Summary: At the weekly Republican leadership conference, Speaker Ryan spoke about two big things the House will complete this week to improve the lives of the American people. Today’s vote on a defense funding package underscores Congress’ commitment to national defense, and once signed, will mark the most productive appropriations process in two decades. Speaker Ryan also discussed the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, which strengthens our aviation system while promoting U.S. competitiveness and economic leadership.
Defense Funding Package
“First, I want to thank and all the members—especially [Rep.] Kay [Granger], who worked on this funding package.
“If you remember, when I became speaker three years ago, one of the great frustrations around here was our broken appropriations process.
“We were really doing a big disservice to the taxpayer. And we were funding our military in absolute fits and starts. It was really hamstringing our military.
“We’ve got some work to do, but this funding package, when this funding package gets enacted, it will be 22 years since we have finished this many appropriations bills before the start of the fiscal year.
“That goes back to before I was in Congress.
“I am proud that we have been able to get to this point. I am proud that we are completing these bills, and we will have completed 75 percent of discretionary spending on time. First time in 22 years.
“One main thing that this does is that this brings certainty to our Armed Forces.
“This is the first time in a decade that the Defense Department has not had to operate under a continuing resolution.
“In our conversations with our military leaders, one message comes really loud and clear. They tell us this every year: Our military cannot continue operating without a sense of stability, without being able to plan for the long term.
“With this bill, we are giving our military that certainty that they so desperately need.
“That, along with more resources for readiness, for our troops, this will ensure that our military remains the world’s leading fighting force.
“I urge my colleagues to support this bill and I’m excited about this coming to the floor.”
Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization
“Another big win this week, today on the floor, is the Federal Aviation [Administration] (FAA) reauthorization bill.
“This is just not your typical reauthorization bill. This helps us modernize the FAA and the air traffic control system, so that it is far more efficient, so that people can travel more efficiently.
“It also brings a new system, so that we can make sure that we are safer than ever before.
“This is an infrastructure bill.
“It also brings disaster relief funding to support those areas as they rebuild and for those areas that are now still suffering under the Hurricane Florence.
“The bill reforms and strengthens our aviation system. This bill brings infrastructure. And it is a key part of our Better Way agenda.
“I also want to say that this bill has an economic leadership BUILD Act in it. That’s very important for us.
“This is a very important piece of legislation that will help America give our allies—and especially those nations in the developing world—alternatives to the One Belt, One Road strategy that China is trying to bring through.
“So this is a very, very important accomplishment.”