Decision Maker

Paul Ryan

  • WI01
  • Representative

Paul Davis Ryan is the United States Representative for Wisconsin's 1st congressional district and current chairman of the House Budget Committee. He was the Republican Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2012 election.


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Petitioning Wyndham Hotels Worldwide

Require all MLTS/PBX Phones Dial 911 Easily: Help Enact Kari's Law

On December 1, 2013 Kari Rene Hunt was murdered by her estranged husband whom she was intending to divorce. She agreed to meet him at a local motel to leave their children with him for a short visitation while he was in town. Her estranged husband ambushed her in the motel room and cornered her in the restroom. During the struggle and resulting death of Kari, her oldest daughter, age 9, (name with held for privacy) attempted to dial 911 from the motel room phone. She followed instructions as taught by her mother on the way to call for help but she was never instructed that in some hotels and motels you must first dial a "9" and then 911. We are attempting to ensure that any person needing police, EMS or the Fire Department at any hotel or motel location or from any MLTS/PBX system be able to dial the numbers 911 and receive emergency response. In a panic, any under age child, or for that matter anyone in an emergency situation should be able to depend on dialing 911 from any phone in the United States and receiving assistance. We pray the lawmakers in our Congress and Senate hear the cries of Kari and her children and enact a law requiring all hotel and motel chains, including all "Mom & Pop" locations have all phone systems updated to E911 systems. These systems allow the 911 call to automatically connect to a 911 operator without having to dial a "9" in order to get an outside line. Total E911 fees/funds collected from the use of telephones in the United States was $2,322,983,616.36 in 2012. Total amount spent for E911 or 911 enhancements in the United States was $97,367,543.46 leaving $2,225,616,072.90 un spent. Where is this money? Some states such as Illinois, has diverted monies from the collection of E911 fees to it's general fund therefore being spent on who knows what. The money is there, it's being collected by who? THE GOVERNMENT! It's being spent on very little E911 functionality or just sitting there. Why?  WE ask that Wyndham Hotels, which is the parent company of Baymont Inns and Suites where this incident occured, lead the way in the industry by updating the antiquated phone systems still used in some of their hotels. Sadly though, 9 months later we have heard nothing from the Wyndham Corporation, however, the Marriott International Corporation has mandated to all franchise hotels under the Marriott brand to update their systems to be direct dial 911. Can you you guess what hotel we will be using from now on will be? That's right , MARRIOTT! Seconds count and when a 9 year old little girl is mature enough and brave enough to attempt to dial for help, she should be answered. When that child dialed 911 she should have heard, "911, what is your emergency?" Instead she heard static. We understand the cost implications (which in most cases is very minimal or free) and know that E911 has been a requirement for a few years, but only a handful of states require it. Why? Money is collected from every citizen that uses a phone but it's the citizen that is NOT benefiting from the collection of these funds. We ask the United States Congress to make it a requirement for all hotel and motels operating the United States and offer conversion assistance where needed. We also ask that such law(s) prohibit excessive charges for doing this update, in most cases it is simply a series of buttons from a keyboard that will solve the problem. Please help make this "Kari's Law". I've waited 2 1/2 years to ask this.... May 30, 2016 — While testifying before Congress was nerve-wracking, wondering what will happen when they vote on Monday the 23rd and what may happen in the Senate is worse. We need to make sure ALL members of Congress are informed correctly and by experts in the field. We need to educate the public about the pitfalls with 9-1-1 and ensure these citizens contact their Representative. This takes funds and the No 9 Needed Foundation can use all the help it can get. After more than two years, the expense is beginning to take its toll. As a 501(c)3 Non-profit you can rest assured your donations are used wisely and in the most effective way. Visit nonineneeded.com to donate or just to learn more information, we want to continue to make a difference and can really use your help. We DO NOT want another child to seek help and find that the lessons she learned were worthless at certain places. You can also contact The No 9 Needed Foundation at no9needed@gmail.com

550,570 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Congress

Revoke the Tax-Exempt Status of the National Football League

Despite the fact that it is a $10Billion/Year industry, the National Football League (NFL) continues to enjoy status as a non-profit organization -- meaning it doesn’t have to pay federal corporate taxes.  The Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, makes nearly $44 million a year -- earning more than the heads of companies like Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart. Through TV deals alone, the NFL has inked nearly $30 billion with various television networks. And so often, fans like you and me are asked to foot the bill for new stadiums through our own taxes. Yet despite being the most profitable sports league in the entire world, the NFL does not pay federal taxes.  The NFL should pay their fair share towards our economy! Just like Major League Baseball, which gave up its nonprofit status in recent years, as well as the National Basketball Association, the NFL should not be able to hide under a nonprofit status in order to avoid paying federal taxes.  The NFL has methodically worked to shift all the power to their side, leaving players, employees and PARTICULARLY THE FANS little say in what goes on with the league. We deserve a say, but do not wish to boycott our teams! Therefore, we are calling on our elected representatives to revoke the tax-exempt status we bestowed upon the league half a century ago. Please sign this petition, and let Congress know that you want them to reconsider the NFL’s tax exempt status. 

429,445 supporters
Victory
Petitioning U.S. Senate

Pass the ABLE Act

My name is Sara Wolff. I am a 31 year-old from Moscow, Pennsylvania, who happens to have Down syndrome but that doesn’t stop me from achieving “my” better life. I work as a law clerk and also at Keystone Community Resources in the Office of Advocacy. I am a board member of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). I'm calling on Congress to pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (S. 313/H.R. 647), a bill that will help individuals with disabilities to save for their futures. When the ABLE Act passes into law this year, it will change my life forever. I lost my mother this past year, Connie, to a sudden, rapid illness. With my whole life ahead of me, I need an ABLE account to plan for my future. And, I am not alone, like most individuals with disabilities, people with Down syndrome and other conditions are out living their parents. Families, like mine, need to rest assure that they can equally care for their children and adults with disabilities, just like they can for their other children and family members. Just because I have Down syndrome, that shouldn’t hold me back from achieving my full potential in life. I can work a full-time job, be a productive member of society, and pay taxes – but because of these outdated laws placed on individuals with disabilities, we hold people like me back in life. This is the year, we call on leaders in Congress to put an end to the inequities that exist for people with disabilities by passing the ABLE Act and allowing individuals and families to save for the future and break down the barriers to employment for these individuals. I spoke last week during the NDSS gala in New York City about my personal lobbying efforts on the ABLE Act – before a large audience, I declared that I will be standing right next to President Obama when he signs the ABLE Act into law this year! The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources. An ABLE account could fund a variety of essential expenses for individuals, including medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. The ABLE Act provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. The legislation also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. It will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program.  The ABLE Act was introduced into Congress on Feb. 13, 2013 by a bipartisan, bicameral set of Congressional Champions including Sens. Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX). It currently has 325 cosponsors in the US House and 62 in the US Senate.

269,907 supporters
Petitioning Barack Obama, Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid

End Predatory Healthcare Pricing

I recently served as interim president of a Miami hospital and got an insider’s view of the healthcare system. Predatory pricing is the real reason the USA is suffering from health cost misery. Ask the price of any healthcare service and you will always receive the same answer: “What insurance do you have?”  That’s because billing is determined by how much can be extracted from each patient on a case by case basis. Because billing rates are not set, the health industry is able to prey on patients at their most vulnerable. And if you are out of network or uninsured, you pay the highest rates. A simple blood test for cholesterol can range from $10 to $400 or more at the same lab. Hospitalization for chest pain can result in a bill from the same hospital for the same services ranging anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000 or more. It is not coincidental that healthcare, the only product or service sold without published, set rates, is the main culprit in much of America’s financial misery. It is time for Congress to take action and require healthcare providers to bill all patients, insured and uninsured, the same amount for the same service. Hospitals, physicians and labs should have continued freedom to set their own prices, but predatory pricing — a different rate for each patient — must be prohibited. When rates are set, patients will be able to shop for good healthcare value. Providers will be forced to compete based on price, quality and service. Healthcare costs and insurance premiums will plummet. But if we keep the status quo, we will continue to see rising prices, confusion and outrage over medical bills. We shouldn’t have a system that makes us so powerless. Healthcare reform is difficult because the industry spends more on lobbying than the defense, aerospace, and the oil and gas industries combined. But together, we can fight and win. Please support the idea that to end skyrocketing health costs, real, set billing rates are essential. Sign and share the petition today.

103,411 supporters
Petitioning Paul Ryan, United States Congress

Pass the Food Recovery Act to Fight Food Waste and Hunger!

We Need to Pass Congresswoman Pingree’s Food Recovery Act Now Despite living in the richest country in the world, 48 million Americans still don’t know where their next meal will come from. That means a staggering 19 percent of households with children are food insecure. Meanwhile, we throw away nearly 40 percent of all food in the United States. This saddening reality is unacceptable, and we must do better. Instead of sending so much food to the landfill, we could be redistributing it to help those food insecure Americans. Because no one likes wasted food or hunger, this is truly a bi-partisan issue. But still, millions of pounds of good, healthy food goes uneaten every day because of systematic barriers that we know we can remove through specific policy changes.    Last December, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree proposed the Food Recovery Act—legislation that proposes more than 15 ways to tackle wasted food and hunger in America. The bill presents a sweeping set of changes in four areas: Retail and Restaurants - strengthen food donation and study barriers that prevent donation of extra food; Schools and Institutions - expand grant programs to educate students about food waste and encourage food rescue. Revise National School Lunch Program rules to encourage use of produce that's local, fresh, tasty and less expensive but imperfect in shape or size; Consumers - clarify "sell-by" dates and sponsor a national campaign to raise awareness of the impact of food waste and ways to prevent it; and Farms - enable usage of “ugly” fruits and vegetables and invest in storage and distribution programs to help food banks. Yet this bill is currently stalled in a House subcommittee. I’m Jordan Figueiredo, a solid waste specialist, and founder of EndFoodWaste.org and the @UglyFruitAndVeg Campaign. Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland and creator of WastedFood.com, and I are asking you to join us in calling on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Congress to help stop massive food waste by agreeing to introduce, support, and pass the Food Recovery Act. We are asking Congress to step up and do something simple, effective and beneficial for America, our farmers, our children and those in need. Wasted food is a major problem, and the Food Recovery Act would greatly minimize it. One out of six Americans lives in a food insecure home, yet we waste enough good food in the U.S. to feed them and nearly every single food insecure person on the planet (800 million). With statistics like this, it is simply irresponsible to continue the status quo. Last Fall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency set a strong goal to reduce wasted food by 50 percent by 2030. Even more recently, Congress passed the America Gives More provision that solidified tax credits for any farm, store, or restaurant donating food to a non-profit agency. While this is a good start, it’s not nearly enough. Join myself and Jonathan and let’s ask Congress to take action! Tell them to support or even co-sponsor this bill in Congress so that we can reduce our disgraceful waste of food, and instead feed millions in need. Tell them you are sick of seeing so much wasted food in the richest county in the world while so many go to bed hungry at night! #FoodRecoveryActNow Find out more about the proposed Food Recovery Act at https://pingree.house.gov/foodwaste  

35,097 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Senate Finance Committe, Labor and Employment Committee, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Marcy Kaptur, Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Orrin Hatch, Ron Wyden,...

Save His Pension!

My husband did physically demanding work for over 30 years for Yellow Freight, and he did it happily, knowing that all of his hard work came with the promise of a pension to support us in our retirement. In 2014, Congress decided that those promises don’t matter -- it passed the Multi-Employer Pension Recovery Act (MPRA), which allows for disastrous cuts to the pensions of those who are already retired and on a fixed income. The pension Jeff earned will now be cut by 50%, putting our home and future in jeopardy. The MPRA was slipped into a must-pass Omnibus budget bill just hours before it had to be voted on to keep the government from shutting down. This dirty tactic was the only way such an unfair law could get passed. Now, lawmakers are trying to work to reverse the damage before it is too late, with the Keep Our Pension Promises Act (KOPPA).  UPDATE 4/9/16: THE SAME PEOPLE WHO HAD MPRA SLIPPED INTO THE OMNIBUS IN 2014 ARE NOW WORKING ON A BILL TO MAKE IT LEGAL TO SLASH PENSIONS OF RETIREES IN FUNDS LIKE JEFF'S  THAT ARE LESS THAN 120% FUNDED. THIS IS BLATANT PENSION THEFT! Tell Congress to protect seniors’ pensions. Pass the Keep Our Pension Promises Act. For lawmakers, many of whom are financially secure and don’t need to worry about their retirement, stories like ours don’t seem to matter when they pass harmful legislation. We don't live extravagantly. Now, because of MPRA, we are not sure if we can keep our home. Even worse, we have to stop helping two relatives with food and medical expenses.  Jeff is 69 and I'm 66 and I’m scared we will be expected to go back into the workforce if we want to survive. Even if we wanted to, my husband has two bad shoulders and a bad hip from over 30 years of heavy lifting at Yellow Freight. I have a heart problem. It is a shame we are in a place where seniors even have to entertain this idea. The wealthiest country in the world can do better. Our lawmakers can do better. Jeff is a Vietnam vet. 60% of pensioners affected by this bill are Veterans.  Jeff's pension fund still has $18 billion he and 400,000 others worked hard for. People like us cannot afford laws like the MPRA. It must be reversed or seniors like us could find ourselves on the streets and living in poverty. Please join us in asking Congress to pass the Keep Our Pension Promises Act.  

27,397 supporters
Petitioning Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders

Change the U.S. national anthem to "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath

The current national anthem has served America proudly for many a year now. However...it's time that we retire that old standard and choose a song that better reflects America and it's policies and practices. I nominate "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath. I'm open to suggestions, but I'm hard pressed to think of a more honest assessment of where we are in 2016 America. Thanks!

15,208 supporters
Petitioning United States Congress, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell

Stop Obama's Transgender Bathroom / Locker room Policy For Public Schools

The Obama administration sent a letter on May 13 to every public school district in the country telling them to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their chosen gender identity, as opposed to their birth certificate. The letter is signed by officials at the Justice Department and the Department of Education. The letter warns that schools that do not abide by the administration’s interpretation of civil rights law may face lawsuits or loss of federal aid. "There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. Please act now! Congress needs to intervene immediately to STOP and REVERSE President Obama's directive to force public schools to open male and female bathrooms to the opposite sex. Sign this petition to keep public school bathrooms safe!  What can Congress do? Congress has at least three different ways of reasserting its authority. 1) Congress could make clear that all federal laws that refer to a person’s “sex” cannot be understood or interpreted by any court or federal agency to mean “gender identity” without explicit Congressional authorization. This would have the benefit of undoing the administration’s past and current abuses, as well as preventing future ones. 2) Congress could pass a statute offering the same clarification but targeted to just the specific federal laws the administration has abused, such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, among others. This would reiterate that when Congress referred to a person’s “sex” in these laws, the word referred then to what it continues to refer to now—a biological reality, not “gender identity.” 3) Congress could pass statutes based on its power of the purse. It could specify that the Departments of Education, Justice, and HHS (Health and Human Services), as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may not use any funds to implement or enforce its new administrative transgender directives or regulations against persons, institutions, schools, businesses, and governments that allegedly do not comply. Additionally, Congress could specify that these agencies may not revoke federal funding for any purported non-compliance with the administration’s gender identity directives.    

11,283 supporters
Petitioning Hillary Clinton

Make addiction treatment a priority in healthcare

My sister, Sharon, and I both struggled with drug addiction for many years.  Sharon never received treatment, and it cost her her life. Her death was a preventable tragedy that has caused our family immeasurable suffering. I was one of the lucky few who received treatment. I decided to take the intense single-minded focus and creativity I was devoting to staying high, and use it to get sober, and help other families struggling with addiction. Today, I’ve been sober for over 25 years, and I run a treatment center that helps others beat addiction and start their lives anew. For far too long, substance abuse disorder wasn’t treated as a disease, but rather as a moral failing within the addict. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) requires that annual or lifetime dollar limits on mental health benefits be no lower than dollar limits for medical and surgical benefits. But even with MHPAEA’s substance abuse mandate, insurance companies often refuse to cover treatment. Loopholes and lack of clarity in the wording of the law have made it difficult for those who want help -- and their families -- to know exactly what they are entitled to. These misunderstandings allow insurance companies to deny or provide substandard addiction treatment and pay less than adequate reimbursement for services. It is even commonplace for insurance company doctors, without any direct contact with the patient, to override the clinical staff who are treating the patient and deny coverage of treatment, which often results in the injury and death of the patient. Congress needs to clarify the MHPAEA substance disorder mandate, so that insurance companies are held accountable when they try to deny coverage for treatment or refuse to pay treatment providers for services covered in the policies they have sold their customers. Addiction is a terminal but treatable disease affecting 64 million Americans.  The National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA) reports that up to 20 percent of the US population has a substance abuse problem. Opiate and heroin addiction has hit epidemic levels.  Drug overdoses kill more Americans than automobile accidents or guns. According to estimates from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), only 11 percent of Americans needing substance abuse treatment receive it. Despite the fact that drug addiction is now recognized by the American Medical Association as a progressive, terminal disease if left untreated, many insurers continue to treat SAB as if it was elective and not medically necessary. Let’s make sure insurance companies put people ahead of profits. Please join me in asking Congress to clarify the MHPAEA substance disorder mandate, so we can hold insurance companies accountable when they try to deny coverage for treatment.  Please sign our petition.  What we do today could help save a life tomorrow.

5,592 supporters
Petitioning Bob Goodlatte, Jeb Hensarling, Paul Ryan, Ed Royce

Reject the racist, anti-Azerbaijani bill at U.S. Congress

On Dec. 16, 2015, Congressman Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) has introduced the so-called “Azerbaijan Democracy Act of 2015” at the U.S. Congress.  This bill, if passed and enacted, will inflict a tremendous damage on one of the most important friendships the U.S. has in the world, namely the long-lasting friendship with the Republic of Azerbaijan, which is a secular nation in the Caspian region and an exemplary model for interfaith tolerance and harmony. Congressman Smith has introduced this bill primarily at the behest of the well-financed Armenian lobby, which pursues only one goal: to damage Azerbaijan as much as possible. The reason behind Armenian lobby's pathological hatred and racism against Azerbaijan is quite clear: Armenia still holds a considerable part of Azerbaijan's territory under occupation after expelling 800,000 Azerbaijanis from these occupied lands. And advocating for Armenia's corrupt and abusive government, the Armenian lobby in America does its best to legitimize this illegal occupation and cover up the brutal ethnic cleansing, as well as damage Azerbaijan-U.S. strategic relationship. Therefore this bill is extremely biased and unfair towards Azerbaijan, which is one of the most valuable and reliable U.S. friends in a difficult neighborhood.  Considering the tremendous value and importance of the U.S.-Azerbaijan friendship as well as the biased nature of this “Act” being heavily pushed by an ethnic special interest group, this bill should definitely be rejected. We urge the U.S. Congress to vehemently reject the “Azerbaijan Democracy Act of 2015” that would damage first and foremost America’s own national interests.

5,352 supporters
  • I want to thank my constituents who reached out to me in support of this petition. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Kari Hunt during this difficult time. Like proponents of “Kari’s Law,” I also believe that our emergency-response system should be user-friendly and easy to navigate. The petition’s supporters raised some good points about how this legislation could improve the emergency-response system in the United States. And I look forward to working with my colleagues in the 113th Congress to improve the current system. I appreciate all of your thoughts and suggestions. Should legislation that would improve the 911 system reach the House floor, I will be sure to keep your support of “Kari’s Law’ in mind.

— Paul Ryan, Representative
  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the tax-exempt status of the National Football League (NFL). You raised some good points about why you believe the tax-exempt status of the NFL should be revoked. Specifically, your mention of the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball’s decision to give up their nonprofit status is an interesting argument in your case. As you mentioned, Senator Tom Coburn has introduced legislation to address this issue. You may be interested to know that Representative Jason Chaffetz has introduced H.R. 3965, the PRO Sports Act, which serves as the House companion to Senator Coburn’s legislation. This bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to remove professional football leagues from the list of tax-exempt organizations. Currently, H.R. 3965 is pending in the House Committee on Ways and Means. As a member of this committee, I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind. I appreciate your sharing your opinions, and I will continue to monitor this issue closely. Should legislation that would revoke the tax-exempt status of the NFL reach the House floor, I will keep your thoughtful concerns in mind.

— Paul Ryan, Representative
  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts on H.R. 3505, The Technology, Education, and Accessibility in College and Higher Education (TEACH) Act. You raised some good points about the need to improve education for the blind and disabled, and I will take them into consideration. Many residents of the First Congressional District of Wisconsin have expressed their support for the TEACH Act. And I agree that all students should have access to quality higher education. In this global economy, students must learn the skills they need to succeed. As Congress considers proposals to make educational materials more accessible to blind and disabled students, I welcome the opportunity to hear from my constituents, and I look forward to working on real solutions to this issue. Please know that I appreciate your sharing your opinions, and I will continue to monitor this piece of legislation carefully. Should the TEACH Act reach the House floor for a vote, I will keep your thoughtful considerations in mind.

— Paul Ryan, Representative
Decision-maker response — 2 years ago
  • Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for H.R. 647, The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2013. You raised some good points about how this legislation could assist Americans with disabilities. Many of my constituents have told me why they support the ABLE Act. Like them, I believe people with disabilities should be able to create a stable future for themselves. So I welcome this discussion, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the 113th Congress on ways to help Americans with disabilities. Please know that I appreciate your views, and I will continue to follow this legislation closely. Should I have the chance to vote on the ABLE Act, I will certainly keep your thoughtful considerations in mind.

— Paul Ryan, Representative