Donald Trump has called on Congress to put partisanship aside to create the “21st-century tax code that our people deserve” – while also criticising Democratic “obstructionists”.
During a speech in Springfield, Missouri, Mr Trump specifically urged Missouri voters to tell their Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill to embrace tax reform. If she doesn’t, “you have to vote her out of office”, he said, eliciting booming cheers from the crowd.
“She’s got to make that commitment,” he said, later adding: “The Dems are looking to obstruct tax cuts and tax reform, just like they obstructed so many other things, including administration appointments and healthcare.”
In a statement on Saturday, Ms McCaskill had said she was “looking forward to working with” Mr Trump on tax reform.
“This is an area on which I’m optimistic President Trump and I will find common ground,” she said. “I’ve talked in a lot of my town halls about my support for simplifying the tax code by cleaning out loopholes and goodies for special interests, and lowering the corporate tax rate”.
Ms McCaskill has signed a Democratic letter declaring opposition to any bill that cuts taxes on the top 1 per cent as well as any measure that adds to the budget deficit.
More than seven months into his administration, Mr Trump has still not been able to secure a major legislative victory. His attempts to overhaul his predecessor Barack Obama’s healthcare law were foiled in July when the Senate’s Republican leadership failed to get enough votes from members of their own party to pass a bill.
Legislators are due to return to Washington next week after a month-long recess. In the coming months, they are expected to try to tackle several items on Mr Trump’s legislative agenda, including tax reform, which the President teed up in Springfield.
“I think Congress is going to make a comeback,” Mr Trump said on Wednesday. “I hope so.”