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National Govt & Politics
LIVE UPDATES: Republicans roll out GOP tax reform bill
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LIVE UPDATES: Republicans roll out GOP tax reform bill

LIVE UPDATES: Republicans roll out GOP tax reform bill
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

LIVE UPDATES: Republicans roll out GOP tax reform bill

Republicans in the U.S. House rolled out their long awaited tax reform bill on Wednesday, vowing to quickly move it through the Congress, arguing it will help spur economic growth, job creation, and in turn bring in more revenue to Uncle Sam to deal with the growing federal deficit and debt. But the details quickly faced opposition from some key business groups, as well as GOP lawmakers, who worried about how the elimination of certain personal deductions would impact voters back home.

The GOP bill is 429 pages in all. Click on the link to read through the fine print.

And click here for a detailed analysis of the bill from the GOP. This document helps you understand some of the changes the GOP would make in this legislation, especially on individual deductions, many of which would be repealed.

The bill won't be named the "Cut, Cut, Cut Act," as some said was favored by President Donald Trump. Instead the official name is "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act."

Here's the latest on what we know about the GOP plan.

6:00 pm - I will end the updates on this blog by giving the link for the all-important financial impact of the various GOP proposals. This was put together by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

5:00 pm - Under the 'education savings' section of the bill, there is a provision that deals with 529 savings plans. One provision would let you start a college savings account for a child who has not yet been born.

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4:45 pm - While the Senate has not unveiled a tax reform bill as yet, individual GOP Senators are watching closely from across the Capitol, sending some warning shots back toward the House on specific provisions. One of those is on the Child Tax Credit, Which Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and others have been talking about for months. Rubio, joined with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in this statement; just one of many legislative skirmishes that this tax effort faces in the weeks ahead.

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4:30 pm - Are there still troubles on the GOP side? Yes, there are. A group of Republicans from New York and New Jersey are not pleased with the details involving changes on itemized deductions. But in interviewing GOP lawmakers in the Capitol today, one also gets the sense that Republicans know they can't screw this up - and that may keep them together, unlike on health care.

4:15 pm - If there is one thing to emphasize from today, it is the change that will occur for people who itemize their deductions. The standard deduction will go up to $12,000 for an individual, and $24,000 for a family, but then familiar deductions will be limited or repealed.

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3:45 pm - Democrats in Congress aren't exactly embracing the GOP tax plan. "It looks to be a giant giveaway to the wealthy," said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). President Trump says he hopes to win over some Democrats, but there isn't any evidence of that yet.

3:30 pm - Asking questions of GOP lawmakers about the new tax bill sometimes doesn't get much of a response, even from lawmakers who were involved in negotiations. "I haven't read the text," said Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX), when asked about one provision. Marchant said work on Wednesday night broke up late. "Around the 8th inning," he said with a smile, about the World Series.

3:00 pm - My boss asked me for my top bullet points about the GOP bill. It's sort of hard to distill a 429 page proposal into a few lines, but that's my job in radio news. So, this is what I went with. There is certainly a lot more in the GOP plan to talk about. You can find the links to the bill text and the section-by-section analysis above.

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2:45 pm - President Trump says he's very pleased with the details of the House GOP tax reform plan unveiled today, as he urges lawmakers to push ahead, and vote on the bill before Thanksgiving.

2:30 pm - President Trump name-checks H&R Block, by saying this reform bill will simplify the code so much, that tax preparation companies won't have much business. But others say the changes will more than keep lawyers and accountants active.

2:15 pm - Among the major changes in the GOP tax reform bill, an end to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

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2:00 pm - The changes on mortgage interest are of note; not only would it change the $1 million limit on a residence, and reduce that to $500,000 mortgages, but it also says it would only apply to a principal residence - meaning vacation homes wouldn't count.

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1:45 pm - While this wouldn't have much of a budget impact, there is a provision in the GOP tax reform bill which would no longer allow state and local governments to issue bonds for pro sports stadiums, where the interest gained on the bonds is exempt from federal taxes. That would save $200 million over 10 years.

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1:30 pm - Despite some talk earlier this week by GOP lawmakers and President Trump, there were no health care changes included in the bill which addressed either the individual mandate of the Obama health law, or Obamacare in general.

1:15 pm - Two major budget watchdog groups in Washington, D.C. aren't pleased with the GOP tax bill, arguing it will only further increase the federal debt, and not restrain the size of government.

1:10 pm - The National Association of Home Builders isn't backing off its opposition to the details of the GOP tax plan, charging it will hurt the nation's housing industry.

12:54 pm - There is still work to do for GOP leaders in the House, as the fine print on the state and local tax deduction (SALT) is not winning over Republicans from the East Coast. This from Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY).

12:50 pm - Also underwhelmed is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who wanted a bigger increase in the Child Tax Credit.

12:46 pm - President Trump calls the release of the GOP tax plan "a great day" for the American worker. "A great bill," Mr. Trump added when asked for his opinion by reporters after an Oval Office event.

12:31 pm - The tax break that people can take advantage of when purchasing season tickets for college athletics would be repealed under the GOP plan.

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12:28 pm - The business provisions in this plan aren't enough for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, as they join the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors in expressing opposition to the GOP tax reform bill.

12:22 pm - Here are some of the highlights of how personal deductions would change under the GOP tax plan:

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12:17 pm - President Trump weighs in on the GOP tax plan, calling it "another important step toward providing massive tax relief for the American people."

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12:15 pm - Many people probably don't know that the current federal tax code allows you to deduct certain gambling losses. That will still be allowed under the new GOP tax plan.

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12:08 pm - Federal estate taxes would be repealed in this tax reform plan, but not until the end of 2023.

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12:05 pm - By far, this is one of the most important documents on the GOP tax bill - what's known as the Section-by-Section Analysis. Have fun reading it!

12:02 pm - The GOP tax plan would end all future contributions to education savings accounts named after the late Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-GA). This has been a target of Republican tax plans in previous years as well, an effort to consolidate various education savings programs.

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11:57 am - This will get a lot of support from conservatives in Republican circles, as the GOP tax reform bill would no longer prevent churches and religious organizations from having to stay on the edges of the political arena.

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11:55 am - There are all sorts of provisions to find in a 429 page bill. This one would assess a 1.4% tax on the investment endowments of private colleges and universities.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

11:45 am - The GOP tax reform bill begins with individual rates, as one might expect.

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Jamie Dupree

11:39 am - The GOP news conference continues in the Ways and Means Committee, which deals with tax issues. And now we have the bill:

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Jamie Dupree

11:34 am - Signifying the importance of this bill, it will be given the highest priority bill number in the U.S. House. H.R. 1.

11:33 am - It will be interesting to dig into the details of the bill, and see just how closely it aligns with this Republican promise, to make the tax code much simpler, and allow taxpayers to file their returns on a postcard.

11:28 am - "The typical family of four will save $1,182 a year on their taxes," says House Speaker Paul Ryan, as he starts the announcement on the GOP tax reform bill.

11:20 am - A reminder that details do matter. And there will be a lot of details in this bill.

11:10 am - Some specifics are beginning to leak out from GOP leaders, even before the bill has been posted.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

11:00 am - But not all conservative groups are opposed either. This from Freedom Works, which has spent a lot of time torturing the GOP leadership in Congress. This time, they are all in on tax reform.

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Jamie Dupree

10:45 am - Some conservative groups are on board - even before the details - while some are raising questions. This landed in my inbox from the group "Freedom Partners," which has ties to the Koch Brothers and conservative Republicans.

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Jamie Dupree

10:30 am - It's clear that this draft Republican bill will still see changes - maybe even before it's considered next week in the House Ways and Means Committee, as indications are that negotiations are continuing with a group of mainly northeastern Republicans, who don't like how the plan handles changes in the deductions for mortgage interest, state and local taxes, and property taxes.

10:23 am - Not every Republican is going to be on board with this bill.

10:15 am - This is what is being handed out to GOP lawmakers in a closed door meeting - what one might refer to as "talking points."

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Local News

  • The man who hid the body of South Georgia beauty queen Tara Grinstead will spend the next 25 years in prison.  A jury convicted Bo Dukes on four counts, including two counts of making a false statement, hindering the apprehension of a criminal and concealing the death of another.   A judge sentenced Dukes to the maximum amount asked by the prosecution. [READ: Who is Tara Grinstead?] Dukes spoke to the court before he was sentenced.  “I'm truly sorry your long suffering has been unimaginable. My actions were cowardly, callous and cruel,” Dukes said. We're talking to the Tara Grinstead's family about the sentencing, on Channel 2 Action News starting at 4 p.m. Grinstead's stepmother spoke for the family. “He knew she was never coming back, he could have at least told us back,” Connie Grinstead said. And Dukes’ mother told her son she loved him after turning to the Grinstead family. “I just want you to know that your queen will never be forgotten,” said Dixie Hudson. The judge told Dukes his time to come forward and long passed.  “I just can't quite wrap my head around what was done,” the judge said. Bo Dukes mother tells Grinstead family during sentencing “ I want you to know your Queen will never be forgotten.”then to Bo “ momma loves you ,baby” @wsbtv #taragrinstead pic.twitter.com/dFmQN7jGot — Tony Thomas (@TonyThomasWSB) March 22, 2019 It took the jury less than an hour to come back with the verdict. Dukes initially claimed he didn't know anything about the 2005 disappearance and death of Grinstead, a 30-year-old high school history teacher. Months later, Dukes confessed. He hadn't killed Grinstead, he told the GBI, but he had helped burn her body for two days on his family's pecan farm.  [READ MORE:  Bo Dukes, charged in Tara Grinstead case, in custody after 5-day manhunt, police say ] Dukes' friend, Ryan Duke, is charged with Grinstead's murder. His trial is set for April 1. RELATED STORIES: Leaked confession reveals motive behind Tara Grinstead's murder, GBI says Judge considers removing gag order in Tara Grinstead case Man accused of murdering former beauty queen talks about alleged 'confession'
  • The 2019 Alumni Weekend is underway at UGA: activities that began Thursday continue today and tomorrow at the University of Georgia. From the University of Georgia master calendar… The UGA Alumni Association wants to welcome alumni back to Athens and make them feel like students again. Come back to campus, relive the glory days with friends and loved ones, and experience what it's like to be a student in Athens today.Registration covers: * Thursday: Orientation Dinner with President Jere W. Morehead * Friday: Classes, meals, reception at Wall & Broad and TEDxUGA * Saturday: Commencement Brunch The University of Georgia’s curriculum committee meets today: it’s a 3:30 session at New College on Herty Drive in Athens. 
  • Georgia track and field’s Elija Godwin has been named the Southeastern Conference Men’s Freshman of the Week following his performance at the Yellow Jacket Invitational, according to a league announcement.   Godwin, a native of Covington, Ga., and graduate of Newton High School, is the Bulldogs’ first outdoor weekly award winner following the first collegiate outdoor meet of his career.   Godwin clocked a career best 10.47 into -0.4 wind to be the top 100-meter dash finisher in the 33-man field. This finish ranks No. 13 nationally (No. 8 nationally for wind-legal times under 2.0 meters/second), makes him the No. 4 freshman nationally and the No. 3 SEC performer in 2019. He returned to win the 200m with a 20.90, which is his fastest time of 2019 and second best of his career, to move to No. 3 nationally (No. 2 for wind-legal times) as the country’s top freshman and No. 2 competitor from the SEC.   Georgia trains through the coming weekend before splitting squads to the Florida Relays (March 28-30) and Raleigh Relays (March 29-30).
  • Barrow County Commissioners meet in a special session today: they’re scheduled to vote on a proposal that would place an ambulance station at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow in Winder. It’s a plan to end a dispute between the Barrow County government and the city of Winder over who provides ambulance service inside the Winder city limits. This morning’s Commission meeting is set for 8:15 in Winder.  The Franklin County School Board is sending to the Georgia School Superintendent’s Association the list of 32 candidates who have applied to be the next school superintendent in Carnesville. The Board is looking to replace Wayne Randall, who will retire at the end of the current school year. Randall was told by the Board that his contract would not be renewed.  The Hall County city of Oakwood is getting a new top cop: Tim Hatch is now the police chief in St. Mary’s; he’ll take over in Oakwood, replacing former Chief Randall Moon, who retired last month. Hatch’s resume’ includes time on the force with the University of Georgia campus police department and the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. 
  • The Georgia football team held its second practice of spring drills on Thursday on the Woodruff Practice Fields.   The Bulldogs practiced for approximately two hours in helmets, shoulder pads, and shorts. The practice was No. 2 of what is expected to be 15 during the spring, which will culminate with the annual G-Day Game on Saturday, April 20. The Bulldogs will return to the practice fields on Saturday.   Senior Charlie Woerner was asked how the transition is going for the tight ends with him as the elder statesman following the departures of Isaac Nauta and Jackson Harris and with the addition of new tight ends coach Todd Hartley.   “Things have started well,” Woerner said. “Day 2 is done, and we’re looking as good as we can two days in. I think we’re pretty far ahead on our installs. It’s a lot different (in the tight ends room), but it’s fine. We have a really good group, a lot of good guys in the room. It feels like it’s my time and I’m ready to have a big year, but I don’t feel any pressure. All I can do is my best for this team.”   Junior Jeremiah Holloman also finds himself in a potential leadership role on and off the field among the receivers since the Bulldogs said goodbye to the likes of Terry Godwin, Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman, and Ahkil Crumpton.   “I feel like our whole room can step in and contribute,” Holloman said. “We have guys just waiting for a chance. I stepped in last year and made an impact (with 24 catches for 418 yards and five touchdowns), and we have plenty of guys like that. We have a load of guys capable of going out there and competing and making plays.”   On Wednesday, all 32 NFL teams were in attendance as the Bulldogs eligible for next month’s draft participated in Pro Day drills.   The G-Day Game is slated for Saturday, April 20, at 2 p.m. at Sanford Stadium. The game will be televised by the SEC Network.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — Georgia football practice No. 2 is in the books, the Bulldogs still working to establish a new identity and new leaders. There weren’t many clues in the open portion of practice on Thursday, but Kirby Smart will talk on Saturday and provide more insight into how he sees the Bulldogs developing. The early sentiment is this UGA team could throw the ball more, but it won’t come at the expense of being able to run the football. DawgNation reporters give their early takes on how Georgia is evolving in what will be Smart’s fourth season at the helm. Mike Griffith & Chip Towers   Georgia football practice headlines Kirby Smart sheds light on James Coley’s ‘balanced’ philosophy J.R. Reed puts NFL dreams on hold for title run Georgia football injury updates, Zamir White status James Coley ‘likes to throw more’ than Jim Chaney Offensive line, Brian Herrien look the part Complete Georgia early enrollee roster numbers   The post WATCH: DawgNation observations from Georgia football spring practice No. 2 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — The qualifier remains that “Georgia is going to be Georgia,” but it’s starting to sound more and like the Bulldogs are going to throw the football more in 2019. The Georgia players are all excited about James Coley taking over the offense from Jim Chaney. The consensus is that more of the playbook will be used, and more balls will fly through the air. The Bulldogs had the heaviest run ratio of any non-option team in 2017, and last season Georgia lead the SEC in rushing. But Coley could be a game-changer calling plays. “His first instinct would be to throw,” Bulldogs senior tight end Charlie Woerner said Thursday. “Just knowing him, every G-Day game (Coley) is the offensive coordinator on one team, and Chaney is the other, and you look at the stats and it’s a lot more pass-heavy on Coach Coley’s team than Chaney’s. “Chaney is just a little more old-school running the ball, which I didn’t mind that either, but (Coley) likes to throw more than Chaney.” Junior receiver J.J. Holloman agreed following Thursday’s practice. “I’m confident that he will throw the ball a lot more, and we’ll have more explosive plays to look forward to,” said Holloman, UGA’s leading returning receiver. Junior tailback D’Andre Swift is a returning 1,000-yard rusher and the Georgia offensive line is a powerful group capable or road-grading most any opponent. But Swift is also adept at catching the football out of the backfield, and that offensive line is talented in pass protection. Perhaps most importantly, Jake Fromm is a third-year starting quarterback, and Holloman said that factors in as much as Coley. “It’s a mix of both, (Fromm) having all the experience he has,’ Holloman said, “and Coley opening the playbook and making a lot of things happen.” Mecole Hardman is headed to the NFL, but the speedy junior receiver said he, too, expects more passing in the UGA offense. RELATED: NFL WR steal could be Georgia’s biggest loss “Probably a little more passing, I think Coley will bring a title bit more of that,” Hardman said after his pro day workout on Wednesday. “But they definitely are going to run the ball. “You got Swift back, Zamir (White) coming back from injury , (James) Cook here, and they just signed another running back, so it’s going to be a similar offense, we’ll play our brand of football, but probably a little bit more finesse, a little bit more passing there was well. I’m excited for Coley, I know he’s gong to do big things.” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday the updated definition of “balance” has less to do with run-pass ratio and more to do with the ability to do both effectively. “People think balance means 50/50 — balance is not 50/50,” Smart said. “Balance is being able to run the ball when you have to run the ball and being able to throw the ball when you have to throw the ball. “So can you do both? Yes, you can be successful at both. That might be 70-30 one game and then 30-70 the other way the next game.” Georgia TE Charlie Woerner   The post Georgia TE Charlie Woerner: James Coley ‘likes to throw more than (Jim) Chaney’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia has updated its roster to include all of the early enrollees football numbers with the Bulldogs this spring. The numbers are as follows: 2 QB D’Wan Mathis 4 LB Nolan Smith 7 DB Tyrique Stevenson 11 LB Jermaine Johnson 12 LB Rian Davis 13 QB Stetson Bennett 14 DB DJ Daniel 15 LB Trezmen Marshall 16 DB Lewis Cine 17 LB Nakobe Dean 60 OL Clay Webb 70 OL Warren McClendon 88 TE Ryland Goede 90 DL Tramel Walthour To recap, there were also number changes since last season: RB James Cook: No. 4, previously No. 6 WR Matt Landers: No. 5, previously No. 15 S Otis Reese: No. 6, previously No. 17 CB Divaad Wilson: No. 8, previously No. 16 OLB Azeez Ojulari: No. 13, previously No. 38 OLB Adam Anderson: No. 19. previously was No. 56 The post Complete Georgia football early enrollee roster numbers appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia redshirt junior Ben Cleveland was back running with the first team at right guard during Thursday’s limited media window of observation. The Bulldogs’ offensive linemen looked to have noticeably better body builds than their counterparts on defense, more than one of which appeared to have a weighty issue. Indeed, there’s a reason why some believe Georgia has the best O-Line in the country. As expected, the players working first team were: LT Andrew Thomas, LG Solomon Kindley, C Trey Hill, RG Cleveland, RT Isaiah Wilson. If there was a surprise in the depth chart, it was seeing Jamaree Salyer working as the backup right tackle with Cade Mays tucked inside at right guard. Offensive line coach is likely doing that to build depth at tackle, as Mays would surely be the first man in at either of the offensive tackle positions should a starter go down. Clay Webb appeared to be the No. 2 center, while Justin Shaffer was No. 2 at left guard and D’Marcus Hayes was No. 2 at left tackle for the purposes of drills. RB observations The most impressive physical transformation appeared to be Brian Herrien, who looked every bit the part of the power back Georgia will need him to be. Herrien, the most impressive UGA back in the Sugar Bowl, is listed at 6-foot, 210 pounds but looked bigger. D’Andre Swift was running at the front of all the drills, while James Cook was No. 3 behind Herrien. DB observations New Georgia secondary coach Charlton Warren very loud and frenetic, chastising cornerbacks for “wasting too much time” when the next ups weren’t ready to go in drills. “We’ve got 8 minutes to get better, men!” he yelled. “Eight minutes. Now quit wasting time!” Junior Ameer Speed continues to work with cornerbacks. He had a cast on his left hand but it did not seem limit him at all. Former UGA QB in attendance Former Georgia QB Faton Bauta, now an assistant at Monmouth, was among coaches observing Thursday’s practice. The post Georgia offensive line looks the part, Brian Herrien built for power game appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart has said before he doesn’t think there are many secrets in college football. That’s probably why Smart opened up Tuesday practice to the Oregon coaching staff, according to OregonLive.com. The Ducks’ staff, led by former Alabama assistant Mario Cristobal, was in Tuscaloosa on Monday and Athens, Ga., on Tuesday to watch practice and visit with staff members. Smart was at Alabama as Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator for three seasons while Cristobal was there serving as the line coach. Georgia places heavy restrictions on the media presence at practice, even while opening up practice for the well-trained eyes of staff members they might ultimately face in the College Football Playoff or in a bowl game. That’s what happened in the Sugar Bowl, as Smart allowed Texas coach Tom Herman and his staff to attend the Bulldogs’ spring practices last year. “We took a trip out there this spring just to pick brains and talk shop a little bit,” Herman said leading up to the Longhorns’ 28-21 victory. Herman said when the Sugar Bowl matchup was announced that he didn’t see the Georgia run game as “anything too formidable.” The confident Texas coach proved correct against what was the SEC’s top rushing offense. The Bulldogs rushed for just   72 yards on 30 attempts after averaging 259.8 yards per game. Smart said his new offensive coordinator, James Coley, has been working to improve the offense and talked with other coaches. Chances are, Coley spoke with Cristobal about what the Ducks do on offense in addition to visiting other programs that Smart chose not to name. “We’ve been working on us and saying, okay, what can we do better, and I think James brings a lot of that to the table,” Smart said on Tuesday. “They’ve gone and visited with a lot of people to get new ideas.” The post One year after opening practice to Texas, Georgia allows Oregon to observe appeared first on DawgNation.