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Collins considers changing vote on tax bill over amendments

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Thursday that she may change her vote on the final version of the GOP tax reform bill if her proposed amendments are not included in its final version.

“I would. I’m going to look at what comes out of the conference committee meeting to reconcile the differences between the Senate and House Bill. So I won’t make a final decision until I see what that package is,” Collins told CBS WABI 5 when asked if she would consider changing her vote.

The House and Senate are currently in conference working out the differences between their two bills, and could include unique provisions from both in the final version.

Collins added two amendments to the legislation that passed the Senate last week, one of which would allow taxpayers to deduct property taxes from their annual federal filings, restoring a provision of the House bill that the Senate took out.

Another provision added by Collins would lower the threshold for tax deductions for medical expenses.

The moderate Republican senator voted affirmatively on the Senate bill, giving Republicans the votes needed to pass it. Collins, a stickler on reductions to government health care, previously defected from the party to sink Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act over the summer.

“There’s a real fear that the tax bill is going to trigger a 4% cut in Medicare,” Collins added. “I am absolutely certain that 4% cut in Medicare that I mentioned will not occur. I have it in writing from both the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and also Senator Mitch McConnell.”

Collin expressed optimism that the final bill will adopt her amendments.