- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 3, 2017

The head of the Republican Policy Committee said Sunday that the House and Senate versions of the tax reform bill are “not that far apart.”

Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, said he’s confident the upper and lower chambers can work out their differences in conference.

“Absolutely there are some changes that still need to be made in conference to work these things out,” Mr. Barrasso said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The other thing that you haven’t mentioned, the big differences are, the Republican bill in the Senate eliminates the mandate of Obamacare. It takes Obamacare from being a mandatory program to a voluntary program.

“But we’re not that far apart,” he said. “Fundamentally, for the American public, we double — double — the child tax credits. We lower the rates. And in terms of investing in an America and an America-first economy, we lower tax rates for Main Street businesses all across the country, as well as corporations, to make us much more competitive internationally.”

The Senate passed the tax reform legislation early Saturday along party lines, 51 to 49.

In addition to repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate, the Senate bill scraps the estate tax, known as the “death tax.”

President Trump threw lawmakers a screwball on Saturday when he suggested that it would be acceptable to cut the corporate tax rate to 22 percent.

But Mr. Barrasso said he favors a corporate tax rate of 20 percent.

The Republican Policy Committee analyzes public policies and advocates for GOP proposals and alternatives.

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