Ryan heads west to pitch tax reform

Ryan heads west to pitch tax reform
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFive GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump walks back criticism of UK Brexit strategy | McConnell worries US in 'early stages' of trade war | US trade deficit with China hits new record Tampons sent to Dem who called for free feminine hygiene products in House MORE is taking his tax-reform pitch to the Pacific Northwest this week.

The Wisconsin Republican on Wednesday will tour Intel facilities in Hillsboro, Ore., where he’ll hear about new products from various “tech teams” and speak to reporters. On Thursday, Ryan will hold an employee town hall at aerospace manufacturer Boeing in Everett, Wash.

The Speaker’s trip west comes as President Trump and congressional Republicans prepare to tackle a long-awaited overhaul of the tax code after the August recess. Before the summer break, Ryan pushed for tax reform during an Ohio business roundtable, a National Association of Manufacturers speech in Washington, D.C., and a tour of a New Balance factory in Massachusetts. 

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"Speaker Ryan continues to take the case for historic tax reform directly to workers and manufacturers around the country,” said Ryan spokesman Michael Ricci. “He'll be talking about how our plan means lower taxes, less hassle, and a more level playing field across the board.”

Ryan is hoping to get Republicans back on track after Trump ignited a firestorm by declaring both white supremacists and counterprotesters were to blame for deadly violence that broke out in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month. Trump's remarks sparked an enormous backlash from corporate CEOs and other business leaders whose support Trump will need to help him pass tax reform.

At a CNN town hall event in Ryan’s Wisconsin district Monday night, the Speaker will try to pivot to taxes, infrastructure and the GOP’s busy fall to-do list, including raising the debt ceiling and averting a government shutdown.

But Ryan is sure to face tough questions about Trump’s controversial response to Charlottesville and why Hill Republicans, including himself, haven’t condemned the president’s remarks more forcefully.

Ryan will have some air support on Monday. During the town hall, the Speaker-aligned American Action Network said it will air TV ads on CNN and on a mobile billboard outside the event in Racine, Wis., to underscore the need for tax reform.

“Speaker Ryan has spent his career working toward tax reform, and now, Congress is on the verge of making tax reform a reality for middle-class families across the county,” said Corry Bliss, American Action Network's executive director.

This report was updated at 9:07 a.m.