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Trump may visit up to 13 states in aggressive public push on tax reform

September 12, 2017 - 3:09 pm
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(WASHINGTON) -- President Trump may travel to as many as 13 states in the coming weeks as he makes a public sales pitch to the American people on tax reform, a White House official told ABC News.

The president has already traveled to Missouri and North Dakota. On the list of likely visits are states with Democratic senators who have strong Republican constituencies where the president had success in the 2016 election, according to the official. Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio and Pennsylvania are likely candidates for future visits.

The president's bipartisan push was already on display last week in North Dakota, where the president made a public show of bringing along the state's Democratic Sen. Heidi Hietkamp, who is facing a tough reelection battle next year, along on Air Force One for the trip. During his remarks on tax reform at a refinery in Heitkamp's home state, the president invited the senator to join him on stage and called her a "good woman."

"I think we'll have your support. I hope we'll have your support," the president said to Heitkamp publicly during the speech.

In addition to hitting the road, the president is lobbying members of Congress behind-the-scenes in Washington.

Tonight, the president will be wining and dining a bipartisan group at the White House on the issue. Democratic Sens. Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly (Indiana), Joe Manchin (West Virginia) -- all moderates who are up for re-election and hail from states Trump won last year -- along with Republican Sens. Pat Toomey (Penn.), Sen. John Thune (South Dakota), Orrin Hatch (Utah) are expected for dinner tonight.

"The President is committed to getting tax relief for middle class Americans passed and is willing to work with Democrats and Republicans to do it," said White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters of the dinner.

While the White House continues to make a public push for tax reform, the president has not actually rolled out a plan but has instead only outlined broad guidelines for what he'd like to see accomplished through reform. Last week in North Dakota he said his administration "is working with Congress to develop a plan that will deliver more jobs, higher pay, lower taxes for businesses of all sizes and middle-class families."

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