Susan Collins is a senior Senator from Maine largely considered one of the most reasonable remaining members of the Republican party.
Collins was born in Caribou, Maine where her family has been since the 1800s. Each of her parents served as Mayor of Caribou in turn with her father also serving in the House and the Senate of the Maine Legislature. President of student council in high school, Collins was tailor-made for government. She attended St. Lawrence University and graduated magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa with a major in government.
After graduating college, Collins continued her work in the government, working as assistants to Maine senators and representatives. Her political career continued to rise and she was elected New England Regional Director for Small Business Administration by President George H. W. Bush and then Deputy State Treasurer of Massachusetts. In 1994, she ran for governor of Maine but lost the race, notably receiving little support from the Republican party. In 1996, she then ran for a senate seat in Maine and was reelected in 2002, 2008, and 2014. She became a senior senator in 2013.
In the Know
Collins has a longstanding relationship for being a moderate Republican. In 2014, she publicly put support behind legalizing gay marriage in her home state and nationwide. At the time, she said, "Remaining silent on some of the biggest civil rights issues of our generation, even after the voters have spoken, isn’t leadership." In June of this year, she publicly denounced defunding Planned Parenthood, citing the fact that it is a health provider for women across the country. She has previously
In 2016, she announced that she would not be voting for Donald Trump. She explained her thoroughly made decision in a Washington Post op-ed in which she said, "Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country." In 2017 when Trump was appointing members of his cabinet, Collins voted against Betsy Devos for Secretary of Education and Scott Pruit for Secretary of the EPA.
In addition to Senators John McCain (AZ) and Lisa Murkowski (AK), Collins was the critical third vote that saved the ACA from Skinny Repeal. Of her decision, she said, "We need to reconsider our approach. The [Affordable Care Act] is flawed and in portions of the country is near collapse. Rather than engaging in partisan exercises, Republicans and Democrats should work together to address these very serious problems."
On September 25, 2017, she said she would not support the most recent GOP attempt to repeal Obamacare, the Graham-Cassidy Bill, effectively killing the last-ditch effort to pass legislation without review. She said, "Sweeping reforms to our health care system and to Medicaid can’t be done well in a compressed time frame, especially when the actual bill is a moving target.”
Maybe not considered fun, more badass in my opinion: she voted yes on the Manchin-Toomey bill that Obama tried to pass after the Sandy Hook shooting. The bill barely failed but would have considerably expanded background checks and regulate private gun sales. The vote was controversial as a member of her party, but nasty women can't be kept from doing the right thing.