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Paul Ryan on Environment

Republican nominee for Vice President; U.S. Rep. (WI-1)


Deficit from "green pork": cronyism on windmills

Q: When could you get unemployment below 6%?

RYAN: That's what our entire premise of our pro-growth plan for a stronger middle class is all about: getting the economy growing at 4%, creating 12 million jobs over the next 4 years. Look at just the $90 billion in stimulus--the vice president was in charge of overseeing this--$90 billion in green pork to campaign contributors & special interest groups. There are just at the Department of Energy over 100 criminal investigations that have been launched.

RYAN: It's crony capitalism.

BIDEN: They found no evidence of cronyism.

RYAN: Was it a good idea to spend taxpayer dollars on electric cars in Finland or on windmills in China? Was it a good idea to borrow all this money from countries like China and spend it on all these various different interest groups? Where are the 5 million green jobs that were being promised?

Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate , Oct 11, 2012

End farm subsidies to corporate agribusiness & millionaires

Leading the fight for commonsense reforms to our bloated farm bills that lavish generous subsidies to corporate agribusiness and millionaires: I believe that our farm policies should focus on providing a safety net for family farmers in times of need. Along with reformers on both side of the aisle, I have led the fight on behalf of the family farmer and the taxpayer. Congress continues to pass bloated farm bills that subsidize millionaires with our pork-laden farm bills.

I have fought to ensure that Wisconsin farmers have an advocate in Congress. Because my colleagues in Congress have put corporate interests over that of the family farmer, I voted against the most recent farm bill. The $685 billion bill put off long overdue reforms to the commodity payment system and contained other indefensible provisions. I believe a farm bill should be designed to assist family farmers in times of need, rather than direct subsidies to massive corporate farming operations.

Source: 2012 House campaign website, ryanforcongress.com, "Issues" , Aug 11, 2012

Strong conservation programs important for avid sportsmen

As an avid outdoorsman, a clean environment and strong conservation programs are very important to me. I have been proud to serve as the Republican House Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, where I have been a leader in supporting policies that help sportsmen. This includes issues that are related to conservation efforts, gun rights, and other hunting-related concerns. A vibrant, health environment is imperative for the many proud sportsmen in Wisconsin.
Source: 2012 House campaign website, ryanforcongress.com, "Issues" , Aug 11, 2012

No policies that might benefit environment but harm economy

Protecting the environment can go hand in hand with our efforts to expand our economy. It is one of my top priorities that we continue to balance growth with stewardship. By reducing rates of pollution in more cost-effective manners, we can ensure that our "green" policies are economically and environmentally sound. I oppose policies that would have dubious long-term environmental benefits and devastating economic consequences.
Source: 2012 House campaign website, ryanforcongress.com, "Issues" , Aug 11, 2012

Prevent pollution and invasive species in the Great Lakes

I will to fight for the environmental health of the Great Lakes, which has seen increasingly dangerous threats in recent years. The Great Lakes contain nearly 20% of the world's freshwater and supply more than 30 million Americans with their daily drinking water. I have cosponsored legislation to enact a comprehensive set of environmental protection initiatives, including measures to prevent pollution, control invasive species, and curtail the loss of wildlife habitats.
Source: 2012 House campaign website, ryanforcongress.com, "Issues" , Aug 11, 2012

Sell millions of acres of federal land & federal assets

In the last year alone, Republicans put forth proposals to sell unneeded federal property. Rep. Jason Chaffetz has proposed to sell millions of acres of unneeded federal land. Likewise, Rep. Jeff Denham's bill to authorize the sale of billions of dollars' worth of federal assets would save the government money, collect corresponding revenue, and remove economic distortions by reducing public ownership. Such sales could also potentially be encouraged by reducing appropriations to various agencies. If done correctly, taxpayers could recoup billions of dollars from selling unused government property. This budget proposes to reduce the federal auto fleet (excluding the Department of Defense and the U.S. Postal Service) by 20%; streamline the process and rationalize the regulations for the disposal and sale of federal property to eliminate red tape and waste; set enforceable targets for asset sales; and hold government agencies accountable for the buildings they oversee.
Source: The Path to Prosperity, by Paul Ryan, p. 33 , Apr 2, 2012

Voted NO on $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program.

Congressional Summary:Emergency supplemental appropriations of $2 billion for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Program.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. OBEY (D, WI-7): The cash for clunkers program has proven even more wildly popular than its strongest supporters had predicted. Just last month, Congress passed the program, which provided up to $4,500 if you trade in your old gas guzzler for a new car that gets better mileage. That was done in the hopes of spurring some new car sales and encouraging people to be a little more environmentally friendly. We provided $1 billion in the supplemental to get it going, enough for about 250,000 sales--which was just about exhausted in one week. This bill transfers $2 billion from the Department of Energy's Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee program, which doesn't expect to award funding until late next year.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LEWIS (R, CA-41): In the majority's haste to slam legislation with no time for consideration or amendments, we are now seeing the effects of such shortsighted martial law tactics.

Senator Feinstein tried to negotiate some changes to improve the program but was told that it was this way or the highway. Not one hearing on the Cash for Clunkers program, not one hearing on how the first billion dollars has been spent, not one hearing on how much money the program will need to get through the fiscal year.

Many of my colleagues will say, This is a great program, and it is necessary for the revitalization of the car industry. I'm not really going to argue with those goals. However, are we sure this program is working like it's supposed to? I don't think so. This program has only been up and running 1 week. If that is how the government is going to handle billion-dollar programs affecting all Americans, I ask, Whatever will we do if the administration takes control of our health care system?

Reference: Cash for Clunkers bill; Bill H.R. 3435 ; vote number 2009-H682 on Jul 31, 2009

Voted NO on protecting free-roaming horses and burros.

Congressional Summary:
  1. Ensure that acreage available for wild and free-roaming horses and burros is at least equal to the acreage where they were found in 1971
  2. update the inventory of such horses and burros annually
  3. maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on lands where such horses and burros are found
  4. establish sanctuaries for such horses and burros
  5. research and implement enhanced fertility control for mares & stallions.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. NICK RAHALL (D, WV-3): Earlier this year, the BLM made a truly shocking announcement. This Federal agency announced future plans to destroy, i.e., slaughter, 30,000 healthy wild horses and burros entrusted to their care by the American people. How in the world can a Federal agency be considering massive slaughter of animals the law says they are supposed to be protecting? The bill before us gives the agency as many options as possible to avoid destroying these animals.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. DOC HASTINGS (R, WA-4): Across our Nation, Americans are struggling to pay their bills; 9.5% of Americans are out of work. With this backdrop, what is the response of this Democrat Congress to record unemployment and skyrocketing deficits? Their response is to create a $700 million welfare program for wild horses and burros. If the American people want an illustration of just how out of touch this Congress has become on spending, they need to look no further. In the last Congress, the House passed legislation to ban the commercial slaughter of wild horses and burros, that cost taxpayers less than $500,000 a year. Now we're looking at a bill that, again, bans slaughter of these animals but then proceeds to spend $700 million to create a new welfare program for wild horses. Republicans are focused on creating the jobs in this country, but this Democrat Congress seems to be more worried about wild burros and wild horses.

Reference: Restore Our American Mustangs Act; Bill H.R.1018 ; vote number 2009-H577 on Jul 17, 2009

Voted NO on environmental education grants for outdoor experiences.

Congressional Summary:

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. JOHN SARBANES (D, MD-3): This bill creates a new National Capacity Environmental Education grant program for which education associations apply competitively for grants that would fund model programs that get children into nature and really have them experiencing the environment.

Rep. BUCK McKEON (R, CA-25): This bill incorporates scientifically-based and technology-driven teaching methods into environmental education. Unfortunately, the new National Capacity Environmental Education Program is duplicative of the existing environmental education program already being run by the EPA. Still, I do not intend to oppose its passage.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. MICHELE BACHMANN (R, MN-6): H.R. 3036 continues our Nation down the ill-fated road of shifting control of school curricula away from the parents and teachers and local school boards who best know what their children need into the hands of Federal Government and its one-size-fits-all approach. To best serve our children's educational needs, local school boards need flexibility to target resources where they are needed most. The needs of individual school districts are not homogenous and are most certainly not best understood by bureaucrats in Washington. This bill represents a step in the wrong direction. Forcing local school districts to direct scarce resources away from core curricula to serve a political agenda will only further suppress the academic performance of America's next generation.

Reference: No Child Left Inside Act; Bill H.R.3036 ; vote number 2008-H614 on Sep 18, 2008

Voted NO on $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013.

Congressional Summary: