Written by Associated Press
(AP) — The Latest on the Republican tax overhaul legislation (all times local):
A sweeping tax overhaul has cleared a procedural hurdle in the House.
Lawmakers voted 235-191 on Wednesday for the rule that sets the stage for a vote on passing the measure. That crucial vote is expected Thursday morning after President Donald Trump travels to Capitol Hill to meet with GOP lawmakers.
Republican leaders on Tuesday had projected confidence that they have the votes to pass the bill that would slash the corporate tax rate, reduce the number of tax brackets and eliminate some popular deductions.
Separately, the Senate Finance Committee is working on its version of the bill. The full Senate is expected to vote on that measure after Thanksgiving.
The two chambers need to reconcile the bills in hopes of getting a measure to Trump by Christmas.
The head of the Senate’s tax-writing committee is defending the decision to include in the tax bill a repeal of the Obamacare requirement for Americans to get health insurance.
Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Wednesday the requirement that nearly everyone have insurance coverage or face a fine is a tax.
Hatch said that’s a “terribly regressive tax that imposes harsh burdens on low- and middle-income taxpayers.” His panel started a third day of work Wednesday on the tax overhaul legislation.
Democrats angrily protested the move. Repealing the mandate would raise an estimated $338 billion that could help pay for deep tax cuts, especially for corporations. Budget analysts say it would push 13 million Americans off the insurance rolls over the next decade.
The Obama health care law’s requirement that Americans get insurance coverage is now pinned as a target of Republican lawmakers. They are looking to end the individual mandate to help pay for deep tax cuts.
Senate Republicans showed Tuesday they’re intent on scrapping the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate, and the idea was endorsed by scores of GOP lawmakers in the House.
The surprise renewal of the failed effort to eliminate the law’s mandate came a day after President Donald Trump renewed pressure on Republican lawmakers to include the repeal in their sweeping legislation to revamp the tax system.