Despite Marco Rubio’s New Child Tax Credit, the GOP Tax Bill Still Hurts Families

With Republicans clinging to each and every vote in order to finally pass the massive corporate welfare bill that they’ve deemed “tax reform,” it was only a matter of time before a senator threatened to vote no unless some specific new personal demand was met.

But surprisingly, the senator holding the final bill hostage turned out to be Florida Republican Marco Rubio – once considered a rising GOP star and easy “yes” man. His point of contention? The expanded child tax credit still didn’t help enough low-income individuals with children.

On Thursday, December 14, CNN reported:

Rubio — along with Sen. Mike Lee of Utah — has been working for months to make the child tax credit more refundable, something the senators argue will help lower-income Americans, but so far their efforts haven’t convinced leaders who are trying to craft a tax bill that still meets Senate rules and doesn’t cost more than $1.5 trillion. What Lee and Rubio are asking for is expensive, but Rubio has publicly expressed frustration that GOP leaders were willing to increase the corporate tax rate to 21% to pay for lowering the top tax rate for individuals, but not for helping lower-income people with children.

The child tax credit portion of the bill was already a point of negotiation between the House and Senate during the reconciliation process — the Senate’s version allowed a $2,000 tax credit per child, whereas the House version only allowed $1,100. In both versions, children will no longer receive individual deductions of $4,050 each, making households with more than two children likely to still receive less under the new plan than the existing one.

But Rubio’s threat worked. On Friday, the Senate announced that it would revamp the final tax credit to be more favorable to the Florida senator. His big victory? Rubio got back roughly $300 per child.

“The negotiators have agreed to expand the child tax credit at the behest of Rubio, who announced on Thursday that he would be a ‘no’ unless the credit was made more generous. The refundable portion of the child tax credit was increased from $1,100 to $1,400, according to a senior Senate GOP aide,” Politico reports. Rubio’s office confirmed that the Florida senator, whose surprise announcement Thursday threw a last-minute curveball into the complicated negotiations, will flip to a ‘yes’ on the tax measure.”

While an additional $300 per child each year would be a welcome change for low-income families, Rubio has hardly proven himself to be a champion for those living in poverty.

To begin with, the increased child tax credit currently written into the tax bill is scheduled to phase out and be completely eliminated within ten years — unlike the tax code changes for corporations and the upper one percent, which will remain permanent.

The GOP also used the bill to end the individual mandate on health insurance, a move that economists predict will cause insurance plans to quickly jump in price as healthier customers drop their coverage. And you can be certain that those increased premiums aren’t going to be covered by a $300 a year child tax increase, either.

In fact, if Rubio truly wanted to protect children and their families, he could have tied his vote to a promise that CHIP — the Children’s Health Insurance Program — funds would be immediately reauthorized. Instead, the program is contingent on cuts to Obamacare — a GOP threat that has now put states into debt as they fund lower and middle income children’s health insurance costs out of their own coffers.

This bipartisan plan saves far more money for lower income parents than a $300 increase in a tax credit would, yet CHIP funds aren’t expected to be released until early 2018 at the earliest, due to cross-aisle squabbling.

“For far too long, Washington has ignored and left behind the American working class. Increasing the refundability of the Child Tax Credit from 55% to 70% is a solid step toward broader reforms which are both Pro-Growth and Pro-Worker,” Rubio tweeted, publicly congratulating himself for what comes down to nothing more than a small band-aid on a bullet wound – one that he himself inflicted by voting with his party to pass this financial disaster that they call tax reform.

Thanks for the extra few hundred dollars, Senator Rubio. We are going to need it to make a small dent in the increased taxes we will now have to pay, instead.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

50 comments

Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill8 months ago

We are getting more in each pay check. We are also getting more in our refund. Thank GOP!

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago

Thank you.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago

Thank you.

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Jerome S
Jerome S9 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S9 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y9 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jack Y
Jack Y9 months ago

thanks for sharing

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john c
john c10 months ago

Eric L. - have noted your comments, which only proves that you are influenced by the Republican mentality and Bull Shit. In response to your comment to me, just to mention two (2) big things that were done by the DEMOCRATS - maybe you have heard of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the SOCIAL SECURITY ACT and ACA, and President Obama. Both these acts were in the best interest of the citizenry, what has happened over the years due to various Congresses of both parties using Social Security as their personal slush fund and the SCOTUS allowing it is UNFORGIVEABLE.. With regards to the ACA and the recently passed TAX REFORMS AND JOBS ACT, only the REPUBLICANS can be blamed for taking a minimum of 13 MILLION adults and 9 MILLION CHILDREN off HEALTH CARE and there will be MILLIONS OF MORE ADULTS as the insurance premiums are estimated to rise by a minimum of 10 percent during 2018. What had the REPUBS given us - UNPAID WAR,
which is still costing U S TAXPAYERS to the present day tune over 8 TRILLION DOLLARS. With regards to your knowledge of economics that remains to be seen, but consider this the REPUBLICAN platform leading to these major TAX CUTS for the WEALTHY and CORPORATIONS, is a work in progress, their EXAMPLE is the state of Kansas (look it up and see where they are since Governor Brown implemented the Republican theory). Also, let us not forget the REPUBLICAN TRICKLE DOWN THEORY, which was implemented by President's Reagan and Bush
which didn't work o

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Joan E
Joan E10 months ago

If it didn't hurt ordinary families in some way, Republicans wouldn't have done it. Helping the non-rich isn't their thing.

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