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GOP tax bill will slash corporate rate, drop levies on rich

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, on the progress of an agreement on a sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax laws. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — After weeks of quarrels, qualms and then last-minute horse-trading, Republicans revealed their huge national tax rewrite late Friday — along with announcements of support that all but guarantee approval next week in time to give President Donald Trump the Christmas legislative triumph he's been aching for.

The legislation would slash tax rates for big business and lower levies on the richest Americans in a massive $1.5 trillion bill that the GOP plans to muscle through Congress next week. Benefits for most other taxpayers would be smaller.

According to a summary of the measure circulating among lobbyists, today's 35 percent rate on corporations would fall to 21 percent, the crown jewel of the measure for many Republicans. Trump and GOP leaders had set 20 percent as their goal, but added a point to free money for other tax cuts and that won over wavering lawmakers in final talks.

The legislation represents the first major legislative achievement for the GOP after nearly a full year in control of Congress and the White House. It's the widest-ranging reshaping of the tax code in three decades and is expected to add to the nation's $20 trillion debt. The debt is expected to soar by at least $1 trillion more than it would without the tax measure, according to projections.

Democrats are expected to oppose the legislation unanimously.

The bill would drop today's 39.6 percent top rate on individuals to 37 percent. The standard deduction — used by around two-thirds of households — would be nearly doubled.

Those who itemize their taxes face mixed results. The $1,000 per child tax deduction would grow to $2,000, with up to $1,400 available in IRS refunds for families who owe little or no taxes.

But the deduction that millions use in connection with state and local income, property and sales taxes would be capped at $10,000. Deductions for medical expenses that lawmakers once considered eliminating would be retained.

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