Collins pens op-ed explaining tax bill vote

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

Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWelcome to ground zero of climate chaos A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate Bipartisan blip: Infrastructure deal is last of its kind without systemic change 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 TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol 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."