Trump To Congress: Get Moving On Tax Reform Already

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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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President Donald Trump tweeted early Wednesday morning urging members of Congress to work on tax reform — and to do it quickly.

“The approval process for the biggest tax cut and tax reform package in the history of our country will soon begin. Move fast Congress!” the president wrote.

Trump reached out to Democratic members of both the House and the Senate last week in an effort to push a bipartisan plan that both sides of the aisle could support. Members of the administration asserted that the president is committed to getting the reform passed and is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

“We learned this summer that keeping 50 or 52 Republicans in the Senate is not something that’s reliable,” White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short said on Tuesday, referring to the Senate’s failure to pass a significant replacement to the Affordable Care Act.

“Despite promises and commitments they’ve made to the American voters since 2010, we don’t feel like we can assume we can get tax reform done strictly on a partisan basis, so it would be wise for us … to try and reach out and earn the support from Democrats as well,” he concluded.

The move could signal a shift in presidential feelings on maintaining a Republican majority in the upper chamber of Congress. Trump has a history of targeting senators that oppose him, like Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin echoed the administration’s strong feelings on the matter, underscoring the president was committed to passing some sort of legislation on the issue by the end of the year.

“We’re going to get this done by the end of the year,” Mnuchin told CNBC about the measure. “The administration is super focused.”

Although the president is on board with the issue, conservative members of the House are calling for time to ensure that the bill is done right.

“This time around there is no room for error,” Virginia Republican Dave Brat told Politico Tuesday. “I would hope everyone wants to know what’s in it before you vote on it. That’s the old Pelosi joke on health care, it turned into a colossal joke.”

Many Republican members of Congress reported they had not read the health care bill when it came to a vote in July, and many members didn’t even know what iteration of the bill would be put to a vote in the upper chamber.

“We want a lot more clarity on tax reform,” House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows said about the measure, pressing for a slowed down approach that could fail to meet the administration’s deadline.


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