Via the Washington Post:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) threatened Thursday to vote against Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax overhaul unless it further expands a child tax credit to millions of working families, leaving GOP leaders searching for answers on a final deal that had appeared to be on the verge of sailing through the House and Senate.
Rubio, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), wants Republican leaders to include the expansion as they reconcile separate tax measures passed by the House and Senate, working to craft a final compromise bill that could pass both chambers and be sent President Trump for his signature.
GOP leaders had said Wednesday they believed that they had reached a broad agreement that both chambers could pass, and they planned to unveil the package Friday morning with hopes of voting on it early next week. But opposition from Rubio and perhaps Lee — who has not yet decided whether to support the bill, a spokesman said Thursday — could delay or derail the tax effort.
Mr. Rubio will hold out just long enough to get the headlines and the attention that he craves before he caves. The leadership will come up with some token concession — a few million here, a maybe a little cut there — and he’ll be on board. This is how the game is played, and he knows it.
Marco Rubio used to be the darling — the “Republican Savior,” as Time magazine once profiled him — of the establishment GOP; the next gen of the GOP that would take them out of the Bush era and into the bright sunlight of real 21st century conservatism: anti-choice and pro-gun but hip enough to have gay friends and quote hip-hop. Then Trump came along and trashed the joint and took with them Mr. Rubio’s Oval Office aspirations along with demeaning him like a schoolyard bully. He tried to quit the whole thing in a huff, saying he hated being in the Senate anyway and it was all a waste of time. But then the realization that being the used car manager for Norman Braman in Miami — even if they were pre-owned Rolls Royces — would be too much of an ego deflater, so he promptly switched back to running for re-election. Because Florida has no visible Democratic Party mechanism, he kept his seat.
Now he needs some way of getting atop the heap again so he can make a plausible run in 2020 against the wreckage of what’s left of Trump, and a commercial intoning, “He stood up against the tide of tax reform that threatened little children” is just what he needs to get another fifteen minutes.
He’s going to vote for the bill pretty much as it is. He was going to all along.
Update: Told you.