On a chilly night in early March, Republicans are meeting for the first time since their plan to overhaul the tax code was unveiled, in a rare private gathering in the Capitol.
While the plan is now in its first major phase, Republicans say the process is a first step toward a bigger overhaul.
And while the plan may not get much traction until after the 2018 midterm elections, it already has a huge number of supporters in the House and Senate.
The House Republican Conference is expected to approve its tax plan, along with several other pieces of legislation, by Friday.
And the Senate is expected soon to take up its tax bill, which would slash corporate and individual rates, raise the minimum wage and allow Americans to deduct interest on student loans.
But the House GOP has been unable to reach a deal with President Donald Trump, who has vowed to oppose the tax plan if it passes.
The plan was introduced by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., with more than $1 trillion in new revenue coming from the cuts in taxes and spending.
The lawmakers say the tax cuts would be revenue-neutral, but a majority of economists agree that the tax increases would add to the deficit and hurt economic growth.
The Republican Party says the bill will generate $1.5 trillion in tax revenue and $1,500 per person.
The bill would slash individual and corporate tax rates from 35% to 20% and eliminate individual and pass-through deductions.
But some analysts say those cuts and deductions would add trillions more in new taxes and hurt the economy.
Some tax experts have said that even if they could get the cuts and the deductions, it would still be a massive tax cut, because Americans would not see a tax increase as a result.
Others, like former President Barack Obama, have called the plan “one of the most regressive in the modern era.”
Democrats have said they support the plan because it would provide relief for the middle class and would help small businesses.
“Tax cuts for middle-class families will lead to more jobs and higher wages,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement on Friday.
“If the GOP is serious about getting America back on track, it needs to stop making promises to the wealthy and corporations and focus on creating good jobs for working families.”
Ryan said in his opening remarks on Friday that the House is not done.
“We have a lot of work to do,” he said.
“The Senate will take up the House’s tax bill and the American people will be asked to weigh in on it on November 6.
Ryan and McConnell are both expected to introduce legislation on Monday that would extend unemployment benefits, extend a temporary moratorium on the tax cut and extend the deduction for mortgage interest, among other measures. “
And I promise you this, we will do everything in our power to make sure our tax plan passes the Senate.”
Ryan and McConnell are both expected to introduce legislation on Monday that would extend unemployment benefits, extend a temporary moratorium on the tax cut and extend the deduction for mortgage interest, among other measures.
The GOP tax bill also includes a tax deduction for state and local taxes, which Republicans say will help pay for a border wall with Mexico.
Republicans say they plan to pass a border tax increase next week.
But a number of conservative groups have criticized the plan as a giveaway to the rich.
They said the tax bill would help wealthy Americans, including the wealthiest 1%, while hurting small businesses, which are among the most likely to be affected by the bill.
“Democrats are saying, ‘Oh, they’re going to help you guys,’ and we’re saying, `No, they won’t help us at all,'” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R, Texas.
“They’re doing the exact opposite.
They’re trying to make it harder for American families to save money and make it more expensive for working people to do their jobs.
They want to cut taxes on the wealthy while doing the opposite.
And it’s a lie.”
But the tax break has some Democrats worried about it, too.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said on Friday in a Twitter post that the bill “does not provide a meaningful tax break for middle class families, nor does it offer tax relief to middle class businesses and small businesses.”
But he added: “This is the most comprehensive plan ever put forth by a Republican Party.”