Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump: Tax reform 'critically important'
02:08 - Source: CNN

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Ivanka Trump went to Capitol Hill on Wednesday

She spoke at a news conference on tax reform

CNN  — 

After months of meetings behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, Ivanka Trump took the podium Wednesday in the Capitol’s Lyndon Baines Johnson Room to make a public pitch on tax reform, which she called “critically important.”

“Today, the vast majority of American homes are dual income. Our tax code has to recognize and support this reality and support our dual values of work and a family,” she said at a news conference, citing statistics on the rising costs of childcare.

“Over the years as wages have stagnated, the costs of raising a family have grown exponentially,” she said, surrounded by Republican lawmakers, including Sens. Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, Shelley Moore Capito, Dean Heller and Mike Lee. “It is a priority of this administration and it is a legislative priority to ensure that American families can thrive and that we deliver real and meaningful tax relief to middle-income families.”

She left before the question-and-answer portion of the news conference.

Earlier this week, Trump took her pitch on the road, speaking about expansion of the child tax credit at a town hall in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She spent the summer and early fall meeting with lawmakers and advocacy groups on the subject, and recently hosted a bipartisan dinner at her home with husband and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner on the topic.

The child tax credit proposal, which will have to go through the House Ways and Means Committee as part of the overall tax reform plan, would provide working families with approximately $2,000 per child and would be refundable against the payroll tax.

Rubio has discussed expanding the child tax credit since 2014, introducing a tax reform plan that included the provision with Lee in 2015. It was something he often talked about on the 2016 campaign trail before he ultimately switched course and decided to run for reelection to his Senate seat last summer.

“It’s something we’ve been working on for a while,” the Florida Republican said. “And to kind of see it come to fruition here pretty soon, it’s one of those things that I look at and say, I’m glad I changed my mind and ran, because I could be here to be part of something like this and get something like that done.”

Rubio continued, “That’s meaningful, that’s important, and it’s one of the things you look back and say, you know, my time there mattered. We made a difference, and in this case, in a real way that’s going to help millions of people.”

Rubio and Lee’s policy gained momentum with engagement from the White House following the election of Donald Trump, he said. Ivanka Trump reached out to Rubio’s office and the two began discussions.

“(Ivanka Trump) wanted to help working families, and what she searched for was a legislative vehicle, ideas to do that,” Rubio said. “So she didn’t need any convincing. She came with a desire to help working families with the cost of living, child care, and things of this nature, and all we provided were policy options,” he said.

The policy has widespread bipartisan support, Rubio said, and he is “optimistic” about the progress being made.

“I still haven’t found anybody who’s against it,” he said, noting that there was no “friction” or “controversy” around the policy. “But that doesn’t mean we’re going to let our guard down. This is a funny place where good ideas go to die sometimes for inexplicable reasons.”