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Rubio says tax bill "probably went too far" in helping corporations

Political rundown
Political rundown 05:48

The GOP tax bill "probably went too far" in helping corporations, Sen. Marco Rubio told Florida's News-Press in a recent interview published Friday.

Asked for his overall view of the legislation —which the Florida Republican voted for and Mr. Trump signed into law last week — Rubio said the bill would have looked different if he were "king for a day." The legislation "probably" gave too much in benefits to corporations, he said, but noted the new law doubles the Child Tax Credit and is significantly better than the previous tax code. 

Rubio and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, had suggested a corporate tax rate of 22 percent instead of the originally proposed 20 percent, in order to increase the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 per child, and Rubio threatened to vote against the bill if the Child Tax Credit didn't improve. The final legislation left the new corporate tax rate at 21 percent, down from the previous rate of 35 percent, and increased the Child Tax Credit to $2,000 per child, per year. 

"If I were king for a day, this tax bill would have looked different. I thought we probably went too far on (helping) corporations," Rubio told the publication. "By and large, you're going to see a lot of these multinationals buy back shares to drive up the price. Some of them will be forced, because they're sitting on historic levels of cash, to pay out dividends to shareholders. That isn't going to create dramatic economic growth. (But) there's a lot of things in the bill that I have supported for a long time (such as) doubling the Child Tax Credit. And it is better — significantly better — than the current code."

Rubio also told the publication many in the think tank and donor world described the Child Tax Credit to him as "welfare." So, Rubio said he had to spend a lot of time educating people about the credit, pointing out that it's tied to work. 

"I had numerous people in the think tank world, and the donor world and even in the member world who said to me, 'This is welfare. It's for people who don't pay taxes,'" Rubio said in the interview. "So, we had to spend a lot of time educating people on the reality about the Child Tax Credit. It isn't welfare. It's directly tied to work. You can't get it if you don't have a tax return. You can't get it if you don't have earned income."

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