Collins pens op-ed explaining tax bill vote

Collins pens op-ed explaining tax bill vote
© Greg Nash

Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Democrats block two Senate abortion bills MORE (Maine) on Wednesday sought to explain her vote for the GOP tax-reform plan in an op-ed in a Maine newspaper, saying "it will help lower-income and middle-income families."

"I have heard a number of conspiracy theories from pundits, political operatives and columnists about why I supported the tax cut plan that just became law. I thought that the best way to respond would be just to tell you directly," Collins wrote in The Portland Press Herald.

"I supported this legislation because it will help lower-income and middle-income families keep more of their hard-earned money, boost the economy and encourage businesses, both small and large, to grow and create jobs here in Maine and around the country," she wrote.

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Every Republican senator present voted for the tax legislation last week, and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE signed it into law Friday.

Collins, a moderate who voted against Senate Republicans' legislation to repeal ObamaCare, was the subject of particularly strong attacks from the left because she supported the final tax bill even though the Senate had not yet voted on ObamaCare bills she says will help stabilize the insurance market.

Collins had said she received assurances from Senate leadership that the bipartisan ObamaCare bills would get votes before the end of the year, but in the end, she voted for the tax-reform plan without them.

In her op-ed, Collins said most Maine households would see lower taxes and criticized liberals who argued that they would not benefit much from an $1,000 cut. She also highlighted changes that she secured to the bill, such as restoring a limited state and local tax deduction after the original Senate bill scrapped it.

"Hardworking Americans will soon see more money in their paychecks," she wrote. "In the future, Americans will continue to see more benefit from this law in the form of higher wages."