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Ryan cites anxious, skeptical Americans in tax reform pitch

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Plan is meant to provide a sketch of possible GOP governance for worried voters, House speaker says. (Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner)

House Speaker Paul Ryan cited many Americans' anxiety about the future and the global economy Friday as a justification for the tax reform plan and other agenda items pledged by House Republicans in the run-up to the November elections.

"We are going into a global economy that is faster than anything we've seen before," Ryan said at an event to introduce the House GOP tax reform plan Friday morning. "One part of our country is OK with this. Another part is very concerned, very anxious and very skeptical about this."

The agenda, especially the tax plan that is meant to generate faster economic growth and simplify the tax code, is meant to provide a sketch of possible GOP governance for worried voters, Ryan said.

Ryan's comments were made as global markets plunged because of the fallout from the United Kingdom's vote Thursday to leave the European Union. The vote was interpreted by many analysts as a sign of discontent with globalization.

Ryan addressed the results of the vote Friday, stating his belief that markets would stabilize and underlining the close ties between the U.S. and the U.K. Because Americans value the principles of sovereignty, self-determination and rule by the people, he said, we "clearly understand" the motivations behind the vote to leave.

House Republicans boasted that their tax plan would make filing taxes and conducting business easier for individuals and businesses, at once lifting a burden from individuals and improving economic growth.

And by lowering corporate tax rates to 20 percent, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said, the U.S. would "leapfrog from dead last … to firmly in the lead pack" of countries in terms of competitiveness. The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate among developed nations, with the average statutory rate close to 23 percent.