(NEWS CENTER) — Very early Saturday morning, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) played a key role in helping pass a $1.5 trillion dollar tax reform plan; the most sweeping tax reform in 30 years.
It has been criticized by opponents as a deal that provides substantial benefits to corporations and the very wealthy, and more modest benefits to lower incomes. Opponents also note that it was passed very quickly, without the usual hearings and input from experts and the public, a bill so hastily amended that handwritten notations lined the margins.
Maine’s other senator, Independent Angus King, has called the process shameful, and predicts a dangerous explosion in the national debt because of the bill.
Sen. Collins has been seen as a pivotal player on this issue, particularly in light of her role in thwarting the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” earlier this year.
Collins gave her blessing and her vote to the tax reform plan after having several amendments accepted into the bill preserving tax deductions for property taxes and medical expenses, and incentives for people to boost their savings as they get closer to retirement.
And while Collins opposed including the repeal of the individual mandate under Obamacare in the tax bill, she says she received commitments of support for two measures which Collins believes will mitigate the impact of that repeal on insurance premiums.
She also believes the tax cuts will promote economic growth that will prevent a skyrocketing of the debt.
The measure now goes to a House-Senate Conference committee to work out differences between bills passed by the two chambers. President Trump has expressed his commitment to sign a bill into law by Christmas.
Some Mainers are happy with the plan, others are decidedly not. In the days leading up to the votes, you have seen you’ve seen the news coverage of demonstrations outside Sen. Collins’ offices in Maine. And you’ve watched the special interest ads from both sides, and read the strong reactions pro and con on social media.
How do you feel about the tax plan and Sen Collins’ role in passing it? What are your concerns? We will be sitting down with Sen. Collins in Washington Monday afternoon. Let us know via our Facebook page whether you applaud or condemn Collins’ actions and why. We will do our best to get answers to the most pressing matters on your minds. We look forward to hearing from you!