Rubio: 'No evidence' that corporate tax cut is overwhelmingly benefiting workers

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Cuban negotiator says Trump's efforts to destabilize Cuba's government will fail Freedom to Compete Act would benefit many American workers MORE (R-Fla.) told The Economist in a recent interview that "there's no evidence whatsoever" that the corporate tax cut Republicans passed last year is overwhelmingly benefiting workers.

“There is still a lot of thinking on the right that if big corporations are happy, they’re going to take the money they’re saving and reinvest it in American workers,” Rubio said in the interview, published late last week. “In fact they bought back shares, a few gave out bonuses; there’s no evidence whatsoever that the money’s been massively poured back into the American worker.” 

The comments are being highlighted by Democrats — including Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars Dem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage Former FBI official praises Barr for 'professional' press conference MORE's (D-N.Y.) office — who view the remarks as bolstering their case against the tax law. Democrats have been hammering on the increase in stock buybacks that has occurred since the tax law passed, while Republicans have generally focused on the companies that have announced bonuses, wage increases and new capital investments.

The GOP tax law cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The tax plan Rubio offered during his 2016 presidential campaign would have cut the corporate tax rate to 25 percent — a less steep reduction than in the new law.

One of Rubio's top tax priorities has been expanding the child tax credit, and at one point he threatened to vote against the tax bill unless the amount of the credit that's refundable was increased. Rubio ultimately voted for the bill after the refundable amount was boosted, though the credit wasn't made fully refundable.

A Rubio spokeswoman said Monday that the senator "pushed for a better balance in the tax law between tax cuts for big businesses and families, as he’s done for years."

"As he said when the tax law passed, cutting the corporate tax rate will make America a more competitive place to do business, but he tried to balance that with an even larger child tax credit for working Americans," the spokeswoman said.

Rubio has promoted the tax law since its passage, attending events earlier this month with Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloHillicon Valley — Presented by CTIA and America's wireless industry — Lawmaker sees political payback in fight over 'deepfakes' measure | Tech giants to testify at hearing on 'censorship' claims | Google pulls the plug on AI council Lawmaker alleges political payback in failed 'deepfakes' measure Ex-GOP lawmaker joins marijuana trade group MORE (R-Fla.) and Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottGOP senators dismiss Booker reparations proposal On The Money — Presented by Job Creators Network — GOP senators urge Trump not to nominate Cain | Treasury expected to miss Dem deadline on Trump tax returns | Party divisions force Dems to scrap budget vote | House passes IRS reform bill GOP senators urge Trump not to pick Cain for Fed MORE (R-S.C.) to tout aspects of the measure aimed at helping low-income families and distressed communities.

But this isn't the first time Rubio has suggested that the corporate tax cut would lead to stock buybacks and dividends. Shortly after the bill passed, he told reporters that the bill "probably went too far on [helping] corporations."