Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Republicans are writing tax reform behind closed doors, too

Republicans are writing tax reform behind closed doors, too

The as-yet-undrafted bill to overhaul the tax code is the top priority for Trump and Republicans after the collapse of their effort to dismantle Barack Obama's health care law.

Toomey confirmed the meeting on Bloomberg TV on Tuesday morning.

The Freedom Caucus leaders, whom are already upset that Congress wasted months on the failed bid to repeal Obamacare, told Ryan last Wednesday he needed to change his approach and were also of the opinion that he should have done more to sell Trump on a conservative alternative to the Democrats' offer. More importantly, they stressed the need to see something in writing. It's not that Republicans aren't on board with getting something done, but there's just one huge thing missing: details of a tax plan of any kind.

Democratic leadership, on the other hand, was happy to take Trump's 3-month debt extension plan (over the Republican's original 18-month plan), although the rank and file are displeased that Trump's deal with their leadership didn't come with more perks for them.

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In addition to Tuesday's tax reform dinner at the White House, Vice President Mike Pence is slated to visit IN next week, the home state he shares with Donnelly. Centerpiece of the Republican initiative is a simpler tax system with fewer rates. The Republicans have the Senate, White House and the House.

Manchin says he does not expect the plan would target popular tax deductions for mortgage interest and charitable giving.

If he was serious about reform, Trump wouldn't have attacked Missouri Sen. Attendees include three vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election in 2018: Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. John Thune (South Dakota), Orrin Hatch (Utah) are expected for dinner tonight.

Republican lawmakers have said that Trump's legislative deal with Democrats last week to help hurricane victims and keep the government running for another three months could complicate the tax effort, especially in terms of a corporate tax cut.

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Trump is attempting to put pressure on Democrats to support a GOP-led rewrite of the tax code during Tuesday's dinner, CNBC reported.

Trump is reportedly set to launch into a prolonged cross country tour to advocate for the cuts.

Hannity said the possibility that tax reform will not be addressed until 2018 is "beyond unacceptable", and it goes to show why McConnell has a "pathetic 18 percent approval rating in his home state of Kentucky".

Trump told North Dakotans last week that Heitkamp is a "good woman" and called her on stage with elected Republicans during an event he held to rally support for his tax cuts in Bismarck.

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