GOP leaders finalize biggest tax overhaul in 3 decades


After he threatened to withhold his support for the bill, colleagues agreed to sweeten the child tax credit, which Rubio called "a solid step towards broader reforms which are both Pro-Growth and Pro-Worker".

Proposed: Owners could apply a 20 percent deduction to their business income, subject to limits that would begin at $315,000 for married couples (or half that for single taxpayers). In the end, they agreed to cut it to 37 percent from the current 39.6 percent.

"This is the ultimate betrayal of the middle class", Sen. "But given all the other changes made in the tax code leading into it, I can't in good conscience support it unless we are able to increase [the child tax credit], and there's ways to do it and we'll be very reasonable about it". The compromise bill will keep that $10,000 cap, but allow for continued deduction of both state and local income tax payments, as well as property tax payments.

Collins has remained non-committal, in part out of concern about a provision that would repeal the fine imposed under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, on Americans who do not obtain health insurance.

Generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans would be delivered in a sweeping overhaul of the tax laws, under a new agreement crafted by Republicans in Congress.

The conference bill that came out of negotiations between the two chambers is broadly similar to the legislation that passed the Senate at the beginning of the month. The compromise is expected to be released on Friday, pending last-minute changes.

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Despite expressions of confidence about passage from party leaders, the path to a final vote in the Senate could still be perilous.

Because of those changes, Rubio says he will support the tax bill - likely giving Republicans enough votes to pass the sweeping measure. For one thing, the health of Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona.

Two other Republican senators remained undecided: Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of ME - with each weighing different concerns. He told reporters: "My deficit concerns have not been alleviated".

New Jersey residents will still lose most of their major tax break in the final Republican tax bill, but it's not as bad as the original version.

The IRS had no immediate comment. Those rates generally reduce the current levels by as much as 4 percentage points compared to the current system.

Those two new "yes" votes put the bill on solid ground for final passage next week.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) talks to the media following a weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 12, 2017. The House bill had raised the deduction, but also entirely phased out the tax.

Shortening the tax cuts for individuals and families by one year could free up close to $170 billion, according to estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation, but it could be seen as a budget gimmick if Republicans promise to extend the tax cuts at a later date.

The tax bill was expected to add at least $1 trillion to the $20 trillion US national debt over 10 years, making it an unusual example of deficit spending on stimulative tax cuts at a time when the economy is already expanding. With that in view, Republicans have been urgently trying to finalise details of their package without increasing its estimated impact on the federal deficit and the debt.

Republicans, including Trump, have touted their plan as a middle-class tax cut, but by further shortening the duration of individual tax cuts while leaving most corporate rate cuts permanent, the GOP could bolster Democrats' argument that the package is tilted in favor of the wealthy and corporations. The Senate had proposed cutting the top rate to 38.5 percent and maintaining seven brackets. "The cynical voices that opposed tax cuts grow smaller and weaker, and the American people grow stronger, he said".

"This bill is far from flawless, and left to my own accord, we would have reached bipartisan consensus on legislation that avoided any chance of adding to the deficit", Corker said in a statement Friday.

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