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Nearly half of Americans still oppose Republican tax bill: Reuters/Ipsos poll

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - As Republicans in the U.S. Congress rush to finish their tax plan, the legislation is not getting more popular with the public, with nearly half of Americans still opposed to it, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators gather outside the U.S. Capitol to protest the Republican tax plan as it works through the Senate in Washington November 30, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

Of adults who were aware of the plan being considered by Congress, 49 percent said they were opposed to it, a sentiment that has not changed much in the past few weeks, the poll showed.

In addition to the 49 percent who said they opposed the Republican tax bill, 31 percent said they supported it and 20 percent said they “don’t know,” according to the online opinion poll of 1,499 adults conducted Dec. 3 to 7, with 1,138 adults saying they were aware of the tax legislation. A poll taken at the end of November also showed 49 percent opposed to the plan.

Tax negotiators are trying to reconcile the differences between separate bills passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, then to send a final bill to President Donald Trump, who want to sign it into law before year’s end.

Accomplishing this feat would represent the Republicans’ first major legislative victory since they took control of both chamber of Congress and the White House in January.

Republican tax legislation would slash the corporate tax rate, eliminate some taxes paid only by rich Americans and offer a mixed bag of temporary cuts to other individuals and families.

Trump, who is expected to give a speech on the tax overhaul on Wednesday, praised it in a tweet on Sunday by saying the “end result will be not only important, but SPECIAL!”

When asked about Trump’s handling of tax policy, 53 percent of those polled said they disapproved, 38 percent approved and 9 percent said they “don’t know,” the Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.

When asked who stands to benefit most from the Republican plan, more than half of American adults surveyed selected either the wealthy or large U.S. corporations. Twelve percent chose “all Americans,” 8 percent picked the middle class and 2 percent chose lower-income Americans.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3 about percentage points.

A USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll released on Sunday showed that 32 percent of Americans support the Republican tax plan, with more than half predicting it would not lower tax bills for their families or help the economy in a major way.

Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Bill Trott