Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that the House is willing to work in a conference committee with the Senate on changes to a "skinny" Obamacare repeal bill the Senate is trying to pass this week, a message that could give the Senate the confidence to approve that bill in the next few hours.

But Ryan said that whatever legislative agreement the two chambers reach must pass the Senate first before the House will take it up, and said the Senate needs to show that it's able to pass some kind of Obamacare repeal bill.

Ryan said in a statement the House would be "willing" to convene a conference committee with the Senate on the measure, which repeals the Obamacare individual and business mandates and defunds taxpayer money from Planned Parenthood for one year.

"If moving forward requires a conference committee, that is something the House is willing to do," Ryan said.

Ryan delivered that message after five GOP senators said they would not vote for the "skinny" repeal without House assurance that they would meet with them to make changes, instead of just passing the bill and sending it along to President Trump for his signature. It wasn't immediately clear if Ryan's statement was enough of an assurance.

But Ryan, R-Wis., made it clear that the Senate ultimately needs to show it can pass a bill, which many doubt is possible given the difficulties GOP senators have had agreeing on any plan that makes changes to Obamacare's mandates or Medicaid expansion.

"The House remains committed to finding a solution and working with our Senate colleagues, but the burden remains on the Senate to demonstrate that it is capable of passing something that keeps our promise, as the House has already done," Ryan said. "Until the Senate can do that, we will never be able to develop a conference report that becomes law."

Here is Ryan's full statement:

"It is now obvious that the only path ahead is for the Senate to pass the narrow legislation that it is currently considering. This package includes important reforms like eliminating the job-killing employer mandate and the requirement that forces people to purchase coverage they don't want. Still it is not enough to solve the many failures of Obamacare. Senators have made clear that this is an effort to keep the process alive, not to make law. If moving forward requires a conference committee, that is something the House is willing to do. The reality, however, is that repealing and replacing Obamacare still ultimately requires the Senate to produce 51 votes for an actual plan. The House remains committed to finding a solution and working with our Senate colleagues, but the burden remains on the Senate to demonstrate that it is capable of passing something that keeps our promise, as the House has already done. Until the Senate can do that, we will never be able to develop a conference report that becomes law. We expect the Senate to act first on whatever the conference committee produces. Obamacare is collapsing and hurting American families. We have to keep working at this until we get the job done."