House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Thursday expressed confidence that there will be bipartisan support for the GOP’s planned tax overhaul, saying it’s hard to imagine that Democrats from states like Indiana and North Dakota would ultimately vote against their constituents.
“I can’t imagine a Democrat from a state like mine, a manufacturing/agriculture state like, say, Indiana or North Dakota or Missouri, would just decide to vote with the ideological left against their own constituents,” Mr. Ryan said at an event at the Heritage Foundation.
“I understand they’re going to vote ideology and the party line on judges and things like this, but on something so rudimentary, so clearly in the interests of their constituents and the economy of the people that they serve — I can’t imagine we’re not going to get votes from some of these Democrats,” he said. “I really believe.”
There are Democratic senators up for re-election in those states Mr. Ryan mentioned: Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.
Mr. Ryan also said that Republicans are more unified on the tax plan than they were during their stalled Obamacare repeal effort, but said he’s confident the final product would be bipartisan.
“I really do believe at the end of the day that there’s going to be … bipartisan support for this,” he said.
Some House Democrats have said they’re willing to work with Republicans on the issue as long as they don’t end up being used as “props” to give the GOP bipartisan cover, though Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate have been much less enthusiastic.
Congressional Republicans are also planning to use a fast-track budget process that would allow them to bypass a potential Democratic filibuster in the Senate, and many Democrats have said that move means the GOP doesn’t really want their input.
Regardless, Mr. Ryan said lawmakers are on track to finish their work by year’s end, but that it may take staying during the holidays to finish things up.
“We’re going to keep people here for Christmas if we have to. I mean, I don’t care. We got to get this done,” he said. “It’s just that important.”
Mr. Ryan predicted the House would send a tax bill to the Senate in November.
“Our point is get it done this year. We want to wake up on New Year’s Day with a new tax system,” he said.
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