By Bryan Renbaum
WASHINGTON- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on Wednesday said he is not going to support the tax reform bill his fellow Republican lawmakers crafted with the Trump Administration.
The measure lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and it would temporarily create a new tax deduction that would pass through their income to shareholders through the individual tax code. This would expire in 2025 and then it returns to the current system.
Johnson believes it could hurt small businesses.
“These businesses truly are the engines of innovation and job creation throughout our economy, and they should not be left behind,” Johnson said in a statement. “Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment, so I do not support either in their current versions.”
If the tax deductions expire – mostly small business taxes would increase by about $45 billion per year in 2026, and 2027, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
Johnson is the first Republican senator to declare his intentions. He said his opposition to the bill is based on the recent inclusion of a provision that would sunset tax cuts for the middle-class while making corporate cuts permanent.
“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.”
Republicans cannot lose more than two votes if the legislation is to pass the upper chamber.
The Senate Finance Committee began marking up the legislation on Monday and is expected to finish by the end of the week.
The House is expected to vote on its version of the tax reform bill on Thursday.