The Senate today is expected to consider his amendment, the so-called 1099 repeal, which would eliminate the tax-reporting language from last year's healthcare bill. The Johanns amendment to the small business legislation under consideration in the Senate is the same as a House-approved bill.
But Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is expected to offer a second-degree amendment that would require a study on the effects of the repeal on small companies. The Menendez language reflects Democratic complaints that Republicans are proposing to "pay for" the $19 billion cost of repeal by increasing the amount of health insurance subsidies that could be recaptured in cases where a family's income exceed certain thresholds.
Democrats say this is a tax increase on families, but Republicans say it is just the repeal of a subsidy. Johanns today said Democratic complaints are "hollow," because Democrats themselves approved a similar pay-for that recaptured more healthcare subsidies.
"So arguments about the pay-for simply are hollow excuses to justify inaction," he said. "And our job creators are seeing it for what it really is -- it's nonsense."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said earlier that he expects a vote on the 1099 repeal issue at some point on Tuesday.