Political News

Paul Ryan threatens holiday session for Congress to get tax reform finished

Posted October 12

— House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that Congress should stay in session through the holidays to work on tax reform if they have to.

During an interview at the Heritage Foundation, Ryan told the audience that there have been far too many times the House has moved ahead and passed legislation that didn't go anywhere in the Senate.

"We're gonna keep people here 'til Christmas if we have to. I mean I don't care. We've got to get this done. I mean it's that important," Ryan said.

It was unclear if Ryan was referring to his own chamber or the US Senate, where he does not set the floor schedule. For now, Speaker Ryan said that the House is on schedule. The House passed their budget last week, an important step that unlocks a process known as budget reconciliation that allows the Senate Republicans to pass a tax bill with just 51 votes. The Senate will vote on their budget next week and then both chambers will have to agree on one proposal. Then, the plan is for tax legislation to be unveiled, marked up and passed in the House in November.

Ryan says that should give the Senate plenty of time.

"We want to wake up on New Year's day with a new tax system," Ryan said.

Republicans have repeatedly highlighted tax reform as an issue they want to address. Since the failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the party and President Donald Trump are still seeking a key legislative victory and high-ranking GOP officials -- including Ryan -- have repeatedly and publicly committed to overhauling the tax system by year's end.

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