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big business

AT&T just gave thousands of employees a $1000 bonus in celebration of tax reform

AT&T announced Wednesday that it was making a $1 billion investment in U.S. operations as well as giving $1,000 bonuses to over 200,000 workers in response to the passage of the Republican tax bill. "This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs," AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement Wednesday. "In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees."

But it didn't take long before reporters noticed a peculiar detail: The telecommunications company had planned on making some of those investments even before both chambers of Congress passed the GOP tax bill Wednesday. In fact, AT&T outlined a similar initiative last week:

An AT&T spokesman told Reuters' David Shepardson that the bonuses announced Wednesday are "unrelated" to the union agreement publicized last week. But the company had already announced its $1 billion investment plan, too — back in November, pending the tax bill's passage.

President Trump gleefully touted AT&T's decision, saying Wednesday, "That's because of what we did." Bloomberg's Scott Moritz pointed out that AT&T is currently embroiled in a dispute with Trump's Justice Department over a planned merger with Time Warner, who owns Trump's least favorite news network, CNN. Boeing, Comcast, Fifth Third Bancorp, and Wells Fargo also announced worker bonuses or domestic investments in response to the tax bill's passage — but a few of those companies may have reasons aside from generosity to celebrate Trump's tax victory, as The Boston Globe's Astead Wesley noted. Kelly O'Meara Morales