U.S. Sen. Susan Collins announced Thursday that President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who serves as one of his advisers, and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza will join her in Maine for a forum on tax reform.
The hour-long event is scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m. Friday at Volk Packaging, a Biddeford box manufacturer owned by Derek and Douglas Volk. Derek Volk is married to Republican state Sen. Amy Volk, who was elected this week as the assistant majority leader.
In a news release, Collins offered few details about the event other than the subject is tax reform. It comes as Congress mulls the Trump administration’s sweeping tax reform proposal, which hit some turbulence on Thursday. According to the New York Times, the Senate version of the bill doesn’t include a slash of the corporate income tax rate that is a marquee element of Trump’s proposal.
The Senate bill also attempts to focus more on the middle class by restoring a number of popular tax breaks that were eliminated in the House version of the bill, such as the mortgage interest, which was capped in the House bill. The Ways and Means Committee advanced the bill in a partisan vote Thursday afternoon.
Like many of Trump’s proposals, the bill could live or die in the closely divided U.S. Senate, where Collins, who has helped block Republicans’ Obamacare repeal and replacement efforts, could again be a crucial vote for Republicans. Collins has said she doesn’t support deep tax breaks for affluent people, such as a proposed lowering of the rate for people making more than $1 million a year, or eliminating the estate tax.
Collins has also said the overall tax reform package needs to be “pro growth,” meaning if the nation’s gross domestic product increases, it will result in more revenue.
Trump unveiled his $5 trillion tax reform plan in September. It includes deep tax cuts for corporations and individuals, the elimination of a number of existing deductions and a simplification of the overall tax code. The Tax Policy Center estimates that the top 1 percent of income earners would see an 8 percent cut, compared with about 2 percent for the rest of Americans.
U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, announced late Thursday afternoon that she will host a separate forum on tax reform. That is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at Portland City Hall.
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