Senator Collins’ support of the Republicans’ controversial tax reform bill has tarnished her reputation with liberals and centrists, experts told me for this week’s story in the Maine Sunday Telegram, but it shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
I talked to political scientists in Maine and across the country about how here vote matched with her long expressed principles about the importance of the legislative process, protecting health care, and the deficit. Fairly well, was the answer, in that she’s always been for cutting taxes and, within that context, saw her role as mitigating some of the side effects of the legislation. Read on to see why they – and her spokesperson – say so.
None doubted, however, that this vote may well represent a parting of the ways between non-Republicans and a senator who was last reelected in a very purple state with 67 percent of the vote.
In February I did a detailed story on Collins’ new, uncomfortable role as a potential check on the Trump administration, and in April, I had this analysis of Collins’ voting pattern over her tenure as Senator. Since then she briefly became a hero to at least non-Republicans in Maine when she opposed her party’s uncertain repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but appears to have lost those supporters now.