Paul Ryan says House will 'proceed' with tax reform despite health-care 'setback'

Speaker Ryan: Tax reform now more difficult, but not impossible

House Speaker Paul Ryan, dealt what he called a "setback" in his first major legislative test with a Republican president, contended that failure to pass an Obamacare replacement should not derail the rest of his agenda, particularly tax reform.

"Yes, this does make tax reform more difficult. But it does not, in any way, make it impossible. We will proceed with tax reform," the Wisconsin Republican told reporters after the House pulled the embattled health-care plan shortly before a planned vote.

Ryan and his party failed to rally the support to pass their bill, faced with opposition from both the party's moderate and conservative wings. The bill, which was estimated to lead to more people uninsured and was unpopular in public opinion polls, could not clear a GOP-majority House.

Obamacare replacement yanked in House as GOP fails to win support

Ryan said, "We did everything we could to get consensus" on the plan.

"I will not sugarcoat it. This is a disappointing day for us," Ryan said.

Ryan said he urged President Donald Trump to pull the proposal Friday and he agreed. Ryan visited the White House earlier to tell Trump that Republicans lacked the votes to push the plan through.

Trump told Washington Post reporter Robert Costa that he didn't blame Ryan for the failure to get the bill passed.

Ryan said he met with Trump and his economic advisors earlier at the White House. He added that "Obamacare taxes will stay with Obamacare" but pledged to "fix the rest of the tax code."

Ryan's tax plan calls for major cuts to business rates and broad income-tax reductions.