Vice President Pence will visit his home state of Indiana on Friday to push tax reform with Democratic Senator Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden to have audience with pope, attend G20 summit Biden taps former Indiana Sen. Donnelly as ambassador to Vatican Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights MORE in tow, according to the White House.
Donnelly, who is up for reelection in 2018, is considered a vulnerable Democrat in a state that Donald Trump won by 19 points, and where Pence served as governor. In August, the Cook Political Report moved the race from “lean Democrat” to its “tossup” category.
The trip is the latest in the Trump administration's efforts to court vulnerable Democrats to back its tax efforts.
Donnelly will be the lone Democrat in the delegation, which will include Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indiana Reps. Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksThe tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Bold leadership is necessary to curb violence against youth Here are the three GOP lawmakers who voted for the Equality Act MORE, Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, who is running in the primary to challenge Donnelly.
Donnelly was among a group of Democrats that dined with President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE last week in a meeting on tax reform efforts.
If Republicans can hold their ranks together, however, they will not need Democratic support for tax reform. They plan on using a budgetary measure called reconciliation to sidestep a Democratic filibuster in the Senate, which would require 60 votes to break.
Conservative group Americans for Prosperity, which has said that tax reform is its top priority, promised to turn the heat up on Donnelly over his position on tax reform.
“We’re willing and able and ready to activate our grassroots in a significant way to hold Senator Donnelly accountable,” said Justin Stevens, the group’s Indiana state director.