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Freedom Caucus Chairman: Trump Focused On Tax Reform After Debt Ceiling Deal

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House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., expressed surprise at President Donald Trump's deal with Democratic leaders on raising the debt ceiling but noted the agreement will allow the president to focus on tax reform.

Meadows acknowledged at a Bloomberg News breakfast on Thursday that the HFC cannot stop the short-term debt limit increase and suggested the deal will put Republicans in a poor negotiating position in December.

However, Meadows indicated he was pleased striking the agreement will allow Trump to be "myopically focused on trying to get tax reform."

The comments from Meadows come after Trump reached an agreement with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on a measure that would raise the debt ceiling and fund the government for three months.

The short-term debt limit and government funding measure will be attached to a bill providing aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Meadows suggested Trump reached the agreement with Democrats due in part to Republican leaders lacking a clear plan to deal with the debt limit.

"I was not aware of any plan," Meadows said. "In fact, I was not aware of really any substantial conversations that happened among rank and file members on the debt ceiling other than, 'We're got to raise it.'"

Nonetheless, Meadows and other HFC members at the Bloomberg News breakfast dismissed talk of any uprising to oust House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

"To extrapolate out that there's some kind of a leadership change or plan to address that is not accurate," Meadows said.

by RTT Staff Writer

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