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WASHINGTON – Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has lately had a notable amount of face time with President Donald Trump.

Following last week’s ride on Air Force One with the president to attend a rally in Bismarck, Heitkamp, D-N.D., had dinner at the White House on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Heitkamp was among a small group of bipartisan senators who attended the dinner with Trump, and they had what she described as encouraging discussions on tax reform.

“Any chance to talk with the president about issues important to North Dakota is an opportunity I welcome,” Heitkamp said in a statement. “Tonight we had a good discussion and I reinforced that any tax reform bill must support working families and family farmers so they aren’t burdened with debt and it must stand up for retirees who want to live their remaining years with dignity while also simplifying the tax code and lowering compliance burdens.”

Attending the dinner were two other moderate Democrats who, like Heitkamp, are up for reelection next year: U.S. Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Three senior Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee were also at the table: Orrin Hatch of Utah, Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania and John Thune of South Dakota.

“It’s encouraging that this meeting included Republican and Democratic senators, as I’ve long said I want to work with those on both sides of the aisle on a comprehensive, permanent tax reform plan that works for North Dakota workers and retirees and helps grow the economy, and I hope these bipartisan discussions continue,” Heitkamp said.

Heitkamp said that as North Dakota’s former tax commissioner, she’s working with families’ and farmers’ “best interest in mind.” But the senator said there are still details of the tax reform plan that are unknown.

Readers can reach reporter Kim Hyatt at (701) 241-5511