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Ryan Brushes Off 2018 Election Concerns: 'Blah, Blah'

| by Lauren Briggs

Midterm elections? House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan isn't too worried.

"Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah is what I think about that stuff," Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, told conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt during a May 19 interview when the pair discussed the possibility of Democrats taking over Congress in 2018, according to Business Insider.

Democrats are looking to regain control over the House and the Senate, particularly while President Donald Trump's approval ratings are down, and a number of GOP seats are up for re-election, note a number of political analysts from FiveThirtyEight. Nate Silver, the site's editor in chief, predicted in April that the midterm elections would be "cloudy with a chance of landslide" in favor of the Democrats.

"A midterm is usually quite bad for the president's party," Silver said at the time. "So the default is ... Republicans fighting an uphill battle. You could make an argument that we don't have that much reason to deviate from the default yet. But the default is still pretty bad."

These projections came before Trump caught criticism for reportedly sharing highly classified information with Russian officials and for firing FBI Director James Comey after reportedly asking him to stop investigating former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's ties to Russia, notes The Hill.

Despite this, Ryan told Hewitt the GOP tax and health care reform bills are still in the works.

"Obviously, he clearly did have a bad two weeks, and it's clearly my hope that he does right the ship, that he improves so that we can just get going," said Ryan. "But just so you know, we're doing our work."

Ryan said that "every Republican agrees with" the GOP tax reform plan, which House Ways and Means Committee chair Kevin Brady said was forthcoming when the group had its first public meeting of the year.

According to the speaker and former vice presidential candidate, negative press and White House scandal will not slow the legislators' plans to make sure that the U.S. is "assured that Congress is still working on solving their problems." If anything, he said it makes them "more focused."

"We're still working with the administration, getting our work done, so it's not as if like things stop and we wait for better news stories," Ryan said. "We don't. We keep working, and so that's what people need to know, is we're still doing our jobs, we're still doing our work, we're still going to deliver."

Sources: Business Insider, The Hill, FiveThirtyEight / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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