Trump’s small business head visits Speedway as President reportedly weighs action on religious freedom

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Wearing an Indy 500 jacket, former WWE executive Linda McMahon toured several downtown businesses Wednesday, including the Dallara IndyCar Factory.

“They don’t have stunt people,” McMahon said with a smile when asked about the Indy 500. “And neither does WWE.”

Now, as President Trump’s Small Business Administration Administrator, McMahon met with a round-table of Indiana business owners and participated in an awards ceremony alongside Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch.

“In a business round-table earlier today, some of the folks around the state were telling me if this 15 percent business tax reform goes through, it would be money in their pocket they would use to grow their business,” McMahon said.

McMahon, who is touring communities across the country as part of National Small Business Week, worked to tout the administration’s work to reduce regulations and pushed the President’s tax reform proposal.

“I’m not bringing any kind of word at all expect to say I think it’s the right move,” she said. “I really do want to see this tax reform pass.”

The visit comes amidst new reporting by POLITICO that the President could sign a highly-anticipated and controversial religious freedom executive order Thursday on the National Day of Prayer.

The order would provide new protections for businesses nationwide based on their religious belief, but administration officials Wednesday wouldn’t comment on timing or any specific details.

“There’ll be a proclamation the President will sign,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday. “We’re looking forward to having religious leaders from a multitude of backgrounds come to the White House and celebrate this day with us, but I’ve never gotten ahead of executive orders.”

McMahon, during her stop in Speedway, also wouldn't provide any further insight.

“Freedom of religion?” she said when asked if an executive order would help small businesses. “Isn’t our country founded on freedom of religion? I stand behind that.”

In Indiana, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ushered in by then Gov. Mike Pence resulted in protests and corporate backlash, forcing Republican lawmakers to fix the law after it initially passed.

In Washington, the exact language of any new order is behind held tight.

“In regards to what the President is taking a look at in the field of religious liberty, we’ve not seen anything, and we’ve not heard anything,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said Wednesday.

Meantime in Speedway, McMahon quickly shifted focus to the administration’s regulatory work.

“The small businesses I talk to aren’t saying we don’t need regulations,” she said. “We just need the right kind of regulations.”

This as the former WWE executive is learning the ropes in a new ring on Capitol Hill.

“Congress is less physical than WWE,” she joked. “Though there are times it would be nice to give a good hip toss.”