Republican Sen. Susan Collins and a Democratic colleague recently became co-chairs of No Labels, created to get political leaders to solve problems in a bipartisan fashion. Now, Collins has made a mockery of No Labels’ goal by voting for the hyperpartisan Republican tax bill.

In joining the No Labels organization, Collins said she hoped to “start a process of bringing people together in Washington to listen respectfully to one another and forge bipartisan solutions. When legislation is passed with input from both parties, we get far better products in the end.”

Just weeks later, Collins joined other Republicans in an exclusively party-line vote in favor of a tax bill that is a giveaway to the rich and will negatively impact millions of ordinary Americans, including many in Maine. How is this bill the “far better product” Collins called for?

Even if Collins views its impact differently, why the rush to pass major legislation without bipartisan input? This bill has far-reaching ramifications but had no public hearings and so many last-minute changes no one was sure what was in it – all to pass it with just Republican support.

In opposing this rushed legislation, independent Maine Sen. Angus King said that “it is common sense that you would take a great deal of care to thoroughly understand the provisions of the bill, its implications, its impacts (and) its possible unintended consequences.”

Collins now says she may withdraw her support, but it is likely too late. Her vote helped set this dangerous legislative juggernaut in motion, and it probably now will pass.

Collins occasionally likes to don a cloak of bipartisan moderation, which she appears to think makes her invisible when she votes in lockstep with the far-right elements of her party. But the people of Maine see you, Sen. Collins – and we see through you.

Tess Nacelewicz

South Portland