INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Vice President Mike Pence will make the Republican case for a federal tax
code overhaul during a speech Friday in his home state of Indiana.
His choice of
venue, the struggling former General Motors town of Anderson, is no
coincidence. Rather, itís the continuation of a campaign by President Donald
Trumpís administration that is alternately attempting to woo and pressure
Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly to get on board with Republicanís tax
Donnelly is one of
three vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election in 2018 who represent
states Trump won. Last week, he joined Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota
and Joe Manchin of West Virginia for a working dinner with Trump at the
White House focused on the GOP tax overhaul.
and Donnelly are the only Democratic senators who did not sign a letter
addressed to Republican leaders and Trump that said the Democratic caucus
would not support a tax overhaul that cuts taxes for the ďtop 1 percentĒ or
adds to the governmentís $20 trillion debt.
But Donnelly has
been coy thus far about whether he will support the GOP effort, though the
White House says he will join Pence for the speech at Andersonís Flagship
East business center.
ďIt is an honor to
welcome the Vice President back home to Indiana,Ē Donnelly said in a
statement Thursday. ďAs we discuss tax reform, I believe that any reform
effort should include policies that will create new jobs, protect existing
jobs, and benefit middle class and working families. That is what Iíve
discussed with President Trump, and Iím pleased he has been supportive of my
proposals to prevent the outsourcing of jobs.Ē
will continue to press the case. Trump himself plans to visit the state next
week, the Indiana Republican Party announced Tuesday.
group Americans for Prosperity is launching its own efforts to pressure
Donnelly into supporting the GOP tax overhaul. The group, which is financed
by billionaire conservative industrialists Charles and David Koch, says they
are considering running TV ads, launching a door-knocking campaign or
targeting Donnelly with direct mail.