President Donald Trump made a speech in Springfield, Mo. Wednesday during which he told the crowd to vote out Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) if she does not support his tax reform agenda.
McCaskill is up for reelection in 2018, and she will have to win votes from Missourians who voted for Trump over Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton in 2016 by more than 19 percentage points.
"We must lower our taxes," Trump said. "Your senator, Claire McCaskill, she must do this for you, and if she doesn't do it for you, you have to vote her out of office."
Trump has not signed many major pieces of legislation since he took office, and he and congressional Republicans are eager to score a victory in the form of federal tax code reform. The president framed the U.S. tax code problem in terms of competitiveness. He said former President Ronald Reagan led the world by cutting corporate tax rates in the 1980's, boosting the U.S. economy in the process.
"In 1986, Ronald Reagan led the world by cutting our corporate tax rate to 34 percent. That was below the average rate for developed countries at the time," Trump said. "Everyone thought that was a monumental thing that happened. But then, under this pro-America system, our economy boomed; it just went beautifully, right through the roof."
"The middle class thrived, and median family income increased. Other countries saw the success," Trump added.
Trump argued other countries responded to this move by the United States, and lowered taxes to remain competitive.
"They acted very swiftly by cutting taxes lower and lower and lower and reforming their tax systems to be far more competitive than ours," Trump said. "Over the past 30 years, the average business tax rate among developed nations fell from 45 percent to less than 24 percent in some countries have an unbelievably low tax, including, by the way, China, and some others that are highly competitive and really doing very well against us."
"They are taking us, frankly, to the cleaners," Trump added.
McCaskill's Democratic seat is considered vulnerable to a Republican challenger. One of the leading GOP prospects to challenge McCaskill, Josh Hawley, wrote a Fox News op-ed that called on Congress to pass tax reform. The Republican Missouri Attorney General has also pushed Congress to support Trump's tax reform agenda.
"President Trump has challenged Congress to reduce the burden on the American worker and to build an economy that rewards honest work," Hawley wrote. "Congress should accept that challenge and craft a bipartisan plan that makes real reductions in what government demands from our wallets."
McCaskill has said she wants to simplify the tax code, which is also one of the GOP's goals, but she is against "cuts for the wealthy." In early August, she signed onto her party's letter, a letter 45 out of 48 Democratic senators signed, indicating she would "not support any tax plan that includes tax cuts for the top one percent."
Published under: Claire McCaskill , Donald Trump , Missouri , Tax Reform , Trump Administration