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President Donald Trump dismissed concerns about his simmering feud with Republican Sen. Bob Corker on Tuesday, promising to still deliver on tax reform despite antagonizing one of the most important lawmakers on the issue.
When a reporter asked Trump whether his fight with Corker would hurt the tax reform push, he dismissed the idea.
“I don’t think so, no,” Trump said in the Oval Office, where he was meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. “I don’t think so at all. I think we’re well on our way. It’s very – the people of this country want tax cuts. They want lower taxes.”
Analysts expressed concerns over Trump and Corker’s public back-and-forth – in which Corker said he worried that Trump could start World War III – saying the divide between to the two men could result in the Tennessee senator voting against a budget agreement that’s vital to getting tax reform done or could reject the package itself. Given the GOP’s slim majority in the Senate, a “no” vote on either measure from Corker could be seriously damaging.
After reassuring the press on Corker, Trump then repeated his oft-debunked claim that the US is the “highest-taxed nation in the world,” said that the Republican plan will result in the “the largest tax cuts in the history of this country,” promising that companies would bring back overseas assets under his plan.
Following these statements, the president suggested that a new version of the tax reform plan could be released in the coming weeks.
“People want to see tax cuts, they want to see major reductions in their taxes, and they want to see tax reform – and that’s what we’re doing,” Trump told the assembled press. “And we’ll be adjusting a little bit over the next few weeks to make it even stronger. But I will tell you that it’s become very, very popular.”
The most detailed tax plan yet, the unified framework from Trump and the “Big Six” Republican tax negotiators, was released on September 27 and drew criticism after economists determined that much of the benefit from the plan would go to the wealthiest Americans.