PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The U.S. Senate, to a large degree, is an institution built on seniority. The longer you’ve been there, the more clout you have. When Senator Susan Collins arrived on Capitol Hill, she ranked 99th in seniority. Now she’s 15.
With time has come power and influence, which is one reason why Collins is struggling with the decision of whether to stay in the Senate or run for governor next year. Her original plan had been to announce a decision by the end of September. Because so many issues, from spending to health care, have come roaring into the Senate in the last few weeks—“I’ve been swamped,” Collins says--that timetable has been scrapped. She now says she’ll announce her political plans by Columbus Day.
As for health care, the latest and almost certainly last Republican plan this year for repealing and replacing Obamacare is in deep trouble. Collins has not come out against it, but says she has serious reservations and is leaning against it, despite intense pressure on her from President Trump, Vice President Pence and Governor LePage.
“The governor in particular has stepped up his efforts,” Collins says. “In the end I just have to do what I think is right for the people of Maine and for our country. If I don’t do that, I can’t look myself in the mirror.”