Republicans are embracing the blue wave that swept through the party, taking it back to its roots of blue-collar, blue-state conservatism, and showing that they have learned how to run on a populist agenda.
In a conference call Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that Republicans should focus on a “big tent” that includes “everybody.”
The message was aimed at President Donald Trump and his agenda.
“We’ve got to make sure that blue-collars and blue-staters, blue collar, blue states feel represented,” Ryan said.
“That means we’ve got the blue-wash.
We’ve got all the states that voted for Trump to get their message heard.”
“The blue-wave movement has been an amazing thing to see in our country and across the country,” Ryan continued.
“People are waking up.
It’s the biggest populist movement of the 21st century.”
Ryan’s speech came as Republicans in the House and Senate continue to try to craft a tax overhaul that will generate revenue, cut taxes, and make the GOP more appealing to blue- and red-state voters.
The Senate is considering a bill that would slash the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, while the House is also considering a proposal that would cut the estate tax from $1 million to $5 million.
The blue wave was a massive electoral boost for Republicans in 2016, and Republicans are hopeful it will carry on as well in 2018.
“Blue wave is one of the reasons we’re still in the game,” Rep. Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, said.
The party is working to pass tax reform that includes a $1 trillion tax cut, which the House could easily pass this week.
Trump campaigned on a promise to reduce the corporate rate from 25 percent to 15 percent and to give a 15 percent tax credit to businesses that hire workers from overseas.
“The way I see it, I’m going to be a very strong supporter of this,” Trump told a group of workers gathered at a restaurant in Florida.
“I know that’s a lot to ask of anybody.
I know that they’ll do it.
But we’re going to get the tax rates down, we’re gonna get the jobs created back.”
But the Blue Wave of Trump and the Republicans’ tax agenda has not been welcomed by Democrats, who fear it will hurt the middle class and help billionaires.
And the Blue wave was not welcomed by Trump, who called the wave a “bad thing” and said it’s a sign that Republicans aren’t “really doing the hard work of making America great again.”
“It’s just the latest in a long line of things that have happened,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz.
“If they were to just get their act together, we’d be great again.
But they don’t.
So I’m not going to stand for it.”
Republicans are still trying to craft legislation to help the middle-class, and Trump, Ryan and other GOP leaders have repeatedly said that tax reform is a top priority.
Ryan and Trump have also argued that Democrats will not support the tax plan unless they get some kind of entitlement reform.
But the Republicans are pushing for a tax cut that is far more generous than the one Republicans passed in 2015 and would also eliminate the estate taxes.
The House GOP plan would eliminate the top individual income tax rate to 35 percent and the top corporate tax bracket to 25 percent.
Republicans are also hoping to reduce or eliminate the state and local tax deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct certain state and federal property taxes from their federal taxes.
“It would give us a huge amount of revenue,” Rep.-elect Doug Collins, a Democrat from Maine, said in a conference calls with reporters.
“But it’s not a tax reduction.”
Ryan said the GOP would be open to tax cuts for the middle and working class, but the middle has to pay more.
“When we look at our plans, we want to make it affordable,” Ryan added.
“For every middle-income family, we need to do a tax plan that is going to make the tax burden on them even higher.”
Ryan also called on Democrats to pass a $10 trillion debt-ceiling increase that would allow the federal government to borrow at interest rates that are higher than inflation.
Republicans want the debt ceiling increase to be tied to the growth of the economy and would prefer to use the federal borrowing authority to stimulate the economy.
“Let’s do that with a plan that we’re already working on that’s going to grow the economy, boost the economy,” Ryan told reporters.
Republicans have also proposed a proposal to allow states to increase property taxes, a move that could boost property values.
But Trump has made clear that he will veto any increase to property taxes and has said that states should have more control over property tax increases.
The White House has not weighed in on the tax debate, instead focusing on other priorities, such as trade deals, the economy’s slow