After healthcare flop, White House seeks
help from Congress on tax
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[March 27, 2017]
By Roberta Rampton
(Reuters) - Vice President Mike Pence on
Saturday blamed the Congress for thwarting a Republican plan to overhaul
healthcare law, but acknowledged that the White House will need to work
with lawmakers to accomplish its next set of legislative plans.
Speaking to a group of small business owners in Charleston, West
Virginia, Pence said President Donald Trump is ready to move on to his
next priority: simplifying the tax code and cutting tax rates.
"We're going to roll our sleeves up and we're going to cut taxes across
the board for working families, small businesses and family farms,"
"Working with this Congress, President Trump is going to pass the
largest tax cut since the days of Ronald Reagan, and we're going to get
this American economy moving again," he said.
Comprehensive tax reform has eluded previous Congresses and
administrations since 1986 when it was last accomplished under former
President Ronald Reagan.
Pence made his comments the day after the Republican-controlled House of
Representatives failed to find enough support within its own ranks to
pass legislation to roll back Obamacare -- a setback that raised doubts
about Trump's ability to deliver on other big promises requiring help
Trump and Republicans had campaigned to overhaul former President Barack
Obama's health care law, which they have argued is too intrusive and
"As we all learned yesterday, Congress just wasn't ready," said Pence,
who spent a dozen years in Congress starting in 2001, and has been a key
emissary for Trump on Capitol Hill.
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The Capitol building is seen in the rain as the House prepares for a
planned vote on the American Health Care Act. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
"With 100 percent of House Democrats -- every single one -- and a
handful of Republicans actually standing in the way of President
Trump's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, we're back to the
drawing board," Pence said.
On tax reform, Pence said Trump wants to cut the corporate tax rate
to 15 percent from 35 percent to spur investment.
The House of Representatives' tax committee is working on
legislation that would cut the corporate rate to 20 percent.
Pence said the White House also would seek to work with Congress to
boost funding for the military, roll back regulations on the energy
sector, and confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump's pick to fill a
vacancy on the Supreme Court.
Standing with Linda McMahon, who started and ran World Wrestling
Entertainment before being named as head of Trump's Small Business
Administration, Pence joked that the White House could use some
muscle to work with lawmakers.
"Maybe we could have used a few of your WWE superstars on Capitol
Hill yesterday," Pence said.
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Sandra Maler)
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