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Sinclair announces bonuses for employees after passage of GOP tax bill

Sinclair announces bonuses for employees after passage of GOP tax bill
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Sinclair Broadcast Group announced Friday it would pay a $1,000 bonus to almost 9,000 of its full-time and part-time employees after the recent passage of the GOP tax bill.

The broadcast giant, which is awaiting approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its proposed $3.9 billion purchase of Tribune Media, said in a statement it was “grateful" for the passage of the bill.

“We recognize that our employees are our most valuable resource, truly appreciate their combined achievements for our Company and look forward to a very bright future,” Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley said in a statement.

Sinclair's proposed purchase of Tribune would mean its programming could be accessed by 72 percent of U.S. households. The deal has come under scrutiny from Democrats, who say the merger would reduce competition in local television markets.

Sinclair is known for its right-of-center slant and requires stations across the U.S. to run segments that often include conservative video op-eds.

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The broadcast giant joins a growing list of companies that have announced bonuses in the days following the passage of the GOP tax bill.

On Wednesday, AT&T announced it would invest an additional $1 billion in the U.S. next year and would give more than 200,000 U.S. employees a one-time $1,000 bonus.

"If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays," an AT&T press release said.

That move won praise from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report MORE, who quoted from the AT&T press release at a White House event celebrating the bill’s passage.

AT&T, which previously backed the tax plan, is in the midst of a proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner that Trump has criticized. The Department of Justice has also sued to block the move, saying it would hurt consumers.

The GOP tax bill, which passed both the House and the Senate this week, lowers the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent and slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

It also increases the exemption amounts for the individual alternative minimum tax and the estate tax and eliminates the ObamaCare individual mandate, as well as limiting deductions for state, local and property taxes.