Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has introduced a bill to prevent corporations from deducting employee expenses related to abortions and “gender-affirming care” for young children.
“The No Tax Breaks for Radical Corporate Activism Act” would still allow corporations to deduct “ordinary and necessary” expenses like health care plans. But the bill will explicitly prohibit employers from deducting or subsidizing travel costs for employees to obtain an abortion or for an employee’s child to undergo gender transition and affirmation “treatments,” the statement continued.
“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, noting that these companies are receiving tax breaks to “help their employees kill their unborn children.”
“Our tax code should encourage family formation and promote a culture of life,” he continued. “Instead, it too often encourages subsidies for the murder of unborn babies and the performance of horrific ‘medical’ treatments on kids.”
If the bill becomes law, it will almost certainly be challenged in court because Congress can’t carve out exceptions in the tax code for certain medical procedures. That will be the argument, anyway. Or the courts may conclude Congress’s power to tax supersedes all, and it might squeak through.
Rubio also called for an extension of the Child Tax Credit, which was expanded as part of the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act, passed on a party-line vote in March 2021. The biggest change to the law with the passage of the ARP was the removal of an income threshold for those who receive the funds, which some Republican critics claim amounted to welfare without work requirements.
Like abortion, gender transition procedures have been contentious among conservatives. The Biden administration recently announced that it would not pursue an earlier proposal that would enshrine healthcare protections against sex discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, a proposal that outraged religious liberty advocates.
The bill doesn’t have much of a chance this session in Congress. But when the new Congress is seated in January 2023, it might be looked on more favorably — if the Republicans are able to win a solid majority.