DC Wrap

House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters his meeting with Harley-Davidson executives and union officials provided more evidence of the need for tax cuts and tax reform.

Ryan, who pledges a tax reform framework will be unveiled next week reflecting the consensus of House and Senate committees and the White House, said American manufacturers like Harley Davidson are taxed at a higher rate than overseas competitors. And that puts them at a competitive disadvantage.

“Tax reform can fix that,” Ryan said Monday following the meeting and tour at Harley-Davidson’s Menomonee Falls engine and transmission factory. “Tax reform can stop punishing companies from making things in America and selling them overseas. Tax reform can put American manufacturers and American companies like Harley-Davidson on much better footing to compete in the global economy and keep jobs here in America.”

Ryan described Harley-Davidson’s plan to build a facility in Thailand as “a market access move” necessitated by high tariffs.

He said the solution to keeping companies in the U.S. is to reduce taxes and to enter into trade agreements that open up new markets.

“When 95 percent of the world’s consumers are in the other countries, not this country, we’ve got to find access to those markets so we can make things here and sell them overseas,” Ryan said. “That means opening up trade barriers, opening up trade agreements and getting things like tax reform done.”

Ryan also described the health care reform effort from GOP U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson, Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, and Dean Heller as the “best, last chance to get repeal and replace done.”

“I am encouraging every senator to vote for Graham-Cassidy because it is our best, last chance to get repeal and replace done,” Ryan said. “And I do believe it is a far greater improvement over the status-quo.”

Ryan said if the Senate approves the bill, he would intend the House to take it up as-is because time constraints wouldn’t allow for there to be a conference committee to resolve differences if different versions passed.

And the speaker said he thinks there will be a compromise with Democrats on regarding an Obama-era program President Trump is phasing out that lets people who came to the U.S. illegally as children stay in the country. But he said any agreement on a legislative fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program must include stronger border security and interior enforcement.

“I think there will be a compromise on DACA, but as we’re making clear to everybody, that compromise must also address the root cause of the problem in the first place, which is we don’t have operational control of our borders,” Ryan said. “We’re going to have to have border security and interior enforcement as part of any DACA solution if we want to make sure we don’t have a DACA problem 10 years from now.”

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