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Senator Collins says not committed to tax bill, concerned about SALT

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Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins said on Thursday she was not committed to voting for the Senate tax bill, citing concerns over healthcare and the loss of a deduction for state and local taxes.

Collins told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast it would be “very difficult for me to support the bill if I do not prevail on those two issues” but she was encouraged by her discussions with leadership.

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Collins said she has proposed an amendment to the tax bill that would retain the deduction for property taxes up to $10,000, as the House bill does.

The Senate bill repeals the Affordable Care Act fine on people who do not purchase health insurance, which will lead to higher insurance premiums. Collins has asked lawmakers to include in a separate bill provisions that would help insurers cover expensive patients, and that would continue Obamacare subsidy payments for low income people for two years.

The Republican from Maine also said one of her amendments to the tax bill is a refundable tax credit for adult dependent care that would be paid for by closing a loophole on carried interest.

Collins said she believed the corporate tax rate does not need to be cut as low as 20 percent, as President Donald Trump has favored. She said 21 or 22 percent would be “fine with me.”

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She said she expected a Senate floor vote during the tax bill debate on making individual tax cuts permanent, or to make corporate tax cuts expire at same time as individual cuts.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)


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Black principal instantly questioned by white cop after accidentally walking past crime scene

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On Wednesday, the Baltimore County Police released disturbing body camera footage of a white police officer antagonizing a black high school principal in front of his 15-year-old son, and demanding to know whether he was responsible for a crime scene he had just witnessed — because he happened to be walking past.

"You guys weren't involved in that at all were you?" the officer asked Vance Benton and his son in the footage, which was shared by the Daily Mail.

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Fox & Friends host right-winger pushing white nationalist views: ‘Common sense is now a hate crime’

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A British writer popular with white nationalists appeared Thursday morning on "Fox & Friends" to argue that "common sense" ideas about identity had been turned into a "hate crime."

Anti-immigrant activist Douglas Murray -- author of "Neoconservatism: Why We Need It" and "The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam" -- spoke to Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt about his viral essay, "Vacuous liberal wokeness is now beyond parody."

"You say that 'liberal wokeness' turned beliefs that once seemed like into hate crimes," Earhardt said. "What used to be considered common sense that's now a hate crime, in your opinion?"

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Trump has shrunk the White House entirely around himself: ‘It is a government of one’

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President Donald Trump has cleared out all the constraints in his White House, which he's running much like the Trump Organization.

The president has chased away four national security advisers, three chiefs of staff, three directors of oval office operations and five communications directors -- an unprecedented amount of turnover for a modern president — and finds himself surrounded by compliant staffers and aides, reported Politico.

“It is a government of one in the same way in which the Trump Organization was a company of one,” said one former senior administration official.

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