April 23, 2016
Ryan cites job-training, customs updates
By Rex Davenport
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan was the keynote speaker for Friday’s KABA luncheon. His remarks were generally nonpartisan and focused on recent success in Congress that have not made headlines.
Ryan explained that over recent years, power in Congress had become concentrated. “It was short-circuiting the system to the point that policymakers could not express themselves well in a bottom-up kind of decision-making you would expect from the House of Representatives,” he told the audience.
“We’ve made some pretty good progress in half a year,” Ryan said. “What can we get done for our constituents and the country in the divided government that we have? I don’t agree with the president on many things. Personally, we get along just fine. But, with a liberal president and a conservative Congress, what can we get done?
“We rewrote our job training laws,” said Ryan. “We had 46 different job training programs from nine different agencies. We weren’t even measuring if they worked, or if people were getting the skills to get the jobs they wanted. We collapsed and consolidated (the programs) and sent them back to the states.”
Ryan said that Congress had also reworked its customs laws “so they can actually be used to enforce trade agreements. We needed to rewrite our customs laws so we actually have teeth in our trade agreements,” he said. “We rewrote all of those laws for the first time in 40 years.”