Susan Collins is swing vote on tax bill

Susan Collins is swing vote on tax bill
© Greg Nash

Undercutting a claim by GOP leaders that they have enough votes to pass tax reform, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDHS secretary defends Trump administration's migrant policies White House faces growing outcry over migrant family policies GOP senators push for clarification on migrant family separations MORE (R-Maine) told reporters Friday that she is still undecided on the legislation.

“I have not made that announcement or that decision,” Collins said when asked if she supports the legislation.

But Collins said she sees a path to getting to yes.

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“We’re making very good progress,” she added.

Collins has significant leverage. 

The GOP needs 50 votes to pass the bill, with Vice President Pence breaking a tie. Forty-nine GOP senators are believed to be on board, but two deficit hawks, Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSanford: GOP lawmakers 'running for cover' over fear of Trump tweets Trump’s trusted diplomat faces daunting task with North Korea George Will says Trump doesn’t inspire ‘cult’ in GOP: ‘This is fear’ MORE (R-Tenn.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeDHS secretary defends Trump administration's migrant policies White House faces growing outcry over migrant family policies GOP senators push for clarification on migrant family separations MORE (R-Ariz.), are withholding their support pending their demand that the overall size of the package be reduced by $350 billion to $400 billion.

Collins, if she gets to yes, would be vote No. 50.  

Senate Republican Whip John CornynJohn CornynMcConnell: Mueller 'ought to wrap it up' Senate rejects effort to boost Congress's national security oversight Graham jokes about Corker: GOP would have to be organized to be a cult MORE (R-Texas) and Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOn The Money: Trump imposes B in tariffs on China | China blasts 'fickle' Trump, promises payback | Trump to name consumer bureau director next week Trump announces tariffs on billion in Chinese goods Dems best GOP as Scalise returns for annual charity baseball game MORE (R-Utah) announced moments before Collins's comments that they had the 50 votes needed to pass tax reform.

“I believe so,” Cornyn said.

Collins has been pressing for a provision that would allow taxpayers to deduct up to $10,000 in property taxes from their tax bills. She also wants passage of two bills aimed at stabilizing health insurance markets, in part because the tax bill would eliminate ObamaCare's individual mandate, which could raise premiums.