Pence to tout tax overhaul in Detroit this week

Melissa Nann Burke
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Vice President Mike Pence is expected in Michigan on Friday at an event in Detroit to promote the impact of Republicans’ tax overhaul and another to raise money for GOP U.S. House candidates.

The group America First Policies, a nonprofit public policy group that boost the president’s agenda, is advertising an event at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit hotel with Pence as a guest. Pence has done similar tax reform talks in Pittsburgh and Dallas as part of the group’s “Tax Cuts to Put America First” tour.

Pence also will raise money for GOP House candidates at a Detroit event co-hosted by his Great America Committee Political Action Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, NRCC spokeswoman Maddie Anderson confirmed in an email. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, is also expected to participate in the fundraiser, she said.

Twenty-two House Republicans backed by the NRCC’s “Patriot Program” will be there, too, Anderson said. U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, is among those supported by the Patriot Program, which boosts the fundraising efforts of targeted candidates.

It would be Pence’s third visit to Michigan as vice president.

The vice president is expected to address how the tax cut legislation will affect residents of Detroit and Michigan, America First Policies spokesperson Erin Montgomery said in an email. The roster of other speakers is still being organized, Montgomery said.

The former Indiana governor stumped for the tax plan in late September during visit to an American Axle Manufacturing plant in Auburn Hills, and made a quick, unannounced appearance at Grandville’s Fourth of July parade in west Michigan with U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, and Gov. Rick Snyder.

Michigan is anticipated to be a battleground state as Democrats try to wrest control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Two Michigan Republican House seats that Democrats are targeting belong to second-term U.S. Reps. Bishop and Dave Trott of Birmingham, whose retirement at the end of this year has sparked large preliminary primary fields for his seat.

Last fall, Pence used his PAC to support Attorney General Bill Schuette’s Republican campaign for governor.

The PAC contributed $6,800 to Schuette among more than $200,000 to Republican candidates across the country who have been “supportive of the president’s agenda,” a spokesman said last year.

Schuette spokesman John Sellek said Schuette will attend Pence’s 4:30 p.m. Friday speech in Detroit.

Trump and Pence made seven stops in Michigan in the last eight days of the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump won the state over Democrat Hillary Clint a little more than 10,700 votes or about two-tenths of a percentage point.