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15 Democrats Support Johanns’ Repeal of Tax Reporting Provision

Sen. Mike Johanns believes he has enough support to overcome Democratic efforts to block his proposal to repeal the unpopular 1099 tax reporting provision of the health care overhaul law, the Nebraska Republican said Thursday.

Democratic-led filibusters stymied the Senator’s previous attempts to repeal the 1099 provision. But Johanns revealed late Thursday that his repeal now has the backing of 15 Democratic Senators, and he said he is optimistic that the bipartisan support will give him the 60 votes needed to overcome another filibuster.

“I just really believe that we’re in good shape,” Johanns said in an interview Thursday evening. “I do believe that when we get it to a vote, it will be more than 60.”

Still unclear is how a similar bill co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) could affect Johanns’ proposal. The last time the Nebraska Republican’s measure was brought up for a vote, Baucus offered the similar proposal as an alternative, and most Democrats voted for that bill rather than Johanns’.

Democrats and Republicans are at odds over whether and how to replace the revenue that the requirement was projected to generate.

Johanns said the 15 Democrats are aware of the Baucus-Reid alternative but are still committed to voting for his measure, which he expects to move as an amendment to another piece of legislation in the next 30 days.

“People are aware that there’s an alternative out there,” Johanns said. “I would not at all be surprised if the Baucus amendment moves as a side by side.”

The 15 Democrats who have signed on as co-sponsors are Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Udall (Colo.), Mark Warner (Va.) and Jim Webb (Va.).

President Barack Obama has indicated he would be inclined to support the repeal of the provision, which requires businesses to report transactions over a certain amount to the IRS.

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