Collins says she's 'still trying to change' Senate tax bill

Collins says she's 'still trying to change' Senate tax bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (R-Maine) said Monday that she's "still trying to change" the Senate tax bill.

Collins told reporters that it's "premature" for her to say how she will vote on the bill but "would like to see more of the tax relief skewed to middle-income and lower-income families."

She added that she likes some aspects of the bill, such as its near-doubling of the standard deduction.

Collins's ultimate position on the tax bill could be important to the measure's prospects, since Republicans can only afford to lose the votes of two GOP Senators if Democrats all vote against the bill. The Maine senator is a moderate who opposed legislation earlier this year to repeal ObamaCare.

The Senate GOP tax bill, unveiled Thursday, would cut the top individual tax rate from 39.6 to 38.5 percent and lower the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.

Collins said she wants the top rate to stay at 39.6 percent for taxpayers with income over $1 million. She also suggested that lawmakers consider lowering the corporate rate to 21 percent instead of 20 percent. Collins said the additional revenue raised from her suggested changes could be used to match the House's proposed deduction for property taxes of up to $10,000 and/or to make a tax credit for child care refundable.

"There's a lot that we could do with that funding," she said.

Collins also said that she was pleased that the Senate did not fully repeal the estate tax, as the House bill does, but wasn't sure that the exemption amount for the tax needed to be doubled.

"I think a more modest increase would be appropriate," she said.