President Trump Visits Capitol Hill to Talk Tax Reform Amidst Ongoing Feuds
President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Capitol Hill today to meet with Republican lawmakers in a discussion with wide-ranging implications on legislative proposals, most notably on the shape of any forthcoming tax reform proposal.
The meeting marks the president’s first visit with the Senate Republican Conference.
Publications covering the meeting noted the dynamic is complicated by ongoing disagreements with some of the senators slated to attend – including Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Bob Corker (R-TN), all of whom have been involved in public wars of words with the president in recent months.
Just hours before the meeting, Senator Corker, who chairs the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee, responded to President Trump’s tweets that Corker is “incompetent” and a “lightweight” who “couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee,” further accusing Corker of being a party responsible for helping President Obama “give us the bad Iran deal.”
Speaking to reporters, Corker responded that “world leaders are very aware that much of what he (Trump) says are untrue” and that the president has lowered himself to a standard that “debases our country.”
With CNN reporting this morning that the president has now publicly criticized 1 in 5 Republican Senators, and with other senators in the room facing new challenges backed by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, the interpersonal clashes take on policy significance. As The Hill notes, “Any three Republican senators together could bring down Trump’s tax plan unless he convinces a few conservative Democrats to support the package. Republicans control 52 seats, so they need 50 votes to pass tax reform without Democratic support, as Vice President Pence would break a tie.”
The Trump administration has expressed a desire that a tax package be passed by Thanksgiving, while congressional leaders are said to favor a year-end deadline, with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) telling reporters this week, “I have one timetable: 2017.”
Posted in From the Hill