In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan says the he doesn't expect long-term economic turmoil in the wake of United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union, and columnist George Will says Ryan's endorsement of Donald Trump led him to quit the GOP.
In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan says the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union will not affect the special "relationship" between it and the United States, and reaction to the House GOP's tax plan.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, and his caucus today will lay out a tax blueprint they say is a "simpler, fairer, flatter code."
A policy paper outlining the plan rails against the "overly complicated and complex code," noting the tax laws now number about 70,000 pages. Some examples of the complexities include the multiple different tax breaks for higher education, the two different children tax benefits and the five paragraphs it takes to define marriage.
And though the problem is bad for everyday Americans, it's "particularly severe" for small businesses, the paper says.
The paper also says the tax code encourages businesses to move its headquarters overseas, noting the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent is higher than the rest of the developed world. Unlike most countries, the paper adds, the U.S. also taxes companies headquartered here for overseas profits.
The paper, then, proposes a "simpler, more pro-growth tax code."
Among the proposals are:
*reducing the tax brackets from seven to three, lowering the highest tax bracket from 39.6 percent to 33 percent;
*establishing a new tax system for the 95 percent of businesses that currently pay the top income tax bracket. Those businesses would instead limit the tax rate for those businesses to 25 percent;
*letting people deduct more money for their income from savings and investments and simplifying other deductions, including education and homeownership ones;
*continuing the earned income tax credit yet find way to make it a "more effective and efficient incentive to work";
*ensuring businesses can immediately write off investments instead of spreading out the write-offs over several years as the value of those assets depreciate;
*exempt any dividends from U.S.-based companies' foreign subsidiaries, ensuring their overseas profits aren't taxed
*cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to a flat rate of 20 percent
The announcement, which will be live-streamed, will start at 9 a.m. Central time.
On more than one occasion, I have been asked the secret behind a good Capitol Hill meeting. We may think politics is some foreign land with a unique language, but in many instances visiting the office of an elected official for a meeting is no different than a meeting in your own office.
If there is a passion and an interest, do not get bogged down worrying about every political detail, committee meeting, or vote. The important things are remembering the reason for the meeting, researching the message to be heard, and being a articulate messenger.
With that said, here are five tips to keep in mind when preparing for a meeting on the Hill.
-- One, for most Hill meetings, discussing two or three issues is about the max. This changes when a group is doing its annual fly-in when members cover a host of issues. However, the average person coming in to advocate should stick with only a couple of issues per meeting.
-- Two, the more district-specific information provided, the better. At the end of the day, an official is held accountable by the people of his district who vote, so relevant information is always helpful.
-- Three, when referring to a specific bill, know the bill name AND the bill number. Thousands of bills, some of which are very similar, are introduced in Congress each year. Do not make busy staff spend time researching all the bills and be left trying to guess which one is preferred.
-- Four, know who supports and opposes the issue, and why. This will help build the case. A little research ahead of time will go a long way in strengthening the argument.
-- And five, use reasonable deadlines to get a quicker response. If there is no deadline attached to something, it will likely continually end up at the bottom of the pile as more pressing matters are handled. It is important to be realistic here – a bill may not get a House vote within one month, however, asking an office to confirm whether it's interested in signing a letter within two weeks, is fair.
The next several columns will further discuss and expand on some of these topics and add more items to the list to help ensure a better Hill meeting.
-- Riemann is president of 1492 Communications, a consulting firm. She can be reached at: email@example.com.
House Speaker Paul Ryan today will roll out his caucus' plans on health care in an event at the American Enterprise Institute.
It's a mix of past House GOP proposals that'll now be unified into "a single plan," which lists some of the 400 bills the caucus has proposed. And it begins with the premise that "Obamacare simply does not work" and needs to be repealed.
The policy paper, for example, notes the law has led to more cost-sharing for consumers, narrower networks and employers shifting workers to part-time to avoid mandates.
"This law cannot be fixed," the policy paper says. "Its knot of regulations, taxes, and mandates cannot be untangled. We need a clean start in order to pursue the patient-centered reforms the American people deserve."
The House GOP plan is not heavy with specifics, as Ryan, R-Janesville, wants House committees to work out the details next year, a senior GOP leadership aide said on a background call with reporters. That's the "exact opposite way in which Obamacare was put into play," the aide said.
But it does include several ideas the caucus claims will strengthen entitlement programs, spur innovation in health care and lead to lower costs and more choices for consumers.
Among those ideas are:
*giving people a refundable tax credit to buy health insurance that people could use for health care plans;
*ensure people can't be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions or that their rates don't go up when they're sick. Those provisions, though, would only apply for those who remain enrolled in a health insurance plan;
*allowing consumers to get health plans from insurers licensed in other states;
*helping small businesses who want to pool together to offer health insurance, as their size often impedes them from offering health insurance to workers. It also would bring that pooling idea to the individual market by setting up individual health pools;
*encouraging employee wellness programs that incentivize fitness, nutrition and other health behaviors. The policy plan notes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has opposed such programs on the "false belief that employees are forced to participate";
*encourage employers to self-insure their employees and purchase stop-loss insurance that limits the risk of such arrangements;
*and establish a $25 billion innovation grant program for states so they can figure out ways to lower costs and give $25 billion to increase the use of high-risk pools;
The announcement, part of the House GOP's "A Better Way" agenda rollout, will be live-streamed at 1 p.m. Central time.
Watch the live stream:
Read the policy paper:
Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan knocks the Obama administration for releasing redacted transcripts of 911 calls with the Orlando shooter, and Ryan says fellow Republicans should follow their conscience on whether to support Donald Trump.
A pair of Politicos weighed in Thursday on a most extraordinary election season in D.C.
Jim VandeHei, Politico co-founder and a UW-Oshkosh grad who's forming a new media company, joined Politico star Mike Allen in assessing the presidential race, House Speaker Paul Ryan and congressional races Thursday night at a WisPolitics.com reception on Capitol Hill.
The assessment ain't pretty.
In a word, "gross," said VandeHei, predicting a nasty presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
VandeHei said Clinton's low popularity ratings are exceeded only by Trump, who's alienated women and key minority groups.
"The problem is: There aren't enough of those (white male) voters," said VandeHei, while acknowledging "(Trump) basically hijacked a political party. ... That's insane."
But he said while it's unlikely, Trump still has a chance because of his opponent.
"He's going to go after every scab in that (Clinton) family," VandeHei said.
Clinton's email problems really damaged her because it reminded casual voters of "shady Clinton deals" throughout 30 years of public life, VandeHei said.
"The Democratic Party is just as divided as the Republican Party," he said, adding he thinks Clinton's unfavorables may have peaked because of Trump's bombast following the Orlando massacre.
Allen said the Clinton campaign is feeling good these days, but it lacks the emotional connection with voters that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had.
"Obama voters ... are not necessarily Democratic voters," he said.
Allen admitted national media were slow to catch on to Trump, recalling that last June, when Trump announced, only one major media operation put him on the front page.
"Nobody got it,'' he said, noting that changed after all the political reporters came back home from Thanksgiving dinner and found all kinds of family members who were for Trump.
How would each administration come out of the gates? VandeHei takes Trump at his word that he'd try to build a wall at the Mexican border and try to renegotiate trade deals. But "with Trump, who knows?"
Clinton, though, would likely make change on an incremental basis.
"I don't think there would be any surprises," he said.
VandeHei and Allen also commented on the difficult positions of Ryan and U.S. Sen Ron Johnson, who is running for re-election to a second term against Russ Feingold.
VandeHei mocked the position of many Republican candidates who say "I support him but I don't endorse him." Added VandeHei, "I'd hate to be Ron Johnson now ... it's a tough place to be.'' That's in part why the Senate is "very much in play,'' especially if Trump tanks.
As to Ryan, VandeHei and Allen gave mixed reviews.
Allen said Ryan and establishment Republicans are "trying to have it both ways,'' keeping their distance but supporting Trump for the good of the party.
Ryan has managed an "ungovernable" GOP caucus better than John Boehner, VandeHei said, "but I think he'll regret that endorsement" of Trump.
The next WisPolitics.com D.C. event is scheduled for Sept. 7. The breakfast at the Monocle, on the Senate side, is being organized in conjunction with MMAC's annual "Milwaukee Night in DC" that day. The WisPolitics.com breakfast will feature pollsters Gene Ulm and Paul Maslin.