U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Trump Plans Closing Argument for GOP Tax Overhaul Wednesday

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump will deliver a closing argument for the proposed Republican tax overhaul in a speech on Wednesday, said a person familiar with the matter.

The president’s speech will take place in Washington, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the event. It comes as House and Senate negotiators are working to iron out differences in the versions of the bill passed in their respective chambers, with the goal of having the legislation on Trump’s desk for a signature before year-end.

“Getting closer and closer on the Tax Cut Bill. Shaping up even better than projected,” Trump said in a Twitter message early Sunday from his club in Palm Beach, Florida. “House and Senate working very hard and smart. End result will be not only important, but SPECIAL!”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Sunday’s he’s “very confident we’re going to get this done” on the tax bill, partly thanks to Trump’s enthusiastic cheer-leading. “I’ve never watched a president so engaged,” he said.

Trump has consistently pitched the bill as a boon to the middle class. Vice President Mike Pence said in a Twitter post last week that the plan would to deliver a pre-Christmas “middle-class miracle.”

Several independent studies, though, suggest the benefits of tax cuts will be skewed toward corporations and high-income Americans, and that gains accruing to middle-income taxpayers will be uneven because of the way widely used deductions may change.

The number of registered voters who said they support the House version of the bill, passed in November, was 36 percent in a Politico/Morning Consult tracking poll conducted Nov. 21-25. Opposition was at 36 percent. A majority of Democrats were opposed to the plan, while Republican support softened in late November from earlier in the month, to 59 percent from 66 percent.

Most estimates, including those by Congress’s own economists, also suggest that the tax cuts will add substantially to the U.S. budget deficit and would be only partly offset by higher economic growth that may be generated by the changes.

McCarthy said that despite the differences in the House and Senate bills that include the treatment of state and local taxes, the continuation of medical-expense deductions and whether individual tax cuts are permanent or not, “structurally they’re pretty similar.”

“They’re going to work out those differences,” he said. “Hopefully they can get that done this week, we come back the next week and vote on it,” McCarthy said.

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