The Latest: GOP considering a tax surcharge on wealthiest

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on the Republican effort to overhaul the tax code (all times local):

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5:05 p.m.

Congressional officials say President Donald Trump and Capitol Hill Republicans are considering an income tax surcharge on the wealthiest, even as they plan to lower the top rate paid by upper-income people to 35 percent.

The current top rate demanded by former President Barack in a 2013 tax deal is 39.6 percent.

The emerging plan would also repeal the tax on multi-million dollar estates, and double the standard deduction paid by most filers. The top corporate rate would drop to 20 percent.

The goal is a more simple tax code that would spur economic growth and make U.S. companies more competitive.

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The outlines of the plan were described by GOP officials who demanded anonymity to disclose private deliberations.

There's little detail, however, on which tax breaks will be eliminated to help pay for the lower rates.

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4:05 p.m.

A Republican congressman says the tax code should be amended to remove the tax-exempt status for professional sports leagues.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is making the argument while criticizing some NFL players, whom he refers to as multi-millionaires, for kneeling during the national anthem.

Gaetz acknowledges the NFL already gave up its tax-exempt status a couple years ago. Major League Baseball gave its up in 2007, and the NBA never had it.

Still, Gaetz says a bill to provide tax cuts will give lawmakers the chance to send a message: "That in America, if you want to play sports, you're free to do so. You're also free to protest. You're welcome to do both, but you should do it on your own time and on your own dime."

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3 p.m.

President Donald Trump is vowing to deliver on a major tax cut for middle-class Americans.

Trump spoke Tuesday as he met with members of the House Ways and Means panel at the White House.

Trump and House Republicans are preparing details on a tax overhaul proposal that would slash the corporate rate and simplify the nation's tax code. The grand plan to rewrite the nation's tax code would be the first major overhaul in three decades. It also would deliver on a Trump campaign pledge.

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11:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is meeting with Republicans and Democrats from the House tax-writing committee as he plans a "big announcement" on Wednesday on his tax overhaul proposal.

The president says at the White House that he and congressional leaders will be releasing a "very comprehensive, very detailed report" that will offer a framework on his tax plan.

Trump says the nation's tax system is too complicated and he plans to cut taxes "tremendously" for the middle class. He says the plan will double the standard deduction and will increase the child tax credit that families use.

He says it will also lower tax rates for businesses and seek to encourage corporations to bring back money held overseas.

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11 a.m.

The apparent collapse of Republican efforts to repeal and replace "Obamacare" is increasing the pressure on the GOP to deliver on taxes.

That's the word from Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas on Tuesday. The lawmaker told reporters following the weekly closed-door House GOP caucus meeting: "I think everybody understands that there were certain promises made in the last election, we haven't gotten there on Obamacare, we damn well better get there on tax."

Republicans and Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee were meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House ahead of the rollout of the GOP tax plan.

The latest Senate GOP effort to dismantle Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act collapsed in the face of growing opposition, making taxes a legislative imperative for the White House and Congress.

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4 a.m.

The White House and congressional Republicans are finalizing a tax plan that would slash the corporate rate while likely reducing the levy for the wealthiest Americans. President Donald Trump is ready to roll out the policy proposal at midweek.

The grand plan to rewrite the nation's tax code would be the first major overhaul in three decades, delivering on a Trump campaign pledge and providing a sorely needed legislative achievement. It also is expected to eliminate or reduce some tax breaks and deductions.

The plan would likely cut the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans, now at 39.6 percent, to 35 percent. In addition, the top tax for corporations would be reduced to around 20 percent from the current 35 percent.