Today, after a productive morning at the GOP member retreat, Speaker Ryan joined Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for a press conference. Below are Speaker Ryan’s opening remarks:
“First, I want to again express that our hearts and prayers are with the victims of yesterday’s tragic accident. You know, for those of us who were there, we just were very grateful for the first responders, especially our doctors—our doctor caucus—and the husbands and the wives who ran out and took care of the injured. It was very impressive to see how people just dropped what they were doing to go attend to those in need.
“Over the last 24 hours, right here in West Virginia, we've had some very productive discussions about our agenda in 2018, on everything from infrastructure to national security. We finished the year strong with tax reform, and in just weeks, it has become a great success across the country. UPS just announced a big investment in our economy. Lowe’s just announced bonuses for its employees. To date, more than 4.1 million workers have received bonuses, totaling more than $2.5 billion. And today, being the first day of February, when workers are going to start seeing more money in their paychecks based on these new withholding tables.
“So take-home pay is going up. Wages are going up. Benefits are going up. Businesses are expanding. Consumer confidence is at a 17-year high, while unemployment is at a 17-year low. Tax reform is working.
“But one of the reasons we are here in West Virginia is because we want to build on the success of 2017 in 2018. We want to make sure that Secretary Mattis, who we heard from this morning, has the tools and the resources that he needs to rebuild our military. And we need to close the skills gap in this country. And we need to help people move from welfare to work so they can tap their true potential.
“We've made great progress, but there is more to do. And that is why we are excited about having the president here today to work on this shared agenda. And I want to thank him, the vice president, and all the members of their administration who have joined us here in West Virginia to talk about this agenda. And I especially want to thank Senator McConnell and all of our Senate colleagues as well for joining us here.
“We're very excited about making more progress for the American people in 2018.”