North Dakota Democrat Pressured by Trump to Pass Tax Reform Plan

(CN) – President Donald Trump on Wednesday traveled to North Dakota to promote tax reform and to put pressure on the state’s Democratic senator to vote for the administration’s yet-to-be finalized proposal.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., traveled with Trump on Air Force One to the speech, during which the president devoted two portions to imploring voters to call their lawmakers and demand they vote for his plan.

“Anybody that’s going to vote against tax cuts and tax reforms, whether it’s in North Dakota or anybody else, or anyplace else, you’ve got to vote against them and get them out of office, because it is so bad,” Trump said to applause.

Trump told the gathered crowd that with enough calls from people supportive of the plan, lawmakers will “have no choice” but to support it.

“Only if you the American people tell Congress to stop putting party first and start putting America first, only then will it happen,” Trump said.

Trump brought Heitkamp up on stage along with other state leaders at the beginning of the speech, telling her, “I think we’ll have your support, I hope we’ll have your support.” Later in the speech, Trump reminded the crowd that both of former President Ronald Regan’s tax cuts passed with the support of a Democrat from North Dakota, though he insisted he wasn’t putting Heitkamp “on the spot.”

Senate Democrats have said they will only support a Republican tax proposal if it doesn’t cut taxes for the highest earners, increase the deficit or go through the reconciliation process, a special procedure in the Senate that only requires the support of a majority of senators to pass. Republicans used the same procedure to attempt to pass their health care plan with no votes from Democrats.

In a statement issued on Friday, Heitkamp urged Republicans and Democrats to work together on a tax proposal.

“Any time a president comes to North Dakota, it’s a great opportunity to lay the groundwork for a better future for our businesses and our families,” Heitkamp said in the statement. “Now more than ever, I hope President Trump uses this visit to address the kitchen-table issues that keep the North Dakotans I’ve met with across the state this past month up at night.”

While the specifics of the tax plan Republicans will propose are not yet finalized, Trump on Wednesday promised a package that would simplify the tax code, cut rates for the middle class through increased deductions and slash the rate that businesses pay “as much as possible.”


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