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The Latest: Proposed changes in tax overhaul bill anger Dems

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Republican tax-cutting plan (all times local):

6 p.m.

House Republicans are proposing changes to their tax overhaul legislation to restore a tax break for employees who receive child care benefits from their employers and to limit the measure's impact on universities with large endowments.

They also propose tightening restrictions on the use of the earned income tax credit.

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Kevin Brady of Texas, disclosed the proposed changes as an amendment as the panel debated the massive tax bill Monday.

The move unleashed anger from Democrats on the panel, who argued they were blindsided by the amendment.

Michigan congressman Sander Levin calls it a "disgrace to this committee."

___

4:30 p.m.

Analysts say Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch's tax bill will largely resemble the measure a House committee is voting on this week. But they say it's likely to have some important differences.

The experts say the Senate measure could phase out some of the House bill's tax breaks and reduce others. That's because under rules the Senate is using to prevent a Democratic filibuster, the measure can't drive up federal deficits a decade from now.

But they say Hatch's plan could restore the House bill's elimination of the adoption tax credit, and revive at least some deductions people are allowed for medical expenses. Those proposals have drawn howls of protests.

It might also ease the House bill's elimination of the inheritance tax on large estates.

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3:30 p.m.

A nonpartisan tax analysis group says the proposed House Republican tax cut would leave 28 percent of people facing tax increases by 2027. The Tax Policy Center also says that in 2018, when the measure would first take effect, 12 percent of people would see higher taxes.

The group says that next year, there would be an average tax cut of $1,100 under the legislation. But the amount would vary by income.

People earning less than $48,000 annually would see tax cuts of 0.5 percent or less of their after-tax income. The top 1 percent of earners — people making over $730,000 — would get an average cut of 2.5 percent, or $37,000.

In 2027 the average overall reduction would drop to $700 after some of the cuts expire.

___

3:15 p.m.

Democrats on the House's tax-writing panel are forcefully lodging objections to the Republican tax overhaul plan.

Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee are countering that the plan will bring substantial tax relief to the middle class and spark economic growth and jobs.

Democratic congressman Mike Thompson of California demanded to know why residents of his district who lost their homes in the recent wildfires would also lose the ability to use a disaster relief tax deduction for losses not covered by insurance.

Other Democrats objected to the proposed bill's repeal of the $13,570 per-child credit for adoption-related expenses and to the elimination of the deduction for medical expenses not covered by insurance.

The measure that would slash corporate taxes, reduce what some Americans would pay and eliminate some prized deductions.

___

1:55 p.m.

The House Republican tax bill would mean 38 million Americans on average likely will face tax increases by 2023.

That's the word from Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff for the Joint Committee on Taxation. He gave the data in response to a question from a Democratic member of the House Ways and Means Committee at Monday's session. The panel is working on the legislation that would cut taxes for corporations and many average Americans but also eliminate deductions prized by homeowners and people with heavy medical expenses.

Republicans countered that in the near term, Americans would see tax cuts under the legislation.

Barthold's testimony sparked anger from minority Democrats on the panel. Rep. Mike Thompson of California demanded to know why residents of his district who lost their homes in the recent wildfires would also have limits on their ability to claim local property taxes on their federal returns.

__

12:15 p.m.

The House's tax-writing committee has begun work on the Republicans' overhaul plan, with the panel's chairman calling it a "monumental challenge."

Texas Rep. Kevin Brady gaveled in the session on Monday. He paused to remember those killed and wounded Sunday at a church shooting in Texas.

Brady called the legislation a means of spurring job growth and boosting the economy.

The Ways and Means Committee is expected to spend four days finalizing the bill that the full House hopes to pass before Thanksgiving.

Last week, Republicans unveiled a 429-page measure that would slash corporate taxes, reduce what some Americans would pay and eliminate some prized deductions. It would be the first rewrite of tax laws in three decades.

___

3:35 a.m.

House Republicans are weighing a repeal of a key tenet of the Obama-era health care law as the tax-writing committee begins work on crafting the bill.

Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday the GOP is discussing scrapping the health law's requirement that people have insurance coverage or face a penalty.

Republicans are likely to change the measure to ease opposition from some GOP lawmakers. Work begins Monday in the Ways and Means Committee and is expected to last until Thursday.

Some want to broaden relief to more small businesses, while others are upset at a provision eliminating a tax credit for adoption expenses.

The proposal is the first major rewrite of the tax code in three decades, mixing tax cuts for corporations and businesses with more modest relief for individuals.

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