The Latest: GOP Says It Has Enough Votes To Pass Tax Bill



People walk outside the Capitol as Senate Republicans work to pass their sweeping tax bill this week, in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017.

Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the GOP tax bill (all times Eastern Standard):

10:35 a.m.

The No. 2 Republican in the Senate says the GOP has the votes to pass a sweeping tax overhaul.

That's the word on Friday from Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who told reporters, "We're confident in the 50 and we'd like to build on that."

Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority, but with 50 votes — and Vice President Mike Pence breaking a tie — they can muscle their legislation through the Senate.

Cornyn made the comments after Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson said he had won concessions for businesses and would support the legislation.

The sweeping tax overhaul would slash the corporate tax rate and ease some taxes on individuals.

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9:35 a.m.

A key Republican, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, says he's backing the sweeping GOP tax bill. That's according to an aide.

Johnson's support for the legislation is a major boost for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he tries to muscle the measure through the Senate.

GOP leaders hope to vote on Friday and send the measure to a House-Senate conference to work out the differences. They want to deliver a bill to President Donald Trump by Christmas.

In a radio interview with WISN in Wisconsin, Johnson said he secured changes in the bill on the taxes paid by businesses and is now a yes on the legislation.

At issue were millions of businesses whose owners report the firm's profits on their individual tax returns. The vast majority of U.S. businesses are taxed this way.

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6:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the Republican tax bill "is getting better and better."

In an early morning Friday tweet, Trump wrote: "This is a once in a generation chance. Obstructionist Dems trying to block because they think it is too good and will not be given the credit!"

Republicans are eyeing a crucial final vote Friday on the $1.4 trillion Senate bill. GOP leaders have been making major changes up to the last minute, including one that would roll back some of the tax cuts after six years to appease deficit hawks.

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3:50 a.m.

Senate Republicans are stepping quickly to meet competing demands of holdout GOP senators for a tax overhaul package expected to add $1 trillion to the nation's deficit over 10 years.

GOP leaders have been making major changes up to the last minute, including one that would roll back some of the tax cuts after six years to appease deficit hawks.

Republicans eyeing a crucial final vote Friday on the $1.4 trillion Senate bill.

The overall legislation would bring the first overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 31 years. It would slash the corporate tax rate, offer more modest cuts for families and individuals and eliminate several popular deductions.

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