Red-state Democrats: We want to work with Trump, GOP on tax reform
© Getty

A trio of red-state Democrats said after a dinner at the White House that they are hopeful they will be able to work with President Trump and congressional Republicans to reach a deal on tax reform. 

Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Morrisey accuses Manchin of 'lying' to Trump, attacks ‘liberal’ record The Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Bipartisan group introduces retirement savings legislation in Senate Fed chief lays out risks of trade war MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellySenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Fed chief lays out risks of trade war Doug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee MORE (Ind.) — who are each up for reelection next year in states won by Trump — met with the president, Vice President Pence and GOP senators on Tuesday night. 
Manchin said after the dinner that the group had a "productive conversation" on how to reform the tax code — one of the GOP's biggest agenda priorities. 
"I look forward to working with the President, the Administration and my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle on tax reform and going through regular order so we can help all Americans and West Virginians prosper," he said in a statement. 
Donnelly added in a separate statement that he is "hopeful" he can work with the president.
Heitkamp, meanwhile, said they had a "good discussion" and it was "encouraging" that the meeting included lawmakers from both parties. 
"As I’ve long said I want to work with those on both sides of the aisle on a comprehensive, permanent tax reform plan," she said."I hope these bipartisan discussions continue.”
Republicans are expected to use reconciliation to pass tax reform. The special budget rules will allow a tax bill to pass by a simple majority, sidestepping the need to win over Democratic votes. 
But the Trump administration is publicly courting Donnelly, Manchin and Heitkamp as it searches for Democrats who could support the GOP tax effort. 
With a slim 52-seat margin Republicans have little room for error if they want to come up with a package that could get the support of at least 50 senators.
If Trump could win over Democratic support, that would give leadership more room to negotiate a deal and allow Republicans to label the agreement as bipartisan. 
Manchin, Donnelly and Heitkamp have signaled for months that they are open to negotiating with Republicans to try to get a deal on tax reform. Republicans are hoping to pass a bill by the end of the year.
They didn't join their Democratic colleagues and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (D-N.Y.) on a letter sent to Trump last month outlining Democrats' priorities on tax reform. 
Donnelly added on Tuesday night that he and Trump had a "good conversation" on his bill to penalize companies that outsource jobs. 
"I am pleased he remains supportive of my proposal," the Indiana senator said.