‘Why We Are Here’: Speaker Ryan Discusses New Laws for Veterans, Patients, and Communities

John Boehner

Summary: At his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan discussed immigration and three major pieces of legislation—two of which have been signed into law—to improve veterans’ care, expand pediatric cancer research, and help communities combat threats from violent gangs like MS-13.  


“Morning. We just had a very productive conference meeting, in the House Republican Conference, to discuss solutions to our broken immigration system.

“Members were very engaged, and it’s clear that there are a lot of areas of consensus.

“I am pleased that members on all sides of our conference are engaging directly to find a solution.

“You know, one of the things that I don’t like about this job is how things just flow up to leadership to make big decisions. How we often, too often, centralize power around here.

“I’m happiest when the members—not the leaders—when the members are making policy decisions, going through the committee process. I’m happy that we have had this process on display this morning in our conference.

“So this is a conversation that will continue, and hopefully we can find a path ahead that is consistent with the four pillars that the president laid out and avoids a pointless discharge petition.”

Achievements for the American People

“And one of the things I do like about this job is getting big things done for the American people.

“Our economy is on a roll, workers are getting ahead.

“Unemployment is at its lowest level in half a century. Wages are up, confidence is up. More than 1 million jobs have been created since the passage of tax reform.

“Here are three vital pieces of legislation that either have become law or are about to become law:

“The most significant pediatric cancer bill in history, which will make it easier to find cures and treatments for these brave patients.

“A sweeping measure to improve the care of our veterans, with more bold reforms to fix problems at the VA.

“And critical resources to help local law enforcement take on violent gangs like MS-13.

“Next week, the House is going to take action on more initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic, which is a scourge that is killing 115 Americans a day. 

“All of this is about improving people’s lives.

“It is about addressing the things that families and communities deal with each and every day.

“That’s why we are here. And that’s why we are seeing such success.”

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