Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) had her concerns about the GOP tax reform plan, but was a "yes" when it came time to vote early Wednesday morning. Democrats were disappointed because she had been one of their darlings earlier this year, her being one of three Republican senators to derail a vote on Obamacare repeal. Because she's considered such a moderate voice in Congress, some are now wondering whether Collins had been sold a bill of goods on tax reform. How else could she have voted for it?
It's reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised Collins they would vote on two bills intended to stabilize the Obamacare insurance market. Soon after the tax reform vote, she was informed that those health measures would have to wait until next year.
Collins is getting "played," Washington Post contributor Helaine Olen wrote.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked the same thing on his program Wednesday night. "Is she getting played?" he asked a member of the Trump administration.
Jennifer Rubin decided to call Collins out on Twitter, convinced the senator had been "duped."
She might not like the characterization that she was “duped,” but there is no other way to describe the “deal” she made to secure her vote on a bill that does harm to many of her constituents, perhaps pricing them out of the individual insurance market. https://t.co/Hbxb7NIHvL— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) December 20, 2017
She's just another "rubber stamp," Rubin concluded.
Are these attacks sexist? Collins thinks so. After all, they're not saying the same thing about Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who had his own hesitations about the bill.
“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 told reporters in the Capitol. “They’ve ignored everything that I’ve gotten and written story after story about how I’m duped. How am I duped when all your amendments get accepted?”
She was particularly peeved about a reporter who covered her meeting with people suffering from serious health conditions.
“The reporter actually wrote that I didn’t cry,” Collins said. “I can’t imagine a reporter writing that about a male senator."
Others critics didn't consider whether or not Collins had been duped - they just went straight into attack mode.
Rosie O'Donnell thought a bribe would seal the deal, telling Collins that she'd give her $3 million to vote "no." When it was clear that Collins had rejected the offer, O'Donnell accused her of wanting to kill Americans and stripped her of her female credentials.
Collins "has no credible reason to vote for this thing," according to this MSNBC contributor.
"Collins chose party over country, and I lost my hero," upset readers of The Boston Globe wrote.
As we all know, tax reform has now passed both chambers and is heading for President Trump's desk.