Tom Campbell: Why Should President Trump Need to Hold a Rally to Convince Heidi Heitkamp to Support Tax Reform?

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp shakes the hand of President Donald Trump with other state leaders Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, at the Tesoro Refinery in Mandan, N.D. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

I was honored to be at President Trump’s speech in Mandan this week, where he outlined the need for comprehensive tax reform. But he never should have had to make the trip in the first place.

As a conservative farmer and businessman, I know President Trump is correct when he says that our tax system is uncompetitive and makes it harder to grow jobs. We need to overhaul the tax code to make it simpler and to ensure it is working for the people – not the special interests. That is just common sense and North Dakotans overwhelmingly agree with it.

So this begs the question: why should our President, who was elected with 63% of the vote, have to spend taxpayer dollars to hold a rally to persuade Senator Heitkamp to support tax reform?

The U.S. tax code right now is over 70,000 pages long because it is full of loopholes and giveaways crafted by lobbyists and enacted by the career politicians. That needs to change.

But enacting major tax reform will be extremely challenging because too many Senators would rather obstruct the President’s agenda than do what is best for our country.

Make no mistake, I believe Senator Heitkamp meant well when she was elected. But now, instead of fixing the problems out in Washington, she has become part of the problem.

Sadly, one of the leading obstructionists is often our own Senator Heidi Heitkamp. She was the deciding vote to keep Obamacare in place. She opposed numerous Trump administration cabinet level nominations. She voted against repealing the job-killing methane emissions rule. And Senator Heitkamp even opposed an effort by President Trump to allow drug testing for individuals who apply for unemployment benefits.

Make no mistake, I believe Senator Heitkamp meant well when she was elected. But now, instead of fixing the problems out in Washington, she has become part of the problem. She says she is for North Dakota values when she’s at home but too often votes with liberal Senators Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren when she returns to Washington. And she’s raised over $3 million already for her re-election campaign, mostly from out-of-state allies of the liberal Democrat party bosses.

In fact, it was no surprise that Senator Heitkamp issued a statement welcoming President Trump to North Dakota. She’s a masterful politician. This is the typical political game, played by insiders who are more concerned about fundraising and currying favor with coastal elites than doing what’s best for North Dakota.

North Dakotans don’t need a crafty career politician representing them in the Senate. It will take a conservative outsider who is willing to shake up the status quo in Washington to get President Trump’s agenda through Congress.

The encouraging news is North Dakotans sent Washington a message by helping elect President Trump that the same old, go-along, get-along politicians are no longer in charge.

But it looks like Senator Heitkamp still hasn’t learned the lesson. We need to keep the pressure on her every day and hold her accountable every time she blocks President Trump’s agenda.

If we do that, we can get tax reform done, repeal and replace Obamacare, end illegal immigration and create a booming economy.

If not, it will be more clear than ever that Senator Heitkamp has to go.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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