MADISON, Wis. — Rep. Paul Ryan had a series of demands he required his GOP colleagues to agree to before announcing he would run for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, including making sure he had adequate time away from work to spend with his family. While Rep. Ryan is willing to negotiate for time with his own family, as a member of Congress he hasn’t even been willing to cast a vote to help other Americans to spend more time with or help care for their loved ones.
“Paul Ryan has shown he’s willing to go to bat for himself when it comes time to spending time with his own family,” commented One Wisconsin Now Research Director Jenni Dye. “That’s why it’s so insulting to hardworking people in Wisconsin and across the country that time and again he’s refused to support and voted against measures that would help them to do the same.”
Rep. Ryan’s record opposing family time for the rest of America includes voting against allowing federal employees to take up to four weeks of paid leave as parental leave time, refusing to support legislation guaranteeing employees at least seven days of paid sick leave that could also be used to take care of sick children and burying in his Ways and Means Committee proposed legislation to create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program.
Ryan did support a bill, widely criticized by advocates, that would have allowed employers the ability to not pay workers for the overtime they work and instead let them grant employees, at the employer’s discretion, compensatory time off.
Dye noted that Ryan hasn’t just confined himself to family leave when it comes to giving working Americans short shrift. For example, he opposes the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help ensure women and men are paid the same for doing the same work. And Ryan has also refused to support common sense reform to allow the 43 million Americans with over $1.3 trillion in student loan debt to help ease the burden on their family budgets by being able to refinance those loans just like you can with a mortgage.
“As Paul Ryan sets the conditions for his role as speaker, it is abundantly clear that his commitment to family and fairness extends no further than himself. His actions are not a display of leadership or patriotic sacrifice for his country, they are the definition of hypocrisy. Americans deserve leaders who will ensure that no one has to choose between their family and their job, not leaders who simply look out for themselves,” concluded Dye.