Rubio Deals Blow to Hopes of Passing Tax Overhaul

Senator demands change to child tax credit
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2017 2:50 AM CST
Updated Dec 15, 2017 6:19 AM CST
Marco Rubio Says He's a 'No' on Tax Plan
Fred Frost, left, and Deborah Dion, right, protest against a Republican tax bill outside of the office of Sen. Marco Rubio, in Doral, Fla.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

President Trump's hopes of passing a tax overhaul before Christmas have taken a big hit from the man he used to call "Little Marco Rubio." In what Politico describes as a surprise move, the Republican senator announced Thursday that he won't support the legislation. Rubio said he won't support any compromise bill House and Senate negotiators come up with unless the proposed $2,000 child tax credit is fully refundable, meaning people will get a refund if the credit is more than they owe the taxman. Negotiators "didn’t have much trouble finding a way to lower the the top tax bracket and to start the corporate tax cut a year early," Rubio tweeted Thursday. "Adding at least a few hundred $’s in refundable cuts for working families who seem to always be forgotten isn’t hard to do either."

Other Republican senators and aides say they believe Rubio's concerns will be addressed, and Trump said Thursday he thinks the senator will "get there." Rubio has "really been a great guy, very supportive," Trump said. But the GOP can only afford to lose two votes in the Senate, and Rubio isn't the only potential last-minute holdout, ABC reports. Sen. Mike Lee's office says he opposes the current plan for the same reason as Rubio, while Sen. Bob Corker opposes it for deficit reasons. Passage of the bill could also be complicated by the absence of Sen. John McCain, who was away from the Senate on Thursday being treated for side effects from brain cancer therapy. (More Marco Rubio stories.)

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