Pence Talks Tax & Healthcare Reform at Anderson Rally
(ANDERSON) – Vice President Pence has made a pitch on his old home turf for two of President Trump's top congressional priorities.
Pence appeared in Anderson for what was billed as a tax reform address. But Pence devoted an equal portion of his speech to calling for passage of the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with block grants to the states.
Pence says Republicans were elected to deliver on repeal, and thundered that they have an obligation to keep that promise. He criticizes what he says are the current law's broken promises, from rising premiums to a growing number of counties with only one insurer for Affordable Care Act enrollees to choose from.
The former Indiana governor acknowledged the health-care vote will be close. Arizona Senator John McCain has joined Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in announcing he'll vote no, leaving no room for any further Republican defections. But while he appealed for party unity on health care, Pence issued a call for bipartisan cooperation on a tax reform bill that cuts taxes for the middle class and for corporations. He predicts every Republican will vote for the bill, which may be unveiled next week – and he grinned as he called directly on Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly, in attendance for the speech, to support it too.
Donnelly's presence added an extra twist to what was already a guest list studded with 2018 intrigue. Republican Congressmen Todd Rokita and Luke Messer, who are in a bitter fight for the nomination to run against Donnelly, were both on hand as well.
Pence is the first sitting president or vice president to visit Anderson since Harry Truman stopped there in the final year of his presidency. Pence noted his ties to the city run deeper than his governorship – it was part of his congressional district during most of his six terms in the House.
The Vice-President also confirmed that Trump will be in Indiana on Wednesday to promote his tax reform plan.
Donnelly says in a statement:
“It was great to be with Vice President Pence and Hoosiers today in Anderson to discuss reforming our country’s tax code. I believe that tax reform should benefit middle class and working families. When the Administration releases its tax plan, I hope that it includes policies that create new jobs and protect existing ones, which is what I have discussed with the President and Vice President previously and proposed in my End Outsourcing Act.”