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House Speaker Ryan leaves door open on taxes, deficit

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) arrives at a news conference after a closed conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday left the door open on whether Republicans’ tax overhaul would increase the nation’s deficit or follow Republicans’ long-standing principle that the cost of any legislation be offset by government spending cuts.

Asked if their tax plan would be revenue neutral, Ryan told the Associated Press in an interview: “We want pro-growth tax reform that will get the economy growing, that will get people back to work, that will give middle-class taxpayers a tax cut, and that will put American businesses on a better competitive playing field... That is more important than anything else.”

Reporting by Susan Heavey and Makini Brice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama