7 New Year’s Resolutions + 1 Plan for the Holidays | Speaker.gov

You’ve heard about Speaker Paul Ryan’s tests, culminating in a rigorous finals week. Now, with the legislative year finally behind us, Speaker Ryan sat down to talk about his New Year’s resolutions for the House in 2016:

1. Conservative Agenda

"The votes on that [taxes and budget] agreement, the last ones in Congress until lawmakers return next year, clear the decks for what Ryan promises will be an aggressive, conservative agenda in 2016." (USA TODAY)

“House Speaker Paul Ryan is mapping out a conservative agenda the GOP can run with in 2016. ‘We owe people the right to decide if they want to stay on this path or not,’ he said."  (ABC News)

2. Unity

"‘My goal is to help unify the conservative movement so we can unify the Republican Party so… that the citizens of this nation get to choose in 2016 what kind of country they want to have in the 21st century,’ the Wisconsin lawmaker said. ‘It’s nothing short of a generational defining moment we are facing next year.’” (USA TODAY)

3. Decentralized Power

“House Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday he plans to reduce the power of the speakership and disperse authority to rank-and-file lawmakers, who have for years clamored for a greater say in legislation and policy decisions. Ryan…said lawmakers in 2016 will play a much bigger role in deciding legislative language, amendments and determining whether or not a bill passes, even if it means letting measures fail on the House floor. ‘I'm actually trying to decentralize power.'” (Washington Examiner)

4. Transparency and Regular Order

“It’s true that Ryan has opened up the process. In his short time as speaker, he’s allowed conservatives to get votes on a whole slew of amendments. And he’s had more open lines of communicationHe’s told his GOP colleagues that they are going to take some politically punishing votes. He wants to pass all 12 appropriations bills next year…" (Huffington Post)

5. Culture Change

“Ryan said his members see a change to a culture in which conservatives can unify and all members have legislative input. He points to the just-passed omnibus and tax bill, as well as the recently passed early-education and highway authorization bills as proof Congress is back to work.” (National Journal)

6. Next-Generation Platform

"The Wisconsin Republican is planning to huddle with his conference in January to craft a new GOP platform -– something that could end up resembling a next-generation ‘Contract With America, the governing proposal Republicans unveiled ahead of the 1994 midterm election, when they retook control of Congress.” (ABC News)

7. Building on Progress

"While there is still a lot to tackle next year, Ryan already believes he has seen several ‘highs’ since assuming the post, including passing major bills addressing education, transportation, customs and tax reform, as well as lifting the ban on crude oil in the omnibus." (NBC News)

Between now and then, Speaker Ryan plans to spend time with family and catch up on his hobbies:

“Being on the national stage taught Ryan how to unplug, which he said was something he had struggled with earlier in his political career. ‘My faith, my family and my hobbies help me do that,’ Ryan said. One hobby Ryan was looking forward to picking back up was deer hunting. He's only been able to kill one this season, but planned to use the holiday recess to bag at least another two or three so he could have time for his other hobby -- making sausage.” (CNN)