House Speaker Paul Ryan called for tax reform Monday night at a town hall in Racine, Wisconsin.
“We are losing businesses left and right and this is among the reasons why we have to have fundamental tax reform,” Ryan, R-Wis., said. “But also it is a matter of economic growth … also it’s fairness.”
The Specifics for Tax Reform
“What we are proposing on the individual side is get rid of the loopholes, get rid of the carve-outs, just lower people’s tax rates,” Ryan said. “Let you keep more of your own money. And simplify the code so much that you can fill out your taxes on a postcard.”
Tax reform will be a significant aid to helping the economy, Ryan said.
“We want a tax code built for growth, built for economic activity, we want a tax code that raises wages, keeps American companies in America, gives us faster economic growth,” he said.
In July at an event hosted by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said tax reform would happen within the year, and Marc Short, President Donald Trump’s director of legislative affairs, said in July that he expects efforts for tax reform to kick into high gear after Labor Day.
The Wisconsin lawmaker said he thinks “it’s going to be far easier for us to pass tax reform than it was, say, for health care reform.” He added:
It gets a little weedy, but one of the challenges we had with health care reform particularly in the Senate is that we had to use the Senate rules to write that bill, and all the health care items that we want to put in a health care reform bill, we couldn’t because of the Senate rules.
Instead, Ryan said the tax reform package “can go in one bill in the House and the Senate, so procedurally it makes it much easier.”
Called on Senate to Pass Obamacare
“The House has passed its bill,” Ryan said. “We’re waiting for the Senate to pass theirs.”
Three Republicans, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Susan Collins, R-Maine, joined Democrats June 28 to defeat the Senate’s Obamacare repeal bill, and Ryan called on the Senate to make good on its promises.
The failed “skinny repeal” would have dismantled some of the most disliked aspects of Obamacare, including the individual and employer mandates, and the medical device tax. It also would have defunded Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, The Daily Signal previously reported.
“Who was disappointed that the Senate failed to pass that bill by one vote the other day?” Ryan said. “We all are. The reason we are disappointed that they failed to do it … the reason I am disappointed is because the status quo is not an option.”
Condemned Charlottesville Violence
Ryan decried the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one person was killed and 19 were injured during a white supremacist rally on Aug. 13.
“I have a hard time believing that if you are standing in a crowd to protest something and you see all these anti-Semitic slogans, and ‘heil Hitlers’ and the swastikas, that you are good with that and you are a good person,” Ryan said. “You are not a good person if you are there, that is just so very clear.”
Support for Trump’s Agenda
Ryan voiced support for Trump’s agenda, saying, “I want this president to succeed … because I want our country to succeed.”
That’s why I work very closely with this president to make sure he succeeds so our country succeeds. We have a very important agenda that we are trying to put in place to improve people’s lives, to lift the economy, to make it healthier, to fix our military … so these are the things we are working on and those are the things that my kids see me working on.
The town hall, hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper, was the first town hall Ryan has participated in in almost two years that was open to the public, the Associated Press reported.