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Report: Daines a no vote on current tax reform proposal - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Report: Daines a no vote on current tax reform proposal

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Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) (MTN News photo) Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) (MTN News photo)

BILLINGS -- The U.S. Senate tax bill could be headed for a vote as early as Thursday and Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) could be voting no.

According to a Monday report from Bloomberg Politics, a Daines staffer said the senator would vote down the bill as is.

“'Daines is concerned on how the tax cuts in the measure would affect “Main Street” as opposed to big companies,' said the staff member, who asked not to be named because of the matter’s sensitivity,” states the Bloomberg article.

In a post on Twitter early Monday, Daines said he spoke with President Donald Trump over the weekend about tax reform. “It was good to speak with (the President) this weekend working through these concerns.

Sen. Daines was responding to a tweet made by Trump, where he said "the Tax Cut Bill has great support" and “with just a few changes, some mathematical, the middle class and job producers can get even more in actual dollars and savings and the pass through provision becomes simpler and really works well!”

Sen. Daines was not immediately available for comment on Monday but issued a statement saying he would need to see improvements made to the bill before he could vote for the legislation.

His full statement reads: “When Congress took on tax cuts, we promised to create more high paying jobs and to grow the economy. I want to see changes to the tax cut bill that ensure main street businesses are not put at a competitive disadvantage against large corporations. Two-thirds of our job creation comes from main street businesses and I’m doing what I can to make sure all of America is stronger and more competitive. Before I can support this bill, this improvement needs to be made. I remain optimistic and will continue working with my colleagues to find a solution.”

The Senate tax bill would cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%. The bill could add $1.4 trillion to the U.S deficit over 10 years, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate.

The measure can only afford to lose two Senate Republicans in order to pass.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said Monday that he would not vote for the measure.

“The Senate bill as currently drafted saddles our kids and grandkids with more crushing debt by adding nearly $1.5 trillion to the deficit. And it raises taxes on Montana families, forces cuts to Medicare, and benefits wealthy out-of-staters at the expense of hard-working Montanans,” Tester said in a statement.

Montana's lone House member, Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte, voted for the House's version of tax reform, which differs from the Senate bill.

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