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 RyanHow does the 25th Amendment work? Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act GOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign MORE and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal GOP making counteroffer to Kavanaugh accuser The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump questions Kavanaugh accuser's account | Accuser may testify Thursday | Midterm blame game begins 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 ObamaThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump questions Kavanaugh accuser's account | Accuser may testify Thursday | Midterm blame game begins Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states Ford taps Obama, Clinton alum to navigate Senate hearing 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.