Rubio a yes on GOP tax package after child-credit changes

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2017, file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Rubio will vote for his party's $1.5 trillion tax bill. That gives a major boost to the prospects that GOP leaders will be able to push their prized measure through Congress next week. The Florida lawmaker had said he'd oppose the legislation unless his colleagues made the per child tax credit more generous for low-income families. On Dec. 15, Republicans said the final legislation would do just that. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Sen. Marco Rubio plans to vote for Republicans’ final tax-cut package after securing desired changes to the child tax credit, a spokeswoman confirmed Friday, giving a major boost to GOP leaders who want to pass the bill next week.

Mr. Rubio had thrown Republicans an 11th-hour curveball Thursday when he said he couldn’t support the tax bill unless changes were made so that the credit was made more generous for working families.

But leaders agreed to increase the amount of the $2,000 credit that would be refundable against payroll taxes from $1,100 to $1,400.

That makes it more generous for lower-income families who might not earn enough to pay federal income taxes, but who who do owe Social Security and Medicare tax.

“For far too long, Washington has ignored and left behind the American working class,” Mr. Rubio said on Twitter Friday. “Increasing the refundability of the Child Tax Credit from 55% to 70% is a solid step toward broader reforms which are both Pro-Growth and Pro-Worker.”

Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the U.S. Senate, and can afford no more than two defections, with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence in their back pocket.

The Senate’s $1.4 trillion tax package passed on a 51-49 vote earlier this month, with Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee the lone Republican to vote no.


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