House Speaker Paul Ryan visited two manufacturing companies within his congressional district Thursday for a listening session with their employees.
Ryan started at WPC Technologies in Oak Creek with a tour followed by a town hall event. Ryan touted his pride in the state’s manufacturing numbers.
“There are more jobs tied to manufacturing per capita in Wisconsin than any other state,” the speaker said.
Ryan said it’s time for manufacturing companies to catch a break on federal taxes. He noted WPC Technologies’ top federal tax rate is often double that of its foreign competitors.
“Our job and our goal is to get tax reform done in 2017 so next year we have a new tax code,” he said.
Ryan also visited Burlington Graphic Systems in Racine where he toured the plant and stayed on the same message; catapulting the manufacturing industry into the next decade with a renewed focus on technical education.
“It’s not the case that you need to go to a four-year college to have a good livelihood,” he said.
The future of Social Security was a top concern for employees of both companies.
“We’ve got to fix it now in my opinion so that day doesn’t come in the early 2030s where everyone on Social Security has a benefit cut,” Ryan said.
Another pressing concern — rising tensions with North Korea.
“It’s quite frankly my number one foreign policy concern,” he said.
Ryan was never asked about President Donald Trump or about details of a GOP healthcare plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Reporters weren’t allowed to talk with Ryan or company employees at either event. However, Ryan took a jab at the media.
“I always tell people don't turn on the news too often, it's distracting,” he said.
Ryan is expected to meet with journalists in Madison on Friday.