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Senate Democrats Cheer Donald Trump for Bashing Tax Loopholes

Warren sent the letter to White House on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Warren sent the letter to White House on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Elizabeth Warren is praising Donald Trump.  

The senator from Massachusetts was among a quartet from the Democratic Policy and Communications Center lauding the Republican presidential candidate Thursday for his support of changes to tax policies that work to the advantage of hedge funds and companies that reincorporate overseas.  

“All I want to say to Republicans is take yes for an answer,” Warren said. “Republican front-runner Jeb Bush, Republican front-runner Donald Trump have said that we should close the carried interest loophole. The Democrats have said the same thing. So, the way we see this, Washington is a hard place to get people to come together to agree on something. We agree on this. So, take yes for an answer and make it happen.”  

During Wednesday evening’s GOP debate in California, Trump said his tax plan would be unveiled in the coming weeks, and he figured that many people would support it, with the possible exception of hedge fund managers.  

“It’s a major reduction in taxes. It’s a major reduction for the middle class. The hedge fund guys won’t like me as much as they like me right now. I know them all, but they’ll pay more,” Trump said on CNN. “I know people that are making a tremendous amount of money and paying virtually no tax, and I think it’s unfair.”  

Of course, the group of Senate Democrats who appeared Thursday to highlight support from Trump for curtailing inversions and changing the tax treatment of carried interest would prefer that the funds be used to lift the spending caps currently in law as part of the budget negotiations that both Republicans and Democrats say will be needed this fall.  

A bill introduced in the Senate by Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and across the Rotunda by Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander M. Levin, D-Mich., to close the carried interest “loophole” would raise $15.6 billion over the next decade, according to a new Joint Committee on Taxation report.  

“This non-partisan report makes clear that closing the carried interest loophole would allow us to invest in economic growth and strengthen the economic security of America’s hard working, middle class families,” Baldwin said in a statement. “Instead of simply rewarding the wealthy with tax preferences, Washington needs to do more to respect hard work, invest in economic growth, and give the middle class a fair shot at getting ahead. At a time when too many Wall Street millionaires pay a lower effective tax rate than some truck drivers, teachers and nurses, we need to work together — Democrats and Republicans — to eliminate this loophole that rewards the wealthy with tax preferences and make sure those at the top are paying their fair share so we can invest in an economy that works for everyone.”  

Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democratic leader, led Thursday afternoon’s event, where he was joined by Warren as well as Sens. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Mark Warner of Virginia.  

“Yesterday, there was some really good news for our broader budget talks. [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell said Republicans would finally enter into negotiations with Democrats to fund a budget that protects both our national and economic security. He said that not all budget caps could stay where they are. That is big progress,” Schumer said. “The Republicans are a little late to the party, but we’re glad that they finally heeded our calls to sit down and talk. We hope those talks will actually start sooner rather than later.”  

“We need a significant increase on both the defense and non-defense side,” said Schumer, the No. 3 Democratic leader.  

Schumer said Senate Democrats would prefer a continuing resolution that runs through around November 20, which is the Friday before the week of Thanksgiving, giving some breathing space for negotiators to find a way to adjust the budget limits, but not as much as some Republicans who see a stopgap bill running into December might choose to advance.  

“To go right up to the December/Christmas deadline makes the chance of shutdown greater,” Schumer said, warning of a standoff in the days leading up to what should be a holiday break.  

House lawmakers close to Republican leadership have indicated the party brass is eyeing a CR that would stretch into December.  

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said it was too soon to know which chamber would move first on averting a shutdown in the immediate term, however. There are 13 calendar days before appropriated funding for the federal government is set to expire.  

“I wouldn’t take anything off the table. We’re just going to have to meet the deadline, as I said a month ago so I don’t think we know right now what the order is going to be,” the Texas Republican told reporters.  

Bridget Bowman and Tamar Hallerman contributed to this report.

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