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News from Bloomberg:

U.S. tax reform breakthrough
Senate Republicans have reached a tentative budget agreement that is said to allow for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. The agreement represents a pronounced departure from traditional Republican doctrine that a tax-code overhaul shouldn’t add to the federal deficit and underscores the difficult path ahead.

"a tax code overhaul shouldn't add to the federal deficit and underscores the difficult path ahead." I'm having trouble with that negative before and. Does this mean "shouldn't add.... and shouldn't underscore.... (both negative)" or "shouldn't add..... and should underscore...."

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It is the agreement which underscores the difficult path ahead, not the tax-code overhaul.

Suppose we replace the long phrase

Republican doctrine that a tax-code overhaul shouldn’t add to the federal deficit

with the single word policy, the meaning of the sentence is now clear.

The agreement represents a pronounced departure from traditional policy and underscores the difficult path ahead.

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You're misparsing the conjunct.

It works this way: represents a pronounced departure &c The agreement and underscores the difficult path ahead.

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