‘UpFront’: Johnson hopeful Senate tax bill will be changed to win his support

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he’s encouraged changes will be made to the Senate tax bill to win his support for the measure.

The Oshkosh Republican last week said he was opposed to the current bill because of how it treats smaller businesses known as “pass throughs” for tax purposes. Johnson said the bill treats large corporations more favorably than smaller businesses, which he said are often bedrocks of local communities.

“I didn’t do it to draw attention to myself. I wanted to draw attention to this issue, and I have,” Johnson said on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

Johnson said he has heard from President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Senate finance staff and others in recent days.

“We’re defining the problem, we’re getting the information we need, so we actually fix this problem. I’m pretty encouraged with the reaction,” Johnson said.

Gousha asked Johnson about Wisconsin GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s comments on a Milwaukee talk radio program slamming him for opposing the bill. Sensenbrenner said Johnson was “strutting around like a peacock.”

“First of all, I don’t think I’ve seen Jim in about five weeks. And anybody who has watched me walk around the Capitol knows I speed walk, if not run,” Johnson said.

Johnson said ultimately he would support the bill if the pass-through issue is fixed.

“It’s not my idea of a perfect piece of legislation. It’s not the tax plan I would enact,” Johnson said. “In total it’s a tax package I can support.”

“Do you think this is going to get done?” Gousha asked.

“I think it is. I think just the political imperative. There is a level of desperation on the part of Republicans” after their failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, Johnson said.

In a web extra, Johnson predicted the Senate would expel Alabama Judge Roy Moore if he is elected next month.

Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls decades ago.

“He won’t serve in the United States Senate for long,” Johnson said, calling on Moore to “be a patriot and step aside.”

Also on the program, Madison firefighter and labor leader Mahlon Mitchell said the state needs a governor who “puts people first.”

Mitchell, a Democrat, announced his bid for the office last week.

“Gov. Walker has had eight years to lead this state,” Mitchell said. “He hasn’t done it. It’s time for us to turn a page and it’s time for us to put people over politics, quite frankly. ”

Mitchell said the large Democratic field of challengers shows there is “energy and excitement” to unseat the Walker in 2018.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said he financially supported the first transgender person to be elected state lawmaker because she will make it easier for others to follow.

Abele contributed $190,000 to Danica Roem, who recently won a seat to Virginia’s House of Delegates. Abele leads the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which supports LGBT candidates across the country.

“Danica’s race was particularly important though, because this is the highest state level office that any transgender candidate has made,” Abele said. “I support Danica because she will be a great representative for her district, she’ll be great for Virginia, but also because she’s a first.”

See more from the show:
http://www.wisn.com/upfront

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