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Paul Ryan meets with Trump team to discuss tax plans

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U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan met late on Monday with top members of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team to discuss their 2017 tax reform agenda.

The high-level meeting, which took place over Italian food in Ryan’s Capitol Hill office, was described by Republican aides as the latest in a series of discussions and focused on details on Ryan’s “Better Way” tax reform blueprint.

Ryan, his policy staff and more than a half-dozen members of the president-elect’s transition team attended, including Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, Treasury Secretary-nominee Steven Mnuchin, incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus, incoming chief strategist Stephen Bannon and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

One Republican aide described tax reform as a priority issue for the incoming administration and the House, noting that this year’s legislative effort will be led by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, who did not attend Monday’s meeting.

Trump and Ryan agree that tax reform should reduce tax rates for individuals and businesses, do away with longstanding tax loopholes and broaden the tax base in order to drive U.S. economic growth.

The House Republican blueprint, seen by tax experts and lobbyists as a possible framework for future tax reform legislation, includes a border-adjustment measure that could satisfy Trump’s interest in promoting U.S. manufacturing by taxing imports while exempting export revenues from corporate taxation.

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After weeks of ongoing discussions, the two sides may still need to bridge differences in some areas, including whether to continue taxing U.S. corporate profits earned abroad.

There have also been differences on tax rates. Trump would slash the 35 percent corporate tax rate to 15 percent, while the House blueprint would cut the rate to 20 percent.

Aides could not say whether Monday’s meeting brought the two sides closer to agreement on a tax reform bill. Lobbyists believe an initial legislative package could surface in the House before the end of February.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Virginia Democrats are so fired up that the party chair had to scold them: ‘Sit down — be quiet’

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Democrats in Virginia are fired up as they gathered in Richmond for their annual gala dinner.

Political analysts believe the Democratic Party of Virginia has a good chance to win control of the state legislature in 2019's election, before setting their sights on the Commonwealth continuing its recent trend of voting Democratic in presidential elections.

Patrick Wilson, a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attended the event.

He reported that Democrats were so "noisy" that it was hard to hear the speakers, which include presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

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Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

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Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

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After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

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