House Republicans delay tax plan rollout

PHOTO: House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks during his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, Oct. 26, 2017, in Washington. PlayAndrew Harnik/AP
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House Republicans are delaying the rollout of their tax bill amid unresolved questions about key elements of the plan.

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Republicans were slated to unveil the bill Wednesday, but are now pushing the announcement to Thursday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, confirmed late Tuesday night.

"In consultation with President Trump and our leadership team, we have decided to release the bill text on Thursday," Brady said in a statement. "We are pleased with the progress we are making and we remain on schedule to take action and approve a bill at our Committee beginning next week."

Just minutes earlier, Brady had emerged from a meeting with Ways and Means Committee Republicans and told reporters staff were planning to "work through the night" on the bill, and that there were no changes to the initial self-imposed timetable.

Republicans continue to wrestle with potential changes to state and local tax deductions that would generate revenue to help pay for the tax cuts in the proposal, which could add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years.

"It's a thousand technical moving parts. We're trying to get them right," Rep. David Schweikert, R-Arizona, a Ways and Means Committee member, said Tuesday night.

House and Senate GOP leaders have little room for error to reach consensus on the tax bill, which they hope to pass by Thanksgiving and send to the White House for President Trump's signature by Christmas.

The delay raises new questions about Republicans’ ability to adhere to their ambitious timeline. The last comprehensive tax reform effort, a bipartisan push under President Reagan, took several years from start to finish.

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