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- Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Maine Republican, called media coverage of her work on the GOP tax bill, which she voted for, “unbelievably sexist.”
- Collins argued that the press hasn’t given her sufficient credit for the “significant impact” she had on the bill.
- “I cannot believe that the press would have treated another senator with 20 years of experience as they have treated me,” she said.
Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Maine Republican, called media coverage of her work on the GOP tax bill, which she voted for, “unbelievably sexist” and “extremely discouraging.”
Collins argued that she “got more in this tax bill than any other member of the Senate,” but that the media promoted a narrative about her being “duped” by her GOP colleagues.
“They’ve ignored everything that I’ve gotten, and there have been stories after stories about how I’ve been duped,” Collins told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. “How are you duped when all of your amendments get accepted? And when the majority leader – and I confirmed it again today with him – will be offering the two insurance bills that I care about as well as the provision waiving the automatic cut in Medicare that could be triggered by this bill?”
Collins said the news media hasn’t given her sufficient credit for her three amendments to the tax bill, which retained some state and local tax deductions, maintained a deduction for large medical expenses for two years, and protected retirement-account tax breaks.
She also referred to two bills, aimed at stabilizing Obamacare markets, she said she’s been promised will be passed in a year-end spending bill in exchange for her “yes” vote on the tax bill. (She said Wednesday that she would instead offer them in the new year, since Congress appears to have moved toward a shorter-term solution to keep the government funded.)
“I cannot believe that the press would have treated another senator with 20 years of experience as they have treated me,” she said.
Collins specifically pointed to a New York Times report that noted that the senator “didn’t cry” when she met with a group of progressive activists from her home state, who told the Times that they worry Collins has been “duped” by GOP leaders who she cut deals with over the bill. That line was removed from the story after the senator complained.
Many of the progressive constituents she met with suffer from serious medical conditions and were pressing her to vote against the tax bill, which eliminates Obamacare’s individual mandate.
“I can’t imagine a reporter writing that about a male senator meeting with the same group, and, in fact, I have proof because they met with Jeff Flake,” she said of the Arizona Republican. “So it’s been extremely discouraging to see the press coverage on this given the significant impact that I’ve had on this bill.”
The president is expected to sign the tax bill into law.