WASHINGTON – Leaders of the Republican majorities in both houses of the US Congress said on Wednesday that the path is clear to approve President Donald Trump’s proposed tax overhaul before Christmas.
Closed-door negotiations produced a consensus on reconciling the separate tax bills passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Though the details are not expected to be released until the end of the week, US media outlets said the draft calls for dropping the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, instead of the 20 percent mandated by both bills.
House and Senate Republicans also agreed to lower the top individual rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent and to limit deductions for state and local taxes.
“As a candidate, I promised we would pass a massive tax cut for the everyday, working American families who are the backbone and the heartbeat of our country,” Trump said Wednesday during an event at the White House.
“Now we’re just days away – I hope, I hope – you know what that means, right – from keeping that promise and delivering a truly amazing victory for American families. We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas. And when I say giant, I mean giant,” the president said.
Democrats, who have been excluded from the process of writing the tax bills, criticized the Republican approach and asked the congressional leadership to delay the vote until the winner of Tuesday’s special election in Alabama takes his seat in the Senate.
Democrat Doug Jones won the ballot, narrowly prevailing over Republican Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual improprieties with teenage girls.
Once Jones is sworn-in, Republicans will have only a 51-49 majority in the Senate.