Moderate Collins back in prominent role in Senate tax drama

Collins, along with McCain, Murkowski along with Senator Ron Johnson, has emerged within the past 24 hours as pivotal to winning Senate approval of the tax-cut plan, which will be backed by the president along with will be critical to the party’s 2018 electoral prospects as they seek their first major legislative win since Trump took office in January.

In an unexpected move, McConnell on Tuesday inserted a proposed individual mandate repeal within the Senate tax plan.

The mandate, long opposed by Republicans, requires Americans to have health insurance or pay a federal fine. The rule will be meant to ensure enough young, healthy people are in Obamacare to offset the costs of covering sicker along with older people.

Repealing the mandate, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said last week, would certainly increase the number of Americans without health insurance by 13 million by 2027 along with raise average Obamacare marketplace insurance policy premiums by about 10 percent annually over the next decade.

that will premium increase could cancel out any tax-cut gains some middle-class Americans stand to make under the Senate tax plan, according to the research cited by Collins, who oversaw Maine’s Bureau of Insurance before she came to the Senate.

Collins has not taken a stand on the tax plan. “I am going to wait along with evaluate what will be within the bill,” she said. “I do believe our taxes need to be overhauled. … I just don’t know why we had to complicate This kind of by bringing up the ACA.”

Johnson, in a statement on Wednesday, said: “Neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment, so I do not support either in their current type.” The Wisconsin lawmaker added he would certainly work with his Republican colleagues to produce better legislation.

Murkowski, when asked on Wednesday if she backed the tax-cut plan having a mandate repeal, said she was focused on opening Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling, a key goal for the Alaska lawmaker.

A committee that will Murkowski chairs on Wednesday passed a bill to open ANWR to drilling, which will be today anticipated to be attached to the tax legislation.

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