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Dems Hint They Will Work With GOP On Tax Reform

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Senate Democrats signaled their willingness Tuesday to work with Republicans on tax reform, provided it includes a few key concessions to the party’s platform.

Forty-three Democrats and two Independent senators sent President Donald Trump a letter Monday expressing their willingness to work with the administration and Republicans on passing tax reform. The Democrats are asking in exchange for their bipartisanship that the tax reform package not cut taxes on the wealthy, increase the federal deficit, or allow the Republicans to pass the legislation without Democratic support, Reuters reports.

While Republicans may not accept all of the requests from Senate Democrats, it does show that the need for bipartisanship after the GOP senator’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare which ended Friday in a contentious 51-49 vote.

White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short said Monday the administration expects tax reform to pass as early as November.

The House Ways and Means Committee will begin the markup process on tax reform in September, with the goal of pushing a bill through the House in October and the Senate in November, Short told a group gathered at a conference hosted by conservative groups Americans For Prosperity and Freedom Partners in downtown Washington. At that point, the bill would make it to President Donald Trump’s desk for approval.

Short described the tax reform timeline as “aggressive,” and hinted that both the administration and members of Congress are in for a “long fall.”

Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch said Monday that Senate lawmakers are far too divided to continue to push for repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Hatch said that Republican leadership would be better served moving to tax reform and scoring a legislative win before moving back to trying to overhaul Obamacare. With support from his Democratic colleagues, Hatch could see his wishes come to fruition.

On the other hand, the president has urged the Senate not to give up on repealing and replacing Obamacare. Trump called out Senate Republicans on Saturday, saying that unless they are “quitters,” the party will call for another procedural vote before moving on to a new Obamacare repeal and replace proposal.

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