Sen. Marco Rubio had to be sold on the tax reform package that was pushed through the Senate early Wednesday morning and is now waiting for President Donald Trump‘s signature.
His issue: an insufficient child tax credit.
With that issue resolved via boosting the tax credit to $1,400 per child, Rubio became a booster.
“More than 8.6 million families making less than $50,000 a year will see a larger tax cut due to the changes made to the child tax credit in the conference committee … It is my hope that by increasing access to the child tax credit I have helped lay the groundwork for an agenda that reconciles conservative goals with the realities faced by working class American families,” Rubio asserted in a statement Wednesday.
However, despite that modest change, the tax package is dogged by some nonnegotiable realities.
One of them: the fact that, by 2027, 83 percent of the benefit of the bill will go to the top 1 percent. And 53 percent of Americans will pay more in taxes.
Another reality: the unpopularity of the tax bill, Congress and the President.
Just 24 percent of Americans back the tax bill, per one recent poll. That’s more than the approval rating of Congress, per Gallup (13 percent). And less than President Trump — though with virtually all polls having Trump in the 35 percent range, he is at a historic trough in approval.
During a pen and pad briefing in Washington Wednesday, Rubio asserted that people are not responding to the bill itself; rather, to what they’ve “read” and “been told.”
The reality of the bill, Rubio asserted, will be a different matter for Americans — including working class people.
“By the early part of next year,” Rubio said, “people will know whether they have a tax cut or not.”
“The American people will have the right to change their minds,” Rubio said, adding that their “opinions will be based on [what their] paychecks are showing them.”
During the hourlong briefing, Rubio kept coming back to pocketbook issues, noting at one point that “$50,000 a year was a pretty good” salary, but “not anymore.”
The modest boost in the child tax credit, which Rubio said some called “welfare,” is one of those “incremental steps” that can be taken to improve policy over time.