Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is still frustrated by how COVID-19 relief bill negotiations went down, The Wall Street Journal reports. Specifically, Collins is not pleased about what she considers to have been a brusque dismissal when she and a group of other Republican senators sat down with President Biden in early February to try to reach consensus on a package.
The senator, who has built a moderate reputation over the years, told the Journal that she's confused as to why the Biden administration, which ultimately saw its $1.9 trillion stimulus pass through Congress without Republican support in either chamber, "would want to alienate the Republican most likely to work with them to find common ground." It's "truly a mystery to me," she said.
Collins doesn't really blame Biden, it seems. The two got along well when the latter was still in the Senate, and Collins said she trusts him when he says he wants to work with Republicans and build unity in Congress. But, she reportedly thinks White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), with whom Collins has verbally sparred recently, are getting in the way of that. "I have been a bit concerned that perhaps some of these left groups, or perhaps members of [Biden's] staff, are tugging at him constantly to try to move him further to the left than I think is wise," she told the Journal. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.