House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said today that he expects to keep this shit-eating grin on his face throughout the day and into tomorrow and probably through most of the year, maybe even going to bed with it on.
“I’m working on behalf of hard-working Americans every day,” Ryan told reporters in his office. “I try to never forget that.”
Ryan acknowledged there were a few moments in 2016 and 2017 when he didn’t smile because of sober and serious situations confronting the country, but he thanks God every day that “Americans are resilient” and “always show their best side when confronted with challenges.”
Ryan said he expects to smile through most of 2018, but he knows there will be moments when he can’t. “I’m proud of the American spirit in times of difficulty,” he said. “I have the best job in the world representing the resourceful people of my district and my country.”
Ryan wouldn’t presume to say whether President Donald Trump will be the reason for the moments he doesn’t smile in 2018, but he knows Americans want their leaders to work on their behalf at all times.
“You know, each night Americans go to bed wondering if their children will have the same opportunities they had in a a country that rewards entrepreneurship and initiative and doesn’t expect the government to do everything for them,” he said. “I try to never forget that the American people want lower taxes, less regulation, and the chance to dream of a strong economy for their children. Thank you for asking me these questions, and thank you for what you do to keep the American people informed. God bless you and God bless America and I thank the American people for allowing me the honor of working on their behalf every day. I’m just so proud, so happy, and so satisfied, and I know I’ll be proud, happy, and satisfied throughout 2018 and into 2019 and certainly into 2020. I’m going to bed proud and happy and I know I’ll wake up proud and happy. I’m just so proud and happy.”
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President Donald Trump said it was a mark of his intelligence that he allowed a reporter—Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff—to have unfettered access to White House staff for a year. “I’m, like, really smart for letting him act as a fly on the wall while my administration settled into the task of governing the country over the past year,” Trump said. The president pointed out that he’s a good read of character and knows who should and who shouldn’t get access to his staff. “No one knows people better than I do,” he said. “To be a billionaire, TV star, and now president, you need to be able to size people up and know who should and who shouldn’t be talking to your top staff day after day with the aim of writing a tell-all book.” More.
President Donald Trump spoke at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland today to show that there are still men who are willing to stand with him at a podium, and there are probably some women willing to do it, too. “As you can see by the people who are standing behind me at this moment, there are, and I expect will remain, men and probably women who are willing to associate their physical body with mine in a way that we expect from our elected leaders,” Trump said. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) probably aren’t going to say anything about it, according to the two congressional leaders’ aides. Max Phillip, McConnell’s chief of staff, said it’s the Majority’ Leader’s intent not to say much about President Trump’s tweet comparing his nuclear button to the nuclear button of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. “Would he plan to comment on that anytime soon?” Phillip said. “I wouldn’t expect that.” Phillip said there’s always a temptation to say something when the President’s son is accused of treason by a person who was the President’s top aide just a short while ago, but the Majority Leader will probably not address it. “You have to think about what you remark on and what you don’t remark on, and I think the Majority Leader will probably choose not to remark on that,” he said. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the trial balloons he’s been floating about retiring after tax reform passes have nothing to do with his plans to run against Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. “I am not planning and will not plan to offer Republican voters an alternative to the crazy man in the White House today,” Ryan said. Ryan said there’s no truth to the rumor that he would seek to give an alternative to Republican voters who don’t want to see Trump reelected but also don’t want to see a Democrat take the White House. “I know there’s speculation that I would put myself out there as a safe vote for Republicans who don’t want another Roy Moore-type debacle in 2020, but that is not the case,” he said. More.
Corporations and wealthy individuals say they’ll pour their millions of dollars in cuts they stand to get from tax reform into the reelection fight of Republicans whose seats are now at risk from angry middle-class voters whose tax increases will pay for the bill. “We told the GOP they needed to pass tax cuts for the wealthy or they could forget about calling us again for political contributions,” says one billionaire who stands to save millions from tax cuts. “Now that they’re poised to deliver, we understand they need help. There are a lot of people who will want to retaliate by voting out of office anyone who voted for the tax cuts. What we’re saying is, we’re putting our new money where our mouth is.” According to polls, voters are angry that they’re facing tax hikes to pay for the cuts to corporations and the wealthy. One voter who responded to a poll was so angry she couldn’t see straight. More.
Republican lawmakers in the Senate say they urgently must pass tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy before the end of the year because of pressure coming from Russia Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. “Would it be better to slow down and better think through our tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy? Of course,” says John Thune (R-S.D.), the Senate whip. “Right now our own analysis is showing a $1 trillion addition to the budget deficit even after projected growth in the economy. So, if we had more time we could craft changes that address that and still give our wealthy donors what they want. Unfortunately, time is a luxury we don’t have.” That’s because Mueller’s investigation is winding down. More.
Republican lawmakers in the United States Congress say they’re flabbergasted they couldn’t pull out a win yesterday by passing a bill that no one wanted and that would make the lives of Americans worse. “Who would have thought that a bill that strips health insurance away from 24 million people, raises the premiums for everyone else, and allows insurance companies to pay for less care couldn’t generate enough votes to pass?” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said last night after pulling the plug on his signature health care reform bill. Ryan said he’s stunned that his fellow Republicans didn’t want to commit political suicide by making the lives of their constituents worse by publicly voting “yea” for his bill, called the American Health Care Act. More.
McConnell: ‘Have to do it’Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Congress has little choice but to censure President Donald Trump for accusing his predecessor, without evidence, of conducting surveillance on him during the 2016 campaign. “There has never been a greater debasement of the presidency than what we have seen in the last two weeks,” said McConnell, who as recently as this weekend joined President Trump at a campaign-style rally in Louisville, Ky. “For one president to accuse another of what amounts to a criminal act, and to do so even though all of the country’s considerable intelligence resources are at his fingertips, is to perpetrate one of the greatest violations of our nation’s trust we have ever seen.” More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the decree by President Donald Trump to institute martial law in the United States “to protect Americans from foreign and domestic enemies” is an unfortunate necessity given the state of the world, but he took issue with the “hasty and sloppy” execution of the law. “Should the Administration have put out guidance earlier to minimize confusion? Yes, I think it could have,” Ryan said. “The order was clearly drafted in haste—I get that, given the threats we face from people who want to harm American liberty and freedom—but the people on the ground that must carry it out should have had detail instructions. The result was the confusion and unnecessary mistakes that characterized the rollout.” More.
After what they call eight years of failed American foreign policy by the Obama administration, House Republican leaders say it’s time to spin off the country’s diplomacy and statesmanship to the private sector. “The United States was built by our world-leading companies,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said at a press conference in the Capitol this morning. “The government doesn’t build Chevrolets. General Motors does. The country doesn’t make computers. Apple does. Today, it’s time to unleash our private sector on our foreign policy and do what our government has never been able to do: create peace and prosperity around the world.” Under the plan Ryan and other leaders unveiled, the heads of GM, AT&T, Citibank, and other multinational corporations would work with leaders of countries around the world to replace war with peace and confrontation with cooperation. More.