The Latest: Trump praises deal on GOP tax cuts

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the Republican tax overhaul (all times local):

12:51 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Republicans are “very, very close to a historic legislative victory” on taxes.

Trump says Wednesday that a deal is “very, very close.” He added that it is “very important” to vote on the legislation next week.

House and Senate GOP leaders have forged an agreement on an overhaul of the nation’s tax laws. It paves the way for final votes next week to slash taxes for businesses and give most people tax cuts starting next year.

Trump plans to make a pitch Wednesday for the plan. It would give the president his first major victory in Congress.

Trump also reacted to Roy Moore’s election defeat in the Alabama Senate race, saying he doesn’t think the loss will impact his agenda.

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11:56 a.m.

House and Senate GOP leaders have forged an agreement on a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax laws. That paves the way for final votes next week to slash taxes for businesses and give most people tax cuts starting next year.

Top GOP aides say the deal was reached on Wednesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the deal. Details still need to be drafted and assessed by congressional scorekeepers but the final House-Senate compromise is on track to be unveiled this week.

The measure would give President Donald Trump his first major victory in Congress. It fulfills a longstanding goal by top Republicans such as Speaker Paul Ryan to rewrite the loophole-cluttered tax code.

The measure has come under assault by Democrats who say it is unfairly tilted in favor of business and the wealthy.

-By Andy Taylor

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3:55 a.m.

A Republican tax package swiftly taking shape would pull down the top tax rate for wealthy Americans to 37 percent and slash the tax rate for corporations to a level slightly above what businesses and conservatives wanted.

Republicans in Congress rushed Tuesday toward a deal. Lawmakers and aides labored to blend separate tax bills that were passed recently by the House and Senate. The Republican goal is to deliver to President Donald Trump the first major rewrite of the U.S. tax system in more than three decades.

GOP lawmakers hope to finalize blended legislation no later than Friday, vote next week and deliver the package of steep tax cuts for corporations and more modest cuts for families to the president before Christmas.

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