Trump calls for major last-minute changes to GOP tax plans

Copies of the 429-page GOP tax overhaul plan are carried by House Ways and Means Committee staffer Thomas Kutz before the start of the committee's markup session on Capitol Hill Monday. The House tax-writing committee passed an amended version of the bill

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The House and Senate have released competing bills, neither of which ends the individual Obamacare mandate to maintain insurance coverage or lowers the top rate almost as far as the president requested on Monday.

President Donald Trump just added complications to the Republican tax-reform debate. The House version of the tax reform bill preserves a $10,000 deduction for state and local property taxes, while the Senate bill preserves no deductions.

Many Republicans have feared that they could write a tax bill only to have their effort shadowed by late-game commentary by Trump.

A separate group, Americans Against Double Taxation, launched a nationwide radio ad campaign Friday targeting several Republicans in California, calling the tax bill "a scam that double-taxes the middle class and explodes the deficit". By doing so, the GOP could then chop the top individual income tax rate to 35 percent with "all the rest going to middle income cuts", the president contended.

Both versions of the tax plan cut the top individual rate, but the Senate version only lowers it to 38.5 percent. Neither House nor Senate proposals have included such a provision.

Cross-border terror attack from Afghanistan kills two Pak soldiers
It is the fourth such attack on Pakistani posts from the Afghan side of the border in two months. Kabul, however, is opposed to the fencing of border which it claims is disputed.

In general, rich households already do well in analyses of the current tax plans thanks to provisions like ending the alternative minimum tax, reducing or repealing the estate tax, and cutting taxes for pass-through entities, all of which could potentially benefit Trump himself.

"Both the House and the Senate bills would raise taxes on millions of middle-class families, particularly in the suburbs, while providing a huge giveaway to corporations and the wealthy", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said. But lawmakers, Republican aides and lobbyists have said it would be hard to include a repeal in a tax effort complicated by intraparty differences and intense business lobbying. The House wants to reduce the number of brackets, but leave the 39.6 percent top rate alone.

Trump and some Republicans favor including a repeal of the mandate in tax overhaul legislation.

Under the new Senate bill, for example, the conservative Tax Foundation estimates the top 1 percent of taxpayers would see a 7.5 percent increase in after-tax income, versus less than 2 percent for the bottom 80 percent.

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