LAWRENCE (CBS) — U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan came to the Lawrence New Balance factory with the goal of promoting a yet unannounced Republican tax plan. Ryan says he picked New Balance because it is an American success story producing American jobs.
“This is the exception and not the rule, and that’s the problem,” Ryan told his audience.
Fresh from once again failing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Ryan wants tax reform to be the Republican’s signature issue. The plan includes reforming the tax code to include cuts in the corporate tax rate to make American businesses competitive.
Ryan says something has to be done because, “Companies are not flocking to our country they’re fleeing our country and taking good jobs with them.”
The Speaker was greeted with protesters a block away who have complaints about other issues, like health care.
Protester Jamille Martinez says Ryan is trying to take away necessary resources.
“He wants to take away everything that is helping communities like Lawrence, umm, and helping us empower these families,” Martinez said. “He wants to, like, shut us down.”
Lawrence stands to lose federal aid as a sanctuary city for immigrants. The bill has passed the House, but not the Senate. However, Ryan isn’t backing down from plans to cut aid to cities that give sanctuary to people who are not legally in the country.
“We think it’s good legislation and important to make sure we are enforcing our laws not have pockets in america where we have lawlessness,” Ryan said to his audience.
State Senator Jamie Eldredge still has questions about Ryan’s visit to a mostly working class, immigrant community.
“Whether it’s punishing cities with large numbers of immigrants, whether it’s providing health care for all Americans, whether it’s protecting the social safety net we have in this country, his agenda is exactly the opposite of Massachusetts values,” Eldredge said.
While he’s in Lawrence, he’s giving an update on where things stand with tax reform. The speaker told the audience at the Lawrence facility that tax reform will help working families keep more of their money and get ahead financially.
Ryan is also participating in a discussion with local business leaders, asking business people how reforming the corporate tax system will assist in job growth.
Some members of the legislature were also out with the protesters. One of those was State Senator Barbara L’Italien who said Ryan may be talking to the wrong people.
“If he’s on a listening tour, he should be talking to the people and not showing up and sitting in a corporate office,” L’Italien said.
New Balance is a Boston-based corporation that has more than 6,000 employees. The company has five factories in New England and one in the United Kingdom.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports