In today's Ryan Rundown: Paul Ryan and Donald Trump plan to meet next week after the House speaker said he's not ready yet to support the presumptive GOP nominee and Trump fired back that he's not ready to support Ryan's agenda.
In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan raises funds in Forth Worth, Texas, and America Magazine looks at Ryan's efforts to offer an alternative to angry rhetoric in the presidential campaign.
In today's Ryan Rundown: Puerto Rico defaults on part of a $422 million debt payment, prompting a letter from Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew to House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for action to restructure the island's debt.
In today's Ryan Rundown: House speaker Paul Ryan's favorability rating increases in his home state, Puerto Rico's debt crisis poses a challenge for Ryan, and columnists look at Ryan and the GOP nomination contest.
In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan reaches out to millennials at Georgetown University, telling students the GOP wants America to be "open, diverse, dynamic," and that they should "look at the policies, not the person so much" as they vote for president. News/features
The Netflix series “Making a Murderer” has captured the attention of millions of people. However, I know few individuals who would want to start that 10-episode series, or any series, on episode number four. Knowing how it all begins and understanding the basic framework is crucial.
The same methods are true on Capitol Hill. After surveying of dozens of Hill staff, a whopping 88 percent said that for a first meeting with any group, they would prefer the group assumes the congressional office know nothing about the topic at hand. So, start at the very beginning.
While a group’s issue may be the most important thing in the world from its perspective, and it may even be atop the news, it may also be unfamiliar to a busy staff person trying to juggle a plethora of policy issues.
As one staff person told me, “They should start the meeting at the 30,000 ft level ... Many staffers fake that they understand an issue because they don't want to look stupid ... which makes it tough for the staffer to brief their boss.”
If the staff person is unable to effectively brief the boss, despite the group’s best use of intricate details, fancy charts, and interactive graphs, the group’s message will be lost.
Even when asked, “Are you familiar with this issue,” most staff will say yes, even if the answer is no.
More annoying to many staff is being asked, “What do you know about this issue?”
With all that being said, groups need to work with staff. Do not make the meeting awkward, embarrassing, or unhelpful. Allow the staffers to walk before asking them to run.
Some of the more effective ways of accomplishing this is to provide at that initial meeting a one-page summary or a 101 type overview that includes the fundamentals. Diligently avoid the industry jargon.
Make an effort to eliminate the use of acronyms, and if someone in the group does, clarify what it means. Stay out of the weeds. If a group is meeting to discuss legislation, provide the bill name AND bill number, and sponsors upfront.
These are some simple techniques that will allow a group to more clearly convey its message. Plus, staff members are conscientious of time. If they know more about the issue, they will indicate such and encourage the group to move on and go deeper into the weeds.
Finally, as a group prepares for that first meeting, keep in mind some words of wisdom from Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
-- Riemann is president of 1492 Communications, a consulting firm. She can be reached at: email@example.com.
This is an excerpt from Nicole Duran's DC Wrap column. Sign up for the full column by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quickly countering the other side’s argument is nothing new in politics but House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office has cut the response time down to zero.
Increasingly during White House spokesman Josh Earnest’s daily briefings, the Janesville Republican’s leadership office counters Earnest in real time with emails, statements and tweets. The response became so rapid that during the April 7 briefing the two sides were effectively debating each other with the White House press corps serving as intermediary.
At issue is congressional Republicans’ claim that the Obama administration is not answering their questions or providing enough details about how it would spend the $1.89 billion it is seeking to combat the Zika virus.
Earnest denied the charge and ticked off the number of times top-ranking officials headed to Capitol Hill to answer lawmakers’ questions.
Meanwhile, Doug Andres, a Ryan spokesman, emailed reporters unanswered letters key lawmakers sent the administration. Armed with the documents, reporters asked Earnest why the administration hadn’t responded.
Initially Earnest said he wasn’t sure if those particular letters received responses: "I can't speak to the individual letters," he said, before offering to share the administration’s appropriation request that Republicans say is insufficiently specific.
"Maybe we can engage in a little information exchange," Earnest told reporters. "I'm happy to give you a copy of our legislation if you want to pass that on to members of Congress and get them to act on it."
The White House communications office then went into its own rapid response mode and quickly researched the letters’ fate while Earnest fielded questions on different topics. When Earnest was pressed again on the letters Andres shared, he was ready.
"I am recently informed that the letters that the speaker's office apparently distributed to all of you were responded to by the Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan on April 6," Earnest said. "Rather than writing letters, we would appreciate Republicans actually doing their job and passing legislation that has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with fighting Zika."
Andres wasn’t finished. He tweeted to Earnest that Donovan’s letter wasn’t up to snuff, calling it a rehash of a previous administration blog post.
Read the full column here, with news on the race for the 8th CD and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin on the SCOTUS nomination.