paul ryan 12.19
Ryan: Most important bill passed in decades
01:49 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

"I'm not going anywhere any time soon," he says about rumors on his retirement

"You can see that I was very excited," he said about slamming his gavel on Tuesday

Washington CNN  — 

House Speaker Paul Ryan appeared on several morning shows Wednesday – just hours after the Senate voted to pass the tax bill – to defend the legislation he’s worked toward since 1993.

“When (the bill) gets in place, when people see their paychecks getting bigger in February because withholding tables have adjusted to reflect their tax cuts, when businesses are keeping more of what they earn, when they can write off their spending and hire more people, that’s going to change its popularity, I am convinced,” he told CBS in an interview. “So I think there’s just tons of confusion out there as to what this does or doesn’t do. A lot of people think it’s going to raise their taxes. So the proof is in the pudding, and I think the results will speak for themselves.”

In a vote in the early Wednesday morning hours, the Senate approved the final version of the first overhaul of the US tax code in more than 30 years, bringing President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans closer to their most significant legislative victory of 2017.

The House passed the bill earlier Tuesday, but technical changes were made to it in the Senate, and the bill will go back to the House on Wednesday for a revote, where it is expected to pass again.

“This is a promise made, this is a promise kept,” Ryan said Tuesday, keeping a promise he’s worked toward since signing on as an aide to his mentor, conservative fiscal guru Jack Kemp, in 1993.

He told “Fox and Friends” on Wednesday he got “a little carried away” with his gavel when it fell over after he slammed it after the House vote.

“You can see that I was very excited. It was a very emotional time. Jack Kemp was my mentor. I have been working on this issue pretty much my adult life,” he said. “I almost broke the thing, I got a little excited.”

He also reaffirmed that promise taxes would go down for most Americans.

“The average taxpayer in every income group including people in these high tax states still get a tax cut,” he said.

In another interview Wednesday morning, Ryan pushed back against rumors that he was retiring next year, but didn’t say whether he’d run for reelection.

“I’m not going anywhere any time soon,” he told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “It’s not even 2018 yet … (Running for reelection is) something (my wife and I) haven’t discussed yet. Something we’ll discuss down the road when the appropriate time comes.”

CNN’s DJ Judd contributed to this report.