Trump looks to tackle tax reform in bipartisan meetings

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WOODBURY -

President Donald Trump is courting support from congressional Democrats for help on one of his signature issues: tax reform.

Trump met with a bipartisan group of House members Wednesday afternoon at a so-called problem solvers caucus in his push to overhaul the tax code. Trump said a new tax plan in the works will aim to cut taxes for the middle class, while taxes on the wealthy may go up.

"The rich will not be gaining at all with this plan," said the president. "We're looking for the middle class, and we're looking for jobs -- jobs meaning companies."

Trump's suggestion about the possibility of raising taxes on the wealthy is an apparent outreach to Democrats, including Rep. Thomas Suozzi, a Long Island congressman who was present in the meeting.

"When it comes to corporate tax reform, it can't be about dividends, stock buybacks for executive compensation," Suozzi said. "It's got to be about creating jobs."

During the campaign, Trump made a tax overhaul a key campaign promise.

As part of his tax push, Trump hosted a private dinner Wednesday night at the White House, with congressional Democratic leaders, Sen. Charles Schumer, of New York, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, of California. The meetings came just one week after Trump struck a deal with Schumer and Pelosi to raise the debt ceiling. The president said he hopes bipartisanship will also make its way into a tax reform agreement.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said a tax cut proposal will be released the week of Sept. 25. He said the plan is to pass the tax overhaul by the end of the year.

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