TAX BILL: Republicans strike a deal

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Republican leaders on Wednesday reached an agreement on their final tax bill, paving the way for a federal tax code overhaul by Christmas.

Republicans are moving with full speed to pass the tax overhaul, a process that gained urgency after Democrat Doug Jones’ unexpected victory Tuesday in Alabama’s Senate election.

The bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is in a conference committee to iron out discrepancies between the House and Senate versions of the legislation. The final version of the legislation could have significant changes from original versions that passed the House and Senate.

The Republican members of the committee are closing in on a deal that would make the corporate tax cuts slightly less generous while also lowering taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Sen. John Cornyn, the second-highest ranking Republican member in the Senate, said the deal was close on Wednesday.

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