WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump will host a handful of Republican congressional leaders at the White House for a dinner centered around the President’s first trip abroad.
He will also preside over an afternoon bicameral Republican leadership meeting to discuss plans for healthcare and tax reform.
Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short briefed reporters late Monday on the meetings, as well as updates on the President’s legislative agenda.
Short said that a “handful” of Republican House and Senate leaders would come to the White House for a dinner on Tuesday. They will discuss the President’s recent overseas trip, his first foreign trip since assuming the office of President of the United States, and will also discuss foreign policy challenges that the United States faces.
For the dinner, President Trump will host Sens. Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Todd Young, Cory Gardner, and Reps. Francis Rooney, and Lee Zeldin.
Tuesday afternoon, Trump will host a bicameral Republican leadership meeting in which the group will discuss a path forward on legislation. Healthcare and tax reform will be included, according to Short. He said:
On healthcare we are looking forward to delivering the choice and control that Americans want in their own individual health plans. We are looking forward to delivering the affordability that Americans need and the quality that they deserve. The American people are anxious about healthcare. Obamacare is an unaffordable disaster that is collapsing around the country today.
Attendees of the afternoon bicameral meeting will be Speaker Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Steve Scalise, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Sen. John Cornyn.
Short cited increases in health insurance premiums under Obamacare from 2013 to 2017 of 123% increase in Louisiana, 176% in North Carolina, and 203% in Alaska. On average health insurance premiums have more than doubled in the U.S. — increases of approximately $3,000 per plan.
Moving to the tax reform discussion the leaders will have on Tuesday, Short said, “In order to jumpstart the economy we need to cut taxes for both businesses and individuals.” He cited a low average two percent rate of growth in the economy over the past eight years.
Short added of plans for tax reform, “The plan will provide tax cuts by simplifying the tax code, broadening the base, and increasing growth.” He indicated that a tax reform bill will likely come after Labor Day.
While the Trump Administration continues to endeavor to make bipartisan strides on tax reform, Tuesday’s meeting will be a conversation for Republican leaders.
In response to questions from reporters on whether tax reform will be revenue neutral, Short said that the goal is for tax reform to be revenue neutral, but the greater priority is to provide growth.
On tax reform, the Trump Administration hopes to avoid having separate bills on tax reform from the House, Senate. and White House. Instead, through discussions on the issue, the administration hopes to see one bill that all three can pass into law.
Short later told Breitbart News that the White House recognizes the urgency expressed among Americans to see tax reform and healthcare reform passed.
The Trump Administration expects to see a summer focused on passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the FY2018 budget. In the fall, the administration is looking to continue to make the case for FY2018 spending bills, ensure funding for border security, and pass a tax reform package.
During the briefing, Short also highlighted the 36 bills that Trump has already signed into law and the executive orders that Trump has signed thus far. Short said this is a pulling back of the Obama era regulatory burden. “These bills and executive orders save our economy $18 billion dollars annually in regulatory compliance costs,” he said.
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