Three Democratic senators joined President Donald Trump for a White House dinner aimed at winning their support for an
as-yet unreleased tax overhaul bill that would be written by
Trump’s guests — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana — are the only three Democratic senators who haven’t signed on to a list of conditions for supporting any tax legislation: that it not add to the federal deficit, that it not increase the burden on the middle class and that it go through the regular order process in Congress.
In reaching out to them, Trump is amplifying a White House strategy that seems squarely aimed at Democrats. It calls for the president to rally support for tax legislation by visiting states he won in 2016 where a Democratic senator is up for re-election next year. But with many details of the legislation still unclear, the strategy’s effectiveness remains to be seen.
Manchin, who faces re-election in a state Trump won by 42 points, said any plan must not add to the national debt. “We had a productive conversation about areas of agreement as well as areas where we will have to find compromise,” Manchin said in a statement after the dinner. “I will continue to fight for a simpler tax code that lowers rates for West Virginians and incentivizes Main Street businesses to invest and grow in America, but we must do this without adding to our staggering debt.”
Donnelly said he was pleased that Trump supports measures that would address “the outsourcing of American jobs.”