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US House, Senate leaders reach deal on taxes

WASHINGTON: Confident congressional Republicans forged an agreement Wednesday on a major overhaul of the nation's tax laws that would provide generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans — Donald Trump among them — and deliver the first major legislative accomplishment to the GOPpresident. Middle- and low-income families would get smaller tax cuts, though Trump and GOP leaders have billed the package as a huge benefit for the middle class. The measure would scrap a major tax requirement of Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, a step toward the ultimate GOP goal of unraveling the law."The cynical voices that opposed tax cuts grow smaller and weaker, and the American people grow stronger," Trump said at the White House. "This is for people of middle income, this is for companies that are going to create jobs. This is for very, very special people, the great people of America."The business tax cuts would be permanent, but reductions for individuals would expire after a decade — saving money to comply with Senate budget rules. In all, the bill would cut taxes by about $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, adding billions to the nation's mounting debt. The legislation, which is still being finalised, would cut the top tax rate for the wealthy from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, slash the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and allow homeowners to deduct interest only on thenew mortgage.
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