CTA, CTIA Praise Senate Tax Bill Passage

AT&T's Stephenson has said his company is 'all in' on tax reform

The Tech and cellular telecom industries were praising Friday night's passage of the Senate tax reform bill--51-49 with Sen. Bob Corker voting with the Dems--which cuts the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% and takes other steps to boost the bottom lines of U.S. businesses.

Broadcasters and cable operators are pleased as well, but CTIA and the Consumer Technology Association were quick out of the gate after the bill passed early Saturday morning--about 1:50 a.m.

“The U.S. wireless industry applauds the Senate’s approval of comprehensive tax reform," said CTIA. "This legislation will help accelerate hundreds of billions of dollars in investment for wireless networks, the creation of millions of new jobs, and a wave of innovation that will benefit the American economy. We look forward to the House and Senate agreeing to a final bill soon.” 

AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson--QAT&T is a CTIA member--is a big fan of the reform (http://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/washington/atts-stephenson-doj-too..., saying last week that tax reform is a "capital freeing event" that will allow them to invest in various initiatives and projects that his company would like to invest more in, 5G being a critical one, particularly in a world where they are "about to own premium entertainment content" he said (that is, if the Justice Department allows them to retain those programming assets in the Time Warner merger.

He said to go faster with 5G, AT&T has to get more fiber in the ground. "A tax bill like House ore Senate, either one, have major incentives for investment and we will take full advantage." Stephenson has said tax reform would mean at least another $1 billion in new investment.

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He said the high U.S. corporate tax rate has driven capital to the point of least resistance, which means overseas. Bringing the tax rate down and driving the U.S. investment. He said AT&T was "all in" on tax reform. And he said he did not think AT&T was alone.

The consumer technology industry agreed.

   "Our policymakers have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver historic tax reform and today, Senate Republicans showed the world that they are committed to delivering the comprehensive change needed to empower American businesses to grow our economy," said Consumer Technology Association President Gary Shapiro following the Senate vote.

"Not only are the proposed tax changes a win for American jobs, they are also a win for businesses and American innovation. Lowering the corporate tax rate and simplifying the tax code helps companies of all sizes grow, hire additional workers, raise wages and compete in the global marketplace. Here at CTA, we are thrilled at the momentum and the possibilities that tax reform legislation can bring to the American people and the U.S. economy. We applaud the Senate for taking this critical step.

"We urge the House and Senate to quickly reconcile the differences between the two bills and get pro-growth and pro-innovation tax reform legislation across the finish line before the end of the year."

Senate Republicans added various amendments to the already-passed House bill, which is expected to be sent to conference by the House Monday (Dec. 4) to reconcile the two versions.