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Paul Ryan applauds as President Trump hugs Mitch McConnell as he speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Wednesday. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

After the passage of the GOP's sweeping tax plan that would cut the corporate tax rate, AT&T, Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bancorp, Boeing and Comcast announced plans to increase their employee pay and benefits.

Why it matters: This move will please the White House and Republicans who have been pitching corporate tax cuts from 35% to 21%, beginning in 2018, as a boost for American workers and economy. The Associated Press reports that per a White House official, these announcements were not coordinated with the president's economics team. The official "insisted on anonymity to discuss private conversations," per the AP.

The breakdown:

  • AT&T said it will give $1,000 bonuses to "more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees" and fulfill a $1 billion capital investment pledge as soon as the bill becomes law.
  • Fifth-Third Bancorp told Axios' Dan Primack that it will raise the minimum wage of its workforce to $15 per hour. It said 3,000 of its employees currently make less than $15 per hour. When asked why, given the $1.5 billion it made last year in profit, they had no comment.
  • Wells Fargo will reportedly increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour. The San Francisco-based bank also plans to allocate $400 million in donations to community and nonprofit organizations in 2018.
  • The Chicago-based Boeing Company said it's "still studying all of the provisions of the new legislation," but has committed $300 million for charitable giving, employee development programs and "workplace of the future" facilities and infrastructure enhancement.
  • Chairman and CEO of Comcast NBCUniversal Brian Roberts, said the company will award $1,000 in bonuses to more than one hundred thousand eligible frontline and non-executive employees. It will also spend $50 billion over the next five years to improve and extend its broadband plant and capacity. Roberts said this move would create "thousands of new direct and indirect jobs."

Go deeper: What you'll see under the new tax code

Go deeper

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to affirmative action at Harvard, UNC

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a pair of cases challenging the consideration of race in the college admissions processes.

Why it matters: The conservative high court's ruling could determine the future of affirmative action in higher education.

Europe's energy reliance on Russia is a crucial shield for Putin

Photo: Pavel Bednyakov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Cracks in the NATO alliance regarding sanctions for Russia should President Vladimir Putin order troops into Ukraine are in large part based on energy supply concerns.

Why it matters: Russia holds tremendous leverage over some European countries because it provides roughly 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. In Germany, this figure is greater than 50%.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.