• WisPolitics


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

 3:25 PM 

Ryan Rundown: U.S. Sen. Sessions calls on Ryan to back Trump

In today's Ryan Rundown: U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions calls on House Speaker Paul Ryan to support Donald Trump and a former aide to President George W. Bush opines on Ryan's thought process regarding the presumptive GOP nominee.

News/features

- Jeff Sessions to GOP leaders: Get behind Trump or risk losing your seat
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/05/31/sessions-ryan-trump/85195884/

- GOP senator to Ryan: 'Trump is where the Republicans are'
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/281708-gop-senator-to-ryan-trump-is-where-the-republicans-are

- How Paul Ryan thinks about Donald Trump
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/05/31/how-paul-ryan-thinks-about-donald-trump/

- McConnell, Ryan Use Balance-of-Powers Argument to Reassure Voters
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/05/31/mcconnell-ryan-use-balance-of-powers-argument-to-reassure-voters/

- Trump casts shadow over Ryan's policy goals
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/27/politics/paul-ryan-donald-trump/

- GOP's poverty proposal: What to expect in the first of Paul Ryan's big policy initiatives
http://www.salon.com/2016/05/30/gops_poverty_proposal_what_to_expect_in_the_first_of_paul_ryans_big_policy_initiatives/

Opinion/analysis

- Ralph Benko: Paul Ryan Would Be A Superb 'Prime Minister' For President Trump
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2016/05/29/paul-ryan-america-would-be-a-superb-prime-minister-for-president-trump/#66b217882b4a

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 12:47 PM 

VA officials take ownership of Tomah prescription drug problems

TOMAH -- Federal VA officials today took ownership of the Tomah prescription drug scandal and problems with the ensuing investigation while also highlighting improvements across the department.

Sloan Gibson, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs since 2014, said the investigation focused too much on the rules and not on the overall principles regarding opioid prescriptions. That probe by the VA’s Office of Inspector General began in 2011 following various reports of opioid over-prescriptions.

Sloan, speaking to the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee during a hearing in Tomah, said there have been improvements at the Tomah VA and elsewhere. But he acknowledged more could have been done sooner.

“VA leadership owns this,” he said. “We had ample opportunity over a period of years to fix this. We didn’t get it done.”

In 2014, Jason Simcakoski, a 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran, died from a drug overdose while at the hospital. In November 2015, the hospital’s chief of staff, Dr. David Houlihan, was fired from the VA.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the committee, today pointed out how the OIG investigation into Tomah found various unsubstantiated charges, while a committee report released today more quickly got to the root of the problem.

“Unless we really have the ability to hold people accountable,” the Oshkosh Republican said, “that’s what causes these tragedies.”

Just ahead of today’s hearing, Johnson’s office released a 376-page report that found “systemic failures across the executive branch” and accused the Department of Veterans Affairs of failing veterans.

Read the report.


Friday, May 27, 2016

 1:29 PM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan urges Senate to pass bill to speed up airport security screening

In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan presses the Senate to pass a bill to shorten wait times at airport security and a new poll shows Ryan with a 73-point lead over his primary challenger.

News/features

- Ryan to Senate: Pass Rep. John Katko's bill to shorten airport wait times
http://auburnpub.com/blogs/eye_on_ny/house-speaker-paul-ryan-to-senate-pass-rep-john-katko/article_02682a3e-2412-11e6-a1ab-17e109f861e1.html

- Free Beacon Poll: Paul Ryan Leads GOP Challenger by 73 Points
http://freebeacon.com/politics/free-beacon-poll-paul-ryan-leads-gop-challenger-73-points/

- Paul Ryan blowing away tea party primary challenger: poll
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/27/paul-ryan-blowing-away-tea-party-primary-challenge/

- Alan Greenspan: "I Happen To Be A Fan Of Paul Ryan"
http://www.valuewalk.com/2016/05/alan-greenspan-happen-fan-paul-ryan

Opinion/analysis

- Russell Berman: The humbling of Paul Ryan
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/the-humbling-of-paul-ryan/484529/

- Peter Roff: A Bad Bailout for Puerto Rico
http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-05-26/house-bill-promesa-that-grants-bailout-to-puerto-rico-rips-off-bondholders

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

 1:10 PM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan accuses Dems of 'sabotage' in voting against spending bill with LGBT protections

In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan accuses Democrats of "sabotage" in voting against an energy and water appropriations bill that included a measure protecting LGBT rights, and Ryan says he had a "productive" phone call with presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

News/features

- LGBT language helps sink energy bill
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/05/26/lgbt-language-helps-sink-energy-bill/84975324/

- LGBT, Funding Issues Scuttle Energy Spending Bill in House
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-05-26/energy-spending-bill-fails-in-house-over-lgbt-funding-issues

- Key House spending bill fails over LGBT controversy
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/26/politics/paul-ryan-house-gop-lgbt-spending-bill/

- Paul Ryan is in another fight he doesn't want, this time over LGBT rights
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/05/26/paul-ryan-is-in-another-fight-he-doesnt-want-this-time-over-lgbt-rights/

- Trump, Ryan Speak by Phone Amid Endorsement Impasse
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-05-25/donald-trump-and-paul-ryan-to-speak-by-phone-tonight

- Paul Ryan renews push for top donors -- with perks like VIP convention package, holiday party
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/05/25/paul-ryan-renews-push-for-top-donors-with-perks-like-vip-convention-package-holiday-party/

Opinion/analysis

- Dana Milbank: Paul Ryan's soap opera with Donald Trump
https://www.washingtonpost.com/713bff24-22bb-11e6-9e7f-57890b612299_story.html

- Ruth Marcus: How Paul Ryan could recuse himself from supporting Donald Trump
https://www.washingtonpost.com/d218999a-16c4-11e6-9e16-2e5a123aac62_story.html

- Alex Shepard: Donald Trump is trying to force Paul Ryan's hand
https://newrepublic.com/minutes/133723/donald

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 10:32 AM 

Wendy Riemann column: Advantageous Advocacy: The crux of advocacy and a lesson from Dr. Seuss

On more than one occasion, I have heard that "I am just a small business owner," or "I can't afford a lobbyist," or "I don't donate enough to have my voice heard by an official."

But you can still engage in legislative advocacy.

An elected official works for the people. The people's tax dollars pay his salary. The people who vote determine whether the official keeps his job. For an official to effectively serve, and be reelected, he needs information from the people who know the issues best.

To put that another way, we elect officials to represent us. How can they represent us if constituents are not willing to share their thoughts, ideas and knowledge?

Everyone is capable of advocacy. Kids do it. Church groups do it. Animal lovers do it. Senior citizens do it. Anyone with a passion for an issue can be an advocate. In fact, there are tens of thousands of lobbyists in Washington, D.C., and most actually work at associations on behalf of a cause, not at big lobbying firms on K Street.

Advocacy does not only mean sitting in a meeting with an elected official. It may be writing a letter to the editor, attending a rally, signing a petition, or posting  on social media. In fact, the growth of social media has given unprecedented power to individual citizens to speak out for a cause. Legislative advocacy is working with lawmakers to gain support for a cause. That could be at the local, state, or federal level. It is a person's right, and some might say duty, to advocate based on the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law...or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

The most critical element: be passionate and committed to the cause, as legislation can often take years to become law.

In the story, "The Lorax," by Dr. Seuss, he writes, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

That is the crux of advocacy: caring enough to make something better by speaking up.

-- Riemann is president of 1492 Communications, a consulting firm. She can be reached at: wendy@1492communications.com.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

 2:44 PM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan says he's still not decided on Trump endorsement

In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan counters rumors he's ready to endorse Donald Trump, and Ryan considers changing House rules in the wake of chaos on the floor over a vote on a gay rights measure.

News/features

- Paul Ryan denies reports he's ready to endorse Donald Trump
http://www.aol.com/article/2016/05/25/report-paul-ryan-ready-to-endorse-donald-trump/21383620/

- Paul Ryan: No Decision on Trump Endorsement
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/videos/2016-05-25/paul-ryan-no-decision-on-trump-endorsement

- Paul Ryan Still Not Ready to Endorse Donald Trump
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/paul-ryan-endorse-trump-trump-senior-level-campaign/story?id=39356743

- Paul Ryan's Concern: Will Trump Respect Congress's Power?
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/05/24/paul-ryans-concern-will-trump-respect-congresss-power/

- Ryan weighs House floor change after gay rights flap
http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Ryan-to-block-surprise-amendments-after-gay-7942356.php

Opinion/analysis

- Alex Shephard: Donald Trump is trying to force Paul Ryan's hand
https://newrepublic.com/minutes/133723/donald-trump-trying-force-paul-ryans-hand

- Stephen Seufert: Paul Ryan's Saving Grace?
https://sojo.net/articles/paul-ryan-s-saving-grace

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

 11:20 AM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan slams VA secretary for comparing VA wait times, lines at Disneyland

In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan calls VA Secretary Bob McDonald's comparison of VA wait times to lines at Disneyland 'disgusting,' and Ryan scores a victory with a bipartisan deal on the Puerto Rico debt crisis.

News/features

- Ryan: VA chief's comments 'disgusting'
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/ryan-va-chiefs-comments-disgusting/article/2592124?custom_click=rss

- VA Secretary Bob McDonald Slammed for 'Tone-Deaf' Comparison to Disneyland
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/va-hospital-scandal/va-secretary-bob-mcdonald-slammed-tone-deaf-comparison-disneyland-n579241

- VA Secretary Disneyland-wait time comparison draws ire
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/23/politics/veterans-affairs-secretary-disneyland-wait-times/

- Ryan secures big win with bipartisan Puerto Rico deal
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/280982-ryan-secures-big-win-with-bipartisan-puerto-rico-deal

- Paul Ryan on Donald Trump victory: "I'm not a betting man"
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/paul-ryan-on-donald-trump-victory-im-not-a-betting-man/

- In Trump Standoff, Ryan Risks Isolation Early in Speakership
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-05-23/in-trump-standoff-ryan-risks-isolation-early-in-speakership

- Paul Ryan: We're 'a nation at war'
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/paul/article/2592016

Opinion/analysis

- John Nichols: No, Paul Ryan, Austerity Will Not Fix the Starving Puerto Rican Economy
http://www.thenation.com/article/no-paul-ryan-the-cure-for-what-ails-puerto-rico-is-not-anti-democratic-austerity

- Laura Clawson: Ryan tries to turn House Republican chaos into a virtue
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/5/23/1529931/-Paul

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Monday, May 23, 2016

 11:04 AM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan tells Carthage grads to 'go where you can make a difference'

In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan delivers the commencement address at Carthage College in Kenosha, and Ryan says on "UpFront with Mike Gousha" he and Trump are working to unify the GOP.

News/features

- Ryan delivers commencement address at Carthage College
http://fox6now.com/2016/05/22/house-speaker

- Ryan to Carthage grads: 'Don't worry too much about the plan'
http://journaltimes.com/news/local/ryan-to-carthage-grads-don-t-worry-too-much-about/article_085072be-59ee-5968-89c7-39904e350f7d.html

- Ryan, Trump work to unify GOP
http://www.wisn.com/news/39662262

- Ryan's break from Boehner triggers House mayhem
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/paul-ryan-house-speaker-boehner-223453

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Friday, May 20, 2016

 11:15 AM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan says Trump SCOTUS picks 'step in the right direction'

In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan says presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump's Supreme Court picks were a "very good step in the right direction" toward his potential endorsement, and Ryan calls the Obama administration's new overtime rule an "absolute disaster."

News/features

- Paul Ryan: Trump's judges list a positive step
https://www.washingtonpost.com/7ec1078c-1de0-11e6-82c2-a7dcb313287d_video.html

- Ryan praises Trump's Supreme Court picks
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/ryan/article/2591772

- House GOP Conference chair backs Trump, isolating Paul Ryan
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/05/19/house-gop

- Ryan: Overtime rule is 'absolute disaster'
http://thehill.com/regulation/labor/280357-ryan-overtime-rule-is-absolute-disaster

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

 11:17 AM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan, Obama administration reach tentative agreement on Puerto Rico debt

In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Treasury Department have reached a tentative agreement on restructuring Puerto Rico's debt, and Ryan vows to fight the Obama administration's new overtime rules.

News/features

- Ryan strikes Puerto Rico debt deal with Obama administration
http://politico.com/story/2016/05/paul-ryan-puerto-rico-debt-deal-223333

- House Speaker Paul Ryan 'Committed to Fighting' New Overtime Rule
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/house-rule/story?id=39193859

- Freedom Caucus strong-armed Ryan on IRS impeachment
http://politico.com/story/2016/05/paul-ryan-irs-freedom-caucus-223324

- President Obama misled Congress on Gitmo, Paul Ryan says
http://inquisitr.com/3109091

- 64% of likely Republican voters say Paul Ryan should endorse Donald Trump
http://washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/16/republican-voters-approve-of-the-idea-of-house-spe/

Opinion/analysis

- Eric Levitz: White House and Paul Ryan Agreed to a Deal on the Puerto Rican Debt Crisis
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/05/white-house-and-ryan-agree-to-puerto-rico-bill.html

- Charles Pierce: Ryan thinks overtime pay is actually -- wait for it -- bad for workers
http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a45035/paul-ryan-overtime-pay/

- Albert Hunt: Donald Trump, Paul Ryan as avatars of Newt Gingrich, Jack Kemp
http://www.nwherald.com/2016/05/16/hunt/a82kvf7/

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 8:25 AM 

Duffy introduces Puerto Rico debt restructuring bill

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston, has introduced legislation to address Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

Duffy has been targeted for his efforts by the Center for Individual Freedom. The conservative group launched a radio ad accusing Duffy of flip-flopping on the Puerto Rico debt bill and said "if leaders in Washington get their way, Wisconsin could pay for Puerto Rico's wild overspending."

In announcing the bill, Duffy said it would: create an independent board to oversee the island’s finances and budgets; ensure the territory adopts four consecutive balanced budgets; and authorize it to pay workers less than the federal minimum wage.

Duffy said disastrous policies have wrecked Puerto Rico’s economy.

“As a result, the island and its millions of American citizens face a humanitarian crisis,” he said. “That’s why we must allow for a responsible restructuring for Puerto Rico’s debt, and do it without using Wisconsin taxpayer dollars for a bailout.”

See the bill:

See a bill summary:


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

 11:41 AM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan stresses religious liberty at National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan urges people of faith to advocate for religious liberty during a speech at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, and columnist David Rogers says Trump and Ryan can learn from each other.

News/features

- People of faith must advocate for religious liberty, says House speaker
http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2016/people-of-faith-must-advocate-for-religious-liberty-says-house-speaker.cfm

- Anti-immigrant groups target Paul Ryan
http://thehill.com/latino/280164-anti-immigrant-groups-target-paul-ryan

Opinion/analysis

- David Rogers: What Trump could learn from Ryan, and vice versa
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/donald-trump-paul-ryan-analysis-223227

- Alex Swoyer: Paul Ryan Mum on Donald Trump at National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Focuses on Religious Liberty
http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/05/17/paul-ryan-mum-donald-trump-national-catholic-prayer-breakfast-focuses-religious-liberty/

- Eric Levitz: It's a Donald Trump party -- Paul Ryan just speaks in it
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/05/a-trump-party-paul-ryan-just-speaks-in-it.html

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 8:25 AM 

Baldwin, Johnson split over funding to fight Zika virus

U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson have opposing reactions to a Senate measure that would authorize $1.1 billion to fight the spread of the Zika virus.

The measure passed the Senate 68-29 yesterday, with Baldwin in favor and Johnson opposed.

Baldwin, D-Madison, said the bipartisan measure, a compromise proposal following President Obama’s request for $1.8 billion, is a “critical first step” in detection and prevention of the virus. She said more than 1,200 Americans have been infected with the virus, including more than 100 pregnant women, in 40 states, Washington, D.C., and three U.S. territories.

“The Zika virus has been linked to many health problems, but most notably a terrible birth defect,” Baldwin said. “Congress has a responsibility to act on the public health crisis posed by Zika.”

Johnson, R-Oshkosh, said he and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, sponsored competing legislation that would have shifted the $1.1 billion from “lower priority” federal programs. That proposal failed.

Johnson in February also proposed legislation that would have freed up for the Zika virus unused money set aside to fight the Ebola outbreak in 2014. He said he supports prioritizing the battle against Zika but only by shifting money.

“Unfortunately, the Senate intends to fund these important efforts by further mortgaging our children's future,” Johnson said. “As a result, I could not support that irresponsible method of funding.”

See the roll call vote:



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

 1:11 PM 

Ryan Rundown: Poll show Republicans trust Trump more than Ryan to lead GOP

In today's Ryan Rundown: An NBC/SurveyMonkey poll shows Republicans trust Donald Trump more than House Speaker Paul Ryan to lead the Republican Party and RNC Chair Reince Priebus says Ryan is likely to endorse Trump.

News/features

- Poll: Republicans trust Donald Trump over Paul Ryan to lead GOP
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/poll-republicans-trust-donald-trump-over-paul-ryan-to-lead-gop/

- Paul Ryan likely to endorse Donald Trump, says Republican chairman
http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-paul-ryan-likely-to-endorse-donald-trump-says-republican-chairman-2212663

- Steve Forbes sees Trump-Ryan meeting as a turning point in the presidential race
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/16/steve-forbes-sees-trump-ryan-meeting-as-a-turning-point.html

- Obama's response to Little Sisters of the Poor shows 'total misunderstanding of faith,' Paul Ryan argues
http://www.christianpost.com/news/obama-little-sisters-of-the-poor-total-misunderstanding-of-faith-paul-ryan-catholic-prayer-breakfast-164097/#hwy82J5LMILitSeb.99

Opinion/analysis

- Tamara Rosin: Paul Ryan's high-risk insurance pools are far too risky
http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/opinion-paul-ryan-s-high-risk-insurance-pools-are-far-too-risky.html

- Carolyn Long Engelhard: Why Ryan's high-risk insurance pools are a risky business
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/healthcare/279979-why-ryans-high-risk-insurance-pools-are-a-risky-business

- John Nichols: Paul Ryan's getting ready to serve as the engineer on the Trump train
http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/john_nichols/john-nichols-paul-ryan-s-getting-ready-to-serve-as/article_2fa99f64-f09c-520c-afda-751484a977e1.html

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Monday, May 16, 2016

 3:44 PM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan, Trump teams to meet

In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan says his team will meet with Trump's this week and Ryan considers a $23 billion cut to food stamps over the next ten years.

News/features

- Ryan praises Trump, says teams are meeting next week
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/14/politics/paul-ryan-donald-trump-republican-party-unity/

- Ryan didn't ask Donald Trump to 'change,' key strategist says
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/15/paul-manafort-trump-strategist-house-speaker-paul-/

- Paul Ryan: Republicans will need time to forge 'real' not 'fake' party unity
http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/paul-ryan-republicans-will-need-time-to-forge-real-not/article_a8c2dc04-0b4e-5d7c-8bc7-39cd7e4a4be2.html

- Ryan: Don't expect a Trump endorsement any time soon
http://www.redstate.com/leon_h_wolf/2016/05/15/paul-ryan-dont-expect-trump-endorsement-time-soon-video/

- Ryan on whether he will support Trump: 'This is a process'
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/paul-ryan-on-whether-he-will-support-trump-this-is-a-process/

- GOP wants to cut $23 billion from food stamps
http://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/gop-budget-plan-cut-23-billion-food-stamps

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Friday, May 13, 2016

 11:29 AM 

Ryan Rundown: Former Reagan, Kemp aide calls on Ryan to endorse Trump

In today's Ryan Rundown: Donald Trump says he was "not that surprised" Paul Ryan didn't endorse him after Thursday's meeting, and Jeffrey Lord, who served as an aide to President Ronald Reagan and Ryan mentor Jack Kemp, calls on the House speaker to endorse the presumptive nominee.

News/features

- Donald Trump: 'Not that surprised' Paul Ryan didn't endorse me after meeting
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/13/donald-trump-not-surprised-paul-ryan-didnt-endorse/

- Donald Trump, Paul Ryan say meeting was positive first step
http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/donald-trump-paul-ryan-hold-closed-door-meeting-vowing-to-forge-party-unity-b99724145z1-379178051.html

- John Boehner says Ryan 'just being cautious' on Trump
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/05/12/john-boehner-defends-paul-ryan-dings-ted-cruz-again

- Trump, Ryan tout unity in wake of meeting
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/11/politics/paul-ryan-donald-trump-meeting/

Opinion/analysis

- Jeffrey Lord: Jack Kemp's lesson for Paul Ryan
http://spectator.org/jack-kemps-lesson-for-paul-ryan/

- Peter Beinart: Paul Ryan signals his surrender
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/paul-ryans-surrender/482559/

- Chris Cillizza: Yes, Paul Ryan is going to (eventually) endorse Donald Trump. Here's how.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/05/12/heres-how

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

 4:04 PM 

Wendy Riemann column: Advantageous Advocacy: Seeing RED

In a campaign year, as the votes are being tallied, the blue on the election map represents Democratic states and the red, Republican states. In a successful advocacy campaign, groups should be thinking about what I call RED in developing their message and tactics to present to an elected official.

*Reason
*Emotion
*District

Voting is one of the most important duties of an elected official. In a majority of cases, one, or perhaps two, and sometimes even all three categories of RED will greatly influence how a representative or senator, decides the vote.

- REASON is looking at it from a more practical standpoint. What are the numbers or statistics behind the issue that make the case? Where is the logic in it? Is it just a standard party-line vote? Is it backed by science?

- EMOTION involves personal feelings. Is the issue personal to the official? Is someone passionate about breast cancer funding because her mother died of it? Might religious beliefs play a role?

- DISTRICT includes those issues that directly impact a state or district. For example, Wisconsin leaders are fiercely protective of the dairy and cranberry industries, because the state has such a vested interest in them, while western state representatives might be more vocal about wildfires. The district influence, and knowing how constituents feel about an issue, is another reason why letters, emails, and phone calls to an office matter so much. Elected officials care about what their constituents think.

All three of these broad categories also may tie into political ideology. Ultimately, an official must balance convictions with constituency. Each official balances that differently because at the end of the day, and in the back of her mind, she always needs to be thinking about the next election. Sometimes that may compel her to vote the party-line, while other times she may need to buck the trend.

Groups traveling to the Capitol to advocate their message should spend time, before their visit, doing their homework on the official they are meeting with and the associated interests, including committees, the introduced bills, and membership in any coalitions or organizations. All of the above can provide clues on where she stands and what she might think of your cause or legislation, so that you can best tailor your message to her.

Group members should also think through their issues and be able to explain how they might impact RED. The more specific a group can be, the better. If there are examples from the home district, use them. Personalize it. If the local Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey on said topic, share those results. Highlight the facts and figures, and put faces to them. Tell the local story and its impact.

Remembering focusing on the RED will go a long way toward achieving positive results.

-- Riemann is president of 1492 Communications, a consulting firm. She can be reached at: wendy@1492communications.com.


 11:22 AM 

Ryan Rundown: After meeting, Ryan, Trump stress party unity

In today's Ryan Rundown: After meeting today, House Speaker Paul Ryan and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump stress party unity and vow to continue discussions on bringing the GOP together.

News/features

- Trump, Ryan say they are "totally committed" to uniting their party
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/05/12/republicans-brace-for-outcome-of-trump-ryan-meeting/

- Ryan says unifying GOP will take time after Donald Trump meeting
http://time.com/4327668/paul-ryan-donald-trump-meeting/?xid=tcoshare

- Trump, Ryan tout unity in wake of meeting
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/11/politics/paul-ryan-donald-trump-meeting/

- House GOP warns Ryan to back Trump
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/11/politics/paul-ryan-donald-trump-house-republicans/

- Ryan faces little Wis. pressure to endorse Trump
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/05/11/84256248/

- Ryan Caught Between Desire for Republican Unity and Future Agenda
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/12/us/politics/paul-ryan-caught-between-desire-for-gop-unity-and-future-agenda.html

- Donald Trump and Paul Ryan Meet, With a Chasm Between Them
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/13/us/politics/donald-trump-paul-ryan-gop.html

Opinion/analysis

- Kimberly Atkins: Up to Paul Ryan to unite GOP for November
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/kimberly_atkins/2016/05/atkins_up_to_paul_ryan_to_unite_gop_for_november

- Steve Hilton: Donald Trump and Paul Ryan need each other
http://time.com/4326646/donald-trump-paul-ryan-partnership/

- David A. Fahrenthold: Has Donald Trump stolen Paul Ryan's party out from under him?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/12fd4c54-1719-11e6-924d-838753295f9a_story.html

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

 1:21 PM 

Column: Sensenbrenner takes on opioid epidemic

This is an excerpt from Nicole Duran's DC Wrap column. Sign up for the full column by emailing staff@wispolitics.com.

On Thursday the House is set to take up a bill to help combat opioid abuse authored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R Menomonee Falls.

The bill would allow the Justice Department to award grants to state, local and municipal governments by amending the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.

Addressing the nation's heroin and opioid prescription abuse epidemic is one issue Republicans and Democrats actually agree on.

President Obama requested $1.1 billion for opioid abuse treatment in proposed 2017 budget. He also has convened summits, established a task force, visited some of the hardest-hit communities and highlighted the issue in speeches. The Obama Administration has proposed rules to expand access to care and treatment, among other things.

According to government statistics, approximately 72 Americans overdose daily on prescription pain medication or heroin.

"I'm optimistic about the future of this legislation and the positive impact it will have throughout this nation," Sensenbrenner stated after winning committee approval April 27.

The Obama administration is generally supportive of Sensenbrenner's bill and similar legislation but is concerned about funding.

"These trends will not change by simply authorizing new grant programs, studies and reports," read a statement of administration policy issued by the Office of Management and Budget. "Congressional action is needed to fund the tools communities need to confront this epidemic and accelerate important policies like training health care providers on appropriate opioid prescribing, an essential component of this effort."

Read the full column here, with news on a VA bill named after a Tomah vet and the latest in a Ryan-Obama administration fight on Puerto Rico


 11:43 AM 

Ryan Rundown: Trump says he'd 'love' for Ryan to stay on as GOP convention chair

In today's Ryan Rundown: Donald Trump tells Fox News he would "love" House Speaker Paul Ryan to stay on as chair of the Republican convention, and Ryan pens a column on opioid abuse.

News/features

- Trump says he would like Ryan to chair Republican convention: Fox
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0Y2014

- Trump backs Ryan as convention chairman
http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-gop-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/05/trump-id-love-for-ryan-to-stay-and-be-chairman-223037

- Paul Ryan plans to talk with Donald Trump on how to unify GOP
http://www.wsj.com/articles/paul-ryan-plans-to-talk-with-donald-trump-on-how-to-unify-gop-1462909941

- Paul Ryan: It would be a mistake to pretend the GOP is unified after 'very divisive' primary
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/10/paul-ryan-it-would-be-mistake-pretend-gop-unified-/

- Ryan downplays upcoming meeting with Trump
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/10/politics/paul-ryan-donald-trump-meeting/index.html

- Paul Ryan discusses entitlement reform
http://www.wsj.com/video/paul-ryan-discusses-entitlement-reform/D92B03A9-0726-45E4-980D-88B2C7C1E863.html

Opinion/analysis

- Paul Ryan: Let's take decisive action on opioid abuse
http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/lets-take-decisive-action-on-opioid-abuse-b99723011z1-378881291.html

- Jake Sherman and Rachael Bade: Ryan is stuck in a Trump trap
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/paul-ryan-donald-trump-223025

- Josh Barro: Paul Ryan is having a YOLO moment, and he has good reason not to fall in line with Trump
http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-ryan-donald-trump-yolo-moment-2016-5

- Christian Schneider: Paul Ryan can't give in
http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/paul-ryan-cant-give-in-b99723009z1--378865921.html

- Ruth Marcus: How Paul Ryan could recuse himself from supporting Donald Trump
https://www.washingtonpost.com/d218999a-16c4-11e6-9e16-2e5a123aac62_story.html

- TA Frank: Why Paul Ryan needs to endorse Donald Trump
http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/05/paul-ryan-endorse-donald-trump

Labels:


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

 4:46 PM 

Johnson meets with Garland

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, who has repeatedly said he opposes letting President Obama fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, said he had a “cordial meeting” today with nominee Merrick Garland.

Still, Johnson, R-Oshkosh, said his position has not changed on filling the vacancy.

“Let the American people have a voice in the composition of the Supreme Court,” Johnson said. “Instead of a lame duck president and Senate nominating and confirming, a new president and Senate -- elected by the people only a few months from now -- should make that important decision. I can’t think of a fairer or more democratic process."

Johnson’s meeting with Garland comes as Dems continue to criticize him for opposing a hearing and vote on the nomination. Polls also have shown Wisconsin voters favor acting on the nomination.

Dem spokesman Harry Hartfield said today’s meeting was a “ploy” to distract from Johnson’s refusal to vote on the nomination.

“Poll after poll shows voters want the Senate to act, but Johnson is far more interested in the wishes of Donald Trump, than those of voters,” Hartfield said.


 12:05 PM 

Ryan Rundown: House GOP leadership divided over whether to support Trump

In today's Ryan Rundown: The House's Republican leaders are divided over whether to back Donald Trump as the GOP presidential nominee and New York Times columnist Carl Hulse says Ryan has revived "a lost Washington art" of challenging his own party's leader.

News/features

- Paul Ryan, House GOP leadership split on Trump as McConnell plans huddle with presumptive nominee
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/05/09/paul-ryan

- Ryan says he would step down as convention chair if Trump asks http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/378661491.html

- Paul Ryan will skip chairing convention if Donald Trump asks http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/09/politics/paul-ryan-donald-trump-convention-chairman/

- Ryan opens door to stepping down as convention chair, if Trump asks http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/05/09/ryan-reportedly-opens-door-to-stepping-down-as-convention-chair-if-trump-asks.html

Opinion/analysis

- Carl Hulse: Paul Ryan revives a lost Washington art http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/10/us/politics/paul-ryan-donald-trump-republican-unity.html

- Mike DeBonis: Is Paul Ryan in danger of being 'Cantored'? Probably not. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/05/09/is-paul

- Maureen Dowd: Donald Trump or Paul Ryan -- who's King of the Hill? http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/column-donald-trump-or-paul-ryan-8212whos-king-of-the-hill/2276562

- George Mitchell: Ryan has laid down a completely reasonable and potentially unattainable standard for Trump
http://www.rightwisconsin.com/opinion/perspectives/listen-closely-to-paul-ryan

Labels:


 8:33 AM 

Ryan points to progress toward budget passage

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, say the House is making progress on passing the budget, but he declined to get into details of those discussions or put odds on passage.

If the GOP majority fails to pass a budget, it would be the first time that’s happened in the past two decades. The House Freedom Caucus has called for cutting $30 billion from programs such as Medicare and Medicaid from the deal former Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, struck before leaving office.

Ryan declined in a WisPolitics.com interview yesterday to discuss the proposed cut, which is referred to as the “sidecar option,” other than to say it was under consideration.

“We’ve had some very good family discussions about how to move forward on the budget,” Ryan said.

Ryan is a former Budget chair. The House’s difficulties in passing a spending plan has been painted by the national media as a potential embarrassment for him. Some have also highlighted it as a sign Ryan is having difficulties with the Freedom Caucus like Boehner did.

But Ryan said he and his caucus have “a great understanding” and a lot of those members are good friends. He also ticked off a list of accomplishments since becoming speaker, including voting to replace Common Core, passing long-term highway legislation, rewriting customs law, advancing a permanent extension of tax policy and repealing the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports.

“I really believe that the lines of communication within our caucus have opened up so we all understand each other as we try to work through these issues,” Ryan said.

Listen to the full interview:
http://wispolitics.com/1006/160509Ryan.mp3

See the Election Blog for Ryan’s comments on Donald Trump and Sarah Palin:
http://elections.wispolitics.com


Monday, May 9, 2016

 11:17 AM 

Ryan Rundown: Palin endorses Ryan's primary challenger

In today's Ryan Rundown: Sarah Palin endorses House Speaker Paul Ryan's primary challenger and Donald Trump says he was "blindsided" by Ryan saying he was not yet ready to support Trump as the GOP nominee.

News/features

- Palin will work to defeat Ryan in primary for Trump stance [de Vries]
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/08/politics/sarah-palin-paul-ryan-paul-nehlen-endorsement/

- Palin says she'll campaign against Paul Ryan
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/sarah-palin-paul-ryan-primary-222941

- Sarah Palin Says Paul Ryan's Career Likely 'Over'
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/05/08/sarah-palin-says-paul-ryans-career-likely-over/

- Donald Trump 'blindsided' but not bothered by Paul Ryan's brush-off
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/05/08/donald-trump-blindsided-but-not-bothered-by-paul-ryans-brush-off/

- Donald Trump's warning to Paul Ryan signals further GOP discord
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/09/us/politics/donald-trumps-warning-to-paul-ryan-signals-further-gop-discord.html

- McCain touts Ernst, Ryan as possible Trump VPs
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/08/politics/john-mccain-sarah-palin-joni-ernst-paul-ryan/

Labels:


Friday, May 6, 2016

 10:53 AM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan, Trump plan to meet next week

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.

News/features

- RNC head says Trump, Ryan to meet next week
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/05/06/rnc-head-says-trump-ryan-to-meet-next-week.html

- Trump: I'll meet with Paul Ryan next week
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/05/06/donald-trump-paul-ryan-cnn-summit-meeting/84012796/

- Paul Ryan: 'I'm just not ready' to back Donald Trump
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/05/politics/paul-ryan-donald-trump-gop-nominee/

- Donald Trump takes on Paul Ryan after House speaker hedges on pledge to support GOP nominee
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/house-support/story?id=38898272

- Gingrich: Speaker Ryan made a big mistake today
http://video.foxnews.com/v/4880555269001

Opinion/analysis

- Tory Newmyer: Paul Ryan Won't Back Donald Trump, Signaling a Republican Party in Crisis
http://fortune.com/2016/05/05/paul-ryan-stiffs-donald-trump/

- SE Cupp: Paul Ryan's stunning comment on Donald Trump
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/05/opinions/paul-ryan-donald-trump-opinion-cupp/

- Russel Berman: Paul Ryan won't endorse Trump--yet
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/paul-ryan-wont-endorse-trumpyet/481536/

- Jennifer Rubin: Paul Ryan: No, not Trump, not now
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2016/05/05/ryan-no-not-trump-not-now/

- Charles Pierce: How Paul Ryan is really going to let this Trump thing play out
http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a44622/paul-ryan-trump-endorsement/

Labels:


Thursday, May 5, 2016

 11:12 AM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan, McConnell take different approach in leading GOP

In today's Ryan Rundown: House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell take different approaches in their leadership roles, and more on the Puerto Rico debt crisis.

News/features

- Different playbooks for Ryan, McConnell in wild 2016
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/278619-different-playbooks-for-ryan-mcconnell-in-wild-2016

- Ryan, McConnell at odds on how to guide party through turbulent 2016
http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/Mitch/2016/05/04/id/727181

- Members of Congress are close to unveiling a new Puerto Rico debt bill
http://fortune.com/2016/05/04/members-of-congress-are-close-to-unveiling-a-new-puerto-rico-debt-bill/

- Everything you wanted to know about the Puerto Rican debt crisis but were afraid to Google
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/05/puerto-ricos-debt-crisis-what-you-need-to-know.html

Opinion/analysis

- Matt Fuller: 'How To Win Friends And Influence People,' Paul Ryan Edition
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/5728d89de4b0bc9cb044b23f

- These Paul Ryan updates aren't what the GOP are praying for
http://www.bustle.com/articles/158740

- Frances Legum: Is Paul Ryan conceding the Senate to Democrats this early?
http://crooksandliars.com/2016/05/paul-ryan-conceding-senate-democrats-early

- Ike Brannon: What we do in Puerto Rico sets a precedent, like it or not
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/278804-what-we-do-in-puerto-rico-sets-a-precedent-like-it-or-not

- Stephen A. Myrow: Ryan goes all-in on Puerto Rico
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/278614-ryan-goes-all-in-on-puerto-rico

Labels:


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

 11:22 AM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan raises funds in Fort Worth

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.

News/features

- Ryan raises funds in North Texas
http://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/article75457632.html

- A Large Portion of GOP House Incumbent Funding Comes From Texas
http://hppr.org/post/large-portion-gop-house-incumbent-funding-comes-texas#stream/0

Opinion/analysis

- John Carr: The Other Campaigns
http://americamagazine.org/issue/other-campaigns

Labels:


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

 11:25 AM 

Ryan Rundown: Treasury secretary presses Ryan, Congress for action after Puerto Rico default

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.

News/features

- As Puerto Rico Defaults, Eyes Turn to Washington
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/03/business/dealbook/puerto-rico-defaults-on-principal-of-422-million-debt-payment.html?_r=0

- Default at hand, Congress faces new pressure to act on Puerto Rico
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/05/02/default-at-hand-congress-faces-new-pressure-to-act-on-puerto-rico

- Time running out as Puerto Rico's default picks up steam
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/puerto-rico-default-congress-222718

- Puerto Rico defaults on $422M debt payments
http://thehill.com/policy/finance/278352-puerto-rico-defaults-as-islands-governor-pushes-congress

- Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis Deepens as Government Misses Payment
http://www.wsj.com/articles/puerto-ricos-debt-crisis-turns-up-the-heat-on-congress-1462219483

Opinion/analysis

- Ryan Rainey: Puerto Rico Default: More Political Fallout Than Market Impact
http://fortune.com/2016/05/03/puerto-rico-default-more-political-fallout-than-market-impact/

James Surowiecki: On Puerto Rico, Congress Once Again Fails to Do the Obvious
http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/on-puerto-rico-congress-once-again-fails-to-do-the-obvious

Labels:


Monday, May 2, 2016

 12:03 PM 

Ryan Rundown: Ryan sees favorability boost in Wisconsin

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.

News/features

- Ryan gains popularity in Wisconsin
http://www.postcrescent.com/story/news/politics/2016/05/01/83788882/

- Paul Ryan Treads a Tricky Line on Puerto Rico
http://www.wsj.com/articles/paul-ryan-treads-a-tricky-line-on-puerto-rico-1461966677

Opinion/analysis

- Larry Lease: Republican party polarized by Ryan and Trump
http://www.commdiginews.com/politics-2/republican-62718

- Amy Davidson: Ready or Not, Paul Ryan's Donald Trump Problem
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/09/paul-ryans-donald-trump-problem

- John Nichols: Blame Paul Ryan for GOP mess
http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/john_nichols/john-nichols-blame-paul-ryan-for-gop-mess/article_672ee291-2caf-5eba-9415-46f333a654e2.html

- Stuart Rothenberg: Ryan Rides to the Rescue -- But Not Until 2020
http://www.rollcall.com/news/rothenblog/ryan-rides-rescue-not-2020

- Francis Wilkinson: Paul Ryan is trapped, If he tries to work with the mainstream, he will be punished
http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/Op-Ed/2016/04/29/Paul/stories/201604270011

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