On immigration, what do GOP House leaders mean by ‘enforcement triggers’?

By Byron York

The House Republican leadership, meeting here at the party’s winter retreat, kept its new immigration reform “principles” as secret as nuclear codes. Old immigration hands on the Hill, who might have been expected to play a big part in producing the document, were barely consulted. When Speaker John Boehner’s office wanted a knowledgeable Hill staffer to take a look at the work in progress, the person was invited into a room to examine a draft — no copying or note-taking allowed. And the paper remained a mystery to almost all GOP lawmakers until Boehner unveiled it at a members-only meeting at the freezing Hyatt resort on Maryland’s Eastern Shore late Thursday afternoon.

Boehner had his reasons. The principles were going to be the first step in what could well be an ugly and divisive immigration fight inside the House GOP. So why let the opponents get a head start?

Now that the principles — all 804 words of them — have been released, it’s clear those opponents will have a lot to work with. What the GOP calls its “Standards for Immigration Reform” is almost all boilerplate, mostly indistinguishable from the Senate Gang of Eight “framework” that Boehner and other House Republicans rejected.

There’s the standard talk about how the U.S. immigration system is “broken.” There are calls for more border enforcement. More interior enforcement, like employment verification and an entry-exit visa system. Provisions for guest workers. Special consideration of young immigrants. It’s all been seen before.

And then there are by-now familiar guidelines for the handling of the 11 or 12 million immigrants in the country illegally. “These persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S.,” the principles say, “but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits).”

That, too, is all standard issue. But then, in the very last sentence of the principles, comes the key to the whole thing: “None of this can happen before specific enforcement triggers have been implemented to fulfill our promise to the American people that from here on, our immigration laws will indeed be enforced.”

It is not an exaggeration to say that the future of immigration reform in Congress depends on whether Republican leaders mean what they say in that single sentence.

If they do, and the GOP insists on actual border security measures being in place — not just passed, not just contemplated, but actually in place — before illegal immigrants are allowed to register for legal status, then there will likely be significant Republican support for such a bill. (It might well be a deal-killer for most Democrats, but that is another story.)

If, on the other hand, GOP lawmakers wiggle around the clear meaning of the principles’ last sentence to allow legalization to begin before security measures have been implemented, then the party will be back to the same divisions and animosities that have plagued Republicans since the terrible fights over immigration reform in 2006 and 2007.

Right now, it’s impossible to say which way GOP leaders will go. But there are signs that the wiggling is already underway.

In an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a leading advocate of reform, described a system in which illegal immigrants could come forward and receive probationary status while — not after — border security work is being done. “…You can be on probation, and you have to satisfy the terms of your probation while the border’s getting secured,” Ryan said.

That — legalization first, followed by completed security — is an entirely different scenario from the one described in the principles. If Republican leaders insist on legalization before security measures are implemented, they’ll likely lose many, many rank-and-file conservative lawmakers.

Of course, the principles give Republicans some room to maneuver. Just what will those “specific enforcement triggers” be? They certainly won’t be a complete security overhaul of the Mexican border. More likely, Republicans will ultimately stipulate that the Border Patrol have complete “situational awareness” — that is, surveillance capability — of the border and also implement interior enforcement measures. But the bottom line is that some work will have to be finished before legalization begins.

At various times in the last few months, it has appeared that immigration reform in the House was dead. Then it seemed to roar back to life. Now, for the first time, the House GOP leadership has committed itself to a set of reform guidelines. Which means the real fight is just beginning.

House GOP Floats Legalization Path for Immigrants

Republicans lay out tough path for undocumented immigrants to get legal status

By Alex Rogers

House Republican leaders on Thursday proposed giving undocumented immigrants a path to legal status if America’s borders are secured and immigrants meet specific requirements, in a broad outline for reform that represents the party’s most substantive play on the issue in years.

The one-page set of “principles,” distributed by party leaders to rank-and-file lawmakers at a House GOP retreat here, laid out strict conditions for adult immigrants to obtain legal status. “These persons could live here legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families” without public benefits, according to the document. The children of undocumented immigrants would have to pass eligibility standards and either serve in the military or attain a college degree. The GOP outline also calls for Congress to implement a “workable” electronic employment verification system, an entry-exit visa tracking system that prevents fraud and verifies identity, and a visa program designed to keep high skilled immigrants working in the country. The legalization measures would only take effect once “specific enforcement triggers have been implemented.”

Just a few months after the House blocked a comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate, the latest move could breathe new life into a lethargic movement for changing what both parties agree is a broken system. Some members of House Republican leadership have previously supported such provisions, but many conservative lawmakers recoil at anything that resembles amnesty for immigrants here illegally. The proposal comes at a moment when Republican leaders are increasingly worried that their low approval ratings among a growing population of Hispanic voters could once again harm their prospects of taking back the White House.

“I think it’s time to deal with it,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters. “It’s been turned into a political football. I think it’s unfair.”

Reform advocates, including former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the business-backed Chamber of Commerce, applauded the effort as a significant breakthrough. “We welcome the House Republicans to the immigration debate,” Frank Sharry, executive director of pro-reform group America’s Voice, said in a statement. “It’s about time.”

The question now is whether Democrats, who have already acquiesced on tactics in voicing a willingness to pass immigration reform in pieces rather than in a comprehensive bill, will also be willing to move in the GOP’s direction on policy. Pulling Democrats away from compromise is the belief that stronger reforms remain a political winner, especially important considering the difficult climate they face in the coming midterm elections. “I think that any immigration bill that the Republicans advocate that stops short of a path to citizenship is going to damage them permanently with Hispanic voters,” Joel Benenson, President Barack Obama‘s chief pollster, told reporters on Wednesday.

And Boehner signaled that his first offer could be the last. “These standards are as far as we are willing to go,” he said.

Democrats, who prefer a full path to citizenship for all immigrants in the country illegally, welcomed the news as a step forward.

“While these standards are certainly not everything we would agree with, they leave a real possibility that Democrats and Republicans, in both the House and Senate, can in some way come together and pass immigration reform that both sides can accept,” New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “It is a long, hard road, but the door is open.”

The Obama administration reacted cautiously.

“We’ve seen those reports and we will closely look at the document when it is released,” a White House official said. “The President’s principles on immigration reform are well established. We welcome the process moving forward in the House, and we look forward to working with all parties to make immigration reform a reality.”

In the short term, Republicans could likely pick up seats in the House and Senate without having to deal with immigration. A recent Pew Research poll found that “dealing with illegal immigration” is one of the lowest priorities for Americans. Some conservative pundits have decried doing anything on immigration reform for fear that it will take attention off President Barack Obama’s divisive health care reform law. The Madison Project, a conservative group, immediately decried the principles as “politically tone-deaf.”

Paul Ryan working behind the scenes to push comprehensive immigration legislation

By Paul Kane and Ed O’Keef

Two weeks after the end of his failed vice-presidential bid, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was already thinking ahead to another big fight: immigration reform. And he was thinking about it in a bipartisan way.Ryan ran into his old friend, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.), and urged him to restart his effort to get a comprehensive immigration package through Congress. Ryan’s arguments stemmed from a religious and economic foundation, not from the huge political liability the issue had become for the Republican Party during the 2012 presidential campaign.“You’re a Catholic; I’m a Catholic; we cannot have a permanent underclass of Americans exploited in America,” Ryan told Gutierrez, according to the Democrat’s recollection of the November discussion.Given those sentiments, and the drubbing the GOP ticket took among Latino voters, supporters of an immigration overhaul expected Ryan to emerge as the House’s most prominent public voice on the issue.Instead, as the issue has grown more contentious with the recent passage of a sprawling 1,200-page Senate bill, Ryan has worked quietly behind the scenes, declining to become the public face of the issue and leaving the effort without any prominent sponsors among the House GOP leadership.The 43-year-old congressman, whose own political future remains bright enough that some regard him as a 2016 presidential contender, has been using that stature to prod Gutierrez’s bipartisan group of seven House members to keep trying for a still-elusive compromise.He has held private meetings with members of the group and has reached out to other Republicans to try to find support for a comprehensive plan that would include a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally.On Wednesday afternoon, Ryan made a similar plea at a special immigration meeting of the House Republican Conference. He linked stronger border security and citizenship for undocumented workers to a more vibrant economy, according to people in the room.But Wednesday’s meeting was behind closed doors, leaving Ryan’s imprint largely invisible to the public — just as it was eight months ago in his chance meeting with Gutierrez in the House gym.That is a clear example of how Ryan intends to handle his support for a comprehensive plan, according to associates. Dan Senor, who was Ryan’s top policy aide in the 2012 campaign, said Ryan will make an aggressive case for a bipartisan bill in his own way.“His approach is not to do a million TV interviews, but to thoughtfully engage his colleagues, usually behind closed doors. So look for Ryan to make a full-throated, optimistic, pro-growth case for immigration reform; not through a big media rollout, but by talking directly to his colleagues,” Senor, who remains close to Ryan, said Wednesday.Ryan’s role will be different from that of another 40-something Republican, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), who became the highest-profile GOP supporter of the Senate’s legislation. Rubio helped craft the legislative language in bipartisan talks among eight senators, then aggressively sold the deal to skeptical conservative audiences in dozens and dozens of radio and TV appearances, sometimes several in a single day.The bill passed the Senate in late June with 68 votes, 14 of them from Republicans, but it now faces an uphill battle in a House dominated by conservatives from deep-red districts where citizenship for illegal immigrants remains blasphemy.Many Republican elders now believe it’s essential to revive the GOP’s long-term prospects on a national level, leading to their support of Rubio and Ryan’s work despite the short-term risk of angering the party’s conservative base.Complicating the legislation’s passage is that it has become something of a political orphan in the House, lacking support from any high-profile lawmaker. Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have taken a hands-off approach, suggesting that a public embrace of policy specifics would harm the process.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is moving piecemeal bills dealing with border security and worker visas while opposing citizenship for immigrants here illegally. The bipartisan group of seven House members, led by Gutierrez and three rank-and-file Republicans, has been unable to reach a deal that they could push as a group.

That leaves Ryan, a longtime supporter of immigration legislation dating back to his 2006 support for Gutierrez’s bill that included citizenship rights, as the most prominent House backer of a comprehensive deal. His advisers say he is a “bridge builder” on the issue, hoping to reassure both proponents such as Gutierrez and staunch conservatives who have come to worship Ryan’s acumen on deficits.

While some Republicans make the case for political expediency, hoping to lure Latino voters in elections, Ryan sells his argument as an “economic-based immigration system,” one aide said. The idea is that the economy will be better served by bringing the raft of undocumented workers currently serving in low-wage jobs into the legal workforce and setting up the right number of visas for skilled employees in key industries.

“Immigration will help improve that, so that we have the labor we need to get the economic growth that we want, so that America can be a fast-growing economy in the 21st century. Immigration helps us get the labor force that we need so that we can have the kind of growth we want,” Ryan said last month at an event at the National Association of Manufacturers. He added: “If you come here and put your hand over your heart, and you pledge allegiance to the American flag, we want you.”

Deeply trusted’

Ryan’s standing among House conservatives remains as strong as ever.

“What he brings is experience and trust. He’s deeply trusted in our conference,” said Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.), a junior member of the leadership and one of Ryan’s top acolytes on the Budget Committee.

Ryan’s chairmanship of the Budget Committee ends next year, and no one seems certain what he wants next. Some expect him to pursue a presidential bid, while others view him as a logical successor to Boehner as speaker.

His fundraising schedule is now packed with events benefiting fellow House Republicans, not Lincoln Day dinners in key presidential primary battlegrounds. That leaves many assuming he wants to stay in the House, with the gavel at the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee an increasingly likely prize.


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is hoping fellow Republican House leaders take heed and not push for immigration reform measures this year with mid-term elections so closely at hand.

But that’s not what’s happening.

Republicans, along with leadership, are meeting at a three day retreat along Maryland’s eastern shore Thursday, and the top piece of business is immigration. Republican House Speaker John Boehner, from Ohio and Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, among others, are trying to advance immigration legislation prior to heading into the midterm election campaign.

The senator said in a statement emailed to TheBlaze that “amnesty is wrong in any circumstance.”

Republicans need to focus on winning against Obama’s failed policies and not push for immigration legislation that is already presenting numerous legal obstacles and will demoralize voters, many of whom are opposed to amnesty, he added.

“Right now, Republican leadership in both chambers is aggressively urging Members to stand down on virtually every front: on the continuing resolution, on the budget, on the farm bill, on the debt ceiling,” Cruz said. “They may or may not be right, but their argument is that we should focus exclusively on Obamacare and on jobs. In that context, why on earth would the House dive into immigration right now? It makes no sense, unless you’re Harry Reid. Republicans are poised for an historic election this fall–a conservative tidal wave much like 2010. The biggest thing we could do to mess that up would be if the House passed an amnesty bill–or any bill perceived as an amnesty bill–that demoralized voters going into November.”

Republican leadership outlined in their immigration reform plan support for giving probationary legal status to most of the 11 million illegal immigrants, according to Rep. Ryan’s interview on MSNBC Wednesday.
The proposal, say opponents, is that a probationary status will be difficult to revoke if someone illegal is working legally in the country and has a family.

Cruz said he recognizes that the current immigration system is broken. He said, however, Republicans should wait until next year, contending it would make more sense “so that we are negotiating a responsible solution with a Republican Senate majority rather than with Chuck Schumer.”

“Anyone pushing an amnesty bill right now should go ahead and put a ‘Harry Reid for Majority Leader’ bumper sticker on their car, because that will be the likely effect if Republicans refuse to listen to the American people and foolishly change the subject from Obamacare to amnesty,” he said.


Immigration is the zombie of political issues–even when it is dead, it is still alive. The combination of the Democratic Party, business interests, and a GOP operative class yearning for its promise of improved standing with Hispanic voters means that you can never really count it out.

That said, it is hard to imagine Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) moving forward after yesterday’s closed-door showdown. According to estimates from those who were in the room–both in favor of moving forward and against–the dozens of GOP lawmakers who spoke were at least 80-20 against bringing a bill to the floor this year.

There is a palpable sense of disappointment among those interested in moving forward. In private conversations, the word that is used is that the meeting was “predictable.” The same people in the GOP conference who kept Boehner from moving on a bill in 2013 are just as opposed in 2014.

Immigration hawks, meanwhile, sense they scored a major victory.

“I don’t understand why House leadership would bring this issue up now,” Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina (R) tells me, adding, “After yesterday, that feeling is strengthened based on the overwhelming pushback from Conference meeting attendees.”

Boehner himself, despite having almost single-handedly resurrected immigration reform from life support over the last two months, was surprisingly tepid in his remarks to the conference.

He even suggested this is just not in the cards.

“These standards are as far as we are willing to go. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said yesterday that for her caucus, it is a special path to citizenship or nothing. If Democrats insist on that, then we are not going to get anywhere this year,” Boehner told members, according to a source in the room.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), who outside of Boehner is the biggest force pushing the conference to bring forward legislation, also seemed to be feeling the heat.

As Drudge Report popped with hit after hit against amnesty yesterday–including Boehner with a superimposed sombrero hat and Sen. Ted Cruz’s warning that immigration reform could doom the GOP in 2014–Ryan came into the reporters’ filing center here to do an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.

First Ryan veered right from the leadership’s talking points about wanting to partner with President Obama on a “year of action,” sternly rebuking the president for flouting the law. Then he strongly embraced the Tea Party, sounding Jim DeMint-esque in his argument that it has been a positive political force for the GOP.

On immigration, Ryan started with “I do not think you should have a special path to citizenship,” and moved to doubts about whether the GOP could work with Obama on the issue because he’s untrustworthy.

In the closed-door meeting, Ryan’s support was lukewarm. He only implied the GOP should move forward on a bill, trailing off from his point that there is never a perfect time to consider a big issue like immigration.

It is always a surprise when the zombie turns out to still be moving, but after tomorrow, we are going to be in the calm prelude scenes for a long time.

Buchanan: Boehner Will Lose Speakership if He Pushes for Immigration Reform

By Andrew Johnson

Pat Buchanan warns that an imminent Republican debate over immigration will play into the hands of the Democratic party. With the widespread unpopularity of Obamacare, Republicans should instead focus on the embattled health-care law ahead of the 2014 midterm election. By pivoting to the issue of immigration, Republicans are “walking right into the trap.”

“You will have a war inside the Republican party — a Balkan war — this year, which will knock it off its present gain,” he said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show​. Buchanan cautioned John Boehner against the pursuit of immigration reform, saying it would be his “last hurrah” and arguing that it would spell the end of his speakership. Boehner will end up “with a nice job at a trade association” as a reward from immigration-backers if he pushes for reforms, Buchanan said.

Recent reports indicate that House leadership plans to unveil a brief statement of immigration principles at their annual retreat that begins on Wednesday that includes a legal status, though not citizens, for undocumented immigrants.

“It’s probably or almost certainly true that the Chamber of Commerce and the big-business folks want the immigration deal solved,” he added, but called on opponents of an amnesty measure to “rise up and stop it” before the push advances.

Background Articles and Videos

Paul Ryan

Paul Davis Ryan (born January 29, 1970) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party who has served as the United States Representative for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district since 1999 and as Chairman of the House Budget Committee since 2011. He was the Republican Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2012 election.[1][2] Ryan was born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, and is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio. He worked as an aide to legislators Bob KastenSam Brownback, and Jack Kemp, and as a speechwriter before winning election to the U.S. House in 1998.

On August 11, 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced that he had selected Ryan to be his vice-presidential running mate.[3] Ryan was officially nominated at theRepublican convention in Tampa on August 29, 2012.[4] On November 6, 2012, Romney and Ryan were defeated in the general election by the incumbent Barack Obama and Joe Biden, although Ryan won reelection to his congressional seat.[5]

Early life and education

Ryan was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, the youngest of four children of Elizabeth A. “Betty” (née Hutter) and Paul Murray Ryan, a lawyer.[9][10][11] A fifth-generation Wisconsinite, his father was of Irish ancestry and his mother is of German and English ancestry.[12] One of Ryan’s paternal ancestors settled in Wisconsin prior to the Civil War.[13] His great-grandfather, Patrick William Ryan (1858–1917), founded an earthmoving company in 1884, which later became P. W. Ryan and Sons and is now known as Ryan Incorporated Central.[14][15] Ryan’s grandfather was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin by President Calvin Coolidge.[16]

Ryan attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Janesville, where he played on the seventh-grade basketball team.[17] He attended Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville, where he was elected president of his junior class, and thus became prom king.[18] As class president Ryan was a representative of the student body on the school board.[19] Following his sophomore year, Ryan took a job working the grill at McDonald’s.[19] He was on his high school’s ski, track and varsity soccer teams and played basketball in a Catholic recreational league.[20][21][22] He also participated in several academic and social clubs including the Model United Nations.[19][20] Ryan and his family often went on hiking and skiing trips to the Colorado Rocky Mountains.[10][16]

When he was 16, Ryan found his 55-year-old father lying dead in bed of a heart attack.[16][19] Following the death of his father, Ryan’s grandmother moved in with the family, and because she had Alzheimer’s, Ryan helped care for her while his mother commuted to college in Madison, Wisconsin.[19] After his father’s death Ryan received Social Security survivors benefits until his 18th birthday, which were saved for his college education.[23][24][25]

Ryan majored in economics and political science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio,[26] where he became interested in the writings of Friedrich HayekLudwig von Mises, and Milton Friedman.[19] He often visited the office of libertarian professor Richard Hart to discuss the theories of these economists and of Ayn Rand.[19][27] Hart introduced Ryan to the National Review,[19] and with Hart’s recommendation Ryan began an internship in the D.C. office of Wisconsin Senator Bob Kasten where he worked with Kasten’s foreign affairs adviser.[19][28] Ryan also attended the Washington Semesterprogram at American University.[29] Ryan worked summers as a salesman for Oscar Mayer and once got to drive the Wienermobile.[16][27][30] During college, Ryan was a member of the College Republicans,[31] and volunteered for the congressional campaign of John Boehner.[27] He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta social fraternity.[32] Ryan received a Bachelor of Arts in 1992 with a double major in economics and political science.[26]

Political philosophy

At a 2005 Washington, D.C. gathering celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ayn Rand‘s birth,[33][34] Ryan credited Rand as inspiring him to get involved in public service.[35] In a speech that same year at the Atlas Society, he said he grew up reading Rand, and that her books taught him about his value system and beliefs.[36][37] Ryan required staffers and interns in his congressional office to read Rand[37] and gave copies of her novel Atlas Shrugged as gifts to his staff for Christmas.[38][39] In his Atlas Society speech, he also described Social Security as a “socialist-based system”.[40]

In 2009, Ryan said, “What’s unique about what’s happening today in government, in the world, in America, is that it’s as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now. I think Ayn Rand did the best job of anybody to build a moral case ofcapitalism, and that morality of capitalism is under assault.”[38]

In April 2012, after receiving criticism from Georgetown University faculty members on his budget plan, Ryan rejected Rand’s philosophy as an atheistic one, saying it “reduces human interactions down to mere contracts”.[41] He also called the reports of his adherence to Rand’s views an “urban legend” and stated that he was deeply influenced by his Roman Catholic faith and by Thomas Aquinas.[42] Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, maintains that Ryan is not a Rand disciple, and that some of his proposals do not follow Rand’s philosophy of limited government; Brook refers to Ryan as a “fiscal moderate”.[43]

In August 2012, after Romney chose him as his running mate, the Associated Press published a story saying that while the Tea Party movement had wanted a nominee other than Romney, it had gotten “one of its ideological heroes” in the Vice Presidential slot. According to the article, Ryan supports the Tea Party’s belief in “individual rights, distrust of big government and an allegorical embrace of the Founding Fathers”.[44]

Early career

Betty Ryan reportedly urged her son to accept a congressional position as a staff economist attached to Senator Kasten’s office, which he did after graduating in 1992.[28][45] In his early years working on Capitol Hill, Ryan supplemented his income by working as a waiter, as a fitness trainer, and at other jobs.[16][30]

A few months after Kasten lost to Democrat Russ Feingold in the November 1992 election, Ryan became a speechwriter for Empower America (now FreedomWorks), a conservative advocacy group founded by Jack KempJeane Kirkpatrick, and William Bennett.[16][46][47] Ryan later worked as a speechwriter for Kemp,[48] the Republican vice presidential candidate in the 1996 United States presidential election. Kemp became Ryan’s mentor, and Ryan has said he had a “huge influence”.[49] In 1995, Ryan became the legislative director for then-U.S. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas. In 1997 he returned to Wisconsin, where he worked for a year as a marketing consultant for the construction company Ryan Incorporated Central, owned by his relatives.[19][46][50]

U.S. House of Representatives


Ryan was first elected to the House in 1998, winning the 1st District seat of Mark Neumann, a two-term incumbent who had vacated his seat to make an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate. Ryan won the Republican primary over 29-year-old pianist Michael J. Logan of Twin Lakes,[51] and the general election against Democrat Lydia Spottswood.[52] This made him the second-youngest member of the House.[19]

Reelected seven times, Ryan has never received less than 55 percent of the vote. He defeated Democratic challenger Jeffrey C. Thomas in the 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 elections.[53] (In 2002, Ryan also faced Libertarian candidate George Meyers.) In 2008, Ryan defeated Democrat Marge Krupp in the 2008 election.[53] In the 2010 general election, he defeated Democrat John Heckenlively and Libertarian Joseph Kexel.

Ryan faced Democratic nominee Rob Zerban in the 2012 House election. As of July 25, 2012, Ryan had over $5.4 million in his congressional campaign account, more than any other House member.[54][55] Finance, insurance and real estate was the sector that contributed most to his campaign.[56] Under Wisconsin election law, Ryan was allowed to run concurrently for vice president and for Congress[57] and was not allowed to remove his name from the Congressional ballot after being nominated for the vice presidency.[58] Ryan was reelected in 2012 with 55% of his district’s vote.[59]


Ryan became the ranking Republican member of the House Budget Committee in 2007,[60] then chairman in 2011 after Republicans took control of the House. That same year he was selected to deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union address.[61]

Official U.S. Congress portrait of Ryan in 2011

During his 13 years in the House, Ryan has sponsored more than 70 bills or amendments,[62] of which two were enacted into law.[63] One, passed in July 2000, renamed a post office in Ryan’s district; the other, passed in December 2008, lowered the excise tax on arrow shafts.[64][65] Ryan has also co-sponsored 975 bills,[63] of which 176 have passed.[66] 22 percent of these bills were originally sponsored by Democrats.[63]

In 2010, Ryan was a member of the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Bowles-Simpson Commission), which was tasked with developing a plan to reduce the federal deficit. He voted against the final report of the commission.[67]

In 2012, Ryan accused the nation’s top military leaders of using “smoke and mirrors” to remain under budget limits passed by Congress.[68][69] Ryan later said that he misspoke on the issue and calledGeneral Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to apologize for his comments.[70]

As of mid-2012, Ryan had been on seven trips abroad as part of a congressional delegation.[71]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Constituent services

In fiscal year 2008, Ryan garnered $5.4 million in congressional earmarks for his constituency, including $3.28 million for bus service in Wisconsin, $1.38 million for the Ice Age Trail, and $735,000 for the Janesville transit system.[73] In 2009, he successfully advocated with the Department of Energy for stimulus funds for energy initiatives in his district.[73] Other home district projects he has supported include a runway extension at the Rock County Airport, an environmental study of the Kenosha Harbor, firefighting equipment for Janesville, road projects in Wisconsin, and commuter rail and streetcar projects in Kenosha.[74] In 2008, Ryan pledged to stop seeking earmarks.[74] Prior to that he had sought earmarks less often than other representatives.[74] Taxpayers for Common Sense records show no earmarks supported by Ryan for fiscal years 2009 and 2010.[73] In 2012 Ryan supported a request for $3.8 million from theDepartment of Transportation for a new transit center in Janesville,[74] which city officials received in July.[75]

Ryan was an active member of a task force established by Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle that tried unsuccessfully to persuade GM to keep its assembly plant in Janesville open.[76] He made personal contact with GM executives to try to convince them to save or retool the plant, offering GM hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded incentives.[76]

Following the closing of factories in Janesville and Kenosha, constituents expressed dissatisfaction with his votes and support.[77] During the 2011 Congressional summer break, Ryan held town hall meetings by telephone with constituents, but no free, in-person listening sessions. The only public meetings Ryan attended in his district required an admission fee of at least $15.[78][79] In August, 2011, constituents in Kenosha and Racine protested when Ryan would not meet with them about economic and employment issues, after weeks of emailed requests from them.[77][78][80] Ryan’s Kenosha office locked its doors and filed a complaint with the police, who told the protesters that they were not allowed in Ryan’s office.[77][78][80] Ryan maintains a mobile office to serve constituents in outlying areas.[81]

Political positions

In the 111th Congress, Ryan sided with a majority of his party in 93% of House votes in which he has participated, and sided with the overall majority vote of all House votes 95% of the time.[82]

Ryan has a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 91/100.[83] The 2011 National Journal Vote Ratings rated Paul Ryan 68.2 on the conservative scale, being more conservative than 68% of the full House, and ranked as the 150th most conservative member based on roll-call votes.[84]

Fiscal, education, and health care policy

Ryan voted for the two Bush tax cuts (in 2001 and 2003),[85] the 2003 bill that created the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit,[86][87] and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the $700 billion bank bailout.[88][89] Ryan was one of 32 Republicans in the House to vote for the auto industry bailout.[90][91][92] A number of commentators have criticized Ryan’s votes for what they believe were deficit-causing policies during the George W. Bush administration as being inconsistent with fiscal conservatism.[88][93][94][95] In 2011 President Barack Obama criticized Ryan as being “not on the level” for describing himself as a fiscal conservative while voting for these policies, as well as two “unpaid for” wars.[96] Columnist Ezra Klein wrote in 2012 that “If you know about Paul Ryan at all, you probably know him as a deficit hawk. But Ryan has voted to increase deficits and expand government spending too many times for that to be his north star.”[97]

Obama initially viewed Ryan as a Republican who could help to reduce the federal deficit. Speaking of Ryan’s budget proposal, Obama called it a “serious proposal” and found both points of agreement and disagreement, saying “some ideas in there that I would agree with, but there are some ideas that we should have a healthy debate about because I don’t agree with them.”[98]

In 1999, Ryan voted in favor of the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, which repealed certain provisions of the Depression-era Glass–Steagall Act that regulated banking.[99] Ryan sponsored a 2008 bill that would repeal the requirement that theFederal Reserve System reduce unemployment.[62] Ryan voted to extend unemployment insurance in 2002, 2008 and 2009, but has voted against further extensions since then.[100] Ryan voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.[101] Ryan also voted against the Credit CARD Act of 2009 and the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which Ryan characterized as “class warfare“.[102]

Ryan voted against the 2010 health care reform act supported by Obama and congressional Democrats in 2010,[87][103] and to repeal it in 2012.[104][105]

In 2004 and 2005, Ryan pushed the Bush administration to propose the privatization of Social Security. Ryan’s proposal ultimately failed when it did not gain the support of the then-Republican presidential administration.[19]

Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute notes that on “‘education, training, employment, and social services,’ the Ryan budget would spend 33% less” than Obama’s budget plan over the next decade.[106] In particular, the Ryan plan tightens eligibility requirements for Pell Grants and freezes the maximum Pell Grant award at the current level. According to an analysis by the Education Trust, this would result in more than 1 million students losing Pell Grants over the next 10 years. Additionally, under Ryan’s plan, student loans would begin to accrue interest while students are still in school.[107][108][109] Ryan states that his education policy is to “allocate our limited financial resources effectively and efficiently to improve education”.[110] Jordan Weissmann of The Atlantic said that Ryan’s vision on education policy is to “cut and privatize”.[109]

Ryan voted for the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001.[111] Ryan is a supporter of for-profit colleges and opposed the gainful employment rule, which would have ensured that vocational schools whose students were unable to obtain employment would stop receiving federal aid.[109] Ryan is a supporter of private school vouchers and voted to extend the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program in 2011.[109] The National Education Association teachers’ union has criticized Ryan’s positions on education.[111][vague]

Ryan has consistently supported giving the president line-item veto power.[62]

In the fall of 2013 Ryan suggested using discussions regarding raising the federal debt ceiling as “leverage” to reduce federal spending.[112][113]

Budget proposals

Main articles: The Path to Prosperity , U.S. House Fiscal Year 2014 Budget (H. Con. Res. 25; 113th Congress) , and Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013

Ryan speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. on February 10, 2011

On May 21, 2008, Ryan introduced H.R. 6110, the Roadmap for America’s Future Act of 2008, commonly referred to as the “Ryan budget”.[114] This proposed legislation outlined changes toentitlement spending, including a controversial proposal to replace Medicare with a voucher program for those currently under the age of 55.[19][115][116] The Roadmap found only eight sponsors and did not move past committee.[19][117]

On April 1, 2009, Ryan introduced his alternative to the 2010 United States federal budget. This alternative budget would have eliminated the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009and imposed a five-year spending freeze on all discretionary spending.[118][119] It would have also phased out Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service model; instead it would offer fixed sums in the form of vouchers for those under the age of 55, with which Medicare beneficiaries could buy private insurance.[120] Ryan’s proposed budget would also have allowed taxpayers to opt out of the federal income taxation system with itemized deductions, and instead pay a flat 10 percent of adjusted gross income up to $100,000 for couples ($50,000 for singles) and 25 percent on any remaining income.[119] It was ultimately rejected in the Democrat-controlled House by a vote of 293–137, with 38 Republicans in opposition.[121]

On January 27, 2010, Ryan released a modified version of his Roadmap, H.R. 4529: Roadmap for America’s Future Act of 2010.[122][123] The modified plan would provide across-the-board tax cuts by reducing income tax rates; eliminate income taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest; and abolish the estate tax, and Alternative Minimum Tax. The plan would also replace the corporate income tax with a border-adjusted business consumption tax of 8.5%.[124] The plan would privatize a portion of Social Security,[125][126] eliminate the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance,[126] and privatize Medicare for those under the age of 55.[125][126] Chief actuary of Medicare Rick Foster compared Ryan’s “Roadmap” with the 2010 healthcare reform in congressional hearings, stating that while both had “some potential” to make healthcare prices “more sustainable”, he was more “confident” in Ryan’s plan.[127]

Economist and columnist Paul Krugman criticized Ryan’s plan as making overly optimistic assumptions and proposing tax cuts for the wealthy.[128] Krugman further called the plan a “fraud” saying it relies on severe cuts in domestic discretionary spending and “dismantling Medicare as we know it” by suggesting the voucher system, which he noted was similar to a failed attempt at reform in 1995.[128] In contrast, columnist Ramesh Ponnuru, writing in the National Review, argued that Ryan’s plan would lead to less debt than current budgets.[129] Economist Ted Gayer wrote that “Ryan’s vision of broad-based tax reform, which essentially would shift us toward a consumption tax… makes a useful contribution to this debate.”[130]

In subsequent years, Ryan also developed budget plans that proposed privatizing Medicare for those currently under the age of 55,[131] funding Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program through block grants to the states,[19][132][133] and other changes.

On April 11, 2011, Ryan introduced H.Con.Res. 34, a federal budget for fiscal year 2012.[134] The House passed this Ryan Plan on April 15, 2011, by a vote of 235–193. Four Republicans joined all House Democrats in voting against it.[135][136] A month later, the bill was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 57–40, with five Republicans and most Democrats in opposition.[137]

Ryan with President Obama during a bipartisan meeting on health insurance reform, February 25, 2010

On March 23, 2012 Ryan introduced a new version of his federal budget for the fiscal year 2013.[138] On March 29, 2012, the House of Representatives passed the resolution along partisan lines, 228 yeas to 191 nays; ten Republicans voted against the bill, along with all the House Democrats.[139] Ryan’s budget seeks to reduce all discretionary spending in the budget from 12.5% of GDP in 2011 to 3.75% of GDP in 2050.[140]

Ryan has proposed that Medicaid be converted into block grants but with the federal government’s share of the cost cut by some $800 billion over the next decade. Currently, Medicaid is administered by the states, subject to federal rules concerning eligibility, and the amount paid by the federal government depends on the number of people who qualify. His plan would also undo a Reagan-era reform by which the federal government prohibited the states from requiring that a patient’s spouse, as well as the patient, deplete all of his or her assets before Medicaid would cover long-term care.[19][132][133][141]

An analysis by the CBO showed that the Ryan plan would not balance the budget for at least 28 years, partly because the changes in Medicare would not affect anyone now older than 55.[142]Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, praised the budget for making tough choices. Walker believes it needs to go even further, tackling Social Security and defense spending.[143] In contrast, David Stockman, Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, has declared that Ryan’s budget “is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices” and would “do nothing to reverse the nation’s economic decline and arrest its fiscal collapse”.[144]Ezra Klein also criticized the budget for making “unrealistic assumptions”.[140] The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities was highly critical of Ryan’s budget proposal, stating that it would shift income to the wealthy while increasing poverty and inequality.[145]

Parts of the 2012 Ryan budget were criticized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for its proposed cuts to housing and food stamp programs.[146][147] Faculty and administrators of Georgetown University challenged what they called Ryan’s “continuing misuse of Catholic teaching” when defending his plan,[148][149] but Ryan rejected their criticism.[150]

In March 2013, Ryan submitted a new budget plan for Fiscal Year 2014 to the House. It would set to balance the budget by 2023 by repealing Obama’s PPACA and institute federal vouchers into Medicare. [151] Ryan has cited health care, education and food safety as examples of “runaway” federal spending.[152] This budget, House Concurrent Resolution 25, was voted on by the House on March 21, 2013 and it passed 221-207.[153]

On December 10, 2013, Ryan announced that he and Democratic Senator Patty Murray had reached a compromise agreement on a two-year, bipartisan budget bill, called the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The deal would cap the federal government’s spending for Fiscal Year 2014 at $1.012 trillion and for Fiscal Year 2015 at $1.014.[154] The proposed deal would eliminate some of the spending cuts required by the sequester ($45 billion of the cuts scheduled to happen in January 2014 and $18 billion of the cuts scheduled to happen in 2015).[154] The deal offsets the spending increases by raising airline fees and changing the pension contribution requirements of new federal workers.[6] Overall the fee increases and spending reductions total about $85 billion over a decade.[155] Ryan said that he was “proud” of the agreement because “it reduces the deficit – without raising taxes.”[156]

Some conservative Republicans objected to Ryan’s budget proposal. Republican Raul Labrador criticized the “terrible plan,” saying that “it makes promises to the American people that are false. Today the Democrats realized they were right all along, that we would never hold the line on the sequester.” Other conservatives were more positive: “It achieves most of the things we would like to see when we have divided government,” said Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.).[6]

Social, environmental, and science issues

In 2010, Ryan described himself as being “as pro-life as a person gets”[157] and has been described as an “ardent, unwavering foe of abortion rights“.[158] As of 2012 according to Bloomberg, Ryan has co-sponsored 38 measures in the U.S. Congress that restrict abortion.[159] The National Right to Life Committee has consistently given Ryan a “100 percent pro-life voting record” since he took office in 1999. NARAL Pro-Choice America has noted that Ryan has “cast 59 votes” (including procedural motions and amendments which don’t have co-sponsors[159]) “on reproductive rights while in Congress and not one has been pro-choice”.[160] He believes all abortions should be illegal, including those resulting from rape or incest, and only makes an exception for cases where the woman’s life is at risk.[161][162]

During Ryan’s 1998 campaign for Congress, he “expressed his willingness to let states criminally prosecute women who have abortions,” telling the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the time that he “would let states decide what criminal penalties would be attached to abortions”, and while not stating that he supports jailing women who have an abortion, stated: “if it’s illegal, it’s illegal.”[161] In 2009, he cosponsored the Sanctity of Life Act, which would provide that fertilized eggs “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood” and would have given “the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories … the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions”.[163][164][165]

Ryan has also supported legislation that would impose criminal penalties for certain doctors who perform “partial-birth abortions“.[158] Ryan voted against continued federal aid for Planned Parenthood and Title X family planningprograms.[158][166] He also opposed giving over-the-counter status for emergency contraceptive pills.[87][167] Ryan was one of 227 co-sponsors of the 2011 No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act bill in the House of Representatives that would have limited funding for federally funded abortions to victims of “forcible rape”. “Forcible rape” was not defined in the bill, which critics said would result in excluding date rape, statutory rape, or other situations where the victim had diminished mental capacity. The language was removed from the bill before the House passed the bill, the Senate did not vote on the bill.[168]

Ryan opposes same-sex marriage, had previously supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, opposed the repeal of the don’t ask, don’t tell policy, voted against same-sex couples adopting children in Washington D.C., and voted against a bill that would expand federal hate crime laws to cover offenses based on a victim’s sexual orientation .[158][162][169] Unlike most of his fellow Republicans, Ryan voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007, which would’ve prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.[158] The Human Rights Campaign, a GLBT rights organization, has frequently given Ryan a 0/100 rating on its legislative scorecard.[170]During Paul Ryan’s 2012 vice presidential bid, he was endorsed by two gay conservative organizations, GOProud[171] and the Log Cabin Republicans.[172] On April 30, 2013, Ryan came out in favor of same-sex couples adopting children. He also said he had always supported civil unions. He also said that if the US Supreme Court declares the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, then he believes it will become a federalist issue for states to decide same-sex marriage.[173][174]

Ryan has supported the rights of gun owners and opposed stricter gun control measures.[158][175] He voted against a bill for stronger background check requirements for purchases at gun shows and supports federal concealed-carry reciprocity legislation, which would allow a person with a permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state to carry a firearm in every other state, a top National Rifle Association (NRA) priority.[175] Ryan, who owns a rifle and a shotgun, is an NRA member, has received an “A” rating from the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action and has been endorsed by the organization every cycle he has been in Congress.

Ryan favors a constitutional amendment to ban flag-burning. He also voted to withdraw federal funding of NPR.[158]

In the past, Ryan supported legislation that would have allowed some illegal immigrants to apply for temporary guest-worker status, including one bill that would provide a pathway to permanent residence status (a Green Card) for such immigrants. However, more recently Ryan “has adopted a firm anti-amnesty, enforcement-first stance” on illegal immigration.[176] Ryan voted against the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide conditional permanent residency to illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children if they attend college or serve in the military, and meet other criteria.[165] He also voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act of 2006.[87][177] Ryan has said “we must first secure the border and stem the flow of illegal immigration, and then work to increase legal immigration through an enforceable guest worker program” before pursuing a “piecemeal” reform such as the DREAM Act.[178]

Ryan opposed the Stop Online Piracy Act, stating that “it creates the precedent and possibility for undue regulation, censorship and legal abuse.”[179]

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the Sierra Club, and other environmentalists have criticized Ryan’s record on environmental issues, with Ryan earning 3 percent on the LCV 2011 National Environmental Scorecard.[180] He opposes cap and trade and opposed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.[181] In an 2009 editorial, Ryan has accused climatologists of using “statistical tricks to distort their findings and intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change” and he criticized the EPA’s classification of carbon dioxide as a pollutant.[181] Ryan supports a 10-year $40 billion tax break for the petroleum industry, and has proposed cutting funding for renewable energy research and subsidies.[182]

Foreign and military policy

Ryan has been described by Larry Sabato as “just a generic Republican on foreign policy”.[183][184]

Ryan voted in 2001 and 2004 to end the embargo on Cuba,[185][186][187][188] but later reversed his positions, and, since 2007, has voted for maintaining the embargo.[188] In 2008, Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “If we’re going to have free trade with China, why not Cuba?”[187]

Ryan was a “reliable supporter of the [George W. Bush] administration’s foreign policy priorities” who voted for the 2002 Iraq Resolution, authorizing President George W. Bush to use military force in Iraq.[71] Ryan also voted for the Iraq War troop surge of 2007.[71] In May 2012, Ryan voted for H.R. 4310,[citation needed] which would increase defense spending, including spending for the Afghanistan War and for various weapon systems, to the level of $642 billion – $8 billion more than previous spending levels.[189]

In 2009, Ryan termed the Obama administrations’ “reset” of relations with Russia as “appeasement“.[190] Daniel Larison of The American Conservative wrote that Ryan “seems to conceive of U.S. power abroad mostly in terms of military strength” and “truly is a product of the era of George W. Bush”.[190]

In 2011, Ryan pointed to his support for over $10 billion in cuts to national security spending as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that included $50 billion in near-term budget cuts and a sequestration system to force further budget cuts.[191] In 2012, Ryan explained his support for defense spending sequestration in the hope that this would open common ground with the Democrats on deficit reduction.[192] In January 2013, he said that sequestration would likely occur because the Democrats offered no alternative.[193] Ryan’s comments have lead defense industry leaders to pin their final hopes on the chance that Congress will at least allow the Pentagon to reprogram the coming cuts.[194] In March 2013, Ryan outlined a budget that provided $2 trillion less for defense over a ten-year period than the platform he had run on the previous fall.[195]

2012 Vice Presidential campaign

See also: Mitt Romney presidential campaign, 2012 and Republican Party vice presidential candidates, 2012

Mitt Romney with Paul Ryan after introducing him as his running mate, for the 2012 presidential election, in Norfolk, Virginiaon August 11, 2012

Dan Balz of The Washington Post wrote that Ryan was promoted as a candidate for Vice President “by major elements of the conservative opinion makers, including The Wall Street Journaleditorial page, the Weekly Standard and the editor of National Review“.[196]

On August 11, 2012 the Romney campaign officially announced Ryan as its choice for Vice President through its “Mitt’s VP” mobile app[197] as well as by the social networking serviceTwitter,[198] about 90 minutes before Romney’s in-person introduction.[citation needed] Before the official announcement in Norfolk, it was reported that Romney made his decision, and offered the position to Ryan on August 1, 2012,[199] the day after returning from a foreign policy trip through the United KingdomPoland and Israel.[200] On August 11, 2012, Ryan formally accepted Romney’s invitation to join his campaign as his running mate, in front of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia.[201] Ryan is the major parties’ first-ever vice-presidential candidate fromWisconsin.[202]

According to a statistical-historical analysis conducted by Nate Silver, “Ryan is the most conservative Republican member of Congress to be picked for the vice-presidential slot since at least 1900” and “is also more conservative than any Democratic nominee [for vice president who previously served in the Congress] was liberal, meaning that he is the furthest from the center” of any vice presidential candidate chosen from Congress since the turn of the 20th century.[203] This analysis, using the DW-NOMINATE statistical system,[203] has been described as “one of the more statistically rigorous approaches to Ryan’s congressional voting record”.[204] Political scientist Eric Schickler commented that while Ryan “may well be the most conservative vice presidential nominee in decades,” the NOMINATE methodology “is not suited to making claims about the relative liberalism or conservatism of politicians” over a long time span.[204] A USA Today/Gallup poll found that 39% thought Ryan was an “excellent” or “pretty good” vice presidential choice, compared to 42% who felt he was a “fair” or “poor” choice.[205]

Ryan formally accepted his nomination at the 2012 Republican National Convention on August 29, 2012.[206] In his acceptance speech, he promoted Mitt Romney as the presidential candidate,[207] supported repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA),[207] said that he and Romney had a plan to generate 12 million new jobs over the ensuing four years,[207] and promoted founding principles as a solution: “We will not duck the tough issues—we will lead. We will not spend four years blaming others—we will take responsibility. We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.”[207]

The speech was well received by the convention audience and praised for being well-delivered.[208][209] Some fact-checkers noted that there were important factual omissions and that he presented details out of context.[210][211][212][213]Conservative media (including Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post,[214] the Investor’s Business Daily,[215] and Fox News[216]) disputed some of the fact-checkers’ findings. rated 33 of Ryan’s statements which it suspected of being false or misleading: True:10.5%, Mostly True:18%, Half True:21%, Mostly False:36%, False:9% Pants on Fire:6% [217]

On October 11, 2012, Ryan debated his Democratic counterpart, incumbent Vice President Joe Biden, in the only Vice Presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle.[218][219]

Romney and Ryan lost the 2012 Presidential election, but Ryan retained his seat in the House of Representatives.[220][221] Ryan attended the second inauguration of Barack Obama out of what he said is “obligation”,[222][223][224] where he was booed by a group lead by a lawyer with the Voting Section of the Department of Justice.[225][226][227]

Personal life

Ryan married Janna Little, a tax attorney,[23] in 2000.[228] Little, a native of Oklahoma, is a graduate of Wellesley College, and George Washington University Law School.[23] Her cousin is former Democratic Representative Dan Boren, also of Oklahoma.[229] The Ryans live in the Courthouse Hill Historic District of Janesville, Wisconsin.[20] They have three children: Liza, Charles, and Sam.[230] A Roman Catholic, Ryan is a member of St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Janesville, and was an altar boy.[231][232]

Because of a family history of fatal heart attacks before age 60, Ryan pursues an intense cross-training fitness program called P90X.[233] He is “fairly careful” about what he eats[16] and makes his own bratwurst and Polish sausage[11]

In a radio interview Ryan said that he had run a marathon in under three hours;[234] he later stated that he forgot his actual time and was just trying to state what he thought was a normal time.[235] His one official marathon time is recorded as slightly over four hours.[236][237]

Ryan is a fisherman and bowhunter, and a member of the Janesville Bowmen archery association.[23] He stated that he has made close to 40 climbs of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains, or Fourteeners[citation needed] and is a fan of theGreen Bay Packers.[238] His musical preferences include BeethovenRage Against the Machine, and Led Zeppelin.[239][240]

Awards and honors

Electoral history

See also: Electoral history of Paul Ryan
Year Office District Democratic Republican Other
1998 U.S. House of Representatives Wisconsin 1st District Lydia Spottswood 43% Paul Ryan 57%
2000 U.S. House of Representatives Wisconsin 1st District Jeffrey Thomas 33% Paul Ryan 67%
2002 U.S. House of Representatives Wisconsin 1st District Jeffrey Thomas 31% Paul Ryan 67% George Meyers (L) 2%
2004 U.S. House of Representatives Wisconsin 1st District Jeffrey Thomas 33% Paul Ryan 65%
2006 U.S. House of Representatives Wisconsin 1st District Jeffrey Thomas 37% Paul Ryan 63%
2008 U.S. House of Representatives Wisconsin 1st District Marge Krupp 35% Paul Ryan 64% Joseph Kexel (L) 1%
2010 U.S. House of Representatives Wisconsin 1st District John Heckenlively 30% Paul Ryan 68% Joseph Kexel (L) 2%
2012 U.S. House of Representatives Wisconsin 1st District Rob Zerban 43% Paul Ryan 55% Keith Deschler (L) 2%
2012 Vice-President of the United States Joe Biden 51% Paul Ryan 47% James P. Gray (L) 1%


On December 10, 2013, Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray announced that they had negotiated a two-year, bipartisan budget, known as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.[6][7] The budget agreement was the first to pass Congress with the two chambers controlled by different parties since 1986.[8]

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