President Donald Trump on Wednesday made lofty pledges about the benefits of the work-in-progress Republican tax plan — and threw in a promise to rid roads of potholes, to boot.
Speaking in Pennsylvania to a crowd that included truckers, Trump promoted a tax framework he claimed would boost job creation and put more money in middle-income Americans' pockets. Standing in front of a truck plastered with "Truckers for tax reform" and "WIN AGAIN," he pressured Congress to push through a tax bill.
He promoted the four goals the White House has set for a plan: cuts taxes for middle-income Americans, simplify the tax code, reduce the burden on companies and bring back corporate money from overseas. Trump addressed criticism — and an estimate from an independent group — that wealthy Americans would benefit more than the middle class under the plan by repeating his goal to make it work for average Americans.
The president's "rich" friends have "come up to me and said, 'Give it to the middle class, give it to people that need it,'" Trump said.
Weaving through other pledges and policies, Trump also promised the crowd he'd overhaul American infrastructure and create "smooth, beautiful" roads with "no potholes."
Late last month, Republicans released a framework for the tax plan they hope to pass this year. It calls for major reductions in household and corporate income tax rates and a doubling of the standard deduction.
The framework left out many key details. The congressional tax-writing committees are expected to spell out specifics once Congress passes a joint budget, a key step in the process.
Already, the GOP has run into political hurdles. Republican lawmakers in high-tax blue states have started to push back on a proposal to get rid of state and local tax deductions, a method to raise money to help offset tax cuts.
Some lawmakers have also expressed concerns about the potential budget deficits generated by the cuts.
Despite the plan still forming, Trump set ambitious targets for what it would do. He promised the proposal would be "pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family and pro-American."
He specifically said his Council of Economic Advisers estimates the changes he proposed together would give the "typical" American household a $4,000 "pay raise."
"We're going to fight and we're going to get those Republicans, and maybe a few of those Democrats, to raise their hand and you're going to have so much money to spend," Trump said.
He urged lawmakers at the speech to approve the tax plan.
"All I can say is, you better get it passed. They will. I know," Trump said.
He also pressured Democrats to get on board, arguing it would be politically difficult to oppose a plan that broadly cuts taxes.