Monday November 05, 2012 | 06:29 PM

WASHINGTON -- In a "60 Minutes" segment about partisan gridlock in the Senate, Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe said senators "should be individually and collectively embarrassed about our failure" to work together to address major issues.

Snowe, a Republican, has cited the partisanship on both sides as the major reason she is retiring at the end of this term. She is among several current and former senators who spoke to "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft for a segment entitled "The Broken Senate" on CBS.

The segment aired two days before voters go to the polls to fill 33 of the Senate's 100 seats -- including Snowe's -- and follows what several assessments have said is one of the least productive sessions of Congress in a generation.

The clip can be seen here. Snowe's speaking part begins at around the 3:00 mark, but the entire piece is worth watching.

Snowe said senators "don't know any longer how to work out our differences" and, as a result, the country suffering.

"We're not dealing with tax reform. We're not dealing with the debt ceiling crisis," Snowe told Kroft "We're not dealing with the automatic cuts. We're not dealing with the expiration of the tax rates. I finally said one day, 'You know, is there something else we're doing that I'm not aware of?'"

As a Republican, Snowe has sided repeatedly with her minority party colleagues to block legislation from moving forward in the Senate. But the moderate Republican is also known for her willingness to work across the aisle, often making her a key swing vote in the closely divided Senate.

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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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