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Toomey Visits Pennsylvania Factory To Tout GOP Tax Overhaul

Laura Benshoff
Sen. Pat Toomey (center) tours New Hudson Facades in Linwood, Pa., promoting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

New Hudson Facades in Linwood, Pennsylvania, makes the glass and aluminum skins that cover skyscrapers. On Tuesday, it was also the most recent stop in a string of appearances by Republicans to highlight the GOP-championed tax law, which passed in December.

The events are part victory lap — and part pep rally — and they coincide with rising approval ratings for the law.

After a tour of New Hudson Facades’ high-tech manufacturing facility, Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey credited the tax bill, which he helped author, with strengthening the company.

“The tax bill that we recently passed was designed to increase growth for companies like this,” he told a group of workers on the factory floor.

These press events amount to a charm offensive, trying to sell a law that’s already passed so it has a chance of surviving in the long term. This approach appears to be working.

Polls showed the tax bill had an average approval rating of 33 percent in December, when senators voted for it. Recent polls by Monmouth University and the New York Times show that approval rating edging closer to 50 percent.

Much of that initial unpopularity had to do with perceptions that the wealthy and corporations would benefit most from the legislation, which they likely still will. But many Americans can expect a tax cut in 2018, and Republicans have repeatedly highlighted corporations that attribute bonuses and wage hikes to the tax changes.

“We raised wages, yes,” said Allen Cohen, managing partner of New Hudson Facades, of the approximate 5 percent raise given to employees. “In addition to that, Related Companies [a partner company] has given every factory employee, $3,000 in their 401(k).”

Whether the wage increases and bonuses will continue is not clear.

At New Hudson Facades, Cohen asked his workers if they wanted anything else from Washington. One employee called out, “Increase the cost-of-living raises.”

“When the tax cuts take effect, then we will have more money to do that with,” said Cohen.

Find this report and others at the site of our partner, WHYY.