Marco Rubio threatens to vote against the GOP tax bill unless leaders meet demands
- Sen. Marco Rubio told GOP leaders he will not vote for their tax bill unless changes are made to the child tax credit.
- Rubio wants the credit to be more generous and decried the drop in the top individual tax rate in the compromise bill.
- Republicans can only lose two votes in the Senate, and with Bob Corker likely against the bill, Rubio's defection would leave them with no margin for error.
Sen. Marco Rubio on Thursday said he will vote against the final GOP tax bill unless leaders meet his demands on the child tax credit.
Rubio told Republican leadership that he will not vote for the bill — the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) — unless the child tax credit is more generous.
"Senator Rubio has consistently communicated to the Senate tax negotiators that his vote on final passage would depend on whether the refundability of the Child Tax Credit was increased in a meaningful way," a Rubio spokesperson told Business Insider.
Rubio and Sen. Mike Lee introduced an amendment during the first Senate vote on the TCJA that would have made the credit deductible up to the payroll tax level. The move would have made the credit more generous for many low-income families. The amendment was defeated.
A spokesperson for Lee said the senator has not made up his mind on the bill.
"Sen. Lee is undecided on the bill in its current form," the spokesperson told Business Insider. "Sen. Lee continues to work to make the CTC as beneficial as possible to American working families."
The TCJA is currently being debated by a conference committee to resolve the differences between the versions of the bill passed in the House and Senate.
Rubio was incensed when reports indicated that the conference committee was nearing an agreement to make the corporate tax cut less generous — to cut the individual tax rate on the wealthiest Americans.
"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 $million is fine?" Rubio tweeted on Tuesday.
If Rubio defects, that would leave the GOP with no room for error in the Senate. GOP Sen. Bob Corker voted against first version of the legislation in the Senate, citing concerns with the federal deficit increase form the bill.
The GOP can only lose two members in the Senate for the bill to pass.
The compromise TCJA will be released on Friday, according to GOP leaders, and a vote on the bill is expected early next week.
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