VIDEO: Rubio, Lee Push for Amendment Giving Working Families Larger Share of Tax Relief
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) spoke on the Senate floor to push for an amendment they plan to introduce to the Senate tax bill that would give working American families a far larger share of tax relief than the existing bill currently does.
Yesterday, Rubio spoke on the Senate floor to outline the importance of making the child tax credit applicable to payroll taxes, which would significantly benefit hard-working American families.
Rubio’s speech can be watched here. A transcript of Rubio’s remarks is below.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
U.S. Senate Floor
November 29, 2017
I hope that in tax reform we will try to do what we should do in all of our policies. And that is, come up with ideas that are both pro-growth and pro-worker. There are a lot of good things in this tax bill, but we need to make it better. We can make it more pro-growth and more pro-worker, and Senator Lee from Utah and I have a plan that helps us move in that direction and I’ll describe it briefly. And I want him to have the opportunity to weigh in as well on this. On the pro-growth side, it is about becoming more globally competitive and we do so. The current corporate tax rate in United States is 35%. We would reduce that to 22%.
Now the current bill has it at 20% but 22% is just as competitive as 20. Here’s why. Just like the current bill, it would be lower than the global average rate of 23% and just like the current bill, it would move us from last place to third place among the G7 countries. So it is just as pro-growth. It makes us just as competitive, but it allows us to do the pro-worker reform that we desperately need.
Here’s what it allows us to do: it allows us to change the child tax credit in the current bill to help working families even more. Number one: it would make it fully refundable up to the amount you pay in payroll tax. Number two: it would eliminate the marriage penalty, meaning that you would be paying more in taxes if you were a married couple than you would as an individual. Number three, it would index it, the tax credit, to a chained C.P.I., which basically means as inflation grows and the cost of living goes up, the credit doesn’t lose its value because it doesn’t go up.
But the one thing I want to emphasize is, who does this help? Because I have had some people in the past and even today who say, ‘why are you doing this? This is like welfare.’ I find that offensive. I find it offensive not because I am offended by people who need the help and are in the safety net program because they’ve come upon difficult times but because the people that we are trying to help are not on government assistance. They’re workers. You have to work to get this credit. In essence, the credit applies against your tax liability be it payroll tax or income tax. For a lot of people that are working, they don’t make enough money to be paying a lot of income tax, but they pay up to 15.3% of what they make in payroll tax. It is their primary tax liability, and if you don’t allow the credit to apply towards that you’re not helping them.
And who are they? Who are the kinds of people that we’re talking about? In essence, who are these workers? Well this chart tells you who they are. They’re the waitresses making about $20,000 a year. They’re not fully benefiting from this credit right now. If we do it the way Senator Lee and I are talking about doing, they would. They are the home health aide, the office clerk, they’re the welders making $35,000 a year. They’re the truck driver, they’re the nurse, they’re firefighter making $48,000 a year.
These are working people, the backbone of our country, the ones who have been left behind for over three decades because no one fights for them. They have been ignored and disrespected in our public policy. And they’re not accounted for in this bill. And they’re raising families. Our future taxpayers. And it costs money to raise a family. And the more children you have, the more expensive it is and the tax code should recognize that. And we make a reasonable proposal in that regard.
And now I’d like to turn to Senator Lee and ask him to expound on the importance of this for America’s workers and why if we are truly to be a pro-worker reform, if we’re going to have a pro-worker reform, the expansion of the child tax credit and applying to payroll tax, the way we described it, is essential.