"We've got to get tax reform done by then. We're confident we can do that," the Wisconsin Republican said at an event sponsored by news site Axios.
Tax cuts — a central Republican priority — helped fuel investor optimism after President Donald Trump 's election in November, and they underpin the optimistic growth forecasts being put forward by the White House.
Between the GOP's struggle to pass a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, a coming appropriations process in Congress, and high-level investigations into the Trump campaign, Republican hopes for quickly passing its agenda have stalled of late.
Ryan echoed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said Tuesday that "our objective" is to get tax reform "done this year."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently said he hopes to get tax reform passed in the current Congress, which may indicate that he's not be hopeful about passage this year.
Ryan also pushed back against statements that Republicans have struggled to achieve their agenda. He said that if Republicans slash regulations, pass a health-care overhaul and cut taxes by January, it will have been a good year.
A potential hurdle to tax reform is whether Republicans can agree on so-called border adjustment, a provision of the House GOP plan. Ryan and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas have supported the plan, despite doubts in the White House and Senate.
Ryan said Wednesday he can envision a scenario in which the House passes a tax reform plan without border adjustment.
He reiterated that he feels Republicans agree on 80 percent of tax reform, but they need to reach a consensus on the remaining 20 percent.