This post is part of our coverage of the 2017 state GOP convention in Wisconsin Dells. See more coverage here.
House Speaker Paul Ryan implored GOP activists to ignore the “blowback” they’re seeing on TV about the Affordable Care Act, saying Republicans understand the opportunity they have with full control of Washington, D.C.
The House passed a GOP health care bill earlier this month after Ryan, R-Janesville, had to pull an earlier version because it lacked the needed votes to pass.
Ryan called Obamacare a “failing, collapsing law.”
“We made good on our word,” Ryan said.
He added later to applause: “Please know that we know this is a once-in-a- generation opportunity: The House, the Senate, the White House.”
Ryan said Gov. Scott Walker and GOP state lawmakers put Republicans in position to win Wisconsin’s electoral votes in last year’s presidential race because of the reforms they put in place. He said Republicans in Washington, D.C., are now transitioning from an opposition party to a governing party. Part of that is following the example set here.
“This is what we’re trying to do in Washington,” Ryan said. “This is the exact same theory we’re trying in Congress.”
Ryan predicted there would be big fights later this year on a wall along the country’s southern border, as well as tax reform.
He ticked off a series of changes he wants to see in an overhaul of the tax code, including doing down to three brackets, raising the standard exemption so 96 percent of Americans don’t have to itemize and scrapping the death tax.
In the end, he said Americans would be able to do their taxes on a postcard.
“If we clean this thing up, get the IRS out of the meddling business and into the serving people business, that is what real comprehensive tax reform looks like, and that is what we are going to do in 2017,” Ryan said.