Ryan calls for more unity, less fighting from GOP flock

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan called on Republicans Wednesday to unify and stop fighting each other as he tried to steer his fractious party into an election year devoid of the collisions between conservatives and pragmatists that transformed parts of 2015 into a GOP nightmare.

"We have to be straight with each other and more importantly, we have to be straight with the American people," Ryan, R-Wis., said at a Heritage Action for America policy meeting.

"We can't promise that we can repeal Obamacare when a guy with the last name Obama is president. All that does is set us up for failure and disappointment and recriminations."

Ryan's remarks followed a year of bitter strife between congressional conservatives and more pragmatic Republicans that led to the abrupt departure of the previous speaker, Ohio Rep. John Boehner.

Ryan said Wednesday that the GOP must unite behind "a bold, pro-growth agenda" that it can display to voters.— AP

Proposed bill would privatize air traffic control

WASHINGTON — Responsibility for the nation's air traffic control operations would shift from the government to a private, nonprofit corporation under legislation introduced Wednesday as part of an overhaul of how Washington oversees the aviation system.

The measure extends for six years the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration and continues its role as the regulator of aviation safety, including the safety of air traffic operations.

But the FAA would lose responsibility for day-to-day air traffic operations and the transition from a radar-based traffic control system to one based on satellite technology. A board representing aviation system users would govern the new, federally chartered air traffic control corporation.

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., the bill's chief sponsor, said it was a "transformational" solution and greatly needed because modernization of the air traffic system is taking too long.— AP

Drug entrepreneur Shkreli expected to testify today

WASHINGTON — House Oversight and Government Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said he expects notorious pharmaceutical entrepreneur Martin Shkreli to testify on Capitol Hill today.

Shkreli is the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which is being investigated for raising drug prices. He has threated to take the Fifth if he does attend the hearing.— CQ-Roll Call

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