Trump to dine with new pals Pelosi and Schumer

Donald Trump

President Trump is hosting a dinner at the White House Tuesday night for a bipartisan group of senators.

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

As Trump continues to seek Democratic input on the tax front, he was set to meet on Wednesday afternoon at the White House with House members, including eight Democrats and five Republicans.

He was insistent that the tax code should be simplified for all Americans but agreed with the president that tax reform would help boost the economy.

"We had a great substantive conversation about policy, and great outreach to Democrats", Toomey said of the dinner, which included Democratic senators from North Dakota, West Virginia and Indiana.

BuzzFeed's Kate Nocera said one person "familiar with the invite" told her it would be a follow-up on the meeting between Trump, Schumer, Pelosi and Republican leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) last week. Over the summer, said Short, the White House was engaging with outside groups such as the Club for Growth to avoid the kind of blowback from conservatives that hit GOP "repeal and replace" efforts early on.

The move could signal a shift in presidential feelings on maintaining a Republican majority in the upper chamber of Congress. Trump has a history of targeting senators that oppose him, like Sens. The letter 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.

After President Donald Trump sided with Democratic leaders to lift the debt ceiling and extend government funding alongside aid for Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters, a once-looming September 30 deadline has disappeared. Republicans haven't voted for a budget in more than a decade, and Democrats said they are now taking an opportunity to walk away from what have been bipartisan negotiations going back months.

Some skeptics don't expect to see any serious tax reform this year, due to the limits imposed by both the calendar and the turmoil roiling the Republican Party.

As a result, Congress faces a December showdown after it passed that package last week, providing $15.3 billion in disaster aid for the Harvey-ravaged Gulf Coast and Hurricane Irma's destructive path, and extending federal funding and borrowing authority until Dec. 8. From the Phoenix rally to last week's speech in North Dakota and flurries of tweets, President Trump has made it clear the agenda is his topmost priority.

"We're going to have hearings first, and then we'll go from there".

"What do you do about cutting taxes and not piling onto the debt?"

But while the White House has talked about working with Democrats on tax reform and infrastructure, there still is no legislation to be voted on by lawmakers in the House and Senate.

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