Miami, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) appeared on Fox and Friends this morning to discuss the need to provide tax relief for working American families by expanding the child tax credit and making it refundable against payroll taxes.
Rubio recently released an analysis showing the child tax credit remains the best way to provide meaningful tax relief for working American families. The policy proposal, which is supported by Special Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, has garnered significant attention and praise from commentators and experts. In October, the Senate unanimously voted to include the Rubio-Lee child tax credit amendment in its budget resolution.
Key excerpts of Rubio’s remarks are transcribed below.
RUBIO: Look, I think we have a fundamental challenge and understanding, you know, how to bring the party together for the future that is a majority coalition to govern this country. And part of it has to be one of the things that Donald Trump really woke up in his campaign, and that is addressing working people across this country. Some of the press like to say ‘white working class.’ It's working class of all backgrounds who feel like they've been ignored and disrespected by leaders in both parties for the better part of 25 or 30 years. I mean, these are the people who make too much money to qualify for government assistance but not enough money to afford many of the things that modern life require of us. And so they feel left behind and their values they feel disrespected … and the result is they got angry and they’ve let themselves be known at the ballot box. We have to be a voice for them and at the same time we have to stand by our principles of limited government, and free enterprise, and a strong national defense. And so that's the party we need to be working towards and within that coalition, there's room for a lot of different views and a lot of different people.
But one of the most important things we have to confront in tax reform is what are we going to do for the working people in this country? Because there's a lot going on there for companies and big corporations and multinationals and hopefully for small businesses. And none of that is bad. We need that for growth. But we also have to take care of working people that are making 40 or 50, $60,000 a year and are struggling with the cost of raising their families and so forth.
The one area I am really focused on, is on the child tax credit, and it's not a welfare program as some people like to accuse it of. You don't get it if you’re not working. For almost half of Americans, their primary, if not sole, tax liability is payroll tax. I want to make this apply up to the amount of payroll tax. So if somebody is out there making 35 or $40,000 a year, for example, a single mother who's working as a home health aide trying to raise three kids, if it's not refundable, then she's not really going to see much of an increase in her tax cut, which she needs to raise her family. Now, again, she doesn't get it unless she's working and she can only get up to the amount that she paid in payroll tax. But we need to encourage work.
We cannot be a country where you're better off not working and having three kids because of the government programs than a country where for 35,000 or $40,000 a year, you end up losing money. The refundability part is not in there now. It has to be in there in order for this to be truly effective. We need to reward work, and we need to take care of people that are working really hard and trying to get ahead to keep more of their own money, as opposed to sending it to Washington so Washington can spend it on their behalf.