By Sahid Fawaz
Republicans have one less vote for their unpopular tax bill unless some changes are made.
“Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) informed Senate leaders Thursday he intends to vote against Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax plan unless it includes a larger expansion of a child tax credit.
‘I understand that this is process of give and take, especially when there’s only a couple of us fighting for it, the leverage is lessened,’ Rubio said Thursday in the Senate. ‘But given all the other changes made in the tax code leading into it, I can’t in good conscience support ti unless we are able to increase [the child tax credit], and there’s ways to do it and we’ll be very reasonable about it.’
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rubio’s partner in pushing for the expanded child tax credit, is undecided on whether to support the Republicans’ final tax bill, according to a Lee spokesperson.
Republicans control 52 of the Senate’s 100 seats, and they need 50 to pass their bill, as Vice President Pence could break a tie. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) voted no on the Senate version and is expected to vote against the final bill. No Democrats are backing the measure, meaning that if two or more Republicans join the opposition to the tax package, the party will lack the votes it needs to move it through the Senate.
Republicans are working to reconcile the bills that passed the House and Senate, and they’re hoping to pass a final, compromise measure through both chambers by next week.
While the Senate was crafting its version of the tax bill, Rubio and Lee proposed a change to expand the tax credit, but the plan was opposed by GOP leadership and voted down. Both Rubio and Lee voted to pass the Senate version.
As Republicans look to reconcile the House and Senate bills into a joint final version, Rubio and Lee have pushed a change to the child tax credit that would allow millions more low-income families to take advantage of the bill’s expanded credit.
Rubio and Lee want to allow millions of families who pay payroll taxes but do not earn enough to pay income taxes to claim the expanded credit. The change they’re now pushing would expand the credit by $80 billion over 10 years, a smaller change than he proposed to the Senate bill.”
For the rest of the story, visit the Washington Post here.