Summary: It’s a big week on Capitol Hill. During a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed what’s on the House’s agenda: the national defense bill and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“First of all: This national defense bill? This bill is a big, big step toward keeping the promise we made to rebuild our nation’s armed forces. It’s so critical. It will give our military the tools and the resources that it needs to address the threats that we face all around the world. And it delivers, as was mentioned, a well-deserved pay raise for our servicemembers.
“It’s a very important piece of legislation and we look forward to putting it on the president’s desk. And we’re very excited about this promise being kept and getting done this week.
“On tax reform, here is why this is such a big moment—and it has nothing to do with politics or politicians: Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. A whole lot of people are telling us that they are $400 away from a disaster. Instead of thinking about getting ahead, you got more people in this country worried about falling behind. This anxiety that we have in this country—that feeling that people are one emergency away from a disaster—is a daily reality for most of our fellow citizens.
“Meanwhile, Washington has been propping up a tax system riddled with special loopholes for the well-connected.
“This bill changes this. We are cutting taxes for middle- and low-income families. The typical median household of four gets a $1,182 tax cut. That’s big relief for people who really feel like they are one bad news away from a disaster. That is $1,182 you can save, use toward a big project, or something you have been putting off for too long.
“This is not just a tax bill. This is a jobs bill. It’s a fairness bill. By leveling the playing field and making our businesses more competitive, guess what? Wages are going to go up. The analysis is very clear. This will help wages raise in this country. This will help living standards increase in this country. More jobs will come home.
“So by unrigging the system, by making it so fair and so simple and—yes—you will be able to do [your taxes] on a postcard. . . .
“Look, here’s what’s going on right now. People in Washington are focusing on what this means for other people in Washington. But for us, it is about the hardworking people in America who are working hard and feel like they’re slipping behind. This should not be about settling.
“You know, people right now are hoping things will get better. This bill? This bill will make things better for hardworking Americans. We want a country where everybody can rise. We want a country where people are confident. We want a country where people can aspire and believe that they can reach their American Idea or their dream. That’s the country we’re used to having and that’s the country we’re going to have by getting this thing done. And that is why we’re focused on people’s problems.
“And that is why we’re really, really excited about getting this done this week.”