Ryan, McConnell: Obama standing in the way of tax reform

Ryan, McConnell: Obama standing in the way of tax reform
© Greg Nash

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPelosi: 'Thug' Putin not welcome in Congress Interior fast tracks study of drilling's Arctic impact: report Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia MORE and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi: 'Thug' Putin not welcome in Congress GOP to White House: End summit mystery Sunk judicial pick spills over into Supreme Court fight MORE said Tuesday that comprehensive tax reform can't be accomplished until after President Obama leaves office.

"Getting it done in 2016, that's not going to happen because Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMontana governor raises profile ahead of potential 2020 bid Trump was right to ditch UN’s plan for handling migrants Ex-White House stenographer: Trump is ‘lying to the American people’ MORE is president," Ryan (R-Wis.) said at a breakfast sponsored by Politico.

McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed a similar sentiment earlier in the event.

"There are some challenges in doing comprehensive tax reform with this president," McConnell said. Those include that Republicans want tax reform to be revenue-neutral and treat small businesses like big corporations, while Obama is wants to maintain a high individual tax rate, which is used by many businesses, he added.

Still, Ryan said that overhauling the international tax system is something that Congress can explore next year. And he said he would work closely with members of the House Ways and Means Committee to roll out larger tax reform in the future.

"That is going to have to be one of the crown jewels of our agenda," Ryan said. "We have to show the country how we get this economy out of neutral and how we get jobs growing, how we get wages growing, how we get America competitive again, how we get families and businesses growing again and tax reform is critical to that."

McConnell said that passing a large package this year that removes the expiration dates on several popular tax breaks would be helpful for tax reform. The measure is expected to be released later in the day.

"If we get a larger tax bill here at the end of the year, we do have a significant positive impact on the baseline for comprehensive tax reform, which the Speaker would like to do and I would like to do," he said.