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Sen. Collins talks coronavirus issues during visit to Hampden USPS facility

Senator Susan Collins visited the Hampden USPS processing plant and spoke on a variety of issues regarding COVID-19.
Credit: Courtesy Sen. Susan Collins
Sen. Susan Collins, right, stands with the Hampden plant manager Michael Mitchell on Wednesday outside the facility.

HAMPDEN, Maine — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was in Hampden to thank the men and women of the United States Postal Service (USPS) on Wednesday. She referenced all the strings attached to funding for the USPS and said it's not Congress.

"I do believe that the administration has put too many strings on the borrowing... congress didn't put those strings attached... it was the administration and that's not our intent," she said.

When asked about another stimulus check that so many Americans and Mainers are in need of right now, Collins said, "Now this is really important that we give assistance to our cities and towns and counties because in the state of Maine they were left out in the last package. The governor could choose to use some of the funding that went to the state but there was none that was directed to our local governments."

Senator Mitch McConnell told CNBC that Congress will have to pass another coronavirus relief bill for another stimulus.

RELATED: House rescue package includes $25 billion for Postal Service

Earlier this month, Collins and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) wrote a bipartisan letter urging Senate Leadership to include relief for the Postal Service in the next COVID-19 relief package, including emergency funding, additional borrowing authority, and debt forgiveness.

The letter also urges that the next package include funding to ensure supplies of personal protective equipment, reimbursement for sick and family medical leave related to COVID-19, and hazard pay for certain front-line postal workers who face exposure to the virus simply through doing their jobs.

RELATED: Sen. Angus King on Russian election interference, U.S. Postal Service loans, and Gov. Mills' handling of coronavirus crisis

Another topic Collins discussed Wednesday was absentee ballot voting. 

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is urging Mainers to vote by absentee ballot in July. President Donald Trump disagrees, Tweeting yesterday that by using mail-in ballots the election will be "rigged"—a claim that got Twitter to attach a correction to the president's tweet.

RELATED: Trump accuses Twitter of election interference after it adds fact-check warning to his tweets

On Wednesday, Collins echoed Secretary Dunlap and said Maine's "no excuses" absentee ballot voting is a great system and she doesn't think we should change it.

"But I think our system has made it very easy for people to vote by absentee ballot and it will be especially useful this year," Collins said.

Absentee ballots for the upcoming primary are available until July. You can request a ballot from your town or city clerk's office.

RELATED: Trump slams mail-in balloting promoted by his own campaign

RELATED: Secretary of State recommends absentee voting in July 14 Primary amid coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

NEWS CENTER Maine Coronavirus Coverage

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