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Tax reform near the top of Congress' lengthy to-do list

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Tax reform near the top of Congress' lengthy to-do list

When lawmakers return this week from the August recess, they'll face a bevy of must-do tasks, but chief among them is a long-held Republican agenda item: comprehensive tax reform.

Enthusiasm levels are high for the mountainous challenge, as tax reform is a widely popular idea, and Republicans are desperate for a major legislative accomplishment they can tout in next year's midterm elections. And it would be major: The last time Congress successfully passed a comprehensive tax overhaul was in 1986.

While lawmakers in the tax-writing committees have been working on it for years, the current legislative effort is still in its infancy. Broad principles have been established, and President Donald Trump has begun to use his bully pulpit to make the case to the American people for the overhaul. But few details have been released to the public -- in large part because they are still getting hammered out among Republicans.

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