Policy

Collins Remains Positive On Tax Bill Despite Partisan Potential

Cites normal markup process as difference from health care

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine touted Tuesday the process under which the chamber’s still unreleased tax overhaul legislation will advance, but did not rule out voting for a final bill that might receive no Democratic support.

It is possible Collins could again be a critical swing vote on the pending tax bill. She was one of three Republicans who joined Democrats to sink a GOP bill to overhaul the 2010 health care law.

While she was heavily critical of the partisan process that led to the final health bill, Collins, speaking Tuesday at an event hosted by the nonpartisan No Labels group, was more positive about the tax legislation.

“I don’t believe that the bill is going to end up being a partisan bill,” the Maine Republican, who joined No Labels as an honorary co-chair, said. “Unlike the health care bill, the tax bill in both the House and the Senate is going through a normal markup process.”

Collins said she was “hopeful that we will produce the kind of bipartisan tax relief that America needs.”

Republicans are drafting the tax measure in secret with largely no input from the Senate’s minority party. And to-date, no Democrats have come out publically in support of the framework the GOP released earlier this year. Some say they are waiting for the final bill.

The administration has taken some steps to reach out to Democrats, largely those who are facing re-election in 2018.

That outreach is expected to continue Tuesday when several Democratic members — including Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, the other Senate co-chair of the No Labels group — are scheduled to meet with White House officials on the tax effort.

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