Rep. Black works to close gap between House, Senate tax reform plans

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Republican leaders are tying a bow on the final version of tax reform – but keeping details under wraps. Opponents said the promised Christmas present amounts to coal.

A group of 29 lawmakers is responsible for drafting the final version of tax reform. Before even meeting for the first time, the 17 republicans reached a handshake agreement amongst themselves according to CNN.

Rep. Diane Black, who also holds a position on the House Ways and Means committee, said the Senate and House plans had one common aim and few differences. “What I want to see at the end of the day is that we give relief to the middle-income earner,” she said before news of the agreement-in-principle broke, “I am fighting for the middle-income earner.”

The final plan will face up or down votes in both chambers. The Republican majority only has a couple votes to spare in the Senate and Black said that limits how strongly the House can push its positions. “We’re working very hard to make sure that the product that comes out will be acceptable in both the House and the Senate,” she said.

The details of the plan are not expected to be released for a couple of days. But, republicans continue to say it promises tax breaks and a booming economy, while democrats call it a gift to the wealthy at everyone else’s expense.

“I’m very anxious to see how it comes out,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

Leahy said he has concerns beyond what he considers bad tax policy. He said he and his colleagues writing the budget need to know how much cash the government will have to determine what it will spend.

“We’re kind of stymied until we know how much to put in,” said Leahy.

President Donald Trump promised tax reform would be wrapped up and signed into law by Christmas. Wednesday’s agreement keeps that timeline intact.

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