McConnell pours cold water on Trump-Schumer effort to repeal debt ceiling

McConnell pours cold water on Trump-Schumer effort to repeal debt ceiling”

West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin said in a statement he would continue to fight for a simpler tax code, but "we must do this without adding to our staggering debt".

A trio of Democratic senators from red states joined President Trump for dinner on Tuesday, with the evening's conversation revolving around overhauling the tax code.

Even before the three Democrats sat down with Trump, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer held a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon that was created to re-emphasize his party's conditions for tax legislation.

Trump administration officials have nonetheless said they'd prefer to seek bipartisan support for a tax bill.

While Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn have suggested that high earning individuals might not see any effective tax cut from the bill, some proposals - including eliminating the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax - drew Schumer's condemnation as boons for the rich ahead of Tuesday night's meeting. "Passing tax reform, which hasn't been done in 31 years, that is a win", he said.

"I think it's going to be a compromise".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday positioned himself in opposition to President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders in Congress on the nation's borrowing authority when he expressed no enthusiasm for repealing Congress' oversight of the debt ceiling. "I don't know if we'll be able to achieve that given the budget issues, but we're going to get this down to a very competitive level", Mnuchin told a conference in NY hosted by CNBC. Sens. John Thune of South Dakota and Orrin Hatch of Utah were the other Republicans at the dinner.

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                                                            |By Ayesha Rascoe
Image Zoom |By Ayesha Rascoe

For instance, the federal government technically hit the debt ceiling in March but used the measures to prevent any default until the end of September.

Heitkamp said she welcomed any chance "to talk with the president about issues important to North Dakota" and was looking forward to reviewing Trump's plans in more detail.

Manchin, Heitkamp and Donnelly are the only Democratic senators who did not sign a letter addressed to Republican leaders and Trump that said the Democratic caucus would not support a tax overhaul that cuts taxes for the "top 1 percent" or adds to the government's $20 trillion debt.

Asked whether Trump would hold out for a 15 percent corporate tax rate, compared to the current 35 percent, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "The president is prepared to push for as low of a rate as we can get".

House Senate, Republicans hold press conference on latest budget developments. Those trips, along with the Tuesday dinner, are part of efforts to pressure Donnelly to support a tax overhaul, the aide said.

A major concern on tax cuts is the federal budget deficit. And it sets up a scenario in which numerous promised new tax rates would expire after 10 years.

On the budget panel, Sen. Any Republican defection on the budget plan would deadlock the narrowly divided committee.

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