File photo of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan listening during a campaign event in Wisconsin
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney selected Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate Saturday, and while the fresh-faced No. 2 can be a divisive figure, he has some positions that conservative Americans, as well as some moderates and liberals, may love.
1) Immigration Reform
Ryan says he does "not support amnesty for the millions of illegal immigrants already living in the United States," and opposes the DREAM Act, which would allow states to grant conditional residency to people who immigrated illegally as children and are now pursuing higher education or military service. But Ryan says he recognizes a need to reform the nation's immigration policies and in particular he supports an expansion of seasonal H-2B visa programs to make it easier for temporary agricultural workers to enter the country.
2) Anti-Abortion Track Record
Along with most Republicans, the Catholic Ryan is staunchly anti-abortion, a viewpoint that many of the right consider to be a requirement for holding political office. NARAL Pro-Choice America gave Ryan a 0 pro-choice rating, while the National Right To Life Committee gave him a 100 percent for his anti-abortion stances, according to On The Issues. He also voted against expanding stem cell research.
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3) Alternative Taxes
Ryan has advocated for a system of alternative income taxes that would eliminate deductions and tax credits, according to the Brookings Institution's Tax Policy Center. His plan would also do away with taxation of interest, dividends and capital gains and would reduce Social Security benefits and increase the eligibility age for Medicare to cut costs.
4) Wants To Extend Pell Grant
While Ryan does not want to expand the maximum size of the Pell Grant for college students as President Barack Obama does, he has said that he is in favor of extending the program at its current maximum award level of $5,550 through the next decade to ensure that eligible students can count on the funding each year. Ryan also supports extending the low student loan interest rate of 3.4 percent through fiscal year 2013.
5) Wants to Expand Oil Refineries
No new oil refineries have been built in the U.S. since 1976, according to Ryan, which has been limiting U.S. gasoline production capacity. Ryan says the current levels of oil refineries restrict U.S. capability to produce different fuel blends and necessitates increased importation of gasoline. Consequently, he wants to build more refineries to expand U.S. gasoline production capacity.
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