By Roberta Rampton
(Reuters) – Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday blamed Congress for thwarting a Republican plan to reform the healthcare bill, but acknowledged that the White House will have to work with lawmakers to achieve its next set of legislative plans.
“We’re going to roll up our sleeves and cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses and family farms,” Pence said.
“Working with this Congress, President Trump is going to pass the biggest tax cut since the days of Ronald Reagan, and we are going to get this American economy moving again,” he said.
Comprehensive tax reform has eluded previous congresses and administrations since 1986, when it was last carried out under former President Ronald Reagan.
Pence made his comments the day after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives failed to find sufficient support within its own ranks to pass legislation to roll back Obamacare, a setback that raised questions about Trump’s ability to deliver. other great promises that require the help of Congress.
Trump and the Republicans had campaigned to reform former President Barack Obama‘s health care law, which they said is too intrusive and expensive.
“As we all learned yesterday, Congress just wasn’t ready,” said Pence, who spent a dozen years in Congress beginning in 2001 and has been a key Trump emissary on Capitol Hill.
“With 100 percent of House Democrats, each and every one of them, and a handful of Republicans standing in the way of President Trump’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, we return to the drawing board. “Pence said.
On tax reform, Pence said Trump wants to lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent to stimulate investment.
The House tax committee is working on legislation that would lower the corporate rate to 20 percent.
Pence said the White House will also look to work with Congress to boost funding for the military, reverse regulations in the energy sector and confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch, chosen by Trump to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court.
Along with Linda McMahon, who started and ran World Wrestling Entertainment before being named head of Trump’s Small Business Administration, Pence joked that the White House could use some force to work with lawmakers.
“Maybe we could have used some of your WWE Superstars on Capitol Hill yesterday,” Pence said.
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