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Congressman Rice celebrates tax-reform benefits with Walmart employees in Mullins

March 10, 2018 GMT

MULLINS, S.C. – U.S. Congressman Tom Rice said he was excited to meet with Walmart employees Friday morning in Mullins to celebrate the company’s announcement on providing workers in South Carolina with $10.5 million in cash bonuses starting this week.

The company also increased the starting wage for all hourly associates in the U.S. to $11 per hour, along with providing a one-time cash bonus to eligible employees of up to $1,000, expanded parental leave benefits and created a new benefit to help associates with adoption expenses.

Rice said the bonuses are the result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December 2017.

“When we were working on the tax plan, our intent was to make our economy competitive in the world and grow our economy,” he said. “What I didn’t anticipate was that when these companies’ taxes were lowered, that they would do this very responsible thing and give bonuses and raises to their employees.”

Rice said he wanted to meet with Walmart employees who have directly benefited from the wage and benefit changes.

“Companies are reinvesting in this country,” he said. “Companies large and small throughout our district are hiring more employees, raising their pay, and I’m so very proud of the part that I played in this bill.”

Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon announced the plans in January.

“It’s our people who make the difference, and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families,” he said. “We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders.

“However, some guiding themes are clear and consistent with how we’ve been investing – lower prices for customers, better wages and training for associates and investments in the future of our company, including in technology. Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.”

The company distributed more than $560 million in cash bonuses to more than 800,000 employees throughout the nation.

Rice said that in addition to the tax plan, I-73 construction funding plans and the upcoming Dillon Inland Port are potential job creators for the area.

“We’re doing things in this area right now that has helped it recover,” he said.