Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP
Last Updated Dec 13, 2017 12:58 PM EST
President Trump said the tax overhaul bill is close to completion during a lunch with bicameral tax conferees Wednesday afternoon in the White House Cabinet Room. “We’re very, very close,” he said. “This bill is vital to the American people for many reasons.”
The Associated Press reported shortly before noon that House and Senate leaders have reached an agreement on the sweeping tax package.
Mr. Trump reemphasized his regular promises for the bill: a tax cut for the middle class, a lowered corporate tax rate, a simplified tax code as well as resulting economic growth and job creation.
“It will be bigger than anything ever done in this country,” he claimed.
In the meeting, Mr. Trump said he is disappointed Republicans lost a Senate seat following Democrat Doug Jones’in Alabama. The president said Republicans will continue to fight in the 2018 midterm elections, but said that the focus right now is passing the tax overhaul.
Mr. Trump was joined by members of his Cabinet as well as an entirely Republican group of representatives from the House and the Senate:
- Vice President Mike Pence
- Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin
- Chief of Staff General John Kelly
- Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short
- Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn
- Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah
- Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas
- Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
- Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio
- Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina
- Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota
- Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania
- Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas
- Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah
- Rep. Diane Black, R-Tennessee
- Rep. Kristi Noem, R-South Dakota
- Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California
- Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Illinois
- Rep. John Shimkus, R-Illinois
- Rep. Fred Upton, R-Michigan
- Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska
Later Wednesday, the president will be talking more about the tax bill, in a 3:00 p.m. ET speech, as Congress “approaches the finish line on historic tax cuts and reform,” the White House says. The House and Senate are currently in conference, working out a final version of a bill. Both houses will hold separate votes on the identical bill that comes out of conference.
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