WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Republicans held an open press event in the Capitol to mark passage of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Following are the Speaker’s remarks as delivered:
“I want to thank the man in the House who made this day possible: our joyful field general from Houston, our good friend and leader, Kevin Brady.
“I’ve got to say, this is nothing short of extraordinary. Let me just tell you, getting 218 members to agree on something as complicated as the . . . well, we needed 218. Okay, let me rephrase it: Getting 227 members to agree on something as complicated . . . This country has not rewritten its tax code since 1986. The powers of the status quo in this town are so strong. Yet 227 men and women of this Congress broke through that today. That is powerful.
“Of course, I want to thank not just the members who made this possible today, I want to thank the president, I want to thank his administration, and I want to thank our partners in the Senate who are doing their work as well. From the very start, we said that failure is not an option, and the president and his team have worked so constructively every step of the way with us. He’s been a tremendous partner on this issue.
“And you know, I’ve just got to say how proud I am of this conference. Tax reform is so very hard. But we know that there are people who are really struggling in this country. We know that we are just coming through a decade of real economic anxiety. And we know that this is a nation that has so much more potential that has not yet been tapped. That’s what this day is about. That’s what getting this done is about.
“This is about giving hardworking taxpayers bigger paychecks, more take-home pay. This is about giving those families who are struggling peace of mind. It’s about getting this economy to grow faster so that we get bigger wages, more jobs, and we put America in the driver’s seat of the global economy once again. It’s about giving people hope and a new opportunity. And it’s about making sure that America continues to be the best place in the world—the best place in the world—to live, to thrive, to start a business, to create a job, to grow, to construct.
“We’ve got a long road ahead of us. This is a very, very big milestone in that long road. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, and we have a timeline to get this done by the end of the year. We have the Senate right now working on doing this. We’re excited about going through the legislative process, going to conference, getting this done, making this bill even better. But most importantly, I am excited on behalf of the American people, who are waiting to see us get this done.
“Last thing I’ll say is this: We collectively asked the country in 2016 to give us a chance to go work for them. We asked the people of this country, who are struggling, give us a chance to make good by you. Give us a chance to make lives better for you. Give us a chance to improve your life. This conference today did one of the greatest things we could possibly do to make good on that promise, and I am so proud.”