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House, Senate leaders reportedly reach agreement on tax legislation

WASHINGTON — Republicans in the House and Senate have reportedly come to an agreement on the tax overhaul bill, The Associated Press reported.

Congress has been working to blend the two bills that were recently passed, hoping to send it to President Donald Trump’s desk by Christmas.

On Wednesday, GOP lawmakers said they hope to vote on the new bill next week.

Trump was making a pitch Wednesday for the tax plan, which is unpopular with many. He will offer what aides called a “closing argument to the American people.” Trump planned to deliver the speech from the Grand Foyer, the entrance of the White House mansion, laying out how the tax changes would specifically benefit the middle-class families in attendance from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa and Washington state.

Trump was to note how the tax plan would save the families money, place them in lower tax brackets and help them pay for their children’s education, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the speech.

White House advisers said Trump will assert that the plan would deliver meaningful middle-income tax cuts and help young people benefit from a stronger economy.

The speech comes as the White House has sought to push back against polling suggesting the public views the plan as heavily tilted toward corporations and wealthy Americans. Trump has asserted that the plan will lower tax rates for individuals and spur job growth, helping American families.

The total amount of tax breaks in the legislation cannot exceed $1.5 trillion over the next decade, under budget rules adopted by the House and Senate. The legislation would add billions to the $20 trillion deficit.

Once the plan is signed into law, workers could start seeing changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks early next year, lawmakers said — though taxpayers won’t file their 2018 returns until the following year.