Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a top adviser, jumped into the administration’s tax reform push on Wednesday, joining conservatives to promote an expansion of the child tax credit and later appearing onstage with her father at an event in North Dakota.
Ms. Trump told conservative leaders that the administration is pushing for “the largest child tax credit possible,” potentially doubling it to $2,000 per child, and said she wants to make it refundable against payroll taxes so that lower-income people who pay little or no federal income tax would still benefit.
“The issue of child care was central to the campaign and remains a key priority for this administration,” Ms. Trump said at an event in Washington hosted by Americans for Tax Reform. “This administration is committed to keeping working families at the forefront of our agenda.”
Later in the day, Ms. Trump traveled with her father, President Trump, to stump for tax reforms in North Dakota. Mr. Trump briefly pulled his daughter on stage.
“We love this state, so it’s always a pleasure to be back here,” she said. “You treated us very, very well in November and have continued to, so we like sharing the love back.”
The president joked that people say his daughter is evidence that he can’t be that bad a guy. Indeed, she was among his most effective surrogates on the campaign and delivered a prime-time speech at the Republican National Convention last summer.
She has consulted with Sen. Marco Rubio., Florida Republican, on legislation to expand the child tax credit, and could be an effective voice in selling the idea to voters and conservative groups.
“She is a formidable ally in any cause, and she has spoken out with great passion and eloquence on this issue,” said Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican.
Ms. Trump’s active involvement in tax reform talks also comes at a crucial time, as lawmakers are looking mobilize grass-roots conservatives — notably social conservative groups — to back the effort.
But it’s unclear how Ms. Trump’s push will stack up against GOP leaders, who have said they want to eliminate most tax breaks and use the revenue to lower rates across the board.
ATR President Grover Norquist said expanding the credits should be part of the discussion.
“As we go back, we’ve never had a successful tax reform that was not both pro-growth and pro-family,” he said. “That’s how we put together a winning coalition to understand why we need to do it. It’s also important to do both of those things as we move forward.”
In between her appearance with conservatives and her North Dakota trip, Ms. Trump created a stir when she reportedly walked in toward the end of a White House meeting between Mr. Trump and congressional leaders over spending priorities and the government’s debt limit.
Multiple reports said the GOP leaders at the meeting — Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — were “visibly annoyed” by her presence, and that she pushed the conversation off topic.
But Mr. Ryan’s office refuted that account as “not true” and Marc Short, the White House’s director of legislative affairs, said they asked Ms. Trump to join the meeting to talk about the child tax credit, calling it a “quick and productive conversation,” according to CNN.
Still, that get-together, which also included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, proved incredibly consequential.
Mr. Trump announced afterward he was siding with Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer on a deal to tie a short-term spending bill with an increase to the debt limit and disaster relief money for Hurricane Harvey.