President Donald Trump is poised to host six senators from both parties for a bipartisan working dinner tonight, according to multiple people familiar with the plans.
The dinner is set to include three moderate Democrats – Sen. Joe Donnelly, Ind., Heidi Heitkamp, N.D., and Joe Manchin, W.Va., as well as three senior Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee: the chairman, Orrin Hatch, Utah, Patrick Toomey, Pa., and John Thune, S.D., according to aides in both parties who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the dinner. One aide suggested the White House planned to announce the meeting early Tuesday.
The dinner comes as lawmakers and the White House continue working to launch the long-stalled debate on tax reform. Republican leaders have said that they don’t expect to begin passing legislation in the coming weeks but that the House and Senate tax-writing committees are set to begin holding hearings on the details.
For Donnelly, Heitkamp and Manchin, the invite could be seen as a boost to their 2018 reelections in states that Trump won handily last year. Since the presidential transition, Trump has taken steps to woo the trio, including publicly floating Heitkamp and Manchin as potential Cabinet secretaries. Heitkamp even traveled with Trump aboard Air Force One last week to a campaign-style rally in North Dakota.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Ashley Parker, Ed O’Keefe