photo - House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., answers questions during an interview at the Associated Press bureau in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., answers questions during an interview at the Associated Press bureau in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) 

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan is backing off months of promises that the Republican tax plan won't add to the nation's ballooning deficit, declaring that the most important goal is economic growth.

He was asked twice during an AP interview whether he would insist the emerging tax plan not pile more billions onto the $20 trillion national debt, but Ryan passed up the chance to affirm that commitment.

He said Republicans "want pro-growth tax reform that will get the economy going" and "that is more important than anything else."

Ryan's comments during Wednesday's interview came amid quickening action on taxes, which Republicans view as their last, best chance to notch a significant accomplishment to take to voters in the 2018 midterm elections following the collapse of their "Obamacare" repeal drive.

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