Collins on commerce, women’s issues and more

October 17th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

Regardless of whether or not voters hand Republicans control of the U.S. Senate in November, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she will keep working across the aisle to form bipartisan coalitions; GOP control would elevate her status on committees important to Maine, she said.

Collins seeks her fourth term in the Senate. Her challenger on the ballot is Democratic nominee Shenna Bellows.

The Caribou-raised incumbent sat for more than an hour in the Boothbay Register newsroom on Oct. 7, fielding questions from the Register, Wiscasset Newspaper and Penbay Pilot staff members.

Collins said a GOP majority would give her chairmanship of the Aging Committee, which deals with issues relevant to Maine as the nation’s eldest state in population. Her priorities would include financial security for the elderly and more biomedical research on Alzheimer’s and other diseases affecting older Americans.

Republican control would also move her from ranking Republican to chairman of the Transportation and Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, giving her a greater role in setting those budgets, Collins said.

Her efforts in transportation have already landed federal dollars to improve Maine’s ports and replace bridges, including the Richmond-Dresden bridge that she found harrowing to cross, she said.

“Holy mackerel. We met a big car coming the other way. I was really worried … It was awful.”

After that experience, she made a priority of getting funding to replace the bridge, Collins said.

Also during the sit-down, Collins rejected federal legalization of marijuana, praised Midcoast Maine’s efforts to build on its assets, and addressed criticism Bellows has levied over

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