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House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks at his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan reaffirmed his threat Thursday to keep Congress in session through Christmas if they don't meet their tax reform deadlines:

"Half this country is living paycheck to paycheck and if it means we've got to stay here 'til Christmas to give them the relief they need and deserve, then tough we will do that."

More from Ryan:

  • Ryan is traveling to PR tomorrow with a bipartisan delegation to assess the damage from Hurricane Maria. "We're in the midst of a humanitarian crisis."
  • On Trump's morning tweets slamming PR's financial crisis: Ryan said he's been busy this morning and hasn't looked at Trump's Twitter feed, but stated "This is an area where the federal government has a responsibility... We need to make sure Puerto Rico can stand on its own two feet."
  • Iran deal: "I think we need a comprehensive strategy on Iran, and we don't have one. I think this deal was a bad deal — it allows them to get nuclear weapons... I think we're due for a comprehensive strategy, and I think that's what the administration is working on and getting set to announce."
  • On nomination of Kirstjen Nielsen as DHS Sec: "She brings a proven track record in response and in emergency management. She's also widely respected for her expertise in cyber security."
  • On Trump threatening NBC's media license: "I'm for the first amendment and I'm a Constitutional conservative and I'm just gonna leave it at that."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Read: Pete Buttigieg's opening statement ahead of confirmation hearing

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of transportation, in December. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.