WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Trump shared lunch with Senate Republicans Tuesday, including Wyoming Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), who extended the invite as Chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee. With a strong push to accomplish tax reform in the near future, the meeting was set up in hopes of uniting all factions of the party. Barrasso says everyone is on the same page.
Sen. Barrasso (R-WY) says the lunch was not merely a photo opportunity, but a serious discussion on tax reform.
“The mood was very good. The president came in, was met with a standing ovation, we are very unified on the goal that the president talked about,” said Barrasso.
However, the day began with President Trump taking to Twitter to call out Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), saying in one tweet that he couldn’t be elected “dog catcher.” Corker shot back, saying “same untruths from an utterly untruthful president.” Still, Barrasso says the GOP is focused on completing big ticket legislation like tax reform, and that’s what the meeting was focused on. He says the group left on an optimistic note.
“This was not a photo opp. I believe the president was there with a significant and sincere message of tax relief for the American people,” said Barrasso.
Others say the American people should understand some relationships between the president and Senators are strained and accomplishing tax reform this year is a big uphill battle.
“I think that what you’ll find is that there are still a number of fractures within the Republican Party that still need to reconcile this,” said Miguel Rodriguez, Senior vice president of Government Affairs, Center for American Progress and a former legislative director in the Obama administration.
Rodriguez says President Trump should make a point to meet with the entire Democratic contingent on Capitol Hill, not just Minority leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
“I think they would be best served if they met with them broadly, and met with all of them, and hear their ideas,” said Rodriguez.
Some Republicans say there’s much more on their plate as they hope to accomplish tax reform in the coming weeks.