A trio of Democratic senators from red states joined President Trump for dinner on Tuesday, with the evening's conversation revolving around overhauling the tax code.
The goal of the dinner with Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), and Joe Donnelly (Ind.) was to find common ground on issues like retirement security and keeping jobs in the United States, Politico reports. The three senators did not sign a letter from Democrats that shared their requirements for tax reform, although they haven't said anything that strays too far from the party line, with the exception of Manchin saying he was open to cutting taxes for the rich and corporations. Before the dinner, Manchin told reporters he wasn't sent to Washington to "pick and choose who I want to work with. I was sent here to do the job for my state of West Virginia."
Vice President Mike Pence and three Republican senators — Orrin Hatch (Utah), Pat Toomey (Pa.), and John Thune (S.D.) — also attended the dinner. White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short said Tuesday morning that Trump wants to have bipartisan support for a tax plan, especially after seeing what happened during the GOP's failure to repeal ObamaCare. "We don't feel like we can assume that we can get tax reform done strictly on a partisan basis," he said. Catherine Garcia