Health Care

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 Collins (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.

{mosads}“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 Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (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 Cornyn (R-Texas) and Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (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.

Tags Bob Corker GOP tax plan Jeff Flake John Cornyn John Cornyn ObamaCare Orrin Hatch Susan Collins Susan Collins Tax reform

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