- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 24, 2017

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan pleaded with reporters Tuesday to stop focusing on President Trump’s Twitter feud with Sen. Bob Corker and instead cover the GOP’s attempts at tax reform.

His comments came after a morning eruption between the president and the senator, with Mr. Trump saying Mr. Corker is a “lightweight” who is stymying Republicans’ tax overhaul by worrying about deficits, and Mr. Corker saying the president was spreading falsities.

“Forget about it. Let’s focus on helping people, improving people’s lives,” pleaded Mr. Ryan.

He said he believes Mr. Corker will, in fact, support the GOP’s tax bill when it comes up for a vote.

“At the end of the day, I know Bob well, Bob’s going to vote for Tennessee, he’s going to vote for America, he’s going to vote for tax reform,” Mr. Ryan said.

Mr. Corker did vote last week for a GOP budget, helping kick off the tax overhaul debate and unlocking fast-track tools that allow the Senate to skip over a filibuster fight.

But Mr. Corker has said he worries about deepening deficits, and the GOP’s budget would allow tax cuts totaling $1.5 trillion in new deficits.

Even that target will be difficult to hit as Republicans — including Mr. Trump — continue to shut down efforts to close some tax breaks and loopholes in the current code. Going into this year’s debate, the GOP had said it would flatten the code and get rid of most of those special breaks, in exchange for lowering rates for everyone.

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