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At Home For Congressional Break, Ryan Talks Taxes, North Korea

House Speaker Pushed Unfinished GOP Agenda At Events In His Wisconsin District

Paul Ryan
Evan Vucci/AP Photo

House Speaker Paul Ryan used events in his home district in southeastern Wisconsin to comment on both domestic and international issues Thursday.

The Janesville Republican took mostly screened questions from employees at a pigment manufacturing plant in Oak Creek.

Asked about North Korea’s recent missile test, Ryan said the U.S. cannot accept North Korea having long-range nuclear capability, and called on China to help reduce the threat.

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“We, along with the Japanese and Koreans are working on this problem. But the Chinese can do a whole lot more to help us with our North Korea problem, ’cause it is the world’s problem if North Korea gets deliverable nuclear weapons, ” Ryan said.

China is North Korea’s top trade partner. China’s United Nations ambassador has called North Korea’s missile launch unacceptable and a “flagrant violation” of Security Council resolutions.

Talking Tax Reform

Ryan also took the chance to promoted the House GOP agenda, including a proposed tax overhaul. Ryan said federal taxes on firms like his host, WPC Technologies, are far too high.

“The top tax rate on WPC is 44.6 percent. So, if you have a good year, you’re paying a 44.6-percent federal tax rate. Guess what the Canadians would be taxing themselves? Same kind of company — 15 percent,” Ryan said.

Ryan is hoping to cut the U.S. rate and make other changes through what he calls a tax reform package.

But the timeline keeps getting pushed back, due to delays with the federal health care overhaul and controversies involving President Donald Trump. Ryan is now hoping for congressional action on taxes this fall.

Later, at another company in Racine, Ryan said he remains optimistic about getting most of the Republican agenda through Congress. He tried to shrug off media coverage of controversies in Washington.

“I always tell people, don’t turn on the news all that often,” Ryan said. It sounds like it’s depressing, distracting. Candidly, I just don’t let it distract me. I know what we need to do. We need to fix this tax code.”

Ryan also said the U.S. needs to improve its energy policy and get rid of unnecessary regulations. Democrats say the GOP can’t agree on a health care bill, and that some of President Trump’s doings get in the way of Congressional action.

Ryan is scheduled to be in Madison on Friday.

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