- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Three senators who attended Tuesday’s bipartisan dinner with President Trump on Wednesday said there are areas on tax reform where the two parties can agree.

“There’s many Democrats who acknowledged that a 35 percent corporate tax rate is ridiculous in a world where the OECD is at 22 [percent]. So that needs to come down, and I think there’s an agreement about that,” Sen. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, said Wednesday on MSNBC referencing the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Mr. Toomey, along with several other senators, met with Mr. Trump at the White House on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming tax plan.

“Look, we’re probably not going to bring down the top rates as much as I would like to. That’s probably fine with my Democratic colleagues. It’s something I’m going to continue to work on,” Mr. Toomey said adding that “simplification” and “rate reduction” are other areas Republicans and Democrats agreed on.

Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, said that although senators did not see details of Mr. Trump’s plan, he agreed that the tax code needs changing to compete globally.

“We haven’t changed this tax code for many, many, many, years, before we even had cell phones. You’ve got to compete in the marketplace, and we’re in a global market. So we start talking about that,” Mr. Manchin said Wednesday on MSNBC.

Sen. John Thune, South Dakota Republican, said that despite not seeing details of the plan, the administration is “close” to finalizing something for Congress members to give their input on.

“I think he needs to reach out to Democrats on all these big issues, and hopefully generate some bipartisan support. I think, again, that in order to get things across the finish line here in Washington, he’s going to need to work with Republican leadership,” Mr. Thune said Wednesday on MSNBC.

He also added that the president was clear his goal was to help families, not the wealthy as has been reported. 

“The president made it very clear that the bill he wants to sign into law has got to be about cutting taxes for middle-income families in this country and giving the American people a break, many of whom are living paycheck to paycheck,” Mr. Thune said.

All three senators said the conversation was productive and that the president is passionate about the issue of tax reform.

Mr. Manchin also said that, despite the hesitation of some in his party, he plans to support the president on areas where they agree, even offering to attend a rally with Mr. Trump in West Virginia.

“If they asked me to be there, I would absolutely be there,” he said.

The Trump administration announced that he’ll be hosting another rally in West Virginia in the coming weeks.

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