White House wants Alabama to help pass tax overhaul package: adviser

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 20, 2017 10:13 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House is relying on a vote from Alabama to get tax overhaul legislation through Congress, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said on Monday, indicating a possible shift in its stance on embattled Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Conway, a senior adviser to Republican President Donald Trump, railed against Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate for the Alabama U.S. Senate seat, during an interview with Fox News.

Asked if voters should back Moore instead in the Dec. 12 special election, Conway said, "We want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill."

Moore's campaign has been in turmoil since the Washington Post detailed the accounts of four women who say Moore pursued them while they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. More women have since spoken out with allegations of their own.

Reuters has been unable to independently confirm any of the accusations.

The White House has said Moore should "step aside" if the allegations against him were true, although Moore has denied them. Conway said last week on Fox, "There's no Senate seat that's worth more than a child."

Conway's most recent comments came as Republicans in Congress race to push through an overhaul of the U.S. tax code that Trump made one of his top legislative priorities.

The House of Representatives passed its tax legislation last week and the full Senate will take up its version when members return next week from the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Senate Republicans can only afford to lose two votes on the tax bill because of their slim 52-48 majority in the Senate, and several Senators have voiced concerns about the proposed legislation.

(Reporting by Makini BriceEditing by Jonathan Oatis)