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House GOP leaders detail plan for getting tax reform across finish line

Rep. Kevin Brady’s (R-TX) remarks were part of an effort by the chair of the tax writing committee and House Republican leadership to assuage concerns from rank-and-file Republicans over a lack of progress on a signature issue. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) outlined a way forward for Republicans’ tax reform plans on Wednesday, starting with the release of more details on Sept. 25, completing a budget that will carry tax language by mid-October and then having the committee take up legislation.

Speaker Paul Ryan called it “the beginning of the process … to achieve for the first time in a generation, overhauling our tax system and giving middle class families a much deserved break.”

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Brady laid out the plan to House Republicans to assuage concerns from rank-and-file lawmakers over a lack of visible progress on an issue that GOP leaders see as their best hope for a major legislative accomplishment before the 2018 midterm elections. He told members “the stakes are higher than ever that we deliver,” a source present in the room said.

Republicans want to avoid a repeat of their failed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. GOP congressional leaders and top Trump administration officials — collectively known as the Big Six — have been meeting for months to try to hammer out a consensus on cutting corporate and individual tax rates and making other changes to the tax code.

“The whole point of all of this is the House, the Senate and the White House are starting from the same page and the same outline and tax writers are going to take it from there,” Ryan said.

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