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Sen. John Thune: Tax Reform Will Be on Trump's Desk Before Christmas

Image: Sen. John Thune: Tax Reform Will Be on Trump's Desk Before Christmas
(AP)

By    |   Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 02:50 PM

The year is winding down, but the tax reform bill will be complete and on President Donald Trump's desk before 2017 ends, Sen. John Thune said Thursday.

"There is a sense of urgency about it," the South Dakota Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program, explaining that there are already informal discussions occurring between House and Senate negotiators.

"We will have to sit down in a more formal context to negotiate the finer points, but we need to get a bill out of the conference committee hopefully sometime next week, and eventually on the president's desk before the Christmas holiday," said Thune.

Thune said he's been in Washington on both New Year's Eve and Christmas Eve in the past, and if it happens this year, "it will probably be on something else."

"I think the tax bill should be done, and if we end up with some prolonged debate on the spending bill, I hope that both can be negotiated," he added. "I think when people come to the table in good faith you can make it happen."

Meanwhile, Congress is facing a deadline on Friday for agreement on a spending bill, and as 60 votes are needed, Democrats will have to be included, Thune said.

"That's the purpose of the meeting this afternoon at the White House between the Democrat, Republican leadership and president," said Thune. "Hopefully they will get it passed forward. We'll pass a short-term two-week funding bill that will get us up to Dec. 22 and that vote should happen later today."

Thune said there is "no appetite" for a shutdown, as "that's not necessary."

"When they sit down this afternoon, hopefully they can negotiate an agreement that will enable us to fund the government for the next year, and do the other things we need to be able to do," he continued. "Obviously I think the Democrats probably view it as a political opportunity if the government were to shut down. But I'm hoping cooler heads will prevail."

Thune also spoke about the ongoing controversy surrounding Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, and about Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who resigned his post Thursday. 

"It's hitting Washington just like it is hitting business and entertainment and every area of life," said Thune, whose interview took place shortly before Franken announced he was stepping down.

"It's a wake-up call for all of us. We have to address these issues in a different way. There has to be accountability for the American people on these issues. When you've got people who are behaving badly, they've got to be held accountable and that's the case with both Al Franken and Roy Moore."

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The year is winding down, but the tax reform bill will be complete and on President Donald Trump's desk before 2017 ends, Sen. John Thune said Thursday.
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2017-50-07
Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 02:50 PM
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