Sen. Ron Johnson is first Republican to say he opposes tax bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has become the first Republican senator to say he opposes the GOP tax bill. That signals potential problems for his party's effort to push the legislation through Congress by Christmas.

Johnson spokesman Ben Voelkel has confirmed Johnson's stance. The lawmaker told The Wall Street Journal he was against the measure because it helped corporations more than other businesses.

The Senate Finance Committee is debating the measure and is on track to approve it by week's end.

Republicans have a 52-48 majority in the full Senate and can afford to lose just two GOP senators and still prevail. Vice President Mike Pence would cast the tie-breaking vote.

GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee have expressed concerns about the bill.

Sen. Johnson released the following statement Wednesday:

“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. 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.” 

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