HILLSBORO, Ore. -- House Speaker Paul Ryan's stop at Intel Wednesday morning, complete with demos of the latest in autonomous car and drone technology, was part of a cross-country tour visiting major American employers to talk tax reform.
It’s a big goal, once Congress returns to Capitol Hill next month.
“We're taxing American businesses out of America,” he told a crowd of about 50 employees during remarks Wednesday. “Take away special interest carve outs, loopholes, condense redundant deductions, so you can simplify the system. More income, subject to taxation. that allows you to lower tax rates for everybody.”
Critics have argued such a plan gives major breaks to the wealthy and smaller ones to middle class families, while driving up the prices of imported goods, which would cost families more money when they go to buy those goods.
Still, less than 24 hours after President Trump took the stage at his campaign-style rally in Phoenix, questions followed about whether divisions in the Speaker's own party hurt chances of getting comprehensive reform passed.
The New York Times reported late Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "doubts whether Trump can save the presidency."
Hours later in Phoenix the president took aim at enemies, including Republican senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.
“I think the president feels that's a strategy that works for him,” said Speaker Ryan. “I would just say I think it's important for us to stay unified as Republicans to complete our agenda.”
The president Tuesday night also lampooned coverage of his comments on Charlottesville.
Critics were upset he condemned violence "on many sides," instead of focusing only on white supremacists.
On Tuesday, in his reading of his remarks, the president omitted that line.
Oregon's own representatives Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader, as well as Sen. Ron Wyden, have all said they would support a formal censure of the president.
In a televised town hall Monday, Speaker Ryan called it "a political food fight".
“If we try to descend this issue down to a partisan fight, a political fight, we are demeaning the important point that needs to be made here, which is every single one of us needs to stand up to this awful disgusting stuff that has no place in our society,” he said.
Finally amid the swirling mob of media Wednesday, an Intel employee asked about another topic of controversy: immigration.
Specifically, she asked what future policies might mean for tech companies who hire from overseas.
The speaker's response walked a thin line.
“An immigration system… that is based on what the economy needs, based on skills, based on contributions to the economy, is the kind of system that, I believe an emerging consensus is occurring that we hope to achieve,” he said. “At the same time, we have to make sure we enforce our laws.”
On Thursday, Ryan will travel to Everett, Washington for a town hall meeting at Boeing.
Protest following Intel meeting
Following his speech, Ryan headed to a fundraiser with Rep. Greg Walden at the Waverly Country Club in Southeast Portland Wednesday afternoon.
Across the street from the fundraiser, more than 100 protesters gathered.
A look at the protest currently. Sidewalk across the street is now blocked off. pic.twitter.com/ab4Cr1QBK9— Taylor Viydo (@TaylorViydoKGW) August 23, 2017
The protest wrapped up by 5:30 p.m.
Two separate invitations shared with KGW showed the private reception and dinner was intended to raise money for both Walden’s and Ryan’s campaign committees. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington also planned to attend the fundraiser.