Senate Republican leaders on Monday faced rising odds they would have to radically alter their plan to overhaul the tax code, as they struggled to contain defections on the eve of a key vote.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., vowed Monday to vote against the package during a Senate Budget Committee meeting Tuesday unless his concerns were addressed. With 12 Republicans and 11 Democrats on the panel, his opposition could prevent – or at least delay – the legislation from going to the Senate floor this week as GOP leaders had planned.
Johnson wants more tax cuts for millions of companies, known as “pass-throughs,” that effectively pay their taxes through the individual tax code. Johnson originally came out with his concerns about the bill nearly two weeks ago while expressing hope that sufficient changes would be made.
But on Monday, he said he was not yet satisfied, an indication of how difficult the bill’s math is. “If we develop a fix prior to committee, I’ll probably support it. But if we don’t, I’ll vote against it,” Johnson told reporters in Wisconsin.
If the bill fails to advance through the Budget Committee Tuesday, party leaders will be forced to either enter difficult new negotiations to amend the bill or possibly scrap the Senate version in favor of a far different tax bill passed by the House this month.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Damian Paletta, Mike Debonis, Erica Werner