- The Washington Times - Friday, September 29, 2017

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Friday that the unity seen during House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s return is something Congress can build on to pass tax reform.

“We’ve talked about this before. There’s a lot more unity on the floor every single day that we just don’t see. Day in, day out, Democrats work with Republicans. It doesn’t sell. It’s not glamorous,” Mr. Mulvaney said on Fox News.

Mr. Scalise, Louisiana Republican, returned to Congress Thursday after being shot on a baseball field in June as Republican lawmakers practiced for the annual congressional baseball game. The gunman, James Hodgkinson, died in a shootout with law enforcement at the scene. He was a left-wing activist who supported Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, in the Democratic primary.

Mr. Mulvaney is a former House member who played on the team with Mr. Scalise before becoming part of the Trump administration. He said the unity for Mr. Scalise’s return is not as rare as it may seem.

“The media seems to like conflict, but I can assure you that that sentiment that you saw in the chamber yesterday is there every single day,” Mr. Mulvaney said.

The Trump administration and Republicans are working furiously to sell their tax plan in the hopes of passing it before the end of the year. When asked if Mr. Scalise can help pitch the plan to Democrats under this new found unity, the budget director said yes. 

Mr. Mulvaney said the administration wants to work with Congress on the legislation and said the plan they released has room for negotiation. He said that the most important component for the administration is setting that first tax bracket for the lower income rates.

“There’s nothing to hold back,” he said on Fox Business. “What was the number most important to the president? That first bracket.”

“Beyond that this is part of the negotiation,” he added. “It’s not like there’s a bunch of numbers in an office back there behind me that we’re hiding.”

Democrats have already voiced their opposition saying they feel the plan benefits the wealthy and doesn’t do enough for middle-class families.

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