House Speaker Paul Ryan warned representatives Thursday he would keep them in Washington through the holidays if they delay passing tax reform.
"We're going to keep people here for Christmas if we have to," the Wisconsinite said at an event at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "I mean, I don't care -- we gotta get this done. It's that important."
The White House and GOP leadership maintain they can pass a major tax bill this year, an extremely ambitious goal considering that legislation has not yet been unveiled.
Ryan is the second member in as many days to suggest meeting that timeline will keep lawmakers at the Capitol into the holidays.
North Carolina's Patrick McHenry, House Republicans' chief deputy whip responsible for rounding up votes, said Wednesday Christmas Eve was the most likely date for a final vote on tax legislation.
The White House has criticized congressional Republicans for leaving Washington for routine trips to their home districts without having passed major legislation.
"Look, [President Trump is] calling on Congress to get their job done. They're on another vacation right now," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday, referring to the Senate recess. "I think that we would all be a lot better off if the Senate would stop taking vacations and start staying here until we actually get some real things accomplished."
On Thursday, Ryan maintained Congress was "on track" to pass tax legislation this year. The House would pass a bill to send to the Senate in November, he claimed.
"We want to wake up on New Year's Day with a new tax system," Ryan said.