JANESVILLE – Paul Ryan officially declared his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives today in Wisconsin’s First Congressional District. His campaign submitted 2,000 signatures to the State Election Board, 1,000 more than needed to place his name on the fall election ballot.
“The legacy of our country is that each generation leaves the next a better America,” said Ryan, “Everyday I am working to prove to my employers, the residents of southeastern Wisconsin, that I am fighting for them and their future.”
In May, Ryan became the first Member of Congress to introduce comprehensive legislation to reform the nation’s retirement, health care, budget and tax systems. His plan, titled, “A Roadmap for America’s Future,” (www.americanroadmap.org) has received widespread acclaim for its ambitious and bold vision.
“It’s time we start to tackle the challenges facing our country, or they are going to start tackling us,” said Ryan. “Our problems are not Democrat problems or Republican problems: they are America’s problems and we must fix them together.”
Ryan’s “A Roadmap for America’s Future” includes three objectives:
* Fulfills the mission of health and retirement security for all Americans;
* Lifts the burden of debt from the shoulders of future generations; and
* Ensures American jobs and competitiveness in the 21st century economy.
“The consultants and pundits in Washington say, ‘Don’t do anything controversial in an election year; you might not get re-elected,’ but in Congress every other year is an election year—so nothing ever gets done,” said Ryan. “I didn’t come to Washington just to be a Congressman. I came here to do something. The people of Wisconsin expect me to solve problems, not ignore them.”
In addition to addressing the nation’s most pressing fiscal issues, Ryan said Congress must act now to address gas prices, job losses and out-of-control government spending.
“With more proven oil reserves in the U.S. than the entire Middle East, we need to tap our own supply of energy rather than spending $1.5 billion dollars a day on foreign oil,” said Ryan. “We are all forced to pay more than we have to because Congress has declared our own oil fields off limits. Meanwhile, we send our money to dictators and countries that are hostile to America.”
Ryan has proposed opening domestic sources of oil to drilling and using the royalties paid by oil companies to the federal government to fund a “Manhattan Project” to develop alternative and renewable fuels to replace oil.
“We need to drill for oil today, to be oil-free tomorrow,” said Ryan. “By drilling for oil now, we can reduce gas prices while investing the revenues generated from drilling into research that would get us off of our dependence fossil fuels. At the same time, we can create U.S. jobs by building pipelines and refineries to process the oil. And, we can build research facilities, wind and solar farms and nuclear plants to power our future.”
Continuing on the jobs front, Ryan said the tax code is pushing jobs overseas. Currently, American- made goods are taxed by the U.S. government before being shipped overseas; however, no tax is applied to imports entering the U.S. Conversely, foreign governments lift the tax on their exports and impose taxes on American-made goods entering their countries. This puts U.S. products at a competitive disadvantage against foreign competitors and makes it harder to keep jobs in America.
“We need to export U.S. products, not U.S. jobs,” said Ryan. “Our tax code should level the playing field for U.S. products by lifting the tax on our exports and applying a tax of foreign goods sold here. The tax reforms included in my Roadmap would do just that. We can beat our international competitors and create jobs here by simply making our tax code fair.”
On spending, Ryan is recognized as a fiscal hawk in Congress for his efforts to ban earmarks and control government spending. His bipartisan efforts have included the introduction of legislation to create a line item veto with Democrat U.S. Senator Russ Feingold and amendments to cut farm subsidies to millionaires with Democrat U.S. Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin.
“Washington doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem,” said Ryan. “Every dollar spent by Congress is a dollar taken from families. We must hold the federal government accountable for every, single one of those dollars.”
Besides his extensive public policy work, the 38-year old Ryan has been recognized as a tireless advocate for constituents dealing with federal government agencies.
“My priority is to be an advocate for anyone having a problem with the federal government,” said Ryan. “Helping constituents fight the red-tape and bureaucracy is my job. I’ll get answers to their questions and lead them through the maze of the federal government.”
Since taking office, Ryan has responded over 220,000 times to constituents seeking assistance with the federal government, or offering opinions about issues before Congress.
To let constituents know he is their link to the federal government and to hear their concerns, Ryan has hosted over 400 constituent listening sessions and toured more than 200 local businesses, repeatedly visiting every incorporated community in the 1st Congressional District.
Ryan said his accessibility to constituents is further demonstrated through the continued operations of three full-time Constituent Services Centers in Janesville, Kenosha and Racine. Also, Ryan’s Mobile Office travels on a weekly basis to communities – making nearly 2,000 visits since Ryan took office.
“Although we face serious domestic and foreign challenges as a country, I believe we can rise to meet them by working together as a nation. I believe our best days as a country still lie ahead of us,” said Ryan. “In my mind, every day is another opportunity to work to the best of my abilities to make a difference, for the better, in the lives of the people I was elected to serve.”
To that end, Ryan has a challenge for all other Members of Congress.
“Join me in a bipartisan way to spur Congress to move beyond simply rehashing the problems of toady and tomorrow and instead have a real debate, and implement actual solutions for all Americans,” said Ryan.
For the recent Federal Elections Commission reporting deadline at the end of June, Ryan said his campaign account will show $1.8 million dollars cash on hand. More than 96 percent of his individual donors are Wisconsinites.
77 percent of the individual donors gave $100 or less this election cycle. 38 percent of the individual donors from this quarter were first time contributors to Ryan’s campaign.
“Voters know that I say what I’ll do, and then do what I say,” said Ryan. “I work for everyone who lives in the First Congressional District. They are my employers. I’m very thankful for the support I’ve received from small businesses, unions and working men and women, who live in Wisconsin.”
Union support for Ryan this election cycle has come from law enforcement and firefighter unions, as well as unions representing carpenters, operating engineers, painters and tradesmen.
Ryan said the impressive number of first time donors and small donations are an indication that his reform message is resonating with people who have not participated in the political process previously.
“Voters who had felt out of touch with the election process have told me they are responding because they don’t want finger pointing, they want results. I know the political attacks are coming, but I’ll fight them with solutions.”
Ryan and his wife, Janna, have three children: daughter, Liza; their sons, Charlie and Sam. The Ryans, who attend St. John Vianney’s Parish, make their home in Janesville, where, prior to his election to Congress, Ryan worked for his family’s earth moving business.
A Janesville native and resident, Ryan is seeking his sixth term in Congress after winning impressive victories in 1998 with 57 percent of the vote; and with more than 63 percent of the vote in each consecutive election since 2000.
July 7, 2008
Two More Years: Ryan announces bid for re-election
With all of this talk about Paul Ryan for vice president (including the subtext of him running for president in a few years), it's easy to forget he's up for re-election this fall. Yup, even golden U.S. reps only get two-year terms. To that end, Ryan went through the formal process of declaring he is running for another term. He did it with a three-page press release that we've posted below. Here you go: