Marco Rubio reverses course and gives the GOP a jolt of momentum on their massive tax bill

Marco RubioMarco Rubio.AP

  • Sen. Marco Rubio said Friday he would vote for the GOP tax bill, reversing course from his stance a day earlier.
  • Rubio wanted the child tax credit to become more generous for low-income families.
  • The Republican tax writers increased the amount of the credit that can be refunded, placating Rubio.

Sen. Marco Rubio said Friday that he will vote for the Republican tax bill, reversing course roughly 24 hours after threatening to vote against the bill.

Rubio had fought for the child tax credit to be more generous in the final version of the tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

The bill, which was finalized by a conference committee made up mostly of members from the House and Senate tax-writing committees, proposes to expand the child tax credit to $2,000 per dependent from the current $1,000. The bill originally capped the amount of the credit that was refundable - and thus available to low-income workers who don't have a tax burden - at $1,100.

Rubio insisted the refundable amount that was refundable, and the tax writers upped the amount to $1,400.

This was apparently enough to satisfy Rubio.

"For far too long, Washington has ignored and left behind the American working class," Rubio tweeted 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."

Rubio's support of the bill is a huge win for Republican leaders who could not afford to lose more than two GOP senators for the bill to pass. GOP Sen. Bob Corker voted against the TCJA when it went through the Senate last month. Losing Rubio - normally a sure vote with party leadership - would have been a serious blow.

With Rubio's support, the TCJA is in good shape to pass when it is expected to come to the floor for a vote early next week.

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