EXCLUSIVE: Republican Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit employers from receiving tax breaks for expenses related to employees’ “interstate abortion” or employees’ children’s “gender transition procedure” costs.
Rubio, R-Fla., introduced the “No Tax Breaks for Radical Corporate Activism Act” on Tuesday, which would “deny the trade or business expense deduction for the reimbursement of employee costs of child gender transition procedure or travel to obtain an abortion.”
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“Our tax code should be pro-family and promote a culture of life,” Rubio told Fox News. “Instead, too often our corporations find loopholes to subsidize the murder of unborn babies or horrific ‘medical’ treatments on kids.”
Rubio added: “My bill would make sure this does not happen.”
Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla. Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
“No deduction shall be allowed under this chapter to an employer for any amount paid or incurred to reimburse an employee for, or to otherwise pay, expenses in connection with— travel for the purpose of obtaining an abortion, or any gender transition procedure for a minor child of the employee,” the legislation, obtained by Fox News, states.
The bill notes several “exceptions,” including services “performed because the individual suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness which would, as certified by a physician, place the individual in imminent danger of death or impairment of major bodily function unless surgery is performed.”
The introduction of the bill comes after a number of large corporations, including Amazon, Apple, Citigroup and others, have announced they will cover travel expenses each year for non-life threatening medical treatments, including abortions.
Amazon’s new benefit, first reported by Reuters on Monday, retroactively applies if an operation is not available within 100 miles of an employee’s home and if virtual care is not possible.
A Rubio aide also pointed to a reported initiative from Disney that would allow the company’s benefit team to help employees and their children in getting “gender-affirmation procedures.”
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“Companies across the U.S., including Disney, are proactively helping their employees’ circumvent state laws and harm unborn and young children, and Marco believes they should not receive any tax benefits for these actions,” Rubio’s aide told Fox News.
Under current tax law, businesses can deduct all expenses that are “ordinary and necessary” for carrying on a trade or business, including employee health care plans, some medical expenses, or other benefits offered as part of an employee compensation package, the aide told Fox News.
The aide said that under current law, individual taxpayers can “deduct abortion and gender transition expenses as medical expenses.”
“This bill would explicitly prohibit employers from deducting — and, as a result, taxpayers from subsidizing — their employee’s interstate abortion or children’s gender transition expenses,” the aide said.
The introduction of Rubio’s bill also comes a day after a leaked draft opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito signaled the Supreme Court’s intention to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Should Roe v. Wade be overturned, abortions would be left for the states to decide.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Samuel Alito writes in the document, labeled the “Opinion of the Court” for the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
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Alito notes that at the time the Court decided Roe, 30 states had active bans on abortion throughout pregnancy. Alito also wrote in the draft opinion that Americans hold “sharply conflicting views” on the subject.
“Some believe fervently that a human person comes into being at conception and that abortion ends an innocent life. Others feel just as strongly that any regulation of abortion invades a woman’s right to control her own body and prevents women from achieving full equality. Still others in a third group think that abortion should be allowed under some but not all circumstances, and those within this group hold a variety of views about the particular restrictions that should be imposed,” Alito wrote.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday in a statement acknowledged that “a copy of a draft opinion in a pending case” was published Monday night.
“Justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work,” the high court said in a statement. “Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”
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Chief Justice John Roberts also released a statement Tuesday saying that the court “will not be affected in any way” by the leak.
“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” Roberts said. “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”
“We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce — permanent employees and law clerks alike — intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court,” Roberts said.
“This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here,” he continued.
Roberts said he has “directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.”