Rubio: Biden's new child allowance is 'first step toward a universal basic income'

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate GOP campaign arm outraises Democratic counterpart in September House passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure Senators call for answers from US firm over reported use of forced Uyghur labor in China MORE (R-Fla.) knocked President BidenJoe BidenHow 'Buy American', other pro-US policies can help advocates pass ambitious climate policies Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan Photos of the Week: Manchin protestor, Paris Hilton and a mirror room MORE over the expansion to the child tax credit included in his coronavirus relief law enacted earlier this year, arguing the move was “the first step toward a universal basic income” in a recent opinion piece. 

In an opinion piece published by The Wall Street Journal on Friday, Rubio said the “administration’s new child allowance is wealth redistribution” and claimed it was “the first step toward a universal basic income, because it includes no work requirement.”

“For example, over the next six months, some American households with no working adults will receive more than $6,000 in cash payments from the federal government,” Rubio wrote.

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Under Biden’s one-year child tax credit expansion, millions of households have been able to receive monthly payments as the nation continues to grapple with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  

Democrats have said the expansion will greatly help reduce child poverty. Some have also pushed to advance further legislation to make the move permanent.

Rubio made the criticism while defending his previous support to expand the child tax credit in 2017, as well as he and other Republican senators' votes to expand the credit earlier this year after another columnist, Jason L. Riley, took aim at the senator for the move.

“Even some Republicans are now persuaded that wealth redistribution—in the form of some kind of basic income guaranteed by the government—is the best way to help today’s disadvantaged. Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyIn Montana, a knock-down redistricting fight over a single line Trump-backed bills on election audits, illegal voting penalties expected to die in Texas legislature The Memo: Conservatives change their tune on big government MORE, Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyState watchdog to launch review of Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal Juan Williams: Trump's toxicity fuels fear of violence Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability MORE, Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeCawthorn, Lee introduce bills banning interstate travel vaccine mandate Retreating economy creates new hurdle for Democrats in 2022 McConnell vows GOP won't help raise debt ceiling in December after Schumer 'tantrum' MORE and Marco Rubio have supported an expanded child tax credit, though they’re unlikely to expand it enough to satisfy Democrats,” Riley wrote in the Journal last week.

Pushing back on Riley’s remarks in his own piece on Friday, Rubio said: “The argument makes no sense.”

“The alternative to a tax code that lets working parents keep more of their money is a tax code that empowers the government to confiscate and redistribute more of that hard-earned money,” he wrote.

Rubio said his proposal to expand the child tax credit was misrepresented.

“In 2017, despite opposition from many in my party and the Journal’s editorial page, I worked with Sen. Mike Lee and Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpTrump attacks Meghan McCain and her family McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral Grisham: Time in Trump administration 'will follow me forever' MORE to double the credit as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. By some estimates, the changes helped the average family of four keep an extra $2,900 a year of their own money,” Rubio wrote. 

“That’s not redistribution; it is common sense,” he countered. “Thankfully, Senate Republicans agree with me, voting unanimously in March to expand the credit beyond the TCJA (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) levels, up to $3,300 a child, including $4,200 for children under 6. But it is a credit against taxes paid, which means work is required.”

“The real threat to work and prosperity comes from President Biden’s Obama-on-steroids agenda, not from allowing parents to keep more of their hard-earned money,” the senator added.