Discussion and votes on tax reform and infrastructure bills will likely come later in the spring following an House focus on healthcare reform, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday.
"It's just the way the budget works that we won't be able to get the ability to write our tax reform bill until our spring budget passes, and then we write that through the summer," Ryan told Fox News' "Fox & Friends."
The infrastructure package would come out of the spring budget as well, he continued.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Republican said, while Democrats are pushing back on many policy matters being pushed by the Trump administration and by Republicans, it doesn't change the work under way.
"We've got a plan, we had a plan with the president on what we wanted to get done in 2017," Ryan said, including to "get jobs, reform the tax code, repeal and replace Obamacare, get the borders secured. There's a lot of things we want to do. We're not going to get distracted with these tactics. We want to get work done because that's exactly why people voted for us."
Work on healthcare is also coming first because the system is in the middle of a collapse, Ryan said.
"Five states only have one health insurance choice," said Ryan. "One out of three counties only have one health insurance choice. The deductibles are triple that. Premiums are going up double-digit again. So, we feel the need to rescue this system here.
"And that's why we're going with healthcare first and that's the first budget. And then in the spring, when we do our second budget, that's where tax reform comes."
Both cannot be done at the same time, he continued, because of the way the budget system works, so "it's repeal and replace Obamacare so we can save and repair the health system in the country, and then it's tax reform, which gets its economic growth."
Ryan said he does remember the feeling of being in the minority, so he can relate in part with Democrats' opposition.
"I remember what it was like when we lost the House, the Senate, and the White House," Ryan said, "so I can relate to Democrats on that front, which is why I understand they're upset – because they had a bad election, and they're upset about it. That's not going to deter us from getting our work done and do what we were elected to do."
And even had Democrats won the election, Ryan believes they would also be rushing to save healthcare from collapse.
"People missed reporting – or missed communicating – if we're going to repair the American healthcare system, which is in the middle of a collapse right now," Ryan said. "You have to repeal and replace this law."
Regulatory reform is another critical matter under way, Ryan said.
"We're passing regulatory bills right now going back into the Obama administration, and getting rid of very harmful regulation that costs us jobs," Ryan said. "We're also working on border security, and then spring budget. We have to rebuild our military. We have to get some fiscal discipline toward a balanced budget.
"These are the kinds of things we have to do. So, close deficits, get tax reform, and rebuild our military. All of those things are things we're working on."
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