TIPP CITY — U.S. Senator Rob Portman stopped in Tipp City Monday to tour Bruns General Contracting and talk about tax reform.
Portman has been touring businesses across the state that have announced they are investing in equipment or implementing wage increases, higher benefits matches or bonuses for employees because they expect to see savings from the recently signed tax reform bill.
As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Bruns General Contracting announced that it would be investing in new equipment and vehicles, as well as strengthening retirement benefits for its employees.
Owner Steve Bruns called the visit “quite an honor” and thanked the senator for visiting. Bruns General Contracting offers a wide variety of design and building services.
“We will be investing a great deal of money,” Bruns said. “It’ll be in equipment, office equipment, advertising and you know, think about how that snowballs. Working materials plus, of course, new employees. So all of this is going to be a benefit to every small business, I think, in the nation.”
“I like to hear that this new tax relief bill is going to help you,” Portman said.
Portman said he has been working to pass tax reform for the last 10 years, adding that the “tax code is broken.”
He noted the immediate benefits of the tax bill for businesses, including increased investment in equipment and employees, and added that individuals will see benefits too.
“It’s tax relief for individuals,” Portman said. “You’re going to see on your paycheck a different withholding. That withholding will be less, hopefully. Uncle Sam will take less and you can take more home.”
Portman also met with and took questions from the company’s employees. He touched on topics including school choice, immigration and efforts to hammer out a spending bill before Friday’s deadline.
“I think it’ll get figured out,” Portman said of the spending bill. “One of the problems we have in Washington is there’s no good budget process. It seems like every year now we go to these short-term spending bills and then you come up to it and it’s like, are we going to shut down the government or are we going to do whatever it is — the immigration thing or health care. I don’t like that because you end up sometimes with really bad policy.
“I think we need to change the whole system,” he said. “I think we’ll probably figure it out. If the government does shut down, it’ll be a blame game. Republicans will blame Democrats, Democrats will blame Republicans. How does that help anybody?”
Portman added that he’d like to see a separate solution on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), one of the sticking points in the passage of a government spending bill. Portman said he wants to see a resolution to give certainty to young people who “came here through no fault of their own,” as well as continued funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
“That’s bipartisan and hasn’t really been controversial until now. It’s become a political football. I think we ought to resolve that and say, ‘Let’s continue that program,’” he added. About 200,000 children in Ohio rely on that program, he said.
Asked about his relationship with President Donald Trump, Portman said, “It’s pretty good. Now and again he says something I disagree with and I speak up.”
“I want to work with him. I worked with him on this tax reform thing.”
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