Marco Rubio to oppose tax bill if child tax credit not expanded

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla,. said he will oppose the Republican tax bill unless the child tax credit is expanded to make a larger portion refundable against payroll taxes. Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI

Dec. 15 (UPI) — Two Republican Senators said Thursday they may vote against the Republican tax bill unless the child tax credit is expanded.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said he will oppose the bill unless it expands the child tax credit to millions of lower-income families by making a larger portion refundable against payroll taxes.

“I want to support tax reform and it’s important for the country, but I think this needs to be part of it,” he said.

Rubio and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, voted for the earlier bill, which the Senate approved by a vote of 51-49, after their amendment that would increase the child credit and allow recipients to get the full amount even if they do not owe income taxes was denied.

The bill that passed includes a $2,000 child tax credit, with a maximum of $1,100 being refundable. Rubio’s amendment would make a larger portion refundable by lowering the corporate tax rate to 20.94 percent instead of 20 percent to pay for it.

After the House and Senate reached an agreement, in principle, on a consensus tax bill merging two bills, both Senators indicated they may withdraw support.

“Unless they can figure out a way to add to the $1,100 figure, I won’t support the bill,” Rubio said.

Conn Carroll, a spokesman for Lee, confirmed the senator also is “undecided on the bill in its current form. ”

“Senator Lee continues to work to make the CTC as beneficial as possible to American working families,” he said.

President Donald Trump said he believes Rubio will ultimately vote “yes” on the bill.

“I think he’ll get there. He’s really been a great guy, very supportive,” Trump said. “I think that Senator Rubio will be there, very shortly.

Vice President Mike Pence changed his plans for a Mideast trip next week so he could be in Washington if needed to cast a tie-breaking vote, as Republicans can only lose two votes to pass the bill without a tie breaker.

Every Democrat is expected to vote against the bill along with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn, who is expected to oppose the bill over deficit concerns.

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., have both missed recent votes due to health issues.


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