WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this morning criticized Sen. Bill Nelson for opposing the $1.5 trillion tax bill — the GOP's top legislative accomplishment in the Trump era — asserting that it was a vote against the middle class.
But while McConnell held up Sen. Marco Rubio for voting for "this once-in-a-generation law" he ignored Rubio's own criticism that the benefits were too focused on the upper end — criticism Democrats are likely to include in election messaging.
"Here's what tax reform means to middle-class Floridians: It means thousand-dollar bonuses for all 26 employees at Spellex Corporation, a software company in Tampa. It means an 11 percent increase in the base wage at a bank with more than 600 locations across Florida. At a Miami brewery, it meant the flexibility to purchase $100,000 in new capital equipment and hire two additional employees," McConnell said.
"Florida's junior senator, Senator Rubio, voted to pass this once-in-a-generation law. It's too bad his colleague, the senior senator from Florida, stood with every single Democrat in the House and the Senate and tried to block these tax cuts from reaching the American people.
"He preferred that more of middle-class families' money remain with the IRS. I'd call that a curious decision. Perhaps our Democratic colleagues don't quite understand the importance of a thriving economy."
Yet Rubio in an interview with the Economist was less enthusiastic about the benefits for average taxpayers.
"There is still a lot of thinking on the right that if big corporations are happy, they're going to take the money they're saving and reinvest it in American workers," Rubio said. "In fact they bought back shares, a few gave out bonuses; there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker."He defended his vote and said that overall the bill was beneficial and pointed to an increase in the child tax credit. But Democrats saw it as validation of their criticism. Nancy Pelosi even brought his comments to a meeting with the Tampa Bay Times editorial board in May.