As part of that effort, Ryan will be meeting with the House's top Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, on Wednesday evening, before Pelosi heads to the White House for a dinner with Trump and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.
"The dials are moving back and forth" on where to set rates and how to pay for tax cuts, said Representative Tom Reed, a New York Republican.
President Donald Trump is in a big rush for Congress to approve big tax cuts, and he is using the damage left by Hurricane Irma to argue his case. Though that plan may be in flux, various economists have said it would indeed represent a tax cut for the highest earners in the U.S. The president said on his trip to Florida last week that he wants to cut taxes for the middle class and that "the wealthy Americans are not my priority". Yet even as President Donald Trump hunted for Democratic votes for a plan that's not yet taken shape, and GOP leaders laid out an aggressive timetable to lawmakers, significant hurdles remained.
Speaker Paul Ryan is impaneling an informal working group of moderate Republicans and immigration hard-liners to find a solution for so-called Dreamers that the House GOP conference can support.
Trump urged lawmakers gathered to discuss tax reform not to forget the immigration issue as they dig into the fall agenda.
Republicans love to call the estate tax "the death tax, " but the idea that family farms and small businesses are being routinely lost because of the estate tax is a myth. Congress' Joint Committee of Taxation says far less than 1 percent of all Americans pay any estate tax, and almost all of them are among the wealthiest 5 percent.
The chances of Congress actually eliminating all those tax breaks are nearly exactly zero, meaning that while it's technically possible to cut individual tax rates to Trump-like levels, it's "highly improbable", the Tax Policy Center's Howard Gleckman says.
Trump reiterated that he hoped to lower the top corporate tax rate from 35 to 15 percent, something Ryan has already ruled out as impractical - and an idea the president himself has backed off from, according to people with knowledge of a meeting he held Tuesday night with bipartisan senators. Trump has said that his goal is a 15 percent corporate rate - a goal he repeated Wednesday. Conservatives went along, only to see leaders struggle and fail to follow through on that promise.
Democrats have vowed to reject any plan that would offer tax breaks to the wealthy and also oppose the president's call to repeal the estate tax.
Trump has shifted his attention in recent weeks to tax reform.
Cruz, who opposed Trump for the Republican presidential nomination previous year, gave a speech Wednesday on his goals for tax legislation during an event sponsored by the Tax Foundation, a Washington policy group.
They're not saying no to tax cuts, just demanding that they be paid for and actually benefit people who need the help.