Paul Ryan Talks Up Wages, Downplays Amnesty Petition

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

House Speaker Paul Ryan is praising the wage growth in President Donald Trump’s economy, marking a huge shift from his prior ‘economic-growth-first’ rhetoric which is often used to justify cheap-labor immigration.

The new June 6 focus on wages complemented Ryan’s call for a long-term immigration-reform plan, which suggests he is quietly trying to contain the business-funded campaign for a no-strings, cheap-labor amnesty via the discharge-petition process.

“Unemployment is at 3.8 percent. 3.8 percent rate is the lowest unemployment rate in half a century. Wages are growing too. The wage growth is truly impressive,” the retiring Speaker told reporters during his Thursday briefing. 

In a recent visit to the Kroger ice-cream company in Ohio, Ryan said, he saw how the company:

used the savings to hire more people, to raise wages, to improve benefits. They put new education benefits for lifelong learning for their employees and they increased their 401K match. These are the types of changes that help workers put food on the table, helps workers get better education to get ahead, and it help people feel more secure in their retirement. Why? Because employers are giving more benefits to employees, they’re hiring more people, they are more opportunities …  This result is what matters most. The purpose of all these policies is to improve people’s lives, is to build a stronger, healthier, more prosperous America.

This American-first rhetoric is a big shift from the growth-first rhetoric he used in his May 17 press conference:

A thriving economy means there are more job openings. A thriving economy means there are more opportunities. A thriving economy means families get ahead, people get out of poverty, kids come out of college with opportunities and offerings. That’s what a thriving economy means — and there could not be a better time to take action to help more people join our workforce …

It is very good for us to be making progress on these things that matter the most in people’s lives, which is why we are here.

Ryan’s focus on wages comes as Trump’s aides and family members are touting the rising wages earned by voters before the November election:

For example, new data shows that the nation’s 800,000 warehouse workers have won a 7 percent real pay increase amid President Donald Trump’s pro-American migration policies. The jump from $15.93 per hour in February 2017 up to $17.42 per hour in April 2018 was calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Democrats also downplaying their progressive rhetoric about racism, sexism and “transphobia” to undermine Trump’s pocketbook politics. ‘The President’s reckless policies are …. wiping out the few meager gains that some families should have received from the GOP tax scam, as wages remain stagnant,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi said in a June 1 statement.

When asked June 6 about the discharge petition, Ryan repeated his May 17 praise of Trump’s four-part immigration-law reform as “extraordinarily reasonable” and emphasized the need for a long-term solution, not just the no-strings amnesty pushed by business groups in commerce and agriculture. He said:

I feel good about the kind of conversations we’re having. Our members are earnest and sincere in trying to understand each other’s perspectives. We have a big swath of views within our conference on this issue, and I really do beleive there is a sweet spot here.

I think the president was extremly productive when he put out his four pillars. They are extraordinarily reasonable. they attempted to actually fix the solution.

Remember, when we fix DACA, we want to fix it permanently so that we don’t have another DACA problem down the road, and so we’re having productive conversations. We plan on having a conference-wide conversation for two or three hours tomorrow, and that is what we should be doing, tacking out among ourselves  so the majority can function, and we don’t want to do a discharge petition, obviously.

Supporters of the discharge-amnesty say they will have the 25 signatures they need to force an amnesty debate on June 25. However, they are still a few signers short, and Ryan can block any debate and vote by simply declaring the House is not in session on June 25.

Ryan’s praise for Trump’s wholistic immigration-reform marks another shift from a pro-amnesty rhetoric in mid-May. In his May 11 press conference, Ryan ignored Trump’s immigration-reform plans, saying “we want to fix this DACA problem, we want certainty, and we have a border security problem that needs to be addressed. These should not be mutually exclusive goals.”

A growing number of business donors are threatening their to close their checkbooks if Ryan does not approve a wage-cutting amnesty.

Trump’s lower-immigration policies are forcing U.S. employers to compete for American workers in the high-pressure economy, mostly by raising voters’ wages before the November election.

Those rising wages are helping raise Trump’s political ratings and the GOP’s generic-ballot score before the November election.

 

 

.