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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says tax bill simplifies filing

On "Fox News Sunday," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve

On "Fox News Sunday," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the proposed tax bill will allow 90 percent of Americans to file their taxes on a postcard. Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Nicholas Kamm

Republican Sen. John McCain is returning home to Arizona after being hospitalized over the side effects from his brain cancer treatment, President Donald Trump said Sunday, and likely will miss a crucial vote on a federal tax overhaul.

Trump told reporters he had spoken to McCain’s wife, Cindy, after her husband had spent about a week at Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland, The Associated Press reported.

McCain will miss the vote this week on the tax bill. The GOP is likely to have enough Republicans to pass the measure.

McCain, 81, underwent surgery in mid-July to remove a 2-inch blood clot in his brain after being diagnosed with glioblastoma. He was treated at a military hospital for a viral infection and is “responding positively” to ongoing treatment for the cancer, according to Dr. Mark Gilbert, chief of Neuro-Oncology at the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, the Associated Press reported.

The senator’s office said McCain has returned to Arizona and will undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in the state, the AP reported. The statement says the senator appreciates the outpouring of support from people around the country. His office says the senator “looks forward to returning to Washington in January.”

Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority in the Senate, and McCain and Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., missed votes last week. The 80-year-old Cochran had a non-melanoma lesion removed from his nose earlier this week. He is expected to vote this coming week on the tax bill.

Republicans secured the support of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker last Friday. They likely will pass the bill by a narrow margin in the face of unified Democratic opposition. As a backstop, Vice President Mike Pence would be available to break a tie.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Sunday that 90 percent of Americans will be able to file their taxes on a postcard under the tax overhaul Trump predicted would be signed before Christmas.

“This is about simplifying taxes and simplifying the business systems,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” “So there will always be people who complain they are losing tax breaks, but this is about making it simple for the American public.”

Mnuchin was among several administration officials and Republican lawmakers pitching the plan on Sunday morning talk shows.

Long Island taxpayers overall lose big, local business leaders, lawmakers and economists have told Newsday, because the bill eliminates the full deduction for state and local taxes, called SALT. Long Island’s congressional delegation, including Republican Reps. Peter King of Seaford and Lee Zeldin of Shirley, said they plan to vote against the final bill because it caps the deduction at $10,000.

The Long Island Board of Realtors has predicted the local real estate market would lose 10 percent of its value because of the tax bill.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) said on ABC’s “This Week” that the bill “is a total betrayal of President Trump’s economic populist message on the campaign trail. It’s a huge giveaway to big corporations. Millions of middle class taxpayers will see their taxes go up, even though Republicans promised that would not happen.”

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), said he expected the tax reform bill to pass the Senate on Tuesday despite Democratic opposition.

“Our Democratic colleagues simply refused to participate in the process.” Cornyn said. “We probably could have made [the tax bill] better if they had.”

On NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), said he “wanted to be more involved” in the crafting of the tax bill and that Trump sought to work in “a bipartisan way.”

But, Manchin said, “once Mitch McConnell just decided that 51 votes was all he needed and they all were going to be Republicans and make it political, that’s exactly what happened. This is not a reform, this is a tax cut.”

Mnuchin, when asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” what percentage of the GOP tax cuts will go to the middle class, said “the number is very complicated, and different people will present it different ways.” He added: “This will be very large tax cuts for working families and very large tax cuts for businesses to make them competitive.”

Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, touted the reduction of the corporate tax rate during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and said Trump “is lowering and delivering middle income tax relief to families across the country.”

“He delivered on his promise to focus on middle income families as well as to provide corporate tax relief,” Short said, noting that the bill simplifies “several elements” of the tax code. “We didn’t get as much as we want,” he said, adding that compromises had to be made as part of the legislative process.

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