GOP senator withholds tax bill support

Senate Finance Committee member Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., front, with, from left, Sens. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks to reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Steve Daines is withholding support for the GOP tax bill until he sees changes that would help small businesses.

That’s the word Monday from the Montana lawmaker. Daines says he wants to ensure that the tax bill doesn’t put small businesses at a competitive disadvantage against large corporations.

He says, “before I can support this bill, this improvement needs to be made.” He says he’s optimistic and will continue working with his GOP colleagues on the issue.

Daines joins Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin in expressing opposition to the bill in its current form.

If every Democrat votes against the bill, Republicans can not lose more than two votes to have Vice President Mike Pence break a tie.

Johnson is set to vote in the Senate Budget Committee Tuesday on the measure. He told a Wisconsin reporter, “If we develop a fix prior to committee, I’ll probably support it but if we don’t I’ll vote against it.”

The Republican tax plan would cut corporate and personal taxes by $1.5 trillion over the coming decade. Lawmakers are working on ways to pay for those cuts.

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