- Mark Wilson/Getty Images
House Speaker Paul Ryan, while acknowledging President Donald Trump’s “bad two weeks,” is still penciling in a massive tax overhaul in 2017 despite the troubles roiling the White House.
Appearing on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show Friday, Ryan was asked about the week’s developments – including Trump revealing classified information to Russian government officials, the ongoing fallout from James Comey’s firing as FBI director, and rumors of a White House staff shake-up.
“Yeah, I mean, obviously, he clearly did have a bad two weeks, and it’s clearly my hope that he does, that he does right the ship, that he improves so that we can just get going,” Ryan told Hewitt. “But just so you know, we’re doing our work.”
Ryan also reiterated that tax cuts would be carried out.
“We are going to lower tax rates,” Ryan told Hewitt. “We are going to do tax reform. It’s going to happen in 2017. Why? Because we know it has to happen. Every Republican agrees with this.”
Pressed by Hewitt if he really believed in a 2017 timeline for tax cuts given the White House turmoil, Ryan responded simply: “Yes, yes, yes.”
“Emphatically. Look, if anything, it gets us more focused on doing our jobs, because we want the country to be assured that Congress is still working on solving their problems,” Ryan said.
The House Ways and Means Committee had its first public hearing of the year on tax reform on Thursday. The committee’s chair, Rep. Kevin Brady, said lawmakers were working on a plan.
Ryan also responded to suggestions that the GOP could lose its majority in the House after the 2018 midterm elections. Recent polls have shown Democrats with a sizable lead on the question of which party voters want to control Congress.
“Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah is what I say about that stuff – look, this is what I call the white noise of Washington Beltway media,” Ryan said.
Ryan concluded by assuring Hewitt that the White House would continue to be involved and that the GOP planned to get legislation passed.
“We’re still working with the administration, getting our work done, so it’s not as if like things stop and we wait for better news stories,” Ryan said. “We don’t. We keep working, and so that’s what people need to know, is we’re still doing our jobs, we’re still doing our work, we’re still going to deliver.”