tax overhaul

Senate Republicans hope to vote after Thanksgiving on a sweeping tax overhaul plan that they say will cut taxes for nearly every individual and family in America. The bill calls for those cuts to last only for the next eight years, unless history is a guide.

So, $1.4 trillion is a lot of money. It's what all of the NFL teams together are worth, and then some. It's more than twice the Defense Department's 2016 budget. It's enough to buy nearly 3.2 million homes at the median U.S. home price right now.

On his Asia trip last week, somewhere over Vietnam on Air Force One, President Trump told reporters he had asked Vladimir Putin again if Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

"He said he didn't meddle," the president said. "He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times."

Trump added: "Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that.' And I believe — I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it. ... I think he is very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth."

Republicans in Congress say cutting corporate taxes would improve the balance sheet for U.S. businesses, giving them more money to spend on jobs and investment.

But how does anyone know that's what will happen?

It's the question at the heart of the debate taking place on Capitol Hill right now about whether to lower corporate taxes, and by how much.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

The Senate Finance Committee unveiled its version of a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code on Thursday, as the House Ways and Means Committee was preparing to pass its own bill. The differing proposals forecast clashes between the two chambers that will make it difficult for Congress to enact the legislation by the end of the year as promised.

The two bills share a name, The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, but diverge on tax policy that affects both the business and individual sides of the tax code.

Congressional Republicans aim to take critical steps Thursday toward fulfilling their pledge to overhaul the nation's tax code by the end of the year.

The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to approve sweeping legislation to cut taxes for most individuals and businesses on the same day that Senate Republicans are set to unveil their own legislative vision for taxes. The dueling proposals are part of a broader plan that GOP leaders hope will end with both chambers passing a compromise tax bill by the end of the year.

House Republicans made steady progress Tuesday on their goal to pass a sweeping tax bill in their chamber by Thanksgiving, as Senate leaders prepared to release their own tax legislation later this week.

The quick progress comes as Republicans race to pass steep tax cuts into law by Christmas to meet a deadline set by President Trump. But significant challenges lie ahead as Republicans try to avoid repeating the bitter party infighting that doomed earlier attempts to pass a GOP health care bill.

Were the GOP tax bill to pass as is, taxpayers and their spouses would get a $300 credit per year, as would families for nonchild dependents — for five years.

And it would allow businesses to immediately deduct the costs of business investments from their taxable income, a practice called "full expensing" — likewise, for five years.

And then it would end the estate tax, starting in six years.

When Donald Trump was running for president, he often promised to bring big change to Washington, almost overnight.

"When we win on Nov. 8," he told supporters in Pennsylvania, a week before Election Day, "we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare."

A year later, that turned out to be more complicated than Trump expected.

Change in Washington often comes slowly. Just ask former President Barack Obama.

House Republicans selling their new tax plan have a great sales pitch: It will simplify taxes so much you'll be able to file your return on a postcard! GOP leaders brandished just such a prop in their rollout of the overhaul Thursday and gave a couple to President Trump at their meeting with him at the White House.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

House Republicans unveiled a draft tax bill on Thursday, calling for deep cuts in both individual and corporate tax rates.

"With this bill, we will grow our economy by delivering more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks to Americans of all walks of life," said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

As Republicans scrambled to assemble a tax overhaul bill, Americans weren't even sure that Congress should be focusing on reshaping the tax system.

Only about one-quarter of Americans believe that passing a tax overhaul should be "the top priority for the president and Congress," according to a CBS News poll released Wednesday; 70 percent said other things should be "addressed first." And even Republicans aren't particularly enthused: Only about half (51 percent) said an overhaul should be the top issue.

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House Republicans announced late Tuesday that they would delay by one day the release of their long-awaited tax cut bill that GOP leaders have promised will be the most extensive overhaul of the tax code in a generation, as members clashed over curtailing popular tax breaks to pay for trillions of dollars in tax cuts for individuals and corporations.

There is lots to watch this week, from a potentially make-or-break stretch on the tax overhaul President Trump so badly wants to social media network officials testifying about what they knew and when they knew it about Russian-linked ads that may have helped influence the 2016 presidential election.

Updated at 10:24 a.m. ET

Marching down Pennsylvania Avenue to send a message to Congress is a classic move in presidential political theater, and Tuesday is President Trump's inaugural performance. Trump makes his first visit to Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Republicans at their weekly meeting and the message is clear: Pass a tax cut.

Senate Republicans passed a $4 trillion budget blueprint late Thursday by a narrow 51-49 vote, with Kentucky's Sen. Rand Paul joining Democrats in opposing the measure considered a key step in forward on President Trump's promises of a tax overhaul.

The White House praised the bill, saying it "creates a pathway to unleash the potential of the American economy through tax reform and tax cuts."

President Trump has recently taken a series of what appear to be bold executive actions to reverse Obama-era policies: declining to re-certify the Iran nuclear deal, halting subsidy payments to insurance companies and setting an expiration date for the DACA immigration program. But, in so doing, he's dumping thorny problems on a GOP-controlled Congress already struggling to rack up significant legislative accomplishments.

President Trump and congressional Republicans have pitched their tax plan as a boost for the middle class.

"The rich will not be gaining at all with this plan," Trump told reporters during a meeting with lawmakers in mid-September.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

Today on “Political Rewind,” Tom Price goes public about the controversy over his travel on chartered aircraft even as new reports indicate the total of his trips is over $1 million. Is he correct that President Trump is on his side as he tries to make amends?

In state news, Macon representative Allen Peake says he’ll once again introduce legislation permitting limited production of cannabis oil in Georgia. What chance does he have of success in the upcoming session? And will he run afoul of the anti-marijuana U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions?

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

President Trump and GOP congressional leaders have outlined their plan for the most sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code in more than three decades.

They're proposing deep cuts in both individual and corporate tax rates, saying that will help supercharge a slow-growing economy.

"We want tax reform that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, and yes, tax reform that is pro-American," Trump said Wednesday during a rally at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

Republicans are once again waving the white flag on health care.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he is pulling the Republican health care bill because it does not have the votes.

Rather than endure another embarrassing vote that sees his caucus come up short, the senators agreed in a closed-door meeting to shelve the bill.

Updated at 3:47 p.m. ET

President Trump is hosting a dinner at the White House Tuesday night for a bipartisan group of senators. On the menu: his plan to overhaul the tax code.

Republican leaders in the Senate are making plans to advance tax legislation on a simple, party-line vote. But after dissenting Republicans torpedoed the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump is eager to line up some Democratic supporters for insurance.

When President Trump traveled to Missouri on Wednesday to make his pitch for tax code overhaul, it was a more conventional — even conciliatory — chief executive who showed up.

Trump expressed optimism that he could work with the legislative branch to pass something meaningful — although as NPR's Scott Horsley noted, the president offered scant specifics about what that legislation would be.

President Trump pitched a tax overhaul package on Wednesday in a speech that was heavy on politicking and light on the particulars.

Trump's tax policy ideas are still sketchy — when pitched in April, they amounted to one page of bullet points. In his Wednesday remarks, he didn't add much more detail beyond the broad strokes, saying he wants lower rates for the middle class, a simpler tax code, lower corporate rates and for companies to "bring back [their] money" from overseas to the U.S.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

President Trump called for a major rewrite of the U.S. tax code during a visit to Springfield, Mo., on Wednesday afternoon. The speech came a day after Trump's trip to Harvey-hit Texas and is the first in what is expected to be a series of traveling sales pitches on taxes from the president.

Updated 10 a.m. ET

Escalating tension between Capitol Hill and the White House is threatening the GOP's legislative agenda and testing the bonds of party unity under the Trump administration.

Before any hard battle, it's common to seek a little spiritual guidance.

In preparation for the coming fight this fall to overhaul the entire federal tax code, a group of House Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee traveled this week to Rancho del Cielo — the ranch of former President Ronald Reagan, outside Santa Barbara, Calif.

The ranch is where Reagan signed one of his major tax cuts into law, and the GOP is working this month to capture some of that Reagan-era magic to deliver a modern tax bill of its own.

Updated 5 pm April 3, 2017 to include the proposed Upton amendment.

The House may yet pass its bill to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act. But Republicans' options to fulfill their seven-year effort to undo the federal health law are getting narrower by the day.

"As of now, they still don't have the votes," said Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) as he was leaving a meeting of GOP members Tuesday. King has been heavily lobbied by both sides.

Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET

The Trump administration Wednesday put forth a proposal that it labeled a "massive" tax overhaul, which would give big tax cuts to individuals and corporations and reduce the number of tax brackets and deductions.

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