President Donald Trump is attempting to use the momentum from a strong, nonpartisan federal response to Hurricane Harvey to boost his plan to cut taxes and reform the tax code, reports US News.
"I think now, with what's happened with the hurricane, I'm going to ask for a speed-up [of tax reform]," Trump said in a video released from the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, last weekend. "I wanted a speed-up anyway, but now we need it even more so. So we need to simplify the tax code, reduce taxes very substantially on the middle class, and make our business tax more globally competitive. We're the highest anywhere in the world right now." He didn't specify how the hurricane is connected to the tax issue.
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Trump used a similar tactic last week when he made a deal with congressional Democrats to provide billions of dollars in aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, and tie it to legislation increasing the debt ceiling and providing money to keep the government running for 90 more days. The popularity of the hurricane relief measure swept away many doubts about the debt ceiling and temporary government funding, and all three provisions passed Congress easily.
For the past several days, Trump and his aides have been announcing aggressive actions by the administration to help those in the path of Hurricane Irma, which is devastating Florida. Last weekend, Trump met with members of his cabinet at Camp David. He told reporters Sunday that the storm was "some big monster" and added: "You don't want to be in that path....And we tried to warn everybody, and for the most part they've left but that's a bad path to be in."
"The Coast Guard has been amazing, what they're doing, right in the middle of the storms," the president said. "FEMA [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] has been incredible. We're working very well with the governor [of Florida] and the other governors in the surrounding states."
"I think we're really well coordinated as well as you can possibly be," he added.