House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a warning to his fellow representatives on Thursday, threatening to keep them in Washington through the holidays to get tax reform passed.
Ryan is laying the groundwork to get everyone on board with the current GOP ideas to overhaul the tax code. Speaking at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday, he said the following:
“Half this country is living paycheck to paycheck and if that means we’ve gotta stay here till Christmas to give them the relief that they deserve then we will do that, because this has got to get done, people are hurting in this country.”
Both Paul Ryan and the Trump administration believe they can pass tax reform this year, even though key members of the party have yet to agree on a unified bill.
The speaker has also started preparing members of congress for an all or nothing campaign to get legislation passed before the midterms, saying, “If we squander this opportunity, it’s not going to come back.”
Ryan’s comments echo those of North Carolina’s Patrick McHenry, the GOP chief deputy whip who said on Wednesday that Christmas Eve was the current target date for a final vote on tax legislation.
Meanwhile, the White House has already publicly criticized members of congress for leaving Washington without having passed any legislation. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the following during her Tuesday press conference:
“Look, President Trump is calling on Congress to get their job done. They’re on another vacation right now. I think that we would all be a lot better off if the Senate would stop taking vacations and start staying here until we actually get some real things accomplished.”
Congress has not passed meaningful tax legislation in more than thirty years, but Paul Ryan is maintaining confidence that this will be the year that it happens.
“We want to wake up on New Year’s Day with a new tax system,” Ryan said.