Susan Collins VERY TROUBLED AND CONCERNED About All This Democratic Partisanship
Susan Collins, who unfortunately is still a GOP senator, is very disappointed President Joe Biden and Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that will prevent millions of Americans from starving. Let's generously assume Collins is anti-starving. However, she is pro-bipartisanship even more, and what Democrats passed was a naughty partisan bill.
Sen. Susan Collins: "Regrettably, there was no interest from Democratic Leadership in negotiating a targeted, bipar… https://t.co/DAdCAMniJM— Ryan Struyk (@Ryan Struyk) 1615059662.0
She said: “Regrettably, there was no interest from Democratic Leadership in negotiating a targeted, bipartisan relief package that meets the challenges at hand. Instead, Democrats chose to ram through a partisan bill using a partisan process."
There's no good reason Democrats should help fewer people less significantly just so they can earn their bipartisanship merit badge. The Senate is fakakta, so even though Democrats hold only 50 seats, they represent 41,549,808 more Americans than their Republican colleagues. The “partisan bill" enjoys overwhelming support from almost 70 percent of Americans.
Democrats “rammed through" (i.e. had more votes for) the pandemic relief package “using a partisan process" (i.e. counting to 50) that provides more assistance to more people. That's good! Georgians didn't send Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to the Senate so they could make Susan Collins happy.
What would've made Susan Collins happy, you ask? Let's see: Direct payments of $1,000 instead of $1,400. This would start phasing out at $40,000 a year with a $50,000 a year cap. Payments for families would start phasing out at $80,000 a year with a $100,000 a year cap. People living large in 1950s California, slurping down champagne and eating caviar, don't need government bailouts!
Unemployment insurance would've cut off two months sooner under the plan Collins supported. There was less money for vaccines. The point is it was a very bad plan. Maybe Biden and Democrats would've needed to settle if they didn't have 50 votes plus a Vice President Kamala Harris ready to break ties. But if you can pass a good bill, you shouldn't make it worse just to please Susan Collins. We realize she's a Republican and therefore likely gets very excited about not helping people, but Democrats don't need to enable her alternative lifestyle.
The GOP has tried to redefine Biden's call for “unity" as pretending Republicans still control the Senate. Democrats didn't need Collins's support for the stimulus. Helping more struggling Americans is better than maintaining “unity" with GOP jackasses.
Collins is also full of free-range horse shit when she complains about partisanship. She voted for the GOP tax scam in 2017, which passed on a completely party line vote through reconciliation. Most voters hated the bill, but the GOP didn't care. Republicans weren't interested in making any concessions that would attract a single Democratic vote. She wrote a self-serving op-ed for the Portland Press Herald explaining her vote for more yacht relief.
I supported this legislation because it will help lower-income and middle-income families keep more of their hard-earned money, boost the economy and encourage businesses, both small and large, to grow and create jobs here in Maine and around the country.
The GOP tax scam added significantly to the debt even before COVID-19 tanked the economy. But even if the legislation accomplished what Collins claimed, it was a still a “partisan bill" passed through a “partisan process."
Collins had previously voted to nuke the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, which saved Neil Gorsuch's ass. The following year, she voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was credibly accused of sexual assault. All Democrats except Joe Manchin voted against Kavanaugh. I suppose that's technically bipartisan.
We're glad Susan Collins is very disappointed about Biden's stimulus bill. That's good news for more Americans who are trying to come out of the other side of this pandemic intact.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."