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How Trump plans to court red-state Democrats on tax reform

Posted August 6, 2017 11:11 a.m. EDT

President Trump's plans to get red-state Democrats on his side on tax reform, how Congress plans to handle its relationship with Trump and the big Obamacare question -- what lawmakers are going to do about the repeal and replace promise. It's all in the Inside Politics forecast, where you get a bit of tomorrow's news today.

1) Trump's might try to woo red-state Dems on one issue

Red-state Democrats may be getting a presidential visitor in the coming months. President Trump is looking to potentially court Democrats who live in states where he won the presidential election -- and he's looking for consensus on one issue in particular. Trump is looking for an easier win on tax reform and going across party lines may be part of the push to make that happen. As The New York Times' Julie Hirschfeld Davis reported, a Trump visit is a little bit of courting and a little bit of pressure -- but in the end it's about getting an agenda item checked off Trump's growing to-do list.

"His agenda has been stalled. They've had trouble getting to 50 among Republicans. Mitch McConnell acknowledged that. And so increasingly there is a knowledge that he's going to have to go after some of these Democrats in states that Donald Trump won in 2016: in Montana, in Indiana, in places like that," Davis said. "We may see him starting to travel to some of those places and target those senators by name as soon as this month."

2) The Obamacare question that still hasn't gone away

Republicans couldn't get their repeal-and-replace health care fix across the finish line and that's left a lingering question for both lawmakers and insurance companies. What will this White House, a Republican-run Congress and insurers do about Obamacare? Perry Bacon from 538 breaks down the uncertainty about Obamacare and the future of health care.

" ... Over this next month and a half, we'll be curious to watch how Trump, how Tom Price, handle the Obamacare exchanges and on the law overall and how insurance companies react to them," Bacon said. "Ultimately, the insurance companies are nervous right now, and sort of withdrawing from Obamacare and it'll be interesting to see if the President says, basically, 'Let the law fail' or if he now works to execute it and implement it and make it work better."

3) Congress is home and may come back showing more willingness to go against the White House

Congress is on recess until after Labor Day and members left a pretty hefty to-do list waiting for them back here in Washington. Many lawmakers are not holding town halls back in their home districts, but the big questions when they get back on the Hill is how they'll interact with Trump and the White House. We've already seen some GOP members of Congress are feeling more comfortable pushing back against the administration. As Karoun Demirjian of The Washington Post explains, that tone of taking on Trump may come back stronger in September.

"Over the July Fourth recess, that was when Sen. Susan Collins heard (people) say 'Go, Susan go' stuff and she never came back to the fold on health care. Now granted, there are people like her who might not -- the moderates -- who might not join the party, but we saw Sen. Tom Tillis this week come out and say, 'I'm going to back a bill that would actually prevent the President from ordering the special counsel from being fired without judicial review. So there are other people that are not the usual suspects that seem to be separating themselves a little bit," Demirjian said. "Does that continue? Is it broader as they go home? That's when we'll start to see what happens and that has major implications for the fall."

4) History tells us that Trump should expect an August surprise on his working vacation

August is generally a sleepier time in Washington because Congress is on recess and usually whoever is in the White House also skips town for a bit. But the news cycle never sleeps and past presidents have had some big news break while on vacation.

As Michael Shear reminded us, Trump should be prepared for anything because history shows anything can happen when the POTUS goes away from the White House.

"August has always been a sort of curse for presidents. President Obama had the Tea Party town halls in August. He had the Syria chemical attacks in 2013. In 2014, ISIS beheaded an American journalist and then the Ferguson riots happened.

President Bush, of course, dealt with Hurricane Katrina in August," said Shear.

" And so, we don't know what's going to happen but the President might be good not to think he can relax the entire summer. "