Republican Senator Collins to vote for Senate tax bill -statement

Posted December 02, 2017

The moderate senator from ME has said she is not committed to voting for the bill.

The Republicans eye a crucial final vote Friday on the $1.4 trillion Senate bill carrying the hopes of President Trump and the Republican Party to preserve their majorities in next year's elections.

Late in the day, however, three Republicans, led by Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, clung to a demand that proposed tax cuts would be pared back if future USA economic performance did not meet projections. The vast majority of USA businesses, big and small, are taxed this way. Sen.

Senate Republican leadership hopes to have the final vote Friday, but no final passage vote has been scheduled yet. Ron Johnson (R) of Wisconsin, declared he would vote for it. Senator Johnson said leaders had agreed to make tax breaks more generous for millions of businesses, which he's been demanding for weeks.

Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the bill as now constructed gives too much of its benefits to corporations and that their plan to make the $2,000 credit fully refundable to low-income families "would level the playing field for families, while still kick-starting national investment and growth". Corker, along with Flake and Johnson, threatened to hold up the bill on Thursday after the Senate parliamentarian ruled that his "trigger" proposal ― which would have brought back certain taxes if the government failed to meet specific revenue targets ― could not be included in the reconciliation bill.

In a dramatic turn Thursday, Democrats forced a vote on whether to return the measure to the Senate Finance Committee so it could be rewritten to ensure smaller deficits. Flake said the tax increases would take affect after six years.

The Arizona conservative announced in a statement on Friday that he would vote for the tax bill.

The overall legislation would bring the first overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 31 years. Pass-through income would still get taxed at individual tax rates, but those business owners would have the deduction.

Once the Senate passes the law, it must work with the House of Representatives, which already has approved its own tax bill, to craft a single measure that can pass both chambers and be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump's signature.

The tax cuts for individuals in the Senate plan would expire in 2026 while the corporate tax cuts would be permanent. Unlike the House bill, the Senate bill ends property tax deductibility too.

Because the House passed a different tax-slashing bill, the probable outcome of Senate approval - provided the House doesn't pass the Senate's version - would be a conference committee in which lawmakers from both chambers fashion a compromise that could include elements of either bill. That's far short of the $2 trillion promised by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The projection left the votes of several GOP lawmakers in doubt, including Sen.

"That's under discussion now", said Sen John Hoeven, R-N.D. late Thursday.

Senators were still grappling with several issues, including a provision to add a deduction for local property taxes. Susan Collins of ME said it was a "fair assumption" that she was likelier to support the bill after saying Trump agreed to make property taxes up to $10,000 deductible instead of eliminating that break entirely.

Both the House and Senate bills would almost double the standard deduction to around $12,000 for individuals and about $24,000 for married couples. He announced his support for the bill on Friday after winning more tax relief for non-corporate pass-through businesses, which include partnerships, sole proprietorships and other non-corporate enterprises.