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Collins on support for GOP tax bill: I want to see what comes out of conference committee

Greg Nash

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Sunday that there is no guarantee she will vote for Republican tax-reform legislation once it comes out of a conference committee with the House, despite her support of the Senate version.

“No, I mean obviously I want to see what comes out. I believe that the amendments I added on medical expense deductions, on property tax deductions, on helping retirement security for employees improve the bill,” Collins said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.

The Senate passed legislation early Saturday morning to overhaul the tax code, approving the plan by a 51-49 vote.

{mosads}The bill would lower tax rates for individuals through 2025 and permanently cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. The bill’s tax cuts for individuals are temporary in order to comply with budget rules that the measure can’t add to the deficit after 10 years.

The Senate bill also repeals ObamaCare’s individual mandate, something the House bill does not do.

Republican senators will now move to reconcile their legislation with the House’s proposal, which passed in mid-November.

Collins said Sunday she received assurances that the Senate will pass additional legislation to mitigate the impact of the individual mandate repeal, and another “ironclad” commitment that there won’t be cuts to Medicare and Medicaid

Collins and other Republican senators have expressed concern over the bill adding to the national debt. The Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan entity, reported last Thursday that the Senate tax bill would add about $1 trillion to the deficit, even when factoring in economic growth.

“Economic growth produces more revenue and that will help to offset this tax cut and actually lower the debt,” Collins said Sunday.

When challenged by host Chuck Todd to show evidence the growth will be enough to offset the additional debt, Collins said she’s spoken to multiple economists who believe that will be the case.

“I think you will find that economists just don’t agree on this,” Collins said.

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