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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Paul Ryan Elected Speaker of the House; Boehner Farewell Address to Congress

Today in Washington, DC - Oct 29, 2015:
The House reconvened at 9 AM today. Call of the House Quorum was called and 421 were present. Mr. Boehner was recognized and gave his fairewell address as Speaker of the House. He said,My colleagues, I rise today to inform you that I will resign as Speaker of the House effective upon the election of my successor. I will also resign as Representative of Ohio’s Eighth District at the end of this month.

I leave with no regrets or burdens. If anything, I leave as I started – just a regular guy humbled by the chance to do a big job. That’s what I’m most proud of – that I’m still just me…

But before I go, let me just express what an honor it is been to serve with all of you. The people’s House is, in my view, the great embodiment of the American idea.

Everyone comes from somewhere and is on some mission. I come from a part of the world where we’re used to working.

As far back as I can remember, I was working…going back to when I was eight or nine, throwing newspapers, working at my dad's bar on Saturdays from 5 am - 2 pm for 2 dollars...TOTAL.

I never thought about it as coming up the easy way or the hard way. It's just the Cincinnati way.

Our city takes its name from a great Roman general, Cincinnatus – a farmer who answered the call of his nation to lead, then surrendered his power and returned to his plow.

For me, it wasn’t a farm – it was a small business.

And it wasn’t so much a calling as it was a mission: to strive for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government in Washington, DC.

How did we do? Well, here are some facts….

For the first time in nearly 20 years, we have made real entitlement reforms, saving trillions over the long term.

We have protected 99 percent of Americans from tax increases.

We are on track to save taxpayers $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years – the most significant spending reductions in modern history.

We have banned earmarks altogether.

We have protected this institution, and made it more open to the people.

And every day in this capital city, hundreds of kids from the toughest of neighborhoods are finally getting a decent education.

I am proud of these things.

But the mission is not complete, and the truth is, it may never be. One thing I came to realize is that this battle over the size and scope of government has been going on for more than 200 years.

And the forces of the status quo go to an awful lot of trouble to prevent change. Real change takes time.

That’s certainly true for all the things I just mentioned.

Yes, freedom makes all things possible. But patience is what makes all things real.

So believe in the long, slow struggle. Believe in this country’s ability to meet her challenges, and lead the world.

Believe in the decency of people to come together and do what can be done. And remember, you can’t do a big job alone, especially this one.

I’m grateful to my family… I’m grateful to my colleagues…

I'm grateful to all the people who work in this institution … you’ve made me proud every day.

I'm grateful to my staff ... I’ve always told them, you never leave Boehnerland, and that certainly goes for me too.

And I'm especially grateful to all my constituents and volunteers over the years…

That includes a student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio who was putting up signs for me during one of my very first campaigns in the early 90s.

His name was Paul Ryan. I don’t think he knew how to pronounce my name.

But, as Cincinnatus understood, there’s a difference between being asked to do something and being called to do something.

Paul is being called to serve, and I know he will serve that calling with grace and energy.

I wish him, and his family, all the best.

My colleagues, I’ve described my life as a chase for the American Dream. That chase began at the bottom of a hill just off the main drag in Reading, Ohio.

At the top was a small house with a big family … a shining city in its own right.

The hill had twists. And it had turns. And even a few tears … nothing wrong with that.

But let me tell you, it was all just perfect.

Never forget, we are the luckiest people on the face of the Earth.

In America, you can do anything if you’re willing to work hard and make the necessary sacrifices.

If you falter – and you will – you can just dust yourself off and keep on going. Because hope always springs eternal.

And if you just do the right things for the right reasons, good things will happen.

And this, too, can really happen to you…
Speaker Boehner then announced that the floor was open to receive nominations for the office of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

An election by the House of a new Speaker was made and the recorded votes were: Mr. Ryan (WI) 236, Ms. Pelosi 184, Mr. Webster (FL) 9, Mr. Powell 1, Mr. Cooper 1, Mr. Lewis 1. Paul Ryan (R- WI) was elected Speaker. In additions to words from and to former Speaker Boener on his retirement both as Speaker and as a congressman.

Speaker Boehner departed the podium after appointing people to escort Paul Ryan to the podium. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)was sworn in and delivered the following remarks after his election as the 54th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives:Thank you. Before I begin, I want to thank the family and friends....

I also want to thank Speaker Boehner. For almost five years, he led this House. And for nearly 25 years, he served it. Not many people can match his accomplishments: the offices he held, the laws he wrote. But what really sets John apart is he’s a man of character—a true class act. He is, without question, the gentleman from Ohio. So please join me in saying, one last time, “Thank you, Mr. Speaker.”

Now I know how he felt. It’s not till you hold this gavel and stand in this spot and look out and see all 435 members of the House—as if all of America was sitting right in front of you. It’s not till then that you feel it: the weight of responsibility, the gravity of the moment.

And standing here, I cannot help but think of something Harry Truman once said. The day after Franklin Roosevelt died and Truman became president, he told a group of reporters: “If you ever pray, pray for me now. . . . When they told me yesterday what had happened, I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.”

We all should feel that way. A lot is on our shoulders. So if you ever pray, pray for each other— Republicans for Democrats, Democrats for Republicans. And I don’t mean pray for a conversion. Pray for a deeper understanding, because—when you’re up here, you see it so clearly—wherever you come from, whatever you believe, we are all in the same boat.

I never thought I’d be the speaker. But early in my life, I wanted to serve in the House. I thought the place was exhilarating—because here, you could make a difference. If you had a good idea and worked hard, you could make it happen. You could improve people’s lives. To me, the House represented the best of America: the boundless opportunity to do good.

But let’s be frank: The House is broken. We are not solving problems. We are adding to them. And I am not interested in laying blame. We are not settling scores. We are wiping the slate clean. Neither the members nor the people are satisfied with how things are going. We need to make some changes, starting with how the House does business.

We need to let every member contribute—not once they have earned their stripes, but right now. I come at this job as a two-time committee chair. The committees should retake the lead in drafting all major legislation. If you know the issue, you should write the bill. Open up the process. Let people participate. And they might change their tune. A neglected minority will gum up the works. A respected minority will work in good faith. Instead of trying to stop the majority, they might try to become the majority.

In other words, we need to return to regular order. Now, I know that sounds like process. But it’s actually a matter of principle. We are the body closest to the people. Every two years, we face the voters—and sometimes face the music. But we do not echo the people. We represent them. We are supposed to study up and do the homework that they cannot do. So when we do not follow regular order—when we rush to pass bills a lot of us do not understand—we are not doing our job. Only a fully functioning House can truly represent the people.

And if there were ever a time for us to step up, this would be that time. America does not feel strong anymore because the working people of America do not feel strong anymore. I’m talking about the people who mind the store and grow the food and walk the beat and pay the taxes and raise the family. They do not sit in this House. They do not have fancy titles. But they are the people who make this country work, and this House should work for them.

Here’s the problem. They’re working hard. They’re paying a lot. They are trying to do right by their families. And they are going nowhere fast. They never get a raise. They never get a break. But the bills keep piling up—and the taxes and the debt. They are working harder than ever to get ahead. Yet they are falling further behind. And they feel robbed—cheated of their birthright. They are not asking for any favors. They just want a fair chance. And they are losing faith that they will ever get it. Then they look at Washington, and all they see is chaos.

What a relief to them it would be if we finally got our act together—what a weight off their shoulders. How reassuring it would be if we actually fixed the tax code, put patients in charge of their health care, grew our economy, strengthened our military, lifted people out of poverty, and paid down the debt. At this point, nothing could be more inspiring than a job well done. Nothing could stir the heart more than real, concrete results.

The cynics will scoff and say it’s not possible. But you better believe we are going to try. We will not duck the tough issues. We will take them head on. We are going to do all we can so working people get their strength back and people not working get their lives back. No more favors for the few. Opportunity for all—that is our motto.

I often talk about the need for a vision. I’m not sure I ever said what I meant. We solve problems here—yes. We create a lot of them too. But at bottom, we vindicate a way of life. We show by our work that free people can govern themselves. They can solve their own problems. They can make their own decisions. They can deliberate, collaborate, and get the job done. We show self-government is not only more efficient and more effective; it is more fulfilling. In fact, we show it is that struggle, that hard work, the very achievement itself that makes us free.

That is what we do here. And we will not always agree—not all of us, not all of the time. But we should not hide our disagreements. We should embrace them. We have nothing to fear from honest differences honestly stated. If you have ideas, let’s hear them. I believe a greater clarity between us can lead to a greater charity among us.

And there is every reason to have hope. When the first speaker took the gavel, he looked out at a room of 30 people, representing a nation of 3 million. Today, as I look out at you, we represent a nation of 300 million. So when I hear people say America does not have it—we are done, we are spent—I do not believe it. I believe, with every fiber of my being, we can renew the America Idea. Now, our task is to make us all believe.

My friends, you have done me a great honor. The people of this country have done all of us a great honor. Now, let’s prove ourselves worthy of it. Let’s seize the moment. Let’s rise to the occasion. And when we are done, let us say we left the people—all the people—more united, happy, and free. Thank you.
After completing two legal resolutions informing the President and the Senate that Paul Ryan is Speaker of the House, the House recessed. The House will reconvene on Monday, Nov. 2, at Noon.

The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today and resumed consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 1314, the budget agreement.

Last night, cloture was filed on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1314.

A cloture vote is expected one hour after the Senate convenes on Friday.

The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today and resumed consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

Last night, cloture was filed on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1314. A cloture vote is expected one hour after the Senate convenes on Friday. Sen. Rand Paul has announced his intent to filibuster the bill.

More Obamacare Problems In the News:
On Tuesday, The Salt Lake Tribune reported, “Arches Health Plan, a membership cooperative that was born out of the Affordable Care Act and insures 66,000 Utahns, has been ordered out of the insurance market for 2016. Arches insures more low-income Utahns on the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, than any other company besides SelectHealth. . . .

“Those 35,000 people who bought Arches plans via the exchange or from insurance brokers or agents will now have to find new health insurance for 2016. The co-op also has to stop writing new policies for businesses immediately, Utah Insurance Commissioner Todd Kiser said. . .

“The Utah Insurance Department put Arches in receivership Tuesday afternoon, an emergency action because of the looming open enrollment period for 2016 health plans for those who don't get their insurance through their jobs. . . . In the end, Arches was not able to raise the cash needed to assure regulators that it would be solvent enough to handle claims through 2016. . . .

“The nonprofit co-op's failure has big implications for rural Utah. In 20 counties, Arches' departure leaves consumers with just one insurer offering plans on the exchange for 2016: SelectHealth, owned by Intermountain Healthcare. . . . Residents of the 20 counties — mostly rural, but also residents of St. George and Logan — might be faced with a dilemma, Kiser said. If his agency cannot persuade other insurers to offer plans on the exchange, those consumers might have to pick a subsidized SelectHealth plan that does not have in-network providers in the same county. Or, they might forgo subsidies so they can have in-network providers in their home counties. Rural Utahns could be pinched either way, he noted. . . .

“Utah's is the 10th state co-op to fail in the individual market this fall; a Health and Human Services report this summer said 22 of the 23 were losing money. The insurance department had approved rate increases averaging 43 percent for Arches' 2016 individual plans. . . .

“Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch called Arches failure ‘a direct consequence of Obamacare's inability to put Utah patients first’. ‘Because of Obamacare's broken promises, patients in Utah will be forced out of their health plans and federal taxpayers will be left footing the bill for this botched experiment,’ he said in a news release. Arches' shuttering underscores the need to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the release said.”

Reuters reports, that the narrow networks on Obamacare plans may not be giving consumers access to the specialists they need. ... “Overall, in April 2015, 18 plans in nine states lacked in-network specialists for at least one specialty within a 100-mile search area, and 19 lacked specialists within a 50-mile radius. Endocrinology, rheumatology and psychiatry were the most commonly excluded specialties. Another seven to 14 plans had fewer than five in-network doctors in those fields. . . .

“The researchers also found that people enrolled in plans that lacked access to specialists had high out-of-network charges for doctors' visits and medication. In some cases, they had to pay half or more of all costs. ‘What this basically translates into is huge out-of-pocket costs for the consumers, . ."

Tags: Paul Ryan, elected, Speaker of the House, John Boehner, Farewell Address, Congress, Obamacare Problems To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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