IN Focus: VP Pence visits Indiana to talk tax reform, health care

ANDERSON, Ind. –For the first time in 65 years since a sitting president or vice president visited Anderson, Vice President Mike Pence arrived to a hometown crowd to deliver a message filled with political promises and pressure.

"Hello Indiana," Pence said. "It is great to be back home again.”

Announcing President Donald Trump will visit Indiana on Wednesday as part of the administration's major tax reform roll-out, Pence told the crowd the president will have signed a major overhaul of the federal tax code by the end of the year.

“Indiana knows the truth,” Pence said, "that tax cuts mean more jobs, higher wages, and an economy where anything is possible."

Before his official remarks at Flagship Enterprise Center, Pence met with local business owners and Hoosier families at a local BBQ restaurant, saying everyone in attendance wants a better understanding of their own taxes and to pay less to the federal government.

The White House is hoping for some Democratic support of the plan, targeting moderate Democrats up for re-election like Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) who attended Friday's event.

“So I’m here today to say all of you, we need your help," Pence said. "And Sen. Donnelly, we need your help too."

“So Joe, let’s decide today, we’re going to get this tax cut done and we’re going to get it done together," Pence said.

Donnelly, in an interview before Pence's remarks, told FOX 59 he's willing to work with the administration on a plan that benefits the middle-class.

"I feel no pressure at all," Donnelly said, "because the vice president is my friend but I don't work for the vice president. I don't work for the president. I work for the people of Indiana."

Alongside Donnelly at Friday's event, two Republicans looking to unseat him - Republican Congressmen Luke Messer and Todd Rokita.

"I'm hopeful Sen. Donnelly will hear the message of Vice President Pence today and the message of President Trump next week and do the right thing," Messer said.

"We have a portfolio of bad votes from Joe Donnelly," Rokita said in an interview after the event. "He doesn't represent Hoosiers on a whole. All that's going to come out in this campaign."

Potentially as urgent as Pence spoke, another shot at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, as news came late Friday Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) would vote no on the latest attempt.

Without naming specific names, Pence urgently called on Senate Republicans to pass what many consider a last-ditch effort repealing the health care law.

"The Republican majority in Congress in particular was not elected to save Obamacare, they were elected to repeal and replace it," Pence said. "And it's time for every member of the Republican majority to keep their word."

Pence has been in the midst of the new, high-stakes negotiations as the administration looks toward its major tax reform unveiling next week and address from President Trump in Indiana.