A day after visiting Texas to meet with officials handling the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, President Donald Trump was in Springfield, Missouri today to talk about tax reform. You can watch the full speech below.
“We’re here today to launch our plans to bring back Main Street by reducing the crumbling burden on our companies and on our workers,” Trump said in his speech. “The foundation of our job creation agenda is to fundamentally reform our tax code for the first time in more than 30 years.”
However, the president started off his speech with a message about Hurricane Harvey, which he called “deeply tragic.” He told the families whose loved ones have died that “all of America is grieving with you and our hearts and joined with you forever.”
An administration official told NBC News that this was a “‘Why we need tax reform,’ not a ‘How we’re gonna do it’ speech.” Another official told reporters that it will be a “very bipartisan speech” that will call for lawmakers to “work to build a tax code that really allows all Americans to have access to the American Dream and work their way up the economic ladder.”
The speech comes four months after National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gave reporters a one-page outline of Trump’s tax plan. It included a 15 percent business tax rate and cutting seven tax brackets to three.
However, NBC News reports that officials said before the speech that there would be very little specifics.
“Don’t expect to see any specific rates like that,” the officials said, in reference to the numbers on the one-page outline. “Those things are important, the specifics of the plan are extraordinarily important, but right now, what the president is doing is casting a vision, and I think that’s just as important — that we’re talking about what kind of America do we want to live in. What kind of an economy do we want to have?”
Stephen Webber, the chair of the Missouri Democratic Party, told KansasCity.com that now isn’t the right time for Trump to visit Missouri because of the flooding in Texas. “There’s a lot of Missourians who are down there as first responders trying to help with the situation,” Webber said.
Austin Stukins, the executive director of the Missouri Republican Party, defended Trump though, telling KansasCity.com that Trump is “reaffirming his commitment to the heartland.”
Trump announced his plan to visit Missouri on Twitter, boasting about how he won the state in the 2016 presidential election just after announcing his trip to Texas. “I will also be going to a wonderful state, Missouri, that I won by a lot in ’16. Dem C.M. is opposed to big tax cuts. Republican will win S,” Trump wrote.
“After witnessing first hand the horror & devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey,my heart goes out even more so to the great people of Texas,” Trump tweeted Wednesday.