The move comes amid criticism from Democrats and even former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that the legislation will exacerbate inequality and that it favors the rich and major corporations.
The legislation drops the corporate tax rate to 21%, from 35%.
But AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has been a big booster of the tax bill, and last month the company said that it would invest $1 billion in infrastructure if the legislation was passed. Shortly after the House passed the final version of the bill, the company said that it would provide a $1,000 special bonus to each of its 200,000 employees. At his White House event celebrating the passage of the bill, President Trump touted the AT&T commitment.
Charles Rivkin, the chairman and CEO of the MPAA, said in a statement that the legislation “will promote further economic growth across American industries, including the U.S. film and television sector, which supports two million jobs and a network of thousands of small businesses across all 50 states. This legislation will advance our nation’s global competitiveness and encourage additional investment at home.”
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“We believe you’re messing up America. You could pay attention for a couple of minutes,” he said.
He cast doubt on the notion that a lower corporate tax cut will lead to more jobs, and he criticized AT&T for paying a low effective rate for years but not using that tax savings then to boost employment.
After AT&T’s announcement, Schumer issued a statement, saying, “Leaving aside that AT&T has a merger pending before President Trump’s Justice Department, it’s good that they’ve worked with the Communications Workers of America to start making progress on the promised $4,000 raise for workers. However, their announcement today is the exception, not the rule, when it comes to the biggest corporations spending their windfall.” His office provided a list of $83.7 billion in stock buybacks that have been announced by major companies since the Senate first passed the bill earlier this month.