Ryan signals readiness to move to tax reform

Ryan signals readiness to move to tax reform
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanStudents arrested protesting gun violence outside Paul Ryan’s office Parkland father calls out Trump, McConnell, Ryan after Santa Fe shooting GOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan MORE (R-Wis.) on Friday signaled a pivot to tax reform, one day after the Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare collapsed in the Senate.

Ryan urged Republicans not to give up on repealing and replacing the healthcare law, but his statement — coupled with comments from President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress GOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress Parkland father calls out Trump, McConnell, Ryan after Santa Fe shooting MORE (R-Ky.) — suggest a shift for the GOP.

“I am disappointed and frustrated, but we should not give up. I encourage the Senate to continue working toward a real solution that keeps our promise,” Ryan said in a statement.

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“We have so much work still to do, and the House will continue to focus on issues that are important to the American people. At the top of that list is cutting taxes for middle class families and fixing our broken tax code. I’m glad that members will now take time to hear directly from those they represent and make the case for historic tax reform that we intend to pursue in the fall,” Ryan said. 

McConnell said early Friday it was time to “move on” from healthcare. Trump said Republicans should let ObamaCare “implode,” saying Democrats would then be willing to deal with the GOP.

Ryan sought to distance the House from the Senate GOP's failure, noting that Republicans in the lower chamber passed their own version of legislation to repeal and replace the law earlier this year.

“While the House delivered a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, unfortunately the Senate was unable to reach a consensus,” he said.

House members are leaving for the monthlong August recess Friday.

GOP leaders stressed to the rank-and-file during a conference meeting Friday morning that they should focus on the bills that have made it through the lower chamber but await action in the Senate.

Apart from a healthcare bill, the House has also passed legislation to unwind the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, combat human trafficking and crack down on illegal immigration. But the Senate has not taken action yet on those bills.

A scaled-back ObamaCare repeal bill failed in the Senate early Friday morning in a 51-49 vote after three Republican senators — John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress Defense bill moves forward with lawmakers thinking about McCain How House Republicans scrambled the Russia probe MORE (Ariz.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress GOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary Dem rep to launch discharge petition to force net neutrality vote in House MORE (Alaska) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress Dem rep to launch discharge petition to force net neutrality vote in House Hillicon Valley: Senate votes to save net neutrality | Senate panel breaks with House, says Russia favored Trump in 2016 | Latest from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower | Lawmakers push back on helping Chinese tech giant MORE (Maine) — joined all Democrats in rejecting it.