Trump calls Dem senator ‘good woman’ in North Dakota tax reform speech

Trump calls Dem senator ‘good woman’ in North Dakota tax reform speech
The divide between President Donald Trump and his own party may deepen, as he has just paid a compliment to an embattled Democratic senator. This as he traveled to North Dakota to pitch his tax reform plan and after making a deal with Democratic leaders to extend the debt ceiling by three months.

Trump began his speech at an oil refinery in Mandan, North Dakota on Wednesday by inviting several officials to the stage, including Democratic US Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, whom he called a “good woman.”

“Everyone’s saying ‘what’s she doing up here?’” Trump said. “But, I’ll tell you what, good woman. And I think we’ll have your support. I hope we’ll have your support.”

Trump said that both North Dakota senators were “good people” and added that he needs their support.

“We just want their support, because we need support. You see that with what’s happening in Congress,” Trump said. “Nobody can get anything through Congress.”

Heitkamp traveled with Trump on Air Force One to North Dakota, where Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters told reporters that the president was “committed to reaching across the aisle and having this be a bipartisan effort to pass tax reform.”

In his speech, Trump cited the fact that the last time Congress passed major tax reform was under former President Ronald Reagan, who received support from a Democratic senator in North Dakota.

“It can happen,” Trump said. “Are you listening, Heidi? Yes, Heidi’s listening.”

Ahead of Trump’s visit, Heitkamp underscored the need for lawmakers to “work with the White House, Republicans and Democrats in Congress toward comprehensive, permanent tax reform.”

“Ask any small business owner, energy industry worker, farmer or parent in North Dakota about what they think of the current US tax code and they’ll most likely tell you that it’s broken,” Heitkamp said in a statement. “That’s why I’m glad to welcome President Trump to North Dakota where North Dakotans are eager to hear more about his tax reform plan.”

Trump boarded Air Force One after meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Maryland) at the White House, where he agreed to extend the debt limit and fund the government until December 15.

Talking with reporters on Air Force One on route to North Dakota, Trump said the meeting was “very cordial and professional.”

"We had a very good meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. We agreed to a three-month extension on debt ceiling, which they consider to be sacred — very important — always we'll agree on debt ceiling automatically because of the importance of it," Trump said, according to the White House.

Prior to the meeting, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) slammed the deal on Wednesday, calling it “unworkable” and adding that it could “put in jeopardy the kind of hurricane response we need to have."

"To play politics with the debt ceiling like Schumer and Pelosi apparently are doing I don't think is a good idea,” Ryan said, according to CNBC.

During his speech, Trump called that the current tax code “a giant self-inflicted economic wound” that has cost the US “millions of American jobs, trillions of dollars and billions of hours wasted on paperwork and on compliance.”

Trump touted the most recent unemployment rate, which he said was the lowest in 16 years and said that “a lot of that had to do with the cutting of regulation.”

The president then laid out his proposed tax plan, which consisted of four principals. First, he called for a tax code that is “simple fair and easy to understand.”

According to Trump, 94 percent of families need help filling out their taxes, which is why the tax preparation industry generated 10 billion in revenues last year.

“That’s one business I want to drive down,” Trump said. “Sorry, H&R Block will not be supporting Donald Trump, I can tell you that.”

“Under our plan, 95 percent of Americans will be able to file their tax returns on a single page without having to keep receipts, fill out schedules or track endless paperwork. We’re giving hard working Americans their time back and we’re giving them their money back,” Trump said.

Trump also said he wants to provide a tax cut for middle-class families by raising their standard deduction, increasing the child tax credit, and lowering tax rates substantially.

Additionally, the president said he wants to create a tax code that restores America’s competitive edge. Trump called the current tax rate “the highest in the developed world” and said that he would like to cut the business tax rate down to “about 15 percent.”

“All told, it will be the greatest tax reduction in the history of our country,” Trump said.

The president also said he wants to eliminate the death tax, which he said has been a “tremendous burden for small businesses.”

“We are not going to allow the death tax, or the inheritance tax, or whatever you want to call it, to crush the American dream,” Trump said.

Finally, Trump said his tax proposal would bring back trillions of dollars that’s being held overseas. He estimated that there is “probably between $3.5 and $5 trillion dollars that cannot come back.”

Throughout his speech, Trump reminded his audience to vote out anyone that does not support his tax proposal, specifically mentioning Democrats.

“If Democrats don’t want to bring back your jobs, cut your taxes, raise your pay, and help America win, voters should deliver a clear message: do your job to deliver for America, or find a new job,” Trump added.

Trump ended his speech by reminding his audience about the health care vote that failed to pass through the senate in July. Trump said that he has not yet given up on health care, and promised that it would not fail again.

“We can’t let that happen again. But, we’ll get it done, one way or the other,” Trump said. “But only if you demand it. Only if you, the American people tell Congress to stop putting party first and start putting America first. Only then will it happen.”