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McConnell: 'We have the votes' to pass GOP tax plan

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FILE: Sen. Mitch McConnell smiles as he leaves the chamber after announcing the release of the Republicans' healthcare bill on June 22, 2017. FILE: Sen. Mitch McConnell smiles as he leaves the chamber after announcing the release of the Republicans' healthcare bill on June 22, 2017.
WASHINGTON (AP) -

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said "we have the votes" to pass the GOP tax bill.
  
McConnell talked to reporters after a closed-door meeting of Republican senators.
  
One prior hold out, Sen. Susan Collins, said she won an agreement to add a deduction for local property taxes. The Maine Republican had been withholding her support for the bill because she wanted homeowners to be able to deduct up to $10,000 in property taxes.
  
The original Senate bill had completely eliminated the tax deduction for state and local taxes.
  
Still, Collins was coy about whether she would ultimately vote for the bill.
  
Smiling, Collins said, "I'm pleased with the progress that's being made but I'll announce my position in a couple of hours."

Texas Sen. John Cornyn told reporters, "We're confident in the 50 and we'd like to build on that."

Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority, but with 50 votes - and Vice President Mike Pence breaking a tie - they can muscle their legislation through the Senate.

The overall legislation would bring the first overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 31 years. It would slash the corporate tax rate, offer more modest cuts for families and individuals and eliminate several popular deductions.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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