Press Releases

Votes yes to end uncertainty on tax provisions while faulting ‘horrible’ omnibus spending process

WASHINGTON — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said this after the Senate passed HR 2029, the bill containing both the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015: 

“I have repeatedly said that the number one component of a solution to the problems facing America is economic growth.  Although far from what I — and most Republicans — would have proposed, the compromise tax reform and FY2016 spending bill should have a net positive effect on our economy.

“Temporary tax provisions cause uncertainty that harms our economy.  Making a number of temporary tax treatments permanent — such as the research and development credit and Section 179 expensing for businesses that buy new equipment — is long overdue and will be helpful.  Lifting the oil export ban will decrease America's trade deficit, reduce the negative influence of other oil exporters such as Russia, help balance U.S. refining capabilities, and create greater incentives for U.S. producers to explore, innovate, and further reduce production costs.  

“Massive omnibus spending bills are a horrible way of funding government, and I truly hope this is the last I ever have to vote on. Under a new Republican majority in the Senate, the Appropriations Committee carefully deliberated on, voted, and reported out every one of the 12 individual appropriation bills.  Unfortunately, Senate Democrats blocked these bills from coming to the floor for consideration and a full amendment process.  Republican leaders were forced to negotiate under threat of multiple presidential vetoes.

“The resulting spending bill stayed within the most recently agreed-upon limits, the uncertainty and resulting economic harm that would have been created by the president’s threatened government shutdown was avoided, and at least a few good policy amendments survived. These included my committee’s Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act and reforms to the Visa Waiver Program designed to improve national security.  Noticeably — and most regrettably — absent was the reauthorization for the DC Opportunity Scholarship program, which gives low-income families in the nation’s capital a chance to escape failing schools. Negotiators also failed to include any meaningful regulatory relief for Wisconsin’s smaller community banks.

“Upon careful consideration, I believe the positives outweighed the negatives and I decided to vote yes.  I hope that Democrats will stop obstructing and allow us to return to a more thoughtful and deliberative process next year so that we can do a far better job of prioritizing spending.” 

Sen. Johnson’s comments on his successful legislation to improve national security can be found here.