Paul Ryan Shows Startling Ignorance Of Disney Layoffs Story

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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House Speaker [crscore]Paul Ryan[/crscore] indicated Wednesday he thinks Disney’s decision to fire American workers last year and force them to train their foreign replacements is about offshoring.

The story of the layoffs grabbed national attention and resulted in a federal investigation into businesses accused of using the H-1b visa program to import foreign workers at the expense of equally qualified American workers. But Ryan indicated he thinks the story is about offshoring American jobs in an interview with talk radio host Laura Ingraham Wednesday.

“Let’s clean up our tax laws so Disney doesn’t make moves like that,” Ryan said when Ingraham brought up the Disney workers. “We’re losing the biggest public company in Wisconsin to Ireland, in part because of our tax laws.” (RELATED: Laid Off Disney Worker Takes On H-1b Myths In The Senate)

Disney’s decision to lay off hundreds of IT workers and replace them with a contractor that relies on temporary foreign workers is not about tax law, but the H-1b visa program.

A spokeswoman for Ryan told The Daily Caller News Foundation “he was speaking more broadly about ways we can get Americans back to work.”

Here’s the full exchange from the interview.

Ingraham: Does the American worker get relief here? I don’t need to beat the dead horse here on the Disney workers and the foreign workers and that stuff. I just think if the establishment compromised a little bit on that issue with the people, I think the sky’s the limit for how far the Republican Party can go.

Ryan: There should be no daylight between us, that’s my point. On those workers you’re talking about, let’s deal with welfare, let’s get the people who are in America, who are able-bodied adults, who aren’t working or looking for work, let’s get them into the workforce before we talk about other issues. Let’s get poverty reduced by moving people from welfare to work and let’s have tax reform that doesn’t reward companies for moving overseas, but that keeps companies here in America.

Let’s clean up our tax laws so that Disney doesn’t make moves like that. We’re losing the biggest publicly held company in Wisconsin to Ireland, in part because of our tax laws. So, this is a huge part of our agenda, which is, how do you get American jobs, American growth for American workers, so we have faster economic growth, higher wages. And how do we get our own people from welfare to work, and secure the border, and do these things we need to do get higher wages, better incomes, and, oh by the way let’s prevent a debt crisis and take on the entitlements that are going to give us a debt crisis.

Ryan allowed a catch-all spending bill to the floor that included a contentious expansion of the H-2b visa program in December, violating an explicit pledge he made not to touch immigration as speaker so long as Barack Obama is president.

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