Last-Ditch Effort to Sway Senator on Tax Bill Involves Personal Pleas

On Wednesday, a group of activists along with Maine residents, led by Mr. Barkan, met with Ms. Collins to express their concerns about the bill. They said they feared the item would certainly destabilize the health care system that will many Americans rely on along with would certainly lead to spending cuts to social safety net programs that will poor along with sick people could not survive without.

Most of all, they say, they worry that will Ms. Collins, despite her Great intentions, is usually getting duped by Republican leaders eager to notch their first major legislative victory since assuming control of Congress along with the White House.

The event was closed to the news media, however streamed live over Facebook.

“You have to protect us before you vote yes,” said Mr. Barkan said to Ms. Collins during the meeting. (Last week, Mr. Barkan confronted Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, about the tax bill on an airplane.) “They’re lying to you.”

Ms. Collins remained respectful along with strained to convince the room of about a dozen skeptics that will the promises that will had been made to her were ironclad.


Ms. Collins with Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday. She said that will her discussions with Mr. Pence about her health care concerns were “positive.”

Pete Marovich for The completely new York Times

She defended her decision within the face of the group’s challenges that will previous Republican promises for the tax bill had been broken, including a commitment to not add to the deficit along with to not benefit the rich, along with that will written agreements are not law.

“I do not believe that will I’ve given up leverage,” Ms. Collins said. “I’ve used my leverage to negotiate agreements that will are promises to me.”

She added, “I’m sorry that will you don’t believe within the agreements.”

The deals that will Ms. Collins struck that will extend beyond the tax bill have been the subject of much speculation along with doubt in Washington, because they would certainly require the backing of House Republicans along with some Democrats.

however around the halls of the Capitol on Wednesday, Ms. Collins appeared to be increasingly comfortable with voting for the tax cuts.

She said that will she had a positive discussion on Tuesday with Vice President Mike Pence about her health care concerns along with that will she was generally supportive of the shape that will the final tax bill was taking.

Ms. Collins also was not biting on Democrats calls to delay the vote. She rejected the suggestions that will the tax vote should be put off to ensure Doug Jones, the Alabama Democrat who was elected to the Senate on Tuesday night after a special election, could be seated first along with cast a vote.

“I see no need to wait for Doug Jones to become a senator,” Ms. Collins said. “We vote all the time in lame-duck sessions with retired along with defeated members casting votes.”

After her meeting at her office, the item did not appear that will Ms. Collins was ready to change her vote, or that will she had been brought to tears.

however Ms. Collins said she appreciated the chance to hear her critics out along with explain herself.

Asked whether she was moved by the meeting, she replied, simply, “Of course.”

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