Dec 8, 2017

Collins' healthcare demands put GOP tax plan at risk

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, makes her way through a crush of reporters. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Susan Collins laid out some demands before getting behind the Senate version of the GOP tax plan, but those might not be met after all that wrangling, setting up a potential pitfall for the tax plan's ultimate passage. In particular, she wanted two bills passed that would help stabilize the health insurance market.

The potential hiccups in Collins’ plan: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has only publicly said he is “supporting passage” of them, which is no guarantee, and House Speaker Paul Ryan has been mum on whether he would tack on the bills Collins wants into spending agreements, per Politico.

Why it matters: If Sen. Collins won't support the bill, that raises the stakes for other senators who might be on the fence over final negotiations and increases the likelihood the bill fails. Sen. Bob Corker remains on the fence over his concerns about the deficit.

Bottom line: The GOP only has room for three defections in the Senate before VP Pence has to be brought in to break a tie vote.

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