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Trump kicks off tax reform pitch; will the GOP balk (again)?

Thus far, the #nevertrump faction of the GOP has been a bigger thorn in Trump’s side than most expected

(National SentinelTax Reform: President Donald J. Trump will launch his tax reform push on Wednesday during a speech at a manufacturing company in Springfield, Mo., a day after he visited hurricane-ravaged eastern Texas.

As reported by The Hill, the speech in Missouri is likely to be the first in a series of speeches and events the president will use to highlight the need for major corporate and personal income tax reform.

The Hill noted further:

The White House said that the address is not expected to delve into policy details, including specific tax rates. Instead, Trump is expected to make the case for why he believes changes to the tax code are needed to give people a better chance of achieving the American Dream.

“The president is going to lay out his vision to bring back Main Street by reducing the crushing tax burden on our companies and our workers and also to restore our competitive advantage by repairing and reforming our badly broken tax code,” a senior White House official told reporters Tuesday.

The selection of Missouri as the place to kick off his tax push was no accident. It is the home state of Sen. Claire McCaskill, a vulnerable Democrat in a red state whom Trump has already targeted in a tweet, saying she’s “opposed to big tax cuts.”

That said, McCaskill isn’t the president’s biggest obstacle to achieving his first major legislative accomplishment; most Democrats if not all of them are going to oppose any tax reform plan.

Rather, it’s the Republican Party the president will likely have trouble with — again.

Thus far, the #nevertrump faction of the GOP has been a bigger thorn in Trump’s side than most people expected, denying him (and the party) Obamacare repeal and replace after promising to do so for years.

And while House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, have been pushing for tax reform in their home districts during the August recess, the GOP-controlled Senate is where tax reform will, or will not, happen.

Still, tax reform — and in particular tax cuts for corporate America — are still important to the GOP and the business community. What’s more, this is one of the rare instances where Trump’s business background gives him a tactical advantage; as with the federal regulatory burden, Trump has actually had to deal with policy decisions and legislation pertaining to the tax code.

If Republicans balk on tax reform, it will be the clearest signal yet that party elders have made the conscious decision to deny Trump any legislative victories. It will mean the GOP establishment has decided it is worth risking the Republican congressional majority (and the betterment of the country) just to deny the upstart outsider victory.

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