Tim Ryan

Read Tim Ryan’s positions on all 11 planks of the Pledge Agenda.
Scroll down – or click a plank in the outline below to jump to specific positions.

I. Jobs for All – by Investing in Rebuilding America and a Green New Deal
1. Jobs for All – Created by Rebuilding America
2. Invest in a Green Economy
II. Fight Inequality
3. Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality
4. Opportunity and Justice for All – With Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism
5. Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality
III. A New Social Contract – for Income and Retirement Security – and Healthcare and Education for All

6. High Quality Public Education – Pre-K to University
7. Medicare for All – And Shared Economic Security
IV. Stop Corporations, Banks, and the Wealthy from Controlling Our Economy and Our Democracy
8. Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share
9. Close Wall Street’s Casino
10. Rescue Democracy from Special Interests
V. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

11. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

I. Jobs for All – by Investing in Rebuilding America and a Green New Deal
1. Jobs for All – Created by Rebuilding America

2. Invest in a Green Economy

  • Tim Ryan is not a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal resolution in the House, and has opposed some of its key provisions, including its federal jobs guarantee. (The Atlantic, 03/15/19)
  • “Tim Ryan emphasized that the Democratic Party should not appear to be “hostile to business” and argued that climate change can be addressed in the private sector. “We can’t green the economy without the power of the free-market system,” Ryan said, appearing to advocate for a carbon tax to combat the climate crisis over the sort of large-scale investment in the public sector encapsulated in the Green New Deal.” (Roll Call, 02/21/19)
  • “I’m concerned about it because if we are going to decarbonize the economy, it’s not going to be some centralized bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., that’s going to make it happen. “It’s going to be part targeted government investments that do need to be robust. But it’s going to be the free market that at the end of the day is going to make that happen. They have the magic of the free market. They have the innovation, the creativity, the profit motive.” (The Hill, 04/17/19)
  • Ryan breaks with most of the other candidates in his support of fracking for natural gas extraction. (Roll Call, 02/21/19)

II. Fight Inequality
3. Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality

  • Ryan has suggested $15 minimum wage proposals actually set our sights too low.  “We got to get off this, you know, just talking about $15 an hour. We got to talk about how we get $30-, $40-, $50-an-hour jobs that people who work hard and play by the rules can be comfortable. I think people are tired of the anxiety, tired of not being comfortable, and the Democratic Party is pushing an agenda that will help those people.” (CNS News, 09/05/19)

4. Opportunity and Justice for All – With a Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism

  • Tim Ryan believes that “marijuana should be legal in all 50 states.” In a 2018 op-ed, he wrote that “after meeting with countless Ohio families and youth whose lives have been irreparably harmed by a marijuana arrest, I find the social and economic injustices of our marijuana policy too big to ignore. I firmly believe no person should be sentenced to a lifetime of hardship because of a marijuana arrest. It is morally wrong and economically nonsensical. That is why I am calling for an end to marijuana being used as an excuse to lock up our fellow Americans.”(Ryan op-ed, CNN, 07/20/18)
  • Ryan has co-sponsored legislation like the Smarter Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act which aim to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent criminals. It is not clear whether or not he would support eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing altogether. (Tim Ryan, Criminal Justice Reform) (Business Insider, 04/12/19)
  • Ryan has taken the second most money from private prisons companies of any House Democrat since 2012. Nonetheless, a spokesperson from Ryan’s office has said, “Congressman Tim Ryan believes that all prisons should to be owned and operated by the government, and accountable to the American people,” and that Ryan “opposes the current Administration’s immigration policies, and shares concerns about the track record of private prisons at certain facilities. These concerns led the Congressman to forgo political donations from such entities and donate the money that he had received previously to criminal justice reform advocacy groups.” (Rewire, 09/14/18)
  • With regards to immigrations, says that he does not agree with some Democrats’ proposals to abolish ICE, and that “we need a strong border. There’s no question about it.” (Real Clear Politics, 11/04/18)
  • Ryan has said that participants in the DACA program – or Dreamers – “epitomize who we want to come to the United States” and that “we need to take care of the Dreamer issue.” (Huffington Post, 03/30/19)
  • Ryan has also said that, “I hope that we as a country can continue to be strong enough to accept refugees coming from war torn or gang run countries, and they seek to come to the United States to save themselves and their daughters from getting sold into the sex trade, or their sons getting sold into gangs.” (The Ohio Star, 03/31/19)

5. Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality

  • “Once an opponent of abortion rights, gradually reversed his position and announced in 2015 he considered abortion a “personal choice.”” (New York Times, 04/11/19)
  • He noted on Thursday that he had grown up in an Irish Catholic community where “being pro-life was just kind of in the culture.” As a congressman, he spoke with many women who had had abortions and concluded that “there’s so many complexities to pregnancy that federal laws cannot account for,” he said. “It needs to be between the woman and the doctor.” (New York Times, 04/04/19)

III. A New Social Contract – for Income and Retirement Security – and Healthcare and Education for All
6. High Quality Public Education – Pre-K to University

  • “Ryan signed on as a co-sponsor for three bills aimed at making college education tuition-free and debt-free. “College should not only be for the privileged few. It is a benefit for all, and must be seen that way,” he said in a statement. The bills would make community college tuition-free, invest in public higher education to avoid student debts, and invest in federal student aid.” (PBS, 04/08/19)
  • Ryan said as the husband of an elementary school teacher, he understands “the need for Congress to improve education and ensure equal access to a quality education.” He recently introduced legislation to improve nutrition curricula in medical schools and children programs, and has co-sponsored legislation to expand STEM and music and arts programs. In 2011, Ryan also introduced the Charter School Accountability Act, an effort to improve transparency of America’s charter school system. (PBS. 04/08/19)

7. Medicare for All – And Shared Economic Security

  • Tim Ryan is a co-sponsor of Pramila Jayapal’s Medicare-for-All bill in the House, yet prefers a gradual transition. “I think [Medicare-for-all] is the way to go, but here we are today. I think a good first step for us is to say, let’s bring Medicare down to 50.” (Free Beacon, 06/28/17)
  • Ryan does not  believe in eliminating the private health insurance industry. He said on Fox News: “I personally don’t believe we need to take people off of their private health insurance if they enjoy it. We need to make sure there are protections there for them around pre-existing conditions and all of that.” (Free Beacon, 06/28/17)

IV. Stop Corporations, Banks, and the Wealthy from Controlling Our Economy and Our Democracy
8. Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share

  • Tim Ryan voted against the “Republican Tax Scam,” stating that, “Instead of fixing our broken tax system, the so-called tax ‘reform’ legislation the Republican Majority just rushed through the House relies on the same supply-side, trickle-down economics that has failed in the past…These tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires will blow a massive hole in our deficit and will mean drastic cuts to important programs that give a much-needed hand up to hardworking families and students who want a fair shot at the American Dream.” (Tim Ryan press release, 11/16/17)
  • “I think, when you get to the 0.1 percent of the top earners, we probably do need a billionaire’s tax in order to generate more revenue.”  (Ryan interview, Fox News, 09/28/17)

9. Close Wall Street’s Casino

  • Last year, Tim Ryan voted against a bill aimed at rolling back Dodd-Frank financial protections. “Today the House of Representatives chose to side with Wall Street donors, against the best interests of their constituents. Instead of passing a bill that would provide targeted regulatory relief to small, community lenders, House Republicans did what they do best: slapped a nice sounding name on a bad bill. This sweeping regulatory rollback is just another giveaway to big banks. It puts our economy and global economies at risk of another financial meltdown, and puts American taxpayers on the hook for bailing out financial firms burned by own their greed and recklessness. I will continue to fight any legislation that exposes hardworking Americans to financial risk so that giant banks and corporations can gamble on their futures with impunity.” (Ryan press release, 05/22/18)

10. Rescue Democracy from Special Interests

V. A Global Strategy for Working Americans
11. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

  • Ryan has supported President Trump request to increase the US defense budget by another $44 billion, from $716 to $750 billion altogether. In an interview on the Hugh Hewitt Radio Show, Ryan warned  that “we’re losing the larger narrative of our relationship in the world with our allies, our relationship in the world with China, and our relationship with Russia. China is coming at us,” and is “overtaking us in every way.” Ryan also said the U.S. isn’t “even acting like we are in a competition with them” and that we are”we are falling behind in major technologies in weapons systems that we can’t afford to fall back on.” (Real Clear Politics, 01/02/19)
  • “You know, again, I think, like you can’t participate in a global economy without a strong military. It just doesn’t make any sense. And if you know, Democrats need to make sure that on these issues of security, whether it’s securing the border or securing our national defense and protecting our interests around the world, especially you know, when it comes to climate, we’ve got to be engaged. And you know, you can’t do that without a strong military.” (Real Clear Politics, 01/02/19)
  • Tim Ryan has supported a renegotiated NAFTA. “There’s no question that over its 25 year history NAFTA has hurt American workers and industries. As renegotiation continues, a future deal must prioritize workers and give them a level playing field — I’ve been fighting for that since I was first elected. Any new deal must raise wages, protect workers’ rights and freedoms, cut back outsourcing, and put the interests of working families ahead of international corporations in all three countries.” (Ryan press release, 08/27/18)