Republican senator says she has plan to end shutdown
October 5th, 2013
08:33 PM ET
6 months ago

Republican senator says she has plan to end shutdown

(CNN) – "The list of harm goes on and on. It is time for this shutdown to end," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaking on the Senate floor Saturday.

Collins called for compromise from Republicans, Democrats and President Barack Obama as she put forth a proposal she said would end the government shutdown.

As the shutdown effect’s spread, members of Congress have expounded on leadership and compromise as they search for a solution. But it seems that little progress has been made as the shutdown drags on late into its fifth day.

Collins had some advice for members of the House.

“From the start of this debate, I have urged our House colleagues not to adopt a policy that linked Obamacare with the funding of government.”

However, her newest proposal seems to take a different track - the central tenet of the proposal calls for a repeal of the medical device tax imposed by Obamacare. The 2.3% excise tax she refers to helps to fund Obamacare and went into effect at the beginning of 2013. The tax will raise about $30 billion in revenues over 10 years.

In order to offset this loss in revenue, Collins proposed “smoothing out” the size of payments into pension plans. She explained that this strategy would allow private businesses to lower their pension contributions in the near future, in exchange for higher payments down the line. Collins says this would result in lower deductions for companies and more tax revenue for the government.

The medical device tax is largely considered unpopular, including among some Democrats whose states harbor medical device employers. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, for example, penned an op-ed for a trade magazine advocating for a repeal last year while she was running for the Senate.

House Republicans attached a repeal of the tax, along with a one-year delay of Obamacare, to one of the short-term spending bills, also known as a continuing resolution, it sent to the Senate early in the week. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate would not negotiate over Obamacare as long as it's attached to the spending bill.

On CNN's "New Day" Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said he's ready to put a medical device tax repeal "on the table," but only on one condition. House Republicans must first pass a short-term spending bill without any anti-Obamacare provisions. Then, he said, the Senate will be prepared to separately reconcile with House Republicans on Obamacare - but only if the government is open and functioning.

"Of course the conversation should continue, but let's not do it with our government shutdown," he told CNN's Kate Bolduan.

Reid made similar comments on the Senate floor right before the shutdown went into effect, rejecting the House's proposal to go to conference and work out a compromise.

"We will not go to conference with a gun to our head," Reid said.


Filed under: Government Shutdown • Healthcare • Susan Collins
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Quest

    Go over their heads, Obama. Republicans are useless. They're only in this for themselves. They can't see any of us.

    October 6, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. 22

    I can see it now,the extortionist party shuts down the government because they don't like the result of the election!That's where these teabaggers are headed but we won't let them .I will do everything in my power to get rid of every republican congress member in 2014 ,so help me God.

    October 6, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. Chris

    Finally found in Congress, someone taking an approach to change the Care Act and not eliminate it. For decades most wanted a national healthcare, we got one. Not perfect but that's what amendments are for, to make it better over time. Time to end the shutdown and vote Sen. Collins the new Speaker.

    October 6, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Ruth Tribue

    When mothers have had enough of the tantrum stage, they take control. It always takes a woman to make sense when men battle for control.

    October 6, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. Grant

    This sounds like a reasonable plan...some middle ground for both parties. The medical device tax is unpopular with both parties. However I wouldn't be surprised if once that were on the table the Right Wing would throw in something else and totally negate the deal. It seems like you cant rely on extremists in either direction.

    October 6, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Mike

    Enough of this partial shutdown. How about giving Ted Cruz and his ilk what they want, SHUT THE WHOLE THING DOWN, everything but medical and hospital care. No checks for anyone, FAA totally shut down, ground the planes. Make it as uncomfortable for Congress as they are making it for everyone else.

    October 6, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. Trevor

    You are all a bunch of lazy freeloaders wanting your "free healthcare." I am one of the people who is saddled with the burden of paying for your "free healthcare." You irresponsible people have your cell phones, cable tv and illegitimate kids playing video games on nice new tv's, while I work my butt off to pay your bills.

    October 6, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Distractions, distractions. Will cutting down on pensions to support and finance this plan of Ms Collins cut down on HER pension?

    October 6, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. Trevor

    Stop having babies out of wedlock. Stop being immature and bailing out of a relationship for a divorce at the slightest bump int the road in your relationship. THEN and only THEN will you achieve the comfortable and stable lifestyle that we responsible people have achieved. We achieved success by being patient and diligent.

    October 6, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  10. sam

    there should be no obamacare whatsoever,,,the american public,,,john q public, should, if they want to, purchase any type of health care they deem necessary for families. there should be no mandatory family health care requirement. that, in itself should be against any type of law. hate it or like it,,,there should be no health care requirement.

    October 6, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  11. Sylvia Belanger

    How to stop bullying in school when our suppose leaders use bullying themselves to achieve what they want! I only hope that Americans can stand up to the Republicans at the polls and show them that they will not be held as hostages! I for one will not vote for one Republican in the next elections!

    October 6, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. Trevor

    Fact: Healthcare is a commodity.

    Irresponsible people hate that FACT because they can afford either health insurance or a cell phone and the would prefer to spend their money on something fun like a cell phone, cable tv, cigarettes ect.....

    October 6, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. Trevor

    In life there are wants and needs. Liberals insist that others pay for all of their needs so that they can save their own money to pay for their wants. It really is pathetic.

    October 6, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  14. boungiorno

    lack of understanding won't get any of us anywhere we all need to compromise and contribute to a once well known country for her american pride towards all her fellowman and woman. I say we all dust ourself off and concentrate on building a future we can all benefit from and be proud knowing it wouldnt of happened had we not banned together and stood strong. GOD SPEED

    October 6, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  15. Nancy Langford

    Now that our country is on the verge of total collapse because of this silly government shutdown. President Obama is our president our leader, but instead he is finger pointing and acting more like a criminal refusing to compromise or negotiate. President Obama is playing Russian Roulette with the American People and our security and whether or not we will remain a country. Obama care has turned out to be a total train wreck and it is not working. Let this Obama care crap go and get back to being a President, do something to put a stop to this government shutdown. I for one do not want your Obama Care. Barack Obama will go down in history as the worst President ever. Let's work this thing out and put an end to this shut down. I am ashamed of President Obama and I am ashamed to be an American. Our country is the laughing stock of the whole world.

    October 6, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  16. joe rockhead

    Yes get rid of a tax that can hurt business, I mean look how great business treats the American people, no wage hikes, destroying benefit programs, moving jobs overseas rather then employ Americans, they need to be able to keep more money in the share holders pockets. Capitalism works if it works as a partner in the society in which it belongs. I understand business has to make money, but to do so without a thought to the people of the country that sustains that business, is sociopathic behaviour. The republicans can go sit on an egg, we'll see what happens next year. If we get out of this one.

    October 6, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  17. John in Brooklyn

    Typical Republican...her solution is to resolve the issue is MORE TAX BREAKS FOR BIG BUSINESS!

    October 6, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. dotheflippin'math

    Sad thing is that most of the people screaming about ACA, have no clue what the laws are about. The insurance companies were funding the fight and all the commercials full of false info and fearmongering...until they realized they'd make an even bigger profit WITH "Obamacare." They immediately stopped their funding of the TP. Sadly the TP didn't get the message. They will when they're up for reelection, and suddenly don't have millions to spend on attack ads against anyone (real GOP or DNC) who wants WHAT IS BEST FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE USA!

    October 6, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I don't know why republicans think they are the only hard working people who are paying taxes. Liberals do work and comprise the majority of the population.

    October 6, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  20. Kurt

    They still don't get it. We will not be extorted. Not for a billion dollars, and not for fifty cents.

    October 6, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  21. AMERICAFIRST

    Obama isn't running again. He can stay firm against these radical, anarchist, anti-american nutjobs. The way out is to throw the Tea Slags into Boston Harbor.

    October 6, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  22. Michael Benjamin

    John Boehner, Speaker of the Out House has different plan. One to drive the country into a recession and destroying the full faith and credit of the United States of America.

    October 6, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  23. AMERICAFIRST

    Obama doesn't get a third term. He can weather this. Republicans have to learn, they only hold 1/2 of 1/3rd of the government. Even the Supreme Court agreed with his policy. Healthcare for all is now the law of the land.

    October 6, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  24. AMERICAFIRST

    Boehner just can't stop drinking tea. Someone needs to introduce him to coffee.

    October 6, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    No exemptions for medical devices. No compromise with the republican anarchists. Yes to simply raising the debt limit and let the repubs do what?

    October 6, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
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