Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) expressed public doubts on Friday about the economic benefits of the tax bill he voted for and said the bill “probably went too far” to protect corporations.
In an interview with a Florida newspaper, Rubio praised some aspects of the tax bill, but expressed doubts about the extent of the cuts to the corporate tax rate in particular. The bill, which passed with no Democratic support, lowered the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.
Overall, Rubio said that the tax bill made the tax code better, but he predicted that the corporate tax cut would probably not lead to economic growth:
If I were king for a day, this tax bill would have looked different. I thought we probably went too far on (helping) corporations. By and large, you’re going to see a lot of these multinationals buy back shares to drive up the price. Some of them will be forced, because they’re sitting on historic levels of cash, to pay out dividends to shareholders. That isn’t going to create dramatic economic growth. (But) there’s a lot of things in the bill that I have supported for a long time (such as) doubling the Child Tax Credit. And it is better – significantly better – than the current code.
Rubio was one of the final Republican holdouts on the tax bill. He threatened to vote against the bill because of the planned reductions in the Child Tax Credit. Ultimately, Rubio prevailed in his fight with Republican leadership, which led him to change his vote to a “yes.”
Rubio also predicted that the tax bill would end up being politically popular once voters got to know what was in the bill:
[People’s] opinion today is based on what they’ve read and what they’ve been told it does. But if I’m against the tax bill because I don’t think it’ll actually cut my taxes and I get my first paycheck in February and it has $200 in there that didn’t used to be there, I’m going to notice that. By the time we get to November of next year, their opinion about the tax bill is not going to be based on media coverage. It’s going to be based on what their paycheck is telling them.
In the wide-ranging interview, Rubio also indicated that he would like to see something done to protect the legal status of “Dreamers,” but faulted the Democrats for not being willing to accept changes to the enforcement side of immigration along with such a package.
“The obsessive opposition to anything that involves enforcement by those on the left is beyond me,” he said.
Rubio also talked about his relationship with President Donald Trump, noting that while he doesn’t always agree with Trump, he has overall enjoyed a good relationship with the president, and has enjoyed working with him on issues pertaining to Venezuela and Cuba.