Recent Press Releases
Oct 12 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Susan Collins today released this statement regarding negotiations in the Senate to end the shutdown and avoid default.
"Despite Senator Harry Reid's unfortunate dismissal of the 6-point plan that I have advanced with Senators Lisa Murkowski and Kelly Ayotte, it continues to attract bipartisan support. For example, six Senate Republicans and six Senate Democrats met twice today to discuss how we could move forward with the plan or some version of it. These meetings were constructive and give me hope that a bipartisan solution to reopen government and prevent default is within our reach."
Following are the elements of the bipartisan plan, spearheaded by Senator Collins, that are under discussion to reopen the government and avoid default.
1. Fund the government at an annual rate of $986 billion for six months.
2. Extend the debt limit until January 31, 2014.
3. Delay the Medical Device Tax for two years. The plan would delay the 2.3 percent excise tax on the sales of medical equipment, such as pacemakers and defibrillators, established by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. During budget resolution votes earlier this year, a Hatch-Klobuchar amendment supporting repeal passed the Senate by a 79-20 margin. To offset the cost of repealing the medical device tax, the plan would extend "pension smoothing" provisions contained in the MAP-21 bill, passed in 2012.
4. Provide federal agencies with greater flexibility to fund priorities. The plan includes language to provide federal agencies with flexibility to mitigate the impact of automatic spending cuts imposed by sequestration. The proposal would also assure appropriate Congressional oversight of these decisions by requiring agencies to submit their spending proposals to the House and Senate committees of jurisdiction.
5. Include income verification provisions to prevent fraud and ensure only eligible individuals receive subsidies on the insurance exchanges.
6. Direct an immediate conference on the budget with instructions for conferees to report by January 15, 2014.