Tuesday, March 11, 2014
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.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or email@example.com
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WASHINGTON - All four members of Maine's congressional delegation voted in support of the Senate-brokered compromise to reopen federal offices and extend the debt ceiling.
Despite weeks of political wrangling and a government shutdown that dragged on for 16 days, the House and Senate passed the bill by fairly lopsided margins Wednesday night. A full explanation of the debate and the bill's impacts on Maine can be found here.
Following are the written statements from by Maine's senators and House members:
WASHINGTON – Former Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, blasted Congress on Tuesday for demonstrating an “abdication of leadership” as it “lurches from one-inflected crisis to another.”
Snowe wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in the Los Angeles Times that she had witnessed government’s “greatest potential as well as its calamitous capacity for dysfunction” during her time in politics.
The moderate Republican retired in January after 34 years in Congress, citing the political polarization in Washington and Congress’ inability to address major policy issues. In her op-ed, she recalled some of the bipartisan efforts in which she was involved to bring about gender equality for women, expand internet access in rural areas and enhance tax programs for low-income families.
WASHINGTON – As a candidate, Angus King campaigned on a pledge of compromise and a willingness (as he put it in his victory speech) “to listen to the best solutions from every corner and help my colleagues find common ground.”
Nearly one year later, however, Sen. King finds himself aligned with one side thus far unwilling to compromise with the other over attempts to alter Obamacare as part of a budget deal.
The juxtaposition is not lost on King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.
NOTE: This blog was updated Wednesday afternoon to include Rep. Mike Michaud, D-District 2.
WASHINGTON – All four members of Maine’s congressional delegation plan to donate their paychecks to charity or to needy individuals if furloughed federal employees are not repaid for working during the government shutdown.
Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins as well as Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud indicated that they would only keep their congressional salaries if furloughed employees who are working during the shutdown also receive retroactive pay. The lawmakers differ slightly, however, on what they would do with the money.
WASHINGTON – Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, got personal in defending Obamacare on Wednesday, explaining that if it weren’t for preventative care covered by his health insurance he may not have lived into his 30s much less survived long enough to serve in Congress.
During a Senate floor speech, King recalled how, as a 29-year-old congressional staffer, he went to the doctor for a routine checkup that was free thanks to his insurance. It was during that physical examination that the doctor found a suspicious-looking mole on King’s back that tests showed to be "a pretty serious form of cancer."
“Forty years ago when I was a staff member in this institution, I went and had that checkup because I had insurance,” King said. “They found the mole, they did the surgery and here I am today.”