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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

Bipartisan police reform negotiations end without deal

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) with Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in the Capitol in May 2021. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bipartisan talks on reforming police tactics and accountability, prompted by George Floyd's murder in May 2020, have ended without a compromise, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a key negotiator, said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Lawmakers, led by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Booker, had been working toward a bipartisan deal for months but they fell apart due to disagreements on qualified immunity and other issues.

Biden speaks with Macron for first time since diplomatic crisis

President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron have a conversation ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels, on June 14, 2021. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time since a diplomatic row erupted over a scrapped submarine order, per the White House.

Driving the news: Macron said that the French ambassador will return to Washington next week and will resume working with senior U.S. officials.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: U.S. and Israel held secret talks on Iran "plan B"

Bennett and Biden. Photo: Sarahbeth Maney/Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel held secret talks on Iran last week to discuss a possible “plan B” if nuclear talks are not resumed, two senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time a top-secret U.S.-Israel strategic working group on Iran has convened since the new Israeli government took office in June.