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Utah Sen. Mike Lee undecided on GOP tax bill



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SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mike Lee is undecided on the latest version of the Republican tax plan.

The Utah Republican's wavering on the sweeping reform package comes as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told GOP leaders Thursday that he would vote against the bill if it doesn't contain a larger expansion of the child tax credit.

Lee and Rubio have been attached at the hip on that effort, though Lee didn't go as far as Rubio did in pulling support for the bill.

Rubio said the credit needs to be higher than the proposed $1,100 in the current bill being negotiated by Republican House and Senate leaders and the Trump administration.

"I understand that this is a process of give and take, especially when there's only a couple of us fighting for it," he told reporters. "Given all the other changes they've made in the tax code leading into it, I can't in good conscience support it unless we are able to increase the refundable portion of it."

Lee is still trying to make the child tax credit as beneficial as possible to American working families, according to his office.

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Lee and Rubio voted for the Senate version of the tax bill, which doubled the credit to $2,000 but did not include an amendment they offered to allow recipients to get the full amount even if they do not owe income taxes.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is in the thick of the tax reform negotiations.

"There’s always somebody trying to get something more, and those are important issues, those child credits," he said on Fox News. "I've fought for those myself."

Hatch said issues always arise toward the end of tough negotiations.

"We have to work out those problems," he said, adding he believes they will be worked out, but it takes good faith on both sides.

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Dennis Romboy

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