Does it surprise anyone to see a Republican who voted to save Obamacare now parroting the left’s “sexism” talking points?
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on Tuesday complained about the media’s coverage of her role in the GOP tax plan, calling it “unbelievably sexist.”
Collins found accusations that she was “duped” into supporting the tax bill “extremely discouraging,” Politico reports.
The tax plan, which has the support of President Trump, was passed in the Senate early Wednesday morning by 51-48 vote.
Collins was seen as a swing vote due to her role in derailing Obamacare repeal attempts earlier this year.
Her vote against the “skinny” Obamacare repeal bill and opposition to the Graham-Cassidy block grant legislation were critical in halting the elimination of Barack Obama’s signature policy.
The Maine Senator voted for the Republican tax plan based on promises from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that Congress will pass legislation aimed at stabilizing Obamacare in exchange.
House Republicans have voiced opposition to providing insurers with “bailout,” causing observers to question the plausibility of passing Collins’ desired legislation–despite McConnell’s assurances.
This led to commentators who previously praised Collins’ actions on Obamacare now saying the senator was tricked into granting her vote with promises that won’t be fulfilled.
Collins called the criticism “sexist.”
“I believe that the coverage has been unbelievably sexist, and I cannot believe that the press would have treated another senator with 20 years of experience as they have treated me,” she said.
The Republican lawmaker asserted she was not “duped,” but was an active contributor in the final tax legislation.
“They’ve ignored everything that I’ve gotten and written story after story about how I’m duped,” Collins continued. “How am I duped when all your amendments get accepted?”
Collins pointed to changes she secured in the final version of the bill, including keeping a deduction for major medical expenses, capping state and local tax deductions, and giving hospitals access to tax-exempt private activity bonds.
“The list goes on and on,” Collins maintained. “[Ohio Sen.] Rob Portman would tell you that I’ve had more impact than anybody who was not a conferee.”
She also took issue with a New York Times story that alleged Collins “didn’t cry” when she met with protesters of the tax bill who had serious medical conditions. The line was removed after Collins complained.
The senator said:
“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 [Arizona Sen.] Jeff Flake. So it’s been extremely discouraging to see the press coverage on this given the significant impact that I’ve had on this bill.”
Although the moderate Collins has been a target of conservatives, she affirmed support for the GOP tax plan.
“We’ve had a lot of protesters, including those that have staked out my home on Sunday mornings, but we’ve also had a great deal of support,” Collins said.