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Schumer rejects bid for new tax code with lower rates

WASHINGTON — Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Senate’s third-ranking Democrat, threw cold water Tuesday on one emerging approach for striking a bipartisan deficit-reduction deal — an overhaul of the tax code that lowers top income tax rates but raises more revenue. Schumer’s position complicates efforts to seal a deal before January, when the ‘‘fiscal cliff’’ of tax increases and automatic spending cuts goes into effect.

In a speech to the National Press Club, Schumer branded the idea of a tax code overhaul that could simultaneously lower the top rates, bring in more revenue, and protect middle-class taxpayers from increases as ‘‘little more than happy talk.’’

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