In a letter to Republican leadership, Senate Democrats said they are willing to work in tandem with the GOP on overhauling the USA tax code as long as the middle class doesn't pay more and the top 1% of earners doesn't pay less.
But, two of the three Senate Democrats missing from the letter, Sens.
Three Democratic senators did not sign onto the letter: Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
"We will need to use reconciliation because we have been informed by the majority of Democrats, in the letter I just received today, that most of the principles that would get the country growing again, they're not interested in addressing", McConnell said.
"Any tax reform effort should not benefit the wealthiest individuals, who have already seen outsized benefits from recent economic gains", said the letter, authored by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and others.
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, released a letter signed by 45 of the 48 Senate Democrats calling on McConnell and Trump to launch bipartisan talks.
The news follows earlier comments from Senate Republican leadership that the party will no longer be pushing for health care reform on its own. "It's the middle class that needs the relief".
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Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., another Finance Committee member and part of the GOP leadership team, said he's also open to working with Democrats. Opioid panel urges Trump to declare emergency MORE (R-Utah), Senate Democrats expressed "interest in working with you on bipartisan tax reform". Brown dismissed any threats from the White House with the sarcastic retort, "that's a really good way to get bipartisan cooperation".
When Congress returns from its summer break in early September, it also will have to pass bills to fund day-to-day government activities in the fiscal year that starts on October 1 and there are some fears that the debt limit could get caught up in those negotiations.
"We don't know where the White House is because they have different factions saying different things", Schumer told reporters when asked if the White House had articulated clear goals.
The White House in April issued a one-page outline for how it wanted to rework the tax code. "Deep cuts to our corporate, individual and other tax rates are very costly", they wrote.
Many Republicans have also questioned whether it is possible to make good on Trump's promises. Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Orrin Hatch (R-UT) also said Monday that the health bill has been too divisive to keep working on. "And in my view, it's in the best tradition of this committee to tackle big issues like tax reform on a bipartisan basis, so it's my hope that we're able to bring the two sides together on this issue in the months ahead". Mnuchin said they plan to "start going through the normal process" at the beginning of September.
The pair has set a self-imposed deadline of the end of the year for the tax overhaul to be completed. "This is a pass-fail exercise". "Tax reform is just as complicated".