Trump to focus on truckers in tax-reform pitch


President Trump plans to gear his tax-reform pitch Wednesday in Pennsylvania to truckers, arguing that his plans to make business tax changes will put more money in people’s pockets.

“We will eliminate the penalty on returning future earnings back to the United States. And we will impose a one-time low tax on money currently parked overseas so it can be brought back home to America — where it belongs,” Trump plans to say, according to an excerpt provided by the White House.

“My Council of Economic Advisors estimates that this change, along with a lower rate, would likely give the typical American household a $4,000 pay raise,” he will say, according to the excerpt.


The council is expected to provide more information on its estimate in the near future.

A large number of truckers are expected to attend Trump’s speech in Harrisburg, Pa., and trucks will be set up at the event site as props, according to a senior administration official.

Trump is expected to tout various parts of the GOP’s tax plan as beneficial to truckers, including tax cuts for individuals, a lower rate for “pass-through” businesses whose income is currently taxed through the individual tax system and repeal of the estate tax.

He also plans to argue that his proposal to get companies to bring trillions of dollars held overseas back to the United States will translate into more money to spend on infrastructure improvements, the official said.

“Nothing gets done in America without the hardworking men and women of the trucking industry,” Trump will say. “America depends on you for the fuel that powers our cars, the produce that nourishes our communities, and the beautiful steel that sends up our tallest skyscrapers.”

In addition to truckers, representatives from Pennsylvania business groups and state and local lawmakers are also expected to attend the speech. But there will be a notable Pennsylvania politician who will not be in attendance: Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr.

Casey, a member of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, is one of 10 Democratic senators who are up for reelection next year in states that Trump won. A number of Republicans have already lined up to challenge Casey, including Rep. Lou Barletta, businessman Paul Addis, real-estate executive Jeff Bartos and state lawmakers Jim Christiana and Rick Saccone.

Trump has previously pitched his tax plan in Missouri, North Dakota and Indiana — three other states with vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection. At his events in North Dakota and Indiana, Trump was joined by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), respectively.

But Casey has more strongly expressed concerns with Republicans’ tax overhaul efforts. In August, he signed onto a letter calling for tax reform to focus on the middle class, not increase the deficit, and move through the Senate’s regular legislative process.

A spokesperson for Casey said that the White House emailed the senator an invitation to the event Tuesday afternoon, following media inquiries, and that the senator’s schedule prevents him from attending the speech.

Casey is expected to hold an event in Philadelphia on Wednesday where he will argue that Trump’s tax plan mostly benefits the wealthy.

“Instead of focusing on policies that raise wages and create good-paying jobs for families, President Trump is coming to Pennsylvania to promote a tax plan that raises taxes on the middle class and cuts Medicare and Medicaid to fund tax giveaways to the wealthiest,” Casey said in a statement.

“What congressional Republicans are pushing is not tax reform, but a massive tax giveaway to the wealthiest at the expense of the middle class. Congress should work in a bipartisan fashion to reform the tax code in a way that helps middle class families, instead of passing this scheme, which is bad for the middle class and workers.”

Tags Bob Casey Heidi Heitkamp Joe Donnelly Lou Barletta President Trump trucking industry

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