I was appalled at Sen. Susan Collins’ self-congratulatory op-ed, appearing in the Press Herald on Dec. 29 (Page A5). Yes, in her senior position in the Senate, she has brought federal dollars to Maine. But there are immediate crises that Collins refuses to address as she walks in lockstep with Mitch McConnell to stonewall transformative federal legislation.

The majority of Mainers support a woman’s right to an abortion. However, as part of the Republican blockade in the Senate, Collins will neither support the Women’s Health Protection Act passed by the House of Representatives, nor propose alternative language for the legislation while claiming that she supports abortion rights.

Collins and her Republican cronies will not even advance debate on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Freedom to Vote Act or the For the People Act, fulfilling McConnell’s expectation that no Republicans would vote for a voting rights bill.

And Collins is standing with McConnell to block the Build Back Better legislation, which would provide many direct benefits to Mainers, including child care for an estimated 60,000 Maine children, free preschool, supporting home- and community-based services and a child tax credit keeping Maine children out of poverty.  And the bill will greatly expand environmental projects in Maine to mitigate climate change.

Sen. Collins’ performance in 2021 is not deserving of her self-praise. It is time for Collins to place her loyalty to the Maine people ahead of her fealty to McConnell and break ranks with his politics and obstruction. If she can do so, her legacy will be one of bringing about needed change when the state of Maine, and the nation, needed it most.

Barbara Cray
Westport Island

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