President Donald Trump met Tuesday with a bipartisan group of House Ways and Means Committee members — including Rep. Mike Thompson D-St. Helena — the day before he heads to Indiana to help unveil what he called a “very comprehensive, very detailed” framework for tax legislation.
Before the meeting, Trump said the plan, which has been kept under tight wraps by congressional leaders and White House officials, will simplify taxes, increase the child tax credit and cut taxes for the middle class “tremendously.” Democrats have questioned whether the plan’s details — based on leaks that surfaced over the past week — will ultimately benefit top earners the most.
Trump said Tuesday it was “time for both parties to come together” on taxes — though a House Democratic aide said Tuesday’s meeting doesn’t signal any new agreements. Because the framework is probably already written and scheduled for release Wednesday, the aide described Tuesday’s meeting as pointless.
Trump has been making a push to engage with Democrats on taxes, even as GOP congressional leaders have said they don’t expect to have any Democratic support for the planned tax overhaul. Earlier this month, the president dined with three Democratic senators who are up for re-election next year in states Trump won — including Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana — to try to win their backing, and has met with a bipartisan group of moderate House members.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Tuesday he’ll discuss taxes with the Republican conference on Wednesday.
“This framework is going to be focused on helping American families. It’s going to be focused on helping the people in the middle. It’s going to be focused on helping people get to the middle who are struggling to do that,” Ryan said. “At the same time, our businesses in America can’t compete with the low tax rates of foreign nations.”