Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, earned a political victory by helping write the Paycheck Protection Program measure that was part of the last coronavirus relief package. Her future on Capitol Hill could hinge on whether she can help deliver another round of aid to Americans.
As The Hill pointed out, Collins faces a tough reelection battle in November. Representing a state whose economy is largely built around tourism and fishing, Collins has now co-sponsored a $500 billion bill aimed at helping state and local governments restart their economies after COVID-19 losses.
"The pressure in Maine for those resources is huge," University of Maine political science professor Mark Brewer told The Hill.
"If Sen. Collins is going to keep her seat, failure to deliver state and local aid would be a huge problem for her."
Collins, who took office in 1997, is facing Maine's House Speaker Sara Gideon, a Democrat, in November. She could use some more political points, Brewer said.
"If she can deliver this in a meaningful way, that's a huge feather in her cap and I think she knows that," Brewer said. "It enhances her ability to say, 'I'm still bipartisan. I stood up to the majority leader and I made him come around and was able to work with Democrats.'"
Collins gained national attention during the confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the fall of 2018. Her last-minute show of support helped Kavanaugh earn the votes needed to be confirmed by a narrow margin, 50-48.
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