Summary: At his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan discussed how a healthier economy has sparked renewed optimism among Americans. He also talked about the 2018 Farm Bill, remaining pieces of the Better Way agenda, and all the work the House is doing to make progress on “these things that matter most in people’s lives.”

A Thriving Economy Means More Opportunities

“You know, there is a lot of good news out there today.

“And let me just start with this: Americans are more satisfied than they have been in nearly 13 years with the way things are going in the country.

“That is according to the Gallup poll, just today: Americans are more satisfied than they have been in nearly 13 years.

“This is great to see.

“On the economy: Jobless claims remain near a 48-year low.

“Retail sales are up for the second month.

“Industrial production is up for the third straight month.

“So the economy is growing, workers are getting ahead, there are new jobs and opportunities being offered by the day.

“But if you saw yesterday’s Ways and Means hearing, Democrats are still using the same old doom-and-gloom talk that they were using six months ago.

“They seem to be in deep denial about all of this good news.

“It was bizarre before, and it is even more bizarre now, when Democrats are openly calling for tax increases, which will do nothing but harm our economy.

“A thriving economy means there are more job openings. A thriving economy means there are more opportunities.

“A thriving economy means families get ahead, people get out of poverty, kids come out of college with opportunities and offerings.

“That’s what a thriving economy means.”

This Is the Right Time to Take Action on Workforce Development

“And there could not be a better time to take action to help more people join our workforce.

“That is why the Farm Bill that we are debating today is so critical. 

“It sets up a system for SNAP recipients where, if you are able to work, you should work to get the benefits.

“And if you can’t work, we’ll help you get the training you need. We will help you get the skills you need to get an opportunity.

“This is going to get more people out of poverty. This is going to get more people a steady job. This is going to get more people moving toward a good career.

“It will help people go from where they are to where they want to be, to realize their own version of the American Idea.

“I am very pleased that we are moving forward with this phase of the ‘Better Way’ agenda.

“If you recall, when we ran on this in 2016, this was a core component of what we told the country we would do if given the opportunity.

“Well, here we are.”

Continuing to Deliver on the Better Way Agenda

“Another part of that agenda also calls for helping our veterans, and yesterday the House took a big, bipartisan step to improve healthcare at the VA.

“The House took a big, bipartisan vote to toughen penalties for those who intentionally target law enforcement officers as well—this being Police Week.

“Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee has its final markup on legislation to crack down on the opioid crisis in America.

“And we will soon move forward on financial services reforms that will help small businesses get better access to loans and capital.

“So it is good to see the country feeling better.

“It is good to see the country feeling better about how things are going. And it’s good to see confidence and optimism coming back.

“And it’s very good for us to be making progress on these things that matter most in people’s lives, which is why we are here.”