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Ron Johnson Won't Vote for Senate Tax Plan in Current Form

Ron Johnson Won't Vote for Senate Tax Plan in Current Form
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 November 2017 04:42 PM

Republicans in the Senate officially lost one vote for their tax proposal after Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said Wednesday he will not support it.

"If they can pass it without me, let them," Johnson told The Wall Street Journal. "I'm not going to vote for this tax package."

Johnson claimed the tax plan, which would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and slashes individual rates as well, is generous to corporation-type businesses but is not as fair to other types of business structures.

"I have no problems in making all American businesses competitive globally," Johnson said. "This isn't anti-big corporation at all. When you're going to do a tax reform, you have to treat them equitably so they can maintain their competitive position here at home as we're making them competitive globally."

Johnson also said he does not agree with how GOP leaders are not allowing some members of the party to review and critique the bill.

"I don't like that process," Johnson said. "I find it pretty offensive, personally."

Johnson is the first Senate Republican to announce his opposition to the tax plan, which GOP leaders hope to pass before the end of the year.

In an emailed statement from his office, Johnson said he does not support either of the tax proposals — at least in their current form — that have been introduced in the House and Senate.

"We have an opportunity to enact paradigm-shifting tax reform that makes American businesses globally competitive, helps our economy reach its full potential, and creates greater opportunity and bigger paychecks for every American," Johnson said. "In doing so, it is important to maintain the domestic competitive position and balance between large publicly traded C corporations and 'pass-through entities' (subchapter S corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships).

"These businesses truly are the engines of innovation and job creation throughout our economy, and they should not be left behind. Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment, so I do not support either in their current versions.

"I do, however, look forward to working with my colleagues to address the disparity so I can support the final version."​

Republicans began pushing the legislation through the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, which now includes a measure to erase the individual mandate for health insurance — an idea brought up by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Tuesday.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said his chamber could pass a tax reform bill that includes an individual mandate repeal.

With the loss of Johnson's vote, the GOP can only afford to lose one more vote if they want to pass the bill.

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Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said Wednesday he will not support the Senate GOP tax reform plan.
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Wednesday, 15 November 2017 04:42 PM
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