Republican senator says she has plan to end shutdown
October 5th, 2013
08:33 PM ET
9 years 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.

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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. November

    I think all of them should wake an realize they are acting like children. It is hurting this country shutting it down. They are only in this for their bloody self an don't give a dam about who it hurts. Well I do not respect any of them they way they are acting!!! I know I will never vote for a rep again as long as I live!!! The Speaker an That Ted guy has showed their ass as far as I am concerned!!! An no I am not a Dem or a Rep I am a Independent thank you!!!

    October 6, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Wavesofgreem

    I can't believe Sen Collins is going to have an influence. Even before the GOP was parasitized by the Tea Fanatics her opinions were given short shrift by Consevatives.

    October 6, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  3. Judy

    Nancy Langford.. Thank you

    October 6, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  4. smdahl

    No need to worry, Obama's golf course at Andrews Air Force Base is still open.

    October 6, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  5. Arthur Benedick Agha

    For hw long is obama blaming ministers for his incopetence?

    October 6, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  6. Nancy

    Fight the ACA SEPARATELY!!! Stop holding my veteran's disability hostage.

    October 6, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
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