News reports last week stating President Donald Trump called the House version of the American Health Care Act "mean" was not accurate, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday.
"I don't think that accurately reflects the president's sentiment about the healthcare bill," Ryan Fox News' "America's Newsroom" anchor Bill Hemmer.
"It was a misinterpretation of a private meeting. I've spoken to the president many times. He is excited about what we did in the House."
Last week, sources told The Associated Press Trump told 15 Republican senators at a lunch that the House bill was "mean" and urged them to build a version that was "more generous."
His comments were deemed surprising, considering the Rose Garden ceremony he hosted minutes after the House narrowly passed its bill.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants a healthcare vote by the Fourth of July, and Ryan said he believes that will happen.
"They'll have a lot of amendments they'll dispose of," Ryan said. "That's the legislative process. We're pleased the Senate is moving forward on healthcare reform. Obamacare is in the middle of the tailspin. The law is collapsing before our eyes."
Trump is on board with the House version, said Ryan, but he does assume the Senate will make its own changes.
"Big legislation like this doesn't go through the House or Senate with no changes," said Ryan. "We assume they'll make changes."
But, he insisted it's important people remember Republicans are replacing and repealing a law that is collapsing, and replacing it "with a healthcare system that's better so people have more choices, lower prices, and access to affordable healthcare, including people with pre-existing conditions. That's what this is all about."
Ryan said House Republicans also believe it is time to start growing the U.S. economy, which has not had a 3 percent growth rate since before the Great Recession.
"The crown jewel of getting this economy growing are two things, regulatory relief, which is well on its way, and tax reform," said Ryan.
The current tax code is pushing businesses overseas, said Ryan.
"We're saying if you make something overseas and make money there, keep it there," he told Hemmer.
"That's crazy. We need to make it that companies can bring the dollars back home. We have two or three trillion of U.S. money parked overseas coming back into the U.S. economy, but we can't because of our tax code."
The rest of the world has passed by the United States, he continued, because the tax rates are too high.
"It's ridiculous and costing us jobs and competitiveness, and we won't let American companies bring their money back into country to reinvest because of our tax laws," said Ryan.
"This is holding us back and we need to clean up the tax code . . . we have to do tax reform in 2017 if we're going to get a confident America, and if we'll rebuild our country's resilience."
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