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Entralgo writes: "One of Congress' most spineless senators has thrown a wrench in the Republican Party's plan to overhaul the tax code before Christmas."

Marco Rubio. (photo: J. Scott Applewhite/Getty Images)
Marco Rubio. (photo: J. Scott Applewhite/Getty Images)

Rubio Says He Will Vote No on Republican Tax Bill Without Changes, Other GOP Senators Voice Concern

By Rebekah Entralgo, ThinkProgress

15 December 17

The bill is already bleeding support.

ne of Congress’ most spineless senators has thrown a wrench in the Republican Party’s plan to overhaul the tax code before Christmas.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is a no on the GOP tax bill unless the child tax credit (CTC), for which he has previously advocated, is extended to lower-income families.

Rubio has hinted he might vote against the bill in the past.

His disapproval intensified after Republican leaders announced Wednesday they had reached a final decision on the specifics of the GOP legislation. The full text will be released on Friday, but key details include lowering the top individual income bracket to 37 percent and cutting the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, rather than the 20 percent originally proposed by the White House.

This no doubt frustrated Rubio, who co-sponsored an amendment with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) that would have extended the child tax credit (currently expanded to $2,000 in the GOP Senate bill) to lower-income families who don’t make enough to pay taxes on their income, but rather pay taxes on their payroll. Rubio and Lee proposed Congress could pay for the change by increasing the corporate tax rate to 20.94 percent.

At the time, Republican leadership was insistent on a 20 percent corporate tax rate, largely because it was what President Donald Trump wanted. As a result, they slammed Rubio’s 20.94 percent proposal as “anti-growth.”

After Trump suggested he would be open to a 21 or 22 percent tax rate — and after Republicans’ 20 percent suggestion failed on the Senate floor — Republicans in the tax writing conference committee jumped at the opportunity this week to raise it a percentage point, giving the top income bracket a tax break.

“20.94% Corp. rate to pay for tax cut for working family making $40k was anti-growth but 21% to cut tax for couples making $1million is fine?” Rubio tweeted angrily on Tuesday, in response.

Lee, a co-sponsor with Rubio on their child tax credit amendment, has also suggested he may not be completely on board with the tax bill if it doesn’t meet his demands.

“Sen. Lee is undecided on the bill in its current form,” a spokesperson for the Utah legislator told Independent Journal Review correspondent Haley Byrd on Thursday. “Sen. Lee continues to work to make the CTC as beneficial as possible to American working families.”

This is the first real sign that the GOP tax overhaul may be in serious trouble.

The party cannot give Rubio and Lee an expanded CTC because the tax bill is already cutting it extremely close to the $1.5 trillion dollar price tag allowed under Senate rules. The meager revenue raised by increasing the corporate tax rate 1 percentage point has already been wasted on reducing the top individual rate for billionaires.

In addition, the bill has been bleeding support for myriad other reasons. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the only Republican to vote against the bill in the Senate previously, has also stated he might vote against the tax bill over concerns it would explode the deficit.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) initially voted for the bill in the Senate under the impression that he would get a fair fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the congressional spending bill. But that hasn’t yet been secured.

Meanwhile, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) remains on the fence. Concerns over DACA and Obamacare cost sharing reductions (CSRs) aren’t currently addressed in the GOP bill, which the senator has previously indicated may sway her vote.

Republicans are still planning to move ahead with a vote on the tax bill as soon as they’re able. The Senate is expected to vote on the final bill on Tuesday. The House is expected to follow shortly thereafter. your social media marketing partner


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+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-12-15 10:37
Look like the republicans will get it through. I'm not sure we can know the full extent of the changes until it is actually law. That's how legislation seems to be made these days. Even senators or congress members don't read the final bill before they vote on it.

I'm really disapppointed that there is so little democratic party push back on this bill. Only Sanders is very vocal. A few others but mostly there is a resigned sense of defeat and silence. The Democratic party should be running information camps that explain every detail to the american people. We don't need fear tactics or baseless 10 year projections and speculations. We need to see what the bill actually says.

Democrats seem to believe that they can win in 2018 in the sex scandal wars. The Doug Jones win will be taken as proof -- don't discuss real issues, just expose the opponent's corrupt sexual history. I think this is a strategy for losing. The issues do matter.
0 # bread and butter 2017-12-15 10:51
Since Rubio is more like Clinton than Sanders is, I wonder if Clinton's minions will become Republicans in 2020 to avoid voting for anyone to the left of Ronald Reagan.
0 # DongiC 2017-12-15 15:26
Aren't the Republicans disgusting? They don't give a damn about the average guy or gal in America. Let them eat cake seems to be the battle cry of the richl
0 # lfeuille 2017-12-15 20:07
There hasD been party pushback on the bill. There have been serveral Democrfatic rallies on the Hill. I went to one, but was too sick to make the last one. I expect there will be more of them at the vote gets nearer. And ju about every prominant Dem. Senator and Congress member, including Pelosi has participated. The bill is so far reaching in it's consequences that Dems cant afford to sit it out. And just about every Democratic Senator and Congress member has circulated petitions against it along with their fund raising appeals.

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