WASHINGTON — Six U.S. senators, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., attended a dinner Tuesday night with President Donald Trump with the focus being tax reform.

The lawmakers — three from each major party — were invited to discuss the issue Congress is looking to take up following deals reached last week on the debt ceiling and spending.

Manchin said in a statement Tuesday evening there was a “productive conversation” about the areas of agreement and the compromises that could be made.

“I will continue to fight for a simpler tax code that lowers rates for West Virginians and incentivizes Main Street businesses to invest and grow in America,” Manchin said, “but we must do this without adding to our staggering debt.”

Manchin told MetroNews during an Aug. 28 appearance in South Charleston he could approve of raising the debt ceiling to an extent if it fit into reworking the tax code.

Congress will have to pass new resolutions to raise the debt ceiling and approve a spending plan before Dec. 9

Manchin was one of three Democratic senators to not sign a letter from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., setting conditions for tax reform legislation. This included not supporting tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and any related legislation that raises the deficit.

The other two were Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who were also at Tuesday’s dinner and, like Manchin, are considered moderate Democrats.

Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and John Thune, R-S.D., were the Republican senators who visited the White House. All three are members of the Senate Finance Committee, which Hatch presides over as chairman.

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