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Trump, Cuomo Tax Talk At White House Turns To Abortion, Fracking

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump. Photo Credit: File

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put aside his differences with President Donald Trump on Tuesday to discuss tax reform, abortion and fracking at the White House.

The meeting had been scheduled to discuss the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT). The governor has previously blamed Trump’s tax legislation for the state’s $2.3 billion revenue drop.

"The federal administration's SALT policy is an economic civil war that helps red states at the expense of blue states, and we are now seeing the potentially devastating effect of it in the form of significantly lower tax receipts," Cuomo previously said. "These changes hurt our economy and make New York less competitive, and we will not stop ringing the alarm bell about this punitive policy until Congress reverses it.”

The power meeting between the two comes after millions of Americans reporting diminished refunds on their tax returns. The average refund through Feb. 2 of $1,865 was 8.4 percent smaller than the average refund in the same period last year, when it was at $2,084.

Residents in high-tax states could potentially see hefty increases in their federal tax bills due to the deduction cap. According to reports, upon his return back to New York from Washington, Cuomo said that Trump is “open to the idea of change,” regarding the tax reform.

A deputy press secretary at the White House said, “President Trump talked about the positive impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on the American economy, and the president listened to the governor's concerns regarding SALT.”

On Twitter, Cuomo posted, “I told the president myself today: SALT repeal is hurting us. And if you hurt New York, you’re harming the economic engine of the nation.”

Following their discussion on tax reform, the two then turned to fracking in New York, which has been banned since 2015. The president reportedly said that there are opportunities for economic growth and lower energy prices if horizontal drilling and fracking were permitted.

The two also addressed abortion, which has been a point of contention between the two after Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act into law last month. The president reportedly “raised concerns to Cuomo about Democrats’ support of late-term abortions,” during the meeting.

That discussion comes days after Cuomo slammed Trump for “his assault on abortion rights.”

“Some states, like New York, feel an urgency to protect the rights of their citizens. Mr. Trump and the Catholic Church are opposed to state actions like the Reproductive Health Act — even though they merely codify existing federal law and firmly established practices.,” Cuomo said last week. “Mr. Trump and the religious right are spreading falsehoods about New York’s law to inflame their base. Activists on the far right continue to mislead with the ridiculous claim that the act will allow abortions up to a minute before birth.”

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