Ryan: Election losses pressure GOP to deliver on tax bill
House Speaker Paul Ryan said the Republican drubbing in Tuesday night’s elections “just puts more pressure on making sure we follow through” on the party’s drive to overhaul the tax code.
Ryan’s comments Wednesday came as the House Ways and Means Committee entered its third day of debate on the nearly $6 trillion legislation, with the Republican-led panel wading through dozens of amendments and rejecting Democrats’ efforts to revise the bill. Republicans are determined to produce tax cuts and send a measure to President Donald Trump by Christmas to protect their congressional majorities in next year’s elections.
The committee voted along party lines against a battery of Democratic proposals to restore to the bill tax benefits to student borrowers, people with significant medical expenses, homeowners and teachers.
The proposed elimination of the deduction for medical expenses not covered by insurance is especially controversial. The deduction has helped offset costs of such things as nursing- home care, laser eye surgery and out-of-state travel for a second opinion on a rare cancer.
Eliminating it “is a direct assault,” said Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., the failed amendment’s sponsor. “This is devastating to individual families.”
Ryan, speaking at an event held by the Washington Examiner newspaper, said, “We’ve got to get on with keeping our promise, and one of the chief promises we made when we ran for office ... in 2016 was that we would do tax reform and tax cuts for families, for people, and so we’ve got to get on with that.”