Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is proposing a bill that would prohibit employers from deducting expenses related to their employees' abortion travel costs or so-called "gender affirming care" for young children of their employees.
Rubio’s legislation, the No Tax Breaks for Radical Corporate Activism Act, is a response to decisions by major corporations, including Amazon, Disney, Citigroup, Lyft, Yelp, Uber, Bumble, and Salesforce, to cover such expenses for employees. The bill has very little chance of becoming law with Democrats in power, but is a glimpse into GOP messaging and legislation the party would consider if Republicans are successful in the upcoming midterm elections.
Citigroup announced in March that its health insurance plan for employees would pick up expenses for those who need to travel to get an abortion, the Washington Examiner reported.
"Our tax code should be pro-family and promote a culture of life," said Rubio. "Instead, too often our corporations find loopholes to subsidize the murder of unborn babies or horrific 'medical' treatments on kids. My bill would make sure this does not happen."
Under current tax law, businesses can deduct all expenses that are "ordinary and necessary" for carrying on a trade or business, including employee healthcare plans, some medical expenses, or other benefits offered as a part of an employee compensation package. The bill would prohibit employers from deducting — and, as a result, taxpayers from subsidizing — their employee’s travel costs to obtain an abortion or employee’s children’s gender transition expenses.
"Public policy should be used to strengthen families, not woke executives. We must work to strip the latter of undeserved benefits while empowering the former," Rubio wrote in a Newsweek op-ed.
"However, it's not enough to remove corporate subsidies," Rubio wrote in Newsweek. "To make real, lasting headway, we also need to change corporate culture. Today, executives view themselves as leaders of the global progressive movement.
"Whether because they truly believe the insanity or because they'd rather side with leftist activists than feel their wrath on social media, they have embraced all the darkest elements of the woke creed."
Rubio's bill was announced during the week of an unprecedented leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court in which Justice Samuel Alito and fellow conservative justices voted to overrule Roe v. Wade. The court, if the leaked opinion holds, would hand authority to regulate abortions back to the states, 13 of which have "trigger laws" on the books that would outlaw the procedure as soon as the final vote is made public.
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