Conservative groups press GOP to keep 20 percent corporate tax rate

Twenty-six conservative groups are urging the House-Senate conference panel on tax legislation to lower the corporate rate to 20 percent, amid discussions that it could end up being higher.

"The United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world - dropping that rate to 20 percent will spur American competitiveness, increase wages and deliver the relief middle-class taxpayers deserve," the groups wrote in a Friday letter written and circulated by the National Taxpayers Union.

The organizations - which include the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform - noted that both the House- and Senate-passed bills cut the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. They called that cut the "central pro-growth provision" of the bills.

"The U.S. House of Representatives passed a tax cut bill with this exact rate cut. The U.S. Senate passed a tax cut bill with this exact rate cut," the groups wrote. "We strongly urge the conference committee to report a tax cut bill with this exact rate cut."

GOP lawmakers say they want to keep the corporate rate at 20 percent in the final bill, but they are also facing pressure to find ways to raise revenue in order to pay for other tax cuts.

The tax conference is expected to meet in the near future to resolve differences between the House and Senate bills and produce the final measure that Congress will try to send to President Trump's desk.

The White House has left the door open for a rate above 20 percent, with Trump suggesting that the final rate could end up being 22 percent.

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