Collins: Rejected plan ‘sparked a dialogue'

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on Sunday that her plan to raise the federal debt ceiling in exchange for repealing a tax on medical devices that is included in the controversial 2010 healthcare law helped thaw relations between Democrats and Republicans, though Democrats have rejected the suggestion thus far.


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The discarding of Collins’s plan to hike the debt ceiling followed the collapse of talks between the Obama administration and Republican leaders in the House. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are seeking to hash out a deal themselves now, but Collins expressed confidence that elements in her plan would make it into the final deal.

“We have a responsibility to govern,” Collins said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“At least we sparked a dialogue that didn’t not exist before we put out a plan,” she continued. “I think that made a real contribution that way, and I think that elements of the plan…will end up in the final compromise.”

Collins said she was surprised that her plan was so quickly rejected by Reid, who said on Saturday afternoon that the Maine senator’s effort was not going anywhere.

“I was very surprised that he said it,” Collins said. “I don’t know why he said it, I don’t think it was very constructive.”

However, Collins expressed optimism that a deal would eventually be reached, even if the contours are not from her proposal.

“It’s taken far too long, we never should’ve been in this situation but I do think we’re going to get a resolution this week,” she said.