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Walmart Abruptly Closes 63 Stores And Lays Off Thousands As Paul Ryan Brags About Tax Cuts

For months, Republicans have argued that a massive tax cut for corporations would result in an explosion of new jobs. Well, so far, the controversial tax bill seems to be having an opposite effect on the economy as several companies have announced mass layoffs since the bill’s passage in December.

On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) boasted about the GOP tax bill, calling it a major help to middle-income families. Minutes later his bubble got burst when Walmart announced that it will lay off thousands of workers across the country as it closes dozens of Sam’s Club locations.

“Today marks 20 days since the Tax Cut and Jobs Act became the law of the land,” Ryan said. “Already, this new law is helping to improve the lives of middle-income families across the country. You saw the announcement from Walmart just this morning: more than a million Americans are due to receive their bonuses because of tax reform.”

However, Walmart told Business Insider that 63 Sam’s Club stores will close. Some locations reportedly stopped business suddenly on Thursday without giving advance warning to employees.

The Sam’s Club locations slated to close that did not do so on Thursday are reportedly expected to shutter within the next few weeks.

“After a thorough review of our existing portfolio, we’ve decided to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy,” the company said on Twitter. “Closing clubs is never easy and we’re committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.”

The announcement comes on the same day the retail giant announced it was raising its starting minimum wage for new employees to $11 an hour.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), cast doubt on the benefits of the post-tax-reform bonuses, calling them “insignificant” compared to the benefits that corporate executives will gain under the revised tax system.

“In terms of the bonus that corporate America received, versus the crumbs that they are giving to workers to kind-of put the schmooze on, [it] is so pathetic,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday.

The Sam’s Club locations slated to close that did not do so on Thursday are reportedly expected to shutter within the next few weeks.

After the discussion about Walmart’s minimum wage raises and bonuses, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about the Sam’s Club closures.

“I don’t have any comment on that specific component,” Sanders said of the closures and layoffs.

“We are, again, very excited about the raises and the overall influx of investment they are putting into their company in helping over 1 million workers here in the country. Walmart is the largest employer in the country and to see them make that kind of effort to over 1 million workers is a big deal, something we are excited about and further evidence that the tax reform and tax cut packages are having the impact we’d hoped.”

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