With tax reform front and center on Capitol Hill, two Florida Republicans took to the national stage this week to make the case for why it is needed.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., made cable TV appearances on Tuesday, making the case for his and U.S. Sen. Mike Lee’s, R-Utah, proposal to expand the child tax credit.
Under their “Economic Growth and Family Fairness Tax Plan,” Rubio and Lee call for allowing an additional $2,500 tax credit to families with children while keeping the current $1,000 tax credit per child in place. “The expanded child tax credit would be refundable up to each taxpayer’s combined federal income and payroll tax liability, and would be counted only after all other tax credits are factored in,” Rubio’s office noted when they brought it out over the summer. Last week, the Senate included the proposal as part of its budget which passed 51-49. While the budget vote was close, there was no opposition to Rubio’s and Lee’s proposal.
Rubio appeared on “America’s Newsroom” on Fox News on Tuesday to talk up his proposal.
“It’s at least $2,000,” Rubio said. “We had in our, the Lee-Rubio plan, had it at $2,500, but at least $2,000 and applicable towards payroll taxes. What's the fundamental problem? The fundamental problem is this: everything costs more and jobs aren't necessarily paying enough so you've got these families out there that are struggling to make ends meet. You know it costs about $250,000-280,000 to raise a child, and that doesn't include college, by the way. And in 38 or 39 out of 50 states child care is more expensive than going to college, so working families are dealing with all these things. Our tax code needs to take that into account, and understand this isn't a welfare check. What we're talking about is allowing them to keep more of their own money. You only get it if you're working. Letting people keep more of their own money so they can raise their children, and they can pay for the things that have gotten so expensive.”
Rubio also appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Tuesday and noted Ivanka Trump has been fighting for the proposal.
“It’s something I’ve been talking about now for three to four years and that is how expensive it’s gotten in the 21st century to raise a family for working people,” Rubio said. “And so the tax code should take that into account. By some estimates, it costs over $250,000 to raise a child from the time they are born to the time they turn 18. And that doesn’t include college. Childcare costs are extraordinary. Actually I think it keeps some people out of the labor force. And so we need a tax code - an expansion of the tax credit, make it applicable towards payroll tax, up until their payroll tax liability. These are critical things that we need to do if we are going to provide middle-class tax relief to working families.”
Over in the U.S. House, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., who sits on the Ways and Means Committee which oversees taxes, was part of U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s, R-Wisc., media event to showcase tax reform on Tuesday.
Curbelo said passing “meaningful tax reduction for every American family; to overhaul the tax codes so that American companies stop leaving the United States and instead invest more here in American infrastructure and in American families” is the “most important thing that Congress can do for the American people.”
“This is about all of those people who haven’t benefited from the economic recovery,” Curbelo insisted. “We’ve had a long recovery in this country and it’s been very good for people – especially people at the top. But what we want is for the economic recovery to reach every household in our country – people who are frustrated; people who feel like they’ve done everything right but they still can’t get ahead; young people who have gone to college, invested in a degree and still don’t have a quality job. This is about them. This is about thousands of immigrant families in my district who came to this country with a willingness to work, and who love this country as much as everyone else does, yet they are not getting ahead.
“So, I’m so excited that we are officially kicking off this process here very soon in the Ways and Means Committee. That we are going to put a product out there that every American is going to be able to see is going to improve quality of life in this country,” Curbelo added. “And lastly, I’ll say, that this isn’t just about taxes and about the economy. This is about us showing that Congress can work together to improve the lives of every American. This is about restoring the faith, the trust, the confidence in our government, which is something that we sorely need in this country.”
Curbelo also took to the national airwaves, appearing on Fox Business Network’s “Varney and Company” this week and he sounded optimistic that Congress will pass some sort of tax reform.
“This is the best thing we could do for the economy, the best thing we could do for every American individual, family and business.” Curbelo said. “I’m feeling confident...I’m not making any guarantees, but I have feel better than every that we are actually going to get this done.”
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