What Can Possibly Be Accomplished During 2018 Lame Duck Session of Congress?

Congress left many issues undone for the 16-days scheduled in the legislative calendar after the 2018 midterm elections, known as the lame duck session of Congress. Below are some of those remaining issues. FY 2019 Appropriations Bill Congress enacted 5 (of the total 12) annual FY 2019 appropriations bills prior to the beginning of the…

Cansler Keynotes Annual Conference for Tennessee Farm Bureau Presidents

“Tim Cansler’s behind the scenes Washington knowledge on agricultural and farm issues makes him an excellent choice for hearing the “rest of the story” about current Washington happenings. His agricultural and Farm Bureau background provide a solid foundation and understanding of the issues important to farmers.” Jeff Aiken President Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation Cansler Consulting,…

New Farm Bill: Preview and Analysis

Since the 1930’s and the Great Depression about every 5-years the U.S. Congress adopts a Farm Bill.  The Farm Bill contains production agriculture & food policies under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Farm Bill titles include Commodity Programs, Conservation, Trade, Nutrition, Credit, Rural Development, Research & Extension, Forestry, Energy, Horticulture and Crop…

When Gov’t Gets It Right

Ability One program. Ability-One-Logo-Image-for-Website1We are all taught early in civics class about the Founders of our nation and their distrust of strong government. Their individual experiences and research of history taught them collectively that over-powerful government eventually turns oppressive. But the Founders also knew that some type of government was necessary.…

Paul Ryan: 54th Speaker of US House of Representatives

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U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) 54th Speaker of the U.S. House of Reporesentatives

Garnering 236 votes, on October 29th the US House elected Paul Ryan (R-WI) Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Republican House Freedom Caucus member Daniel Webster (R-FL) was also nominated and received 9 votes. Democrats nominated Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who received 185 votes from colleagues in her party.

Since coming to Congress in 1998 at the age of 28 over the last 17 years Ryan has ascended to Chair the House Budget Committee and the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.  He was also the 2012 vice presidential nominee.  Speaker Ryan is probably most noted for working across party lines with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to negotiate the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, the first time since 1986 that Congress reached a budget agreement while separate parties controlled the chambers.  Ryan is also the author of the Path to Prosperity a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit with proposed changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Tax reforms.

Ryan’s 1st congressional district is located in southeastern Wisconsin (directly south of Milwaukee) and includes Kenosha County, Racine County and most of Walworth County , as well as portions of Rock County, Waukesha County and Milwaukee County. The make up of the district is 84 percent urban and 16 percent rural. Blue collar occupations make up 27 percent of jobs in the district, 58 percent are considered white collar occupations.  Median incomes are just over $50,000.  Politically the 1st district is considered a swing district having supported President George W. Bush in 2004 (53%) and President Barack Obama over John McCain in 2008.  The district voted Mitt Romney (with Paul Ryan as his running mate) over Barack Obama in 2012.

In his first address to the House as Speaker, Ryan said the House “is broke,” and now is the time to fix it.  He said, “We are not here to settle scores, we are wiping the slate clean.”  Ryan went further in recommending “Committees should take the lead in drafting all major legislation.”  Ryan also reminded members “A neglected minority will gum up the process, but a respected minority may help in getting good legislation passed.”

Rep Paul Ryan Will Run For Speaker of the US House

In a just released letter to his House colleagues Paul Ryan (R-WI) Chairman of the US House Ways & Means Committee (and former 2012 vice presidential candidate) said he is running for Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

Ryan’s decision comes after securing sufficient support from three major factions of the House

U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI)

U.S. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) Will Run For Speaker of the US House

Republican caucus: the Republican Study Committee, the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group.  Ryan was also convinced he received an agreement from supporters on the conditions he laid before the caucus, that he receive a majority of support from the caucus and that he would have weekends free to spend with his young family.

Both the Republican Study Committee and the moderate Tuesday Group endorsed Ryan.  However, the ultra-right wing House Freedom Caucus did not endorse him.  The House Freedom Caucus maintains in their bylaws that an official endorsement from the group requires 80 percent support.  Ryan received 27 of a total 39 votes from the group.

Ryan also had one other significant demand from the Republican caucus, that the House change the rules governing “the motion to vacate the chair.” This demand drew most of the criticism from caucus members, especially the House Freedom Caucus who’s members used it against current Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).

U.S. Rep Kevin Brady (R-TX) next in line to Chair US House Ways and Means Committee

As we learned from the most recent incident with a Speaker-elect, this does not mean the race for Speaker is over.  Members of the House will be home in their respective districts this weekend and a number of things could happen between now and the nomination by the caucus.  A formal nomination election is set for October 28. The full House is scheduled to elect the Speaker on October 29.

U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) is the likely heir apparent to replace Ryan as Chairman of the US House Ways & Means Committee.  Brady is next in line in seniority on the Committee.

Long Term Transportation Bill To Be Introduced In House Committee

On Tuesday, October 20 the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Bill Shuster (R-PA) and co-sponsor Ranking Member Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR) will introduce The Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015.  The 6-year measure is responsible for surface transportation that aims to improve U.S. surface transportation infrastructure.  According to the Committee…