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McConnell Joins Ryan in Walking Back False Promise on Tax Bill

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 11/10/2017 Steven T. Dennis
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, pauses after speaking during a news conference on a unified tax reform framework at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. President Donald Trump and congressional leaders are rolling out a framework for a tax overhaul that would condense the existing seven tax rates to three, and cut the top rate to 35 percent from 39.6 percent.: House GOP Hold News Conference After Tax Reform Retreat © Bloomberg/Bloomberg House GOP Hold News Conference After Tax Reform Retreat

(Bloomberg) -- The top Republicans in the House and Senate have now walked back false promises about their tax bills’ impact on the middle class.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged to The New York Times Friday he erred when he said in an MSNBC appearance last week that "nobody in the middle class is going to get a tax increase."

Now the Kentucky Republican says every income group would see a tax cut -- on average.

“You can’t guarantee that absolutely no one sees a tax increase,” he told the newspaper.

McConnell joins House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin in walking back their statements on taxes. Ryan had said in a radio interview Wednesday, "So actually, even though there’s a lot of false information out there, everybody gets a tax cut."

That statement was false, as there are millions of people who would face higher tax bills from the loss of deductions like the one for state and local taxes, which is rolled back in the House bill and eliminated entirely in the Senate bill.

A day later, Ryan’s language changed.

"At every income level, there is a tax cut for the average family," Ryan said in a statement Thursday, citing a study by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

AshLee Strong, a Ryan spokeswoman, told The Washington Post that he misspoke.

(Updates with quote from Donald Trump in ninth paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Koutsoukis in Singapore at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at, Daniel Ten Kate at

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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