WASHINGTON – The Senate tonight defeated a measure by Sen. Marco Rubio to better the child tax credit.

The Florida Republican, along with Sen. Mike Lee, pushed to make the $2,000 per child credit refundable against payroll taxes, which would have helped out lower and moderate income families.

It was easily defeated by fellow Republicans who did not want to see the corporate tax rate go up slightly above the 20 percent that was proposed. A handful of Democrats, including Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, voted for it.

But Rubio voted for the overall tax package, which cleared the GOP-led Senate early Saturday. (Nelson joined Democrats in opposition.)

"America needs reforms that are both pro-worker and pro-growth," Rubio said in a statement. "Tonight, the Senate missed an opportunity to help American working families by not expanding access to the Child Tax Credit. By rejecting this amendment, the Senate failed to address the struggles facing American workers and their families.

"However, we did take a major step toward growing our economy. This bill implements a series of reforms that will make our economy significantly more globally competitive."