House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told Boeing workers Thursday that his goal is to reform the country’s tax code by the end of the year as part of a bid to achieve 3% economic growth in 2018.
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“We have the least competitive tax system in the industrialized world… for Boeing, it means we are taxing this business, these planes, your jobs in this country at a much higher rate than our competitors tax theirs,” Ryan said at a town hall after touring Boeing’s facility in Washington. “That puts us at a huge competitive disadvantage."
Ryan and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) are visiting some of the country’s major corporate hubs this week to discuss the GOP’s plan to significantly lower the corporate tax rate and simplify the tax code for average Americans. The speaker met with Intel employees in Oregon on Wednesday.
Ryan said the GOP tax reform plan will improve take-home wages for American workers and make it easier for corporations like Boeing to re-invest in their businesses.
“I believe that if we don’t do this, we don’t get to 3% economic growth,” Ryan said.
The speaker downplayed concerns that the U.S. government would hit the debt ceiling. Lawmakers have yet to pass legislation to raise the federal debt limit ahead of a crucial Sept. 30 deadline.
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“We will pass legislation to make sure that we pay our debts, and we will not hit the debt ceiling,” Ryan said. “It’s going to get done.”
Aside from the GOP’s tax reform push, Ryan said continued rollbacks of burdensome government regulations, an increase in military funding and support, and renewed focus on addressing workforce participation are among his top priorities.
Ryan said his relationship with President Donald Trump is a “day-by-day deal” when asked about his ability to influence Trump to engage in ethical behavior, adding that the country must repeatedly condemn “repulsive bigotry and racism.” Trump drew extensive criticism for his handling of the white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“We have different speaking styles, clearly. We’re in constant contact to try to put together a shared agenda that we agree on, and we’re working together to make that shared agenda,” Ryan said. “For me, it’s really important that the president succeeds, because if he succeeds, then the country succeeds.”