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Trump Cheers Tax Reform Act as Democrats Say They will Only Deal with GOP Lawmakers

11-28-2017

In a statement Tuesday, President Donald Trump applauded the Senate Budget Committee for passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with a 12-11 vote which advances the bill onto a full Senate vote.  

The president followed up on those statements at a press event where he talked about the need for military funding in light of the latest missile launch by North Korea.  Referring to Democratic leaders he added "They should be calling immediately and saying we want to see you but probably they won't because the only thing important to them is raising taxes. "

This comes on the heels of Trump's lunch with lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday where the president touted his plan for tax reform. He called the meeting with GOP leaders "phenomenal" adding it was a "love-fest" with lawmakers who really want to see tax reform happen.  

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-WI,  added he was disappointed the Democrats did not come to the White House for the meeting.

"We have important work to do. We have big deadlines to meet," he said. 

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., echoed these sentiments saying that during the previous administration he could not "recall ever turning down an opportunity to go down to the White House."

The president says he is willing to reach across the aisles to get a deal for the American people but two top Democrats boycotted the meeting.  Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D - Calif., and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D - NY, said they did not attend because Trump attacked them on social media.  The lawmakers pointed to an earlier tweet where the president said he "didn't see a deal" between the two sides because both Pelosi and Schumer "want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes."

In her own tweet, Pelosi said she is willing to deal with Republicans but not the president.

"Given that the president doesn't see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead," she wrote. 

At the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is hoping that cooler heads will prevail.  Sanders told the press that the president's offer to meet is still open to the lawmakers.  She added it is time to put away the "pettiness" and urges leaders to "show up and get to work."  

On the Senate floor Tuesday, Schumer conceded that there is common ground they can agree upon while calling on senators to "find a middle ground that is acceptable to both parties."

White House watchers say this is a shift in dynamics between the White House and Democratic leaders who Trump sided with in September on a crucial deal to raise the debt limit and extend government funding until the end of the year.  The president says he is willing to work with both sides on this tax deal, saying in a tweet on Monday, "If we win, we'll get some Democratic Senators joining us."

Meanwhile, GOP party leaders are beating the pavement searching for votes to pass the tax overhaul.  Democrats are concerned about a portion of the bill that repeals the requirement for all Americans to have health care.  They say nearly 5% of Americans already opt to pay the penalty rather than pay for health care and according to them with this new tax bill the numbers of uninsured will climb.  

Other senators also raised concerns, including if the tax reform bill will increase the federal deficit. Sen. James Lankford, R - OK, suggested there be a checks and balance for the bill if the federal revenues fall short of projections.  He called for a "backstop" in case the debts and deficits get out of hand.
 

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