Sep 13, 2017, 9:57 AM ET

'A lot of work to be done': Senator discusses tax reform after Trump hosts bipartisan dinner

#

Breaded veal, pie and tax reform were on the menu at the White House on Tuesday evening as a bipartisan group of senators, top economic advisers and President Donald Trump met in what was termed a "constructive" meeting.

Interested in Donald Trump?

Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Add Interest

The meeting touched on a number of topics, but its focus was on tax reform, where the president "strongly stressed" his interest in getting a pro-growth tax reform package done "as quickly as possible," according to attendee Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

"We had a great substantive conversation on policy and a great outreach to Democrats, who by the way, I should point out, the three Democrats who were invited were invited because they were the only three Democratic senators who did not sign the letter which effectively declares a lack of interest on working with Republicans on tax reform," Toomey said in a call with reporters following the dinner.

The three Democratic senators who attended were Joseph Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. The three are all up for re-election next year and hail from red states that Trump easily won last year.

The Democrats each released their own statements following the dinner, describing the conversation in pleasant terms while stressing the need for tax cuts that will help the middle class. More importantly, they stressed the need to see something in writing.

There is officially no tax plan, yet.

However, Toomey described their discussions as substantive and constructive, and said the Democrats did signal an openness to a "considerably" lower top tax rate on American businesses. Trump has said he'd like to cut the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from the current rate of 35 percent, but Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a public appearance at CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Tuesday he didn't know if the cut would be that much.

The White House called the meeting "highly productive," saying in an official readout that the president's "bipartisan outreach efforts" demonstrate his commitment to deliver tangible results for the American people. An official also stressed that the purpose of the meeting was less about coming to an agreement than about getting both sides in the room to start a conversation.

There was also broad interest on both sides in crafting a net tax cut for middle-class families, which Toomey said the president was "adamant" about including in a tax reform package.

The president was apparently in a very good mood, with Toomey saying Trump took him and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., on a tour of the White House and Lincoln Bedroom following the dinner.

Despite Trump asking for an expedient resolution to the bill, the timeframe is in question.

"A lot of work has been done," Toomey said. "A tremendous amount of work has been done in fleshing out the details. It's not all finalized obviously, a lot needs to be done."

Toomey said nothing has been drafted yet, but "we're hoping to pass a budget resolution in one or both houses of Congress."

"I'm hoping that in October we get a budget resolution out of a conference committee so that both the House and Senate have passed the final budget legislation," Toomey said.

He said a tax reform bill would be worked on simultaneously through committees sometime by late September.

"The goal is by Christmas to have a tax reform bill on the president's desk, and I still believe that that's doable," Toomey said.

The president plans to continue his bipartisan push on Wednesday, hosting another bipartisan meeting on tax reform at the White House with 13 members of Congress. The White House has also said the president may travel to up to 13 states in the coming weeks as he makes an aggressive sales pitch for his top legislative priority heading into the fall.

The president is also using Twitter to push for swift congressional action, calling it the "biggest tax cut & tax reform package" in U.S. history and making the case that the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma add urgency to the matter.

ABC News' Mark Osborne contributed to this report.

News - 'A lot of work to be done': Senator discusses tax reform after Trump hosts bipartisan dinner

RRelated Posts

CComments

  • Verity Pendelton

    Maybe instead of hitting the 97% of us to get your rich cesspool billionaires even uglier richer try
    this American Middleclass Agenda. Maybe instead of hitting social programs, these GOP idiots should look at cutting the following "wealth" programs;

    Tax Breaks for CEO bonuses ($7 billion/year) (Bonuses are written off and not taxed as regular income). That $7 billion could singlehandedly fund the annual budget for the National Science
    Foundation.

    How about tax cuts for luxury corporate jets ($300 million/year) (as "security costs") This is approximately 50 percent of the annual budget for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    Big oil subsidies ($37.5 billion/year) the department of Housing and Urban Development allocated a total of $34.3 billion toward tenant-based rental assistance ($19 billion), project-based rental
    assistance ($8.7 billion), and general public housing programs ($6.6 billion).

    Pharmaceutical subsidies ($270 billion/year). The money saved could pay for the annual $270 billion in insurance costs from ACA that would help more Americans get access to
    healthcare.

    Capital gains tax breaks ($51 Billion/year) (If taxed as ordinary income) $51 billion per year in
    savings could fund two-thirds of the annual budget for food stamps.

    Handouts to Big Ag ($18 billion/year) via "Crop Insurance". This $18 billion in corporate welfare is more than NASA’s annual budget, which has hovered around the $17 billion mark since 2009.

    Welfare for Wall Street ($83 billion/year). If we were to force the big banks to borrow at the same interest rates as every other bank at a rate of $83 billion per year, that would be enough to double
    the current federal budgets for highway spending ($48.6 billion), Head Start ($10.1billion), the Environmental Protection Agency ($7.89 billion), nutrition assistance for women, infants, and children ($6.2 billion), the National Parks Service ($3 billion), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ($2.39 billion), with $5 billion left over.

    Export-Import bank subsidies ($112 billion).

    There are more, but you get the general idea!

  • TexasVulcan

    No tax reform plan till we see Trump's tax returns. Then we know what a lot of the needed reforms should be.

  • Jrducky

    I wish those who are considering a run for president would concentrate more on what is good for the people and stop pushing for promises they can't keep, just to get the votes!!!

  • Sarah Levine

    Why is my wallet suddenly feeling lighter?

  • Onetaxpayer

    This plan is being led by a person that he has a right of free transportation for his Honeymoon. Munchin is worth Hundreds of Millions of dollars and still wants a free ride on the tax payers dime. Much of the money is made using the tax code which reduces his taxes. I want him to only use those tax breaks that 80% of the citizens use. We have people who lose a lot of money and the tax code allows them to use all the losses to give them the right to not pay taxes. The average citizen can only deduct $3000 per year. This is the maximum every citizens should be allowed. Pay from a private company to the owner should be treated differently than what happens to the company.

  • wokkawokka

    Susan Rice finally admitted she was revealing Trumps top aides and secrets and now the Justice Department refuses to meet with the Senate in regards to Comey and FBI officials...... If you can't read between the lines, you are not smart. Everyone is out to get Trump.

  • boyscout

    First off you are not doing "anything" for the right reasons and working for the people. Second. It is quite improper and totally against the constitution you swore to uphold to seep your phony religious garbage into our civil government. When you search your hearts and cut your bs lies and deceit(even to yourselves) we may be able to accomplish good things for everyone. Chew yourselves free from the leashes of your masters you serve and become the peoples government again in fairness and honesty. That might be a good start. Also pass around some dictionaries and memorize the definitions of honor, honesty, fairness, equality, justice, compassion, duty, and study common sense definition 5 times as long.

  • jimrussell

    More Donny snake oil anyone? Two critical FACTS to remember about Republican tax reform . Republican Reagan's
    Republican Reaganomics I; the promise lowering taxes on the wealthy would pay for themselves and trickle down to benefit the average Joe and Jane. In fact it did neither, but Reagan did increase the national debt 189% and produced a runaway annual deficit until Democrat Clinton finally stopped them a decade later and balanced the budget which he handed Jr. Bush. What did did average Joe and Jane get from Republican Reaganomics, the opportunity to pay off the massive debt and deficits. After Clinton, Bush and Republican's institute wealthy tax cutting Reaganomic's II, result, a 101% national debt increace with the KICKER
    collapse the U S economy. Again average Joe and Jane left with paying back the Republican carnage. What do they say about "Trick me Once ? Joe and Jane you got tricked twice, up for #3?

  • jimrussell

    Here's another Republican opportunity Joe and Jane.Two critical
    FACTS to remember about Republican tax reform . Republican Reagan's
    Republican Reaganomics I; the promise lowering taxes on the wealthy
    would pay for themselves and trickle down to benefit the average Joe and
    Jane. In fact it did neither, but Reagan did increase the national debt
    189% and produced a runaway annual deficit until Democrat Clinton
    finally stopped them a decade later and balanced the budget which he
    handed Jr. Bush. What did did average Joe and Jane get from Republican
    Reaganomics, the opportunity to pay off the massive debt and deficits.
    After Clinton, Bush and Republican's institute wealthy tax cutting
    Reaganomic's II, result, a 101% national debt increace with the KICKER
    collapse the U S economy. Again average Joe and Jane left with paying
    back the Republican carnage. What do they say about "Trick me Once ? Joe
    and Jane you got tricked twice, up for #3?

  • inonepeice

    Trump: "With Irma and Harvey devastation, Tax Cuts and Tax Reform is needed more than ever before."

    ++++++++++++

    Well that logic explains the 4 bankruptcies he had....

  • inonepeice

    With Irma and Harvey devastation, Tax Cuts and Tax Reform is needed more than ever before.

    ++++++++++++++

    That could be the stupidest comment ever made by President. Well over $200 billion in damages from the storms, more possibly on their way and Trump wants to cut taxes.

  • BLW51

    "Pro-growth tax reform package" is Trump-speak for let the rich get richer and screw everyone else. Remember the promises of Reagan and "trickle-down economics"? The bottom 98% of Americans have been trickled down on for over 30 years now.

  • dtrainsdad

    No Dem leadership, just three up for re-election senators from states that Trump won last year? I guess the price for selling your soul to the Devil involves a good deal on some swamp land in Florida.

  • onaturalia

    No one trusts the GOP or Trump. I do not believe they will reduce taxes for the middle class. I believe they will add more loopholes for wealthy and corporations.

  • Galileo Galilei

    And after we let the perpetrators of the 2008 economic catastrophe off the tax hook, who's going to repay the 20 trillion dollars we barowed to repair their supply side, Voo Doo, damage?

  • RichardBroderickJr

    More than 75 years ago when this country was in the midst of a depression, the people of this country finished the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. We accomplished this goal even though this country was very poor when compared to today.

    At that time, we might have made the decision to not build that bridge. We might have thought that it would cost too much. But thankfully we didn't think that way because that bridge and many, many other worthy public projects helped to make this country great. Those things and that work and that pride helped make our people great too. The whole world could see it.

    We might have instead decided to not to invest in those things and those jobs and the pride of those people. We might have instead decided that we should practice austerity and reduce public works and incongruently give large tax cuts to the very rich. That would have been good for the people who lived like Trump. That would not have been good for this country.

    We need to do what is good for this country – not just what is good for the top one-tenth of 1%. Tax the Trump Class - invest in our country and people.

    .

  • ohyes2011

    Can't understand why Toomey keeps getting re-elected. Come on PA!

  • whitepine

    Work on rebuilding our country first....the West is burning, Houston, Florida, US Virgin Islands were destroyed. Trump is out of touch with current events and Americans