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GOP is very close to unveiling tax deal, key Senate Republican says

Republicans in the House and Senate are closing in on a tax deal that would bring the party one step closer to passin...

Posted: Dec. 13, 2017 12:10 AM
Updated: Dec. 13, 2017 12:10 AM

Republicans in the House and Senate are closing in on a tax deal that would bring the party one step closer to passing a major piece of legislation by the end of President Donald Trump's first year in office.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told reporters Tuesday morning that a tentative agreement on a tax bill could come as soon as Tuesday.

Republicans in the House and Senate are reconciling their two tax bills into one

Sen. John Cornyn said the goal is to bring the tax bills to vote next week

"We don't have it right this minute, but we are getting closer. We've ping-ponged a number of offers and counter offers back and forth and are making good progress," Cornyn, who is the second ranking Republican in the Senate, said.

Pressed if it could come Tuesday, Cornyn said "I think it could."

Republicans in the House and Senate have been working for more than a week now to sort out major differences between their respective tax bills. The bills vary dramatically in some ways including the fact that the Senate bill maintained the corporate alternative minimum tax and didn't fully repeal the estate tax.

The House bill, meanwhile, didn't repeal the individual mandate. Republicans in both chambers and their staffs have been working around the clock to narrow the differences between the bills, but an overarching concern remains making sure that any tax bill agreed to meets Senate rules and hits spending targets.

Cornyn said Tuesday that the goal is the bring the tax bills to the Senate and House floors next week before Congress leaves town for the holidays.

"We're working very hard, and we hope to have an agreement with the House soon," he said. "We've got work to do here to work with the parliamentarian to do the Byrd bath and make sure we're in good shape. My hope would be we'd be prepared to go to the floor next week."

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