Se­nate

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - BUSI­NESS -

The com­pleted House tax bill, pointed toward a vote in that cham­ber on Thurs­day, does not cur­rently in­clude re­peal of the health in­sur­ance man­date. Trump plans an in-per­son ap­peal to House Repub­li­cans be­fore the vote.

Re­pub­li­can Sens. Rand Paul of Ken­tucky and Tom Cot­ton of Arkansas had pushed for the re­peal in the tax bill just months af­ter GOP ef­forts to dis­man­tle the 2010 health care law had col­lapsed in the Se­nate.

“Re­peal­ing the man­date pays for more tax cuts for work­ing fam­i­lies and pro­tects them from be­ing fined by the IRS for not be­ing able to af­ford in­sur­ance that Oba­macare made un­af­ford­able in the first place,” Cot­ton said in a state­ment.

Con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans pro­jected con­fi­dence ear­lier in the day about de­liv­er­ing the leg­is­la­tion.

“This bill will make things bet­ter for hard­work­ing Amer­i­cans,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told re­porters.

House GOP lead­ers ral­lied sup­port with the rankand-file at a closed-door meet­ing.

Ear­lier in the Se­nate panel’s work on the bill, the Democrats com­plained that the bill would en­able U.S. cor­po­ra­tions with for­eign op­er­a­tions and wealthy in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies to ex­ploit loop­holes to skirt mil­lions in taxes.

On Mon­day, a non­par­ti­san anal­y­sis of the Se­nate bill showed it would in­crease taxes for some 13.8 mil­lion mod­er­ate-in­come Amer­i­can house­holds.

Pro­moted as needed re­lief for the mid­dle class, the House and Se­nate bills would deeply cut cor­po­rate taxes, dou­ble the stan­dard de­duc­tion used by most Amer­i­cans and limit or re­peal com­pletely the fed­eral de­duc­tion for state and lo­cal prop­erty, in­come and sales taxes. Re­pub­li­can lead­ers in Congress view pas­sage of the first ma­jor tax re­vamp in 30 years as im­per­a­tive for the GOP to pre­serve its ma­jori­ties in next year’s elec­tions.

Trump’s planned pitch on Capi­tol Hill, af­ter re­turn­ing from his Asia trip, was dis­closed by a White House of­fi­cial who wasn’t au­tho­rized to dis­cuss pub­licly the pres­i­dent’s sched­ule and spoke to The As­so­ci­ated Press on con­di­tion of anonymity. In the mean­time, Trump tweeted into the de­bate Mon­day by urg­ing Re­pub­li­can lead­ers to get more ag­gres­sive in the tax leg­is­la­tion. He called for a steeper tax cut for wealthy Amer­i­cans and the ad­di­tion of a con­tentious health care change to the al­ready com­plex mix.

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