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Friday July 08, 2011 | 07:43 PM

Rep. Chellie Pingree was one of the few members of the House not to vote in favor of a resolution calling on the Obama administration to withhold U.S. aid from the Palestinian Authority if Palestinian leaders seek unilateral recognition from the United Nations.

But the Maine Democrat from the 1st district didn’t vote no, either.

The resolution, which is meant to spur direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, already had been approved by the Senate (the Senate version was co-authored by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Ben Cardin, D-Md.) and was approved 407-6 by the House Thursday evening. But 13 House members voted “present,” including Pingree.

Asked about her abstention from a yes or no vote, Pingree said via email that, “It’s important for both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to work together and I do have concerns about either side acting unilaterally.  However I was not comfortable with the wording of this resolution and did not believe that Congress interfering in this issue will do anything to advance the cause of peace.”

Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd, voted in favor of the resolution.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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