Trump throws wrench into GOP tax reform plans with tweet on Obamacare mandate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday pushed lawmakers debating tax reform proposals in the Republican-controlled Congress to end the Obamacare individual mandate and cut the top income tax rate to 35 percent.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate were debating their respective plans this week before heading home for the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Republicans are aiming to achieve a significant overhaul of the U.S. tax code and hand Trump his first major legislative victory. The two chambers hope to resolve their differences in time to enact the legislation by the end of the year.

"I am proud of the Rep. House & Senate for working so hard on cutting taxes {& reform.} We’re getting close!" Trump wrote in a Twitter post.

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Trump has repeatedly pushed for the tax reform bill to include a repeal of the mandate that all Americans purchase health insurance or else pay a fine. Neither House nor Senate proposals have included such a provision.

"Now, how about ending the unfair & highly unpopular Indiv Mandate in OCare & reducing taxes even further? Cut top rate to 35% w/all of the rest going to middle income cuts?" he added.

Republican tax plans in the House and Senate would each cost about $1.5 trillion but lawmakers will have to iron out differences including whether to eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes, delay implementation of a cut in the corporate tax rate and do away with the estate tax on inheritances.

The prospects for the provisions Trump pushed were uncertain.

RELATED: Protests for and against elements of Obamacare

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Protests for and against Obamacare
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Protests for and against Obamacare

Tea Party Patriots supporters hold signs protesting the Affordable Care Act in front of the Supreme Court as the court hears arguments on the health care reform bill on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Affordable Care Act supporters wave signs outside the Supreme Court after the court upheld court's Obamacare on Thursday, June 25, 2015.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A man holds signs during a protest on the second day of oral arguments for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today is the second of three days the high court has set aside to hear six hours of arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sister Caroline attends a rally with other supporters of religious freedom to praise the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby, contraception coverage requirement case on June 30, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby, which operates a chain of arts-and-craft stores, challenged the provision and the high court ruled 5-4 that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act violated a federal law protecting religious freedom.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

An Obamacare supporter counter protests a Tea Party rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in the morning hours of March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court continued to hear oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Affordable Care Act supporters hold up signs outside the Supreme Court as they wait for the court's decision on Obamacare on Thursday, June 25, 2015.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ron Kirby holds a sign while marching in protest of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today the high court, which has set aside six hours over three days, will hear arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A protester waves his bible in the air as he overpowered by cheers from supporters of the Affordable Care Act as they celebrate the opinion for health care outside of the Supreme Court in Washington,Thursday June 25, 2015. The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

(Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Nuns, who are opposed to the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, and other supporters rally outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, a consolidated case brought by religious groups challenging a process for opting out of the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.

(Drew Angerer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Supporters of contraception rally before Zubik v. Burwell, an appeal brought by Christian groups demanding full exemption from the requirement to provide insurance covering contraception under the Affordable Care Act, is heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington March 23, 2016.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Protestors hold placards challenging 'Obamacare' outside of the US Supreme Court on March 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. The US Supreme Court heard a second challenge to US President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The US Supreme Court faces a momentous case Wednesday on the sweeping health insurance reform law that President Barack Obama wants to leave as part of his legacy. The question before the court is whether the seven million people or more who subscribed via the government's website can obtain tax subsidies that make the coverage affordable. A ruling is expected in June.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

 Linda Door (L) protests against President Obama's health care plan in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on March 26, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today the high court, which has set aside six hours over three days, will hear arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act celebrate after the Supreme Court up held the law in the 6-3 vote at the Supreme Court in Washington June 25, 2015. The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide availability of tax subsidies that are crucial to the implementation of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, handing a major victory to the president.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

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The Senate proposal calls for keeping the existing seven tax brackets and cutting the top tax rate for the highest earning taxpayers to 38.5 percent from 39.6 percent. The House wants to reduce the number of brackets, but leave the 39.6 percent top rate alone.

The Congressional Budget Office said last week that repealing the Obamacare individual mandate would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 13 million by 2027 and reduce the federal budget deficit less than first forecast.

Trump and some Republicans favor including a repeal of the mandate in tax overhaul legislation. But lawmakers, Republican aides and lobbyists have said it would be difficult to include a repeal in a tax effort complicated by intraparty differences and intense business lobbying.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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