Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed the Senate Democrats’ ongoing refusal to pass legislation to fund our military:

“As was mentioned, the House is going to vote on—again—a very important piece of legislation. This is the Department of Defense funding that equips our service members with the resources they need to protect our country from the threats that it faces.

“This is not the first time the House has voted on this bill. This is not the second time the House has voted on this bill. This is the third time the House has voted to fund our military.

“You have heard it from Paul Cook straight: Why is this the third time that the House will have voted to fund our military? Because the Senate Democrats continue to hold that funding hostage. They threaten to filibuster this legislation, which makes it impossible for the Senate to pass and for the president to sign it into law. Senate Democrats are playing politics with defense spending that is so vital to our national security needs.

“We just don’t see this as irresponsible—it’s dangerous. We do have training accidents happening more and more these days. We had more people die in training accidents last year than died in combat last year. So, these CRs—the reason we’re having all of these CRs is because of these filibusters of these vital appropriation bills.

“So, as we saw last week in Paul’s district, the consequences are very real. Our men and women in uniform, they depend upon these resources to keep themselves safe and to keep us safe. So I urge the Senate Democrats to do the right thing: Drop the filibuster, process the legislation. We want to find a DACA solution, we will find a DACA solution, so don’t hold our military funding hostage for this. Let’s move forward.”

Speaker Ryan also discussed the energy on Capitol Hill and around the country ahead of President Trump’s State of the Union address:

“On a positive note, I am excited to hear President Trump’s State of the Union address tonight. And honestly, the state of the union is looking up. It’s really encouraging to be able to come and hear an upbeat tone in the State of the Union. This will be my 20th of these that I’ve sat in, and I’ve got to tell you, to be able to hear a State of the Union as bright as it is right now is something that’s very encouraging.

“Wages are rising. Economic confidence is coming back to America. Tax reform is now the law of the land, and it is playing a huge role in this transformation. As Steve just mentioned, just yesterday we heard from another major employer about investing another $50 billion into this economy because of tax reform. Just a couple of weeks from now, 90 percent of American workers, 90 percent of American wage-earners are going to see their paychecks get bigger as the IRS new withholding tables are put into effect in February. This is a big deal.

“Look, Janna and I were working the concession stand at our parish on Sunday for our kids’ basketball games, and a friend of mine who works at the Home Depot in Janesville could not wait to come up and tell me about the bonus that he had gotten, about the wage increase that he had gotten, what it’s going to do for his life. You know, wherever you go, you have people coming up to you saying, ‘This is a new car payment for me.’ This is working.

“Those of us who have worked on this issue for so many years thought and suspected was, if we do tax reform in America the right way, it will unlock a lot of economic potential. It is unlocking so much more economic growth and potential than we even imagined. So we’re very excited. Economic confidence in America is at a 17-year high while unemployment in America is at a 17-year low. These are good things.

“This is a big deal for real Americans across the country. We’ve got a lot more work to do, and I am looking forward to President Trump’s speech tonight to find a way forward and get more done for the American people in 2018.”

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