The Hon. Tim Ryan began his political career by working as an aide to congressman Jim Traficant after graduating from Bowling Green University in 1995.After receiving a Juris Doctor degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center, Ryan served half a term in the Ohio Senate from 2001 to 2002. Ryan has been serving as the U.S Representative for Ohio’s 13th congressional district since 2003.Ryan is a member of the Committee on Appropriations and the co-chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus. Ryan announced his candidacy for president on April 4, 2019 live through his website.
On the Issues
AAI tracks statements, non-statements, and the track records of each presidential candidate on the issues we care about most. Click on an issue to read what Tim Ryan has said on the campaign trail.
For our take on why these are the 12 issues that are most important to our community, read here.
THE WASHINGTON POST: Do you support eliminating the electoral college in favor of the popular vote?
Ryan “is open to eliminating the electoral college in favor of the popular vote, but believes the focus should instead be on the issues front and center on the minds of most Americans -- which are jobs, wages, and health care,” a campaign spokesman said. (6/21/2019, The Washington Post)
THE WASHINGTON POST: Would you support adding justices to ‘pack’ the Supreme Court?
Ryan does not support adding seats to the Supreme Court, he told The Post. (6/21/2019, The Washington Post)
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
- "We've been divided since President Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, and then Bobby, and then Vietnam, and then Watergate, and that was the beginning. And here we are now at the end, in the death throes of the culture wars with this man who is in the Presidency today telling people in this country to go back where they came from. And I'm ready to turn the page. I'm ready for new and better." (7/25/2019, National Urban League)
Securitization and Surveillance
- “I’m saying use technology, use sensors, use an [electronic] fence, use drones, use aerostats. There’s a million different technologies out there. It’s 2019. Let’s use those. We agree on border security. We don’t necessarily agree on the president’s version of border security.” (01/09/19, The Vindicator)
- Rep. Ryan is a co-sponsor of H.R.35 — 116th Congress (2019-2020) Emmett Till Antilynching Act.
Criminal Justice Reform
- “I oppose the death penalty. I think it is unevenly applied. We have innocent people in the United States who have been killed by the state for crimes they did not commit. And until that system is fixed we should not be applying it to anybody, maybe save a terrorist who would go through a certain proceeding. But other than that, an American citizen, right now, it’s not fairly applied, and I think we should have a moratorium on it.” (06/19/19, The New York Times)
Bigoted Speech: Instances of Condemnation and/or Use
“Rep. King’s comments and continued dog whistles are abhorrent to the founding principles of our nation and our rich history of diversity and tolerance of those whose backgrounds and beliefs have made America the envy of the world. Rep. King’s behavior brings shame on the House of Representatives as a representative institution.” (01/29/2019, Roll Call )
And right now, if you want to come into the country, you should at least ring the doorbell. We have asylum laws. I saw the kids up in Grand Rapids, not far from here. It is shameful what's happening. But Donald Trump is doing it. And even if you decriminalize, which we should not do, you still have statutory authority. The president could still use his authority to separate families. So we've got to get rid of Donald Trump. But you don't decriminalize people just walking into the United States. If they're seeking asylum, of course, we want to welcome them. We're a strong enough country to be able to welcome them. And as far as the healthcare goes, undocumented people can buy healthcare too. I mean everyone else in America is paying for their healthcare. I think - I don't think it's a stretch for us to ask undocumented people in the country to also pay for healthcare.” (7/30/2019 Democratic Debate, transcript, NBC)
“I think it’s a broken system. I think we need to turn it into an advantage for us, we need a strong border, we need to know who’s coming in and out of our country. I have a district and represent a state that has an opiate crisis, so we want to keep bad people and drugs out of our country and its important for us to do that.
We also need to be a compassionate country and accept people who are coming from war-torn areas or countries run by gangs. And we need to parlay the fact that people really want to be in the United States into our economic advantage and lead to growth and entrepreneurship and innovation. We’re losing people who want to start and have started billion-dollar companies who couldn’t get the proper paperwork done and stay in the United States so are creating these businesses in Canada or China.
And so we can do both, and that’s the big problem with the debate today, is you got to be on one side or the other. We can actually do both: strong borders, and a compassionate, economically viable immigration system.”
(06/19/19, The New York Times)
NO BAN Act
- “The Supreme Court’s decision is a tragedy for the men, women, and children who are fleeing persecution in their countries and only further tarnishes our global reputation. President Trump’s Muslim ban is yet another example of this Administration’s fixation of dividing communities and separating families. Banning immigrants and refugees is a shameful departure from the values that have always made our nation a beacon of hope, compassion, and freedom around the world.”(Retrieved 6/26/19, Tim Ryan)
“You know, I think it’s a very complicated relationship that Israel obviously has with Hamas, and dealings with the Gaza strip and the West Bank, and I think the United States needs to play a much bigger role in trying to resolve that problem. I think the President has been very disengaged, and we need to be a neutral broker, but recognizing the importance of Israel and the relationship that we have with them for all of the other relationships we have in that region.
Reporter: But just on a personal level, do you feel like it meets the standards of human rights that you’d like to see them meet?
Ryan: Well, I think they could do a better job, and we need to all, I think participate in the discussion. The United States needs to maintain, in some, level, its ability to broker these peace agreements. The problem today is, we’re not even really trying.” (06/19/19, The New York Times)
- “We're watching this thing spin out of control. This is because the president has recklessly got us out of the nuclear deal. We watched Sen. (John) Kerry and President (Barack) Obama go through very tedious negotiations with our European allies and Russia to get that deal done. And now all of a sudden we're getting more and more pulled into what's happening in the Persian Gulf. And so you've got to be engaged, and you've got to make friends, and I think it starts with getting back into the Iran deal and being engaged in the Middle East. It's obviously a mess.” (06/20/19, USA Today)
U.S. Presence in the Arab World
- On withdrawing from Afghanistan: “I do worry about leaving these safe havens for terrorists to plot attacks and I do I think we need to have, at least with an with an international coalition, making sure that these attacks can’t be planned in some of these safe havens. We just saw in Sri Lanka the other day, there are still people in the world who want to do bad things. I don’t think – you know I was against the war in Iraq -- I don’t think we need to have a huge presence, but we do need to recognize that we have some responsibility to prevent things from happening in our own country.” (06/19/19, The New York Times)
“I am extremely concerned about the arrest of Ayman al-Drees. The lack of transparency and information regarding his arrest and current whereabouts are major red flags. Reports of Saudi Arabia jailing civil rights activists, women’s rights advocates, journalists, and their family members only heightens the gravity of the situation. Following the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, I cannot help but worry about Ayman’s health and safety.” (05/16/19, House.gov)
- Signatory to Letter on Syria (05/20/19, House.gov)