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After GOP House and Senate members reconciled their separate tax plans, President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he’s closer to delivering the Christmas gift he promised to taxpayers. But Democrats, who were shut out of the legislative process, are warning that corporations and the wealthy are biggest beneficiaries.

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Some Democrats are demanding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allow Democratic Senator-elect Doug Jones of Alabama to be seated before a vote on the tax bill.

“So much is at stake in Washington right now — from the tax bill to net neutrality, to the urgent issue Doug Jones mentioned in his victory speech: the ongoing fight to save health care for nine million lower-income kids” Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted. She’s leading an online petition drive to seat Jones. In the meantime, other Democrats are also sounding an alarm.

Lawmakers have been meeting over the past few weeks to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the $1.5 trillion tax bill. The Republicans, who control both houses of Congress, resolved the most significant differences. In the end, though, middle- and low-income families are on the short end, USA Today reported.

The consensus tax bill would reduce the corporate tax rate from the current 35 percent to 21 percent. It would take effect in 2018 instead of the Senate version’s 2019 date. The reconciled bill would cut the top tax rate for the wealthy from 39.6 percent to 37 percent. Although it would nearly double the standard deduction for married couples, the bill would still scale back several popular tax breaks, such as the state and local tax deduction and mortgage interest. And in their zeal to revoke the Affordable Care Act, the consensus tax bill would eliminate Obamacare’s tax requirement.

It’s almost ready for a final vote in both houses. A few Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Susan Collins of Maine, are said to want a few changes. After a crushing political defeat in Tuesday’s Alabama election, Trump appeared optimistic that workers are likely to see tax reductions in their paychecks by February. Trump claimed that he received that timeline from the Internal Revenue Service.

SOURCE:  USA Today

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