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GOP Sen. Corker says he thinks there may be 'a little coordinated effort' as companies hype tax bill benefits

  • Sen. Bob Corker says the wave of company awards following the tax bill's passage probably suggests "a little coordinated effort taking place."
  • Many companies have offered bonuses, wage hikes and stock benefits to employees after President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December.

U.S. companies have been lining up to praise the Republican tax bill while giving bonuses, wage hikes and stock benefits to their employees, which has led Republican Sen. Bob Corker to think there might be "a little coordinated effort taking place" to hype the law's impact.

Still, the Tennessee lawmaker said Wednesday he thinks the initial impact of the tax law is "going very well."

"I'm loving seeing what companies are doing," Corker, who is not seeking re-election this year, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"The first time or two" companies announced bonuses and new initiatives spurred by the tax law surprised him, Corker told CNBC. "And then I realized, it's probably a little coordinated effort also," he said.

"Well, I'd say, you know, probably a little coordinated effort taking place by some," in order to promote the impact on the economy, he added.

Corker's office did not immediately respond when CNBC sought to clarify whether the senator believes companies are trying to paint a rosier picture of the tax law's benefits.

Since being signed into law by President Donald Trump in December, the tax law has triggered a domino effect of companies announcing substantial benefits for their employees and shareholders.

Companies have credited their pay bumps, bonuses and new spending plans to the windfall from the new law, which slashes the U.S. corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, among other changes. Boeing was the first to make an announcement, followed by AT&T, which promised to give a $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 employees.

It quickly became a trend. Disney said Tuesday that it will award about 125,000 U.S. employees a $1,000 bonus as a result of the tax code changes. A slew of banks, including Bank of America, BB&T, Fifth Third and Wells Fargo, are offering bonuses to hundreds of thousands of employees.

Corker was quick to follow his more skeptical-sounding remarks with praise.

"I think it's great. I'm glad employees are getting bonuses. Even [more] importantly, the investments that are taking place," he said.

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