GOP Leaders Say They Have a Deal on Tax Bill

And Trump says Republicans are 'very, very close' to passing it
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2017 1:38 PM CST
Trump: GOP 'Very, Very Close' to Passing Tax Bill
President Donald Trump, flanked by Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, left, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, right, speaks during a bicameral meeting with lawmakers working on the tax cuts in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Trump on Wednesday said Republicans are "very, very close to a historic legislative victory" on taxes, adding that a deal between Senate and House Republicans is "very, very close," the AP reports. According to USA Today, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch confirmed the House and Senate have struck a deal, rectifying the hundreds of differences between the tax bills passed separately by the Senate and House. Sen. Bob Corker, the lone Republican senator to vote against the tax bill, says its passage is "not stoppable" at this point.

While Hatch didn't give any details of the agreement, sources tells the Los Angeles Times it would drop the corporate tax rate to 21% and the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans to 37%. That slightly increases the 20% corporate tax rate in both the House and Senate bills, partially in order to pay for the tax rate for wealthy Americans, which is lower than in either previous bill. Sources say the final bill will also include a repeal of the ObamaCare mandate that people buy health insurance that was included in the Senate bill. A final tax bill is expected to be revealed by the end of the week with votes next week. Democrats are calling on Republicans to delay a vote on the bill until Doug Jones is sworn in following his victory in Alabama, but that's very unlikely to happen. (More tax reform stories.)

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