Trump to meet with House GOP ahead of tax vote

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump plans to meet with House Republicans on Thursday ahead of an expected vote on tax overhaul legislation.

That's the word from a White House official who wasn't authorized to discuss publicly the president's schedule and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Tax legislation is a top priority for Trump, who has no major legislative achievement after nearly a year in office. It's also a major agenda item for the GOP in their hopes of keeping their majorities in next year's elections.

The House Ways and Means Committee backed the bill last week that would slash the corporate tax rate and reduce taxes for some individuals.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says he is "very confident" that Republicans "do and will have the votes to pass" a tax overhaul in the House this week.

Congressman Kevin Brady says he doesn't expect major changes to the bill as it moves to a final vote in the House. Still, he says that President Donald Trump's call for removing the requirement to have health insurance as part of the tax agreement "remains under consideration."

Brady disputes projections that millions of middle-class households would end up paying more in taxes if the House bill became law.

The Texas Republican told reporters on Monday that projections too often ignore an increase in paychecks. He says in the end "every American will be better off."

The Senate's top tax writer says the new GOP Senate overhaul bill will bring "much-needed tax relief to American workers and families."

Sen. Orrin Hatch is the chair of the Senate Finance Committee. His panel is launching into work on the Senate version of Republican tax legislation that steeply cuts corporate taxes, doubles the standard deduction, and aims at the biggest revamp of the U.S. tax system in three decades.

Hatch is downplaying a new analysis by congressional tax experts showing that 13.8 million moderate-income households actually would see their taxes increase in 2019 under the Senate proposal.

The Utah Republican says "a relatively small minority of taxpayers could see a slight increase in their taxes."

The committee's senior Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, says the legislation has become "a massive handout to multinational corporations and a bonanza for tax cheats and powerful political donors."

Congressional analysts are estimating that the Republican Senate tax bill would increase taxes in 2019 for some 13.8 million U.S. households earning less than $200,000 a year.

The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation provided the analysis Monday as the Senate's tax-writing committee begins work on its version of the tax overhaul bill. The legislation, promoted as a boon to the middle class, would steeply cut corporate taxes, double the standard deduction, and limit or repeal completely the federal deduction for state and local property and income taxes.

The analysis of the Senate plan says 13.8 million households, or about 10 percent of all taxpayers, would face a tax increase of $100 to $500 in 2019. There also would be increases greater than $500 for a number of taxpayers, especially those with incomes between $75,000 and $200,000. By 2025, 21.4 million households would have tax increases.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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