Marco Rubio wants to make a huge change to the GOP tax bill — and Trump won't like it

  • Marco Rubio and Mike Lee, two GOP senators, introduced an amendment to the Republican tax bill on Wednesday.
  • The amendment would make the child tax credit more generous, but also make it so the corporate tax rate is only cut to 22% instead of the 20% proposed in the current tax bill.
  • President Donald Trump has said that the 20% corporate rate is his one red line in the tax bill.

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Mike Lee announced an amendment to the GOP tax plan that would increase the tax breaks for families with children at the expense of corporations.

The pair released their amendment on Wednesday, saying the change was "a chance to do better by working families in this tax bill." It is unclear how much support the amendment has on Capitol Hill, but it will likely not go over well in the White House.

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U.S. President Donald Trump (C) is greeted by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) after arriving to receive a briefing on Hurricane Irma relief efforts at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida, U.S. September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks between first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) (2ndL) while receiving a briefing on Hurricane Irma relief efforts in Fort Myers, Florida, U.S., September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump (R) and Marco Rubio talk at each other during a debate sponsored by CNN at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A CNN employee holds a microphone towards Republican U.S. presidential candidates Marco Rubio (L) and Donald Trump (R) as they talk during a commercial break in a debate sponsored by CNN at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Marco Rubio (L) and rival candidate Donald Trump compete at the U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate in Detroit, Michigan, March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Marco Rubio (L) laughs at rival Donald Trump (R) during the debate sponsored by CNN for the 2016 Republican U.S. presidential candidates in Houston, Texas, February 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Stone
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio (L) shakes hands with rival candidate businessman Donald Trump at the conclusion of the Fox Business Network Republican presidential candidates debate in North Charleston, South Carolina, January 14, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane
Republican U.S. presidential candidate U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (L) speaks as businessman Donald Trump (R) listens at the 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate held by CNBC in Boulder, Colorado, October 28, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 16: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) walks with U.S. President Donald Trump after he announced policy changes he is making toward Cuba at the Manuel Artime Theater in the Little Havana neighborhood on June 16, 2017 in Miami, Florida. The President will re-institute some of the restrictions on travel to Cuba and U.S. business dealings with entities tied to the Cuban military and intelligence services. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
From left, Republican presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, stand for the national anthem prior to the GOP presidential primary debate at the University of Miami's Bank United Center in Coral Gables, Fla., on Thursday, March 10, 2016. (Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
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The amendment would pay for the expansion of the child tax credit by cutting the corporate tax rate to 22% from the current 35% federal rate. As written, Senate GOP's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) would that rate to 20%.

President Donald Trump has said the 20% rate was a red line, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the corporate rate staying at 20% is "the president’s number one issue that is not negotiable."

A White House official told Bloomberg on Wednesday that Trump would oppose the amendment. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rubio and Lee, in their statement, argued the amendment was written to ensure enough tax benefits were going to families instead of corporations.

"Right now, 70% of the tax cuts we’re considering would go to businesses, and only 30% to individuals," the senators said. "This amendment would level the playing field for families, while still kick-starting national investment and growth."

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US President Donald Trump speaks on tax reform, at Harrisburg International Airport on October 11, 2017 in Middletown, Pennsylvania. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin waits for U.S. President Donald Trump to speak about tax reform in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump is obscured by a teleprompter as he speaks about tax reform in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn speaks on a mobile phone as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
People listen as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
US President Donald Trump steps out of a limousine to board off Air Force One before departing from Harrisburg International Airport on October 11, 2017 in Middletown, Pennsylvania. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks on tax reform inside a hangar at the Harrisburg International Airport on October 11, 2017 in Middletown, Pennsylvania. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks on tax reform, at Harrisburg International Airport on October 11, 2017 in Middletown, Pennsylvania. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
US President Donald Trump speaks on tax reform, at Harrisburg International Airport on October 11, 2017 in Middletown, Pennsylvania. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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Here are the four key provisions of the Rubio-Lee amendment. It would:

  1. Make the child tax credit refundable: The statement from Rubio and Lee said the credit, which the Senate bill as written would increase to $2,000, would become refundable up to the "payroll tax liability (15.3% of earnings)."
  2. Reduce the phase-out threshold for non-married filers: In the current TCJA, the child tax credit would phase out for all filers starting at $500,000. The Rubio-Lee amendment would lower that threshold to $250,000 for any non-married filer.
  3. Switch the child tax credit to grow according to the chained consumer price index (CPI): Chained CPI typically grows at a slower rate than normal CPI, so the child tax credit would increase at a slower pace. Most provisions on the individual side of the TCJA follow this growth formula.
  4. Bump the corporate rate cut to 22%: The senators said this would "fully pay for the above changes."

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