Trump taking tax pitch to supportive, strategic turf in Springfield

President Donald Trump will make his pitch for a tax reform plan Wednesday at a manufacturing plant in Springfield.

Trump is scheduled to land at Springfield-Branson National Airport around 1 p.m. and drive to the Loren Cook Co., a ventilation equipment maker in Springfield.

There, the president is expected to give a speech promoting his tax reform as key to economic expansion. Unlike some of Trump’s more raucous rallies, the speech will be closed to the public.

The White House said the speech will focus on the Republican’s “vision” for creating jobs and fueling economic growth, the Associated Press reports. Policy specifics are expected later, when lawmakers hash them out.

In April, Trump’s administration proposed a 15 percent corporate tax rate and a 35 percent ceiling on personal income tax. Behind Trump’s tax plan are Gary Cohn, director of the president’s National Economic Council, and Steven Mnuchin, secretary of the Treasury. Both men are former investment bankers who are new to government.

The president’s pitch will take place on Trump-friendly turf, which could explain why he chose Springfield for his speech. Springfield is in Greene County, where Trump secured nearly 60 percent of the votes last November. Missouri gave Trump more than 56 percent of its votes.

Executives of the Loren Cook Co. are longtime donors to the Republican Party. Vice presidents Loren Cook II and Gerald “Chip” Cook Jr. each contributed $2,700 to the Trump campaign. The Cooks also gave to Republican candidates like Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Ann Wagner, and donated to the Republican National Committee, according to the Federal Elections Commission.

Trump launching his tax policy in Missouri could be a way to exert pressure on Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. On Sunday the president tweeted that McCaskill is “opposed to big tax cuts” and “Republicans will win S!” McCaskill is up for reelection next year.

Trump’s visit to Springfield follows a trip to Texas on Tuesday, where thousands are still displaced due to the destructive Hurricane Harvey. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, told “Good Morning America” that recovery is “going to take years.”

The president is also trailed by a series of public relations blunders in the aftermath of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump’s last major policy push was the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, an effort which fell flat in the Senate.


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