‘Go Congress, go!’: Trump pushes lawmakers to cut taxes
US President Donald Trump has urged the Republican-majority Congress to pass legislation that would substantially cut taxes, hoping to get support from the minority Democrats. Republicans have traditionally favored the measure.
“With Irma and Harvey devastation, tax cuts and tax reform is needed more than ever before. Go Congress, go!” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, referring to the hurricanes that devastated Florida and Texas. He added that “the approval process for the biggest tax cut and tax reform package in the history of our country will soon begin.”
With Irma and Harvey devastation, Tax Cuts and Tax Reform is needed more than ever before. Go Congress, go!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2017
The approval process for the biggest Tax Cut & Tax Reform package in the history of our country will soon begin. Move fast Congress!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2017
Last week, just after he negotiated a deal with Democratic Congressional leaders to raise America’s debt ceiling along with helping victims of natural disasters, Trump headed to North Dakota to push for tax cuts in a campaign-style speech.
Trump urged Democrats to support the legislation.
“We just want their support, because we need support. You see that with what’s happening in Congress,” Trump said, referring to the fact that Democrats hold enough seats to block any Republican proposal through filibustering. “Nobody can get anything through Congress.”
Trump invited Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) to the stage and called her a “good woman,” adding, “I think we’ll have your support. I hope we’ll have your support.”
Heitkamp said she wanted to work with Trump on a tax reform.
JUST IN: House Speaker Paul Ryan says a tax reform plan will be released by the end of the month pic.twitter.com/oQYFf5HYUt— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 13, 2017
The president has outlined four parts of what he said would be “the greatest tax reduction in the history of our country,” starting with raising the standard deduction to help middle-class families, reducing the business tax down to “about 15 percent,” dramatically simplifying the tax code and eliminating the so-called “death tax.”
“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.
Lawmakers who do not back this tax proposal should be voted out of office, the president called for his supporters.
Trump’s outreach to Democratic leaders last week to strike a deal on the debt ceiling has irked some top Republicans in Congress, and essentially forced their hand on passing the legislation.
The deal came after House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) said it was “ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment.”
Both Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to extend the debt ceiling by at least a year and a half, not by three months as Trump agreed with the Democrats.
Trump has criticized the Congressional GOP leaders after they failed to deliver on their promises to repeal and replace Obamacare. The last-ditch effort to repeal the healthcare mandate and clear the way for tax reform failed by one vote, cast by a longtime Trump foe John McCain (R-Arizona).
On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) were invited to dinner with Trump, Reuters reported. Citing Democratic staffers, the agency reported that they will most likely discuss legislation the Democrats want passed to protect children of illegal immigrants, a proposal known as the DREAM act. It is unknown whether tax reform will be on the agenda.