Rubio to vote ‘no’ on tax bill unless child tax credit is expanded
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has threatened to vote against the tax bill, putting the legislation in danger of being delayed past Christmas.
Rubio has told Senate leaders that he will vote against the bill unless the child tax credit is made more generous to help lower-income workers who pay payroll taxes and not regular income taxes.
“Sen. 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,” said a spokesperson for Rubio.
Rubio told reporters at the Capitol that the current tax credit is insufficient.
“Right now it’s only $1,100. It needs to be higher than that,” Rubio said.
“I understand that this is a process of give and take, especially when there’s only a couple of us fighting for it,” he told reporters. “Given all the other changes they’ve made in the tax code leading into it, I can’t in good conscience support it unless we are able to increase the refundable portion of it.”
If Rubio votes against the bill, Republicans can only lose one other lawmaker if they hope to pass the final bill that emerges from a House-Senate conference.
“We’re still working with him and expect to satisfy his concerns,” Cornyn told reporters.
Corker has not ruled out voting for the final conference report, though he suggested his concerns have not changed.
“The issues I had before are still there,” he said.
A spokesman for Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who worked with Rubio on a previously proposed child tax credit expansion, told The Hill the senator is undecided on voting for the bill in its current form.
Republicans are also worried about the health of two of their 52 members — Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Thad Cochran (Miss.).
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders dodged on whether Trump would support further expanding the child tax credit.
Rubio and Lee proposed an amendment that would have expanded the child tax credit further, but the Senate voted the amendment down earlier this month.
Democrats and Republicans both criticized the amendment because it would have raised the corporate tax rate further.
-Jessie Hellmann, Peter Sullivan and Naomi Jagoda contributed to this report which was updated at 3:09 p.m.