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Top GOP senator: House and Senate ‘not that far apart’ on tax bill

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) on Sunday said he’s optimistic the House and Senate will be able to hash out differences in the chambers’ respective tax-reform bills and get legislation to the president by the end of the year.

“We’re not that far apart. Fundamentally, for the American public, we double the standard deduction, double the child tax credit, and lower the rates,” Barrasso said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The Senate passed legislation early Saturday morning to overhaul the tax code, approving the plan by a 51-49 vote.

{mosads}The bill would lower tax rates for individuals through 2025 and permanently cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. The bill’s tax cuts for individuals are temporary in order to comply with budget rules that the measure can’t add to the deficit after 10 years.

Republican senators will now move to reconcile their legislation with the House’s proposal, passed in mid-November.

Among the most significant differences between the two bills is that the Senate version repeals the ObamaCare individual mandate, and modifies the estate tax, or “death tax.”

Both the House and Senate bills call for the corporate tax rate to be cut from 35 percent to 20 percent, but President Trump on Saturday suggested cutting the corporate tax rate to 22 percent would be acceptable.

Barrasso said he’d like to see it remain at 20 percent.

Some Republicans have expressed concerns about the tax bill adding to the national debt. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), a nonpartisan entity, reported Thursday that the Senate tax bill would add about $1 trillion to the deficit, even when factoring in economic growth.

Barrasso on Sunday downplayed the report, saying the JCT tends to be “wildly pessimistic.”

“When you do regulatory relief as well as tax relief, I think we are going to have accelerated growth of the economy, well beyond what people are predicting,” he said.

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