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Trump urges lawmakers to end health mandate, cut top tax rate
13 November 2017, 08:32 | Opal Carroll
House 'Committed' to Retaining Some State and Local Tax Deductions, Chairman Says
Trump said the bill should include the repeal of Obamacare's individual mandate.
Conservatives often see that as an unfair advantage to the mostly Democratic locales with higher local taxes, a position President Donald Trump articulated in October - though states with high local taxes also tend to be net contributors to the federal budget.
Republican Representative Peter King has fiercely opposed the elimination of the SALT deduction, saying many in his home state of NY earning $300,000 a year were hardworking, two-income families facing a very high cost of living.
Trump praised new bills in the House and Senate, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), but suggested a few improvements. That provision will nearly certainly be resisted by Republican House members in high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey and California.
Trump's request, which the president relayed by Twitter from his trip through Asia, comes at a sensitive moment in tax negotiations.
The deduction is particularly important to residents in states with high property values or tax rates. Neither House nor Senate proposals have included such a provision.
Lawmakers aim to balance raising revenue to pay for major tax cuts without losing GOP votes and endangering the bill.
The comments from House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady show that although both the House and Senate are moving forward with plans to overhaul the US tax code under tight, self-imposed deadlines, the path forward remains hard because of differences in their legislation.
The language echoed comments from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who last week walked back his statement that "everybody gets a tax cut".
Trump and some Republicans favor including a repeal of the mandate in tax overhaul legislation.
"What we've worked so carefully with our lawmakers from NY and California and New Jersey is to make sure we deliver this relief", Brady said. King said on Fox's "Sunday Morning Futures". It also goes against his repeated insistence that tax legislation should be focused on providing middle class tax relief rather than cutting taxes for wealthy filers like himself.
The news comes as Senate Republicans begin their markup of their plan Monday afternoon and House Republicans plan to bring their bill to the floor for a vote later this week.
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