sen. susan collins


Betsy DeVos’ confirmation in peril as 2 Republican senators say they’ll vote against her

  • Betsy DeVos’ nomination as secretary of education is in danger, after two Republican senators said they will vote against her confirmation.
  • Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska both announced Wednesday they will vote no on DeVos’ confirmation.
  • If just one more Republican falls off, the count would put DeVos below the 50-vote threshold needed for confirmation, and would be the first of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees to go down. Read more

Rex Tillerson confirmed as secretary of state

  • Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO Rex Tillerson will be the next secretary of state, after the Senate voted Wednesday to confirm his nomination.
  • As of press time, Tillerson had 55 votes, with three Democrats joining Republicans in supporting his nomination. Read more
A (short) list of Republicans in Congress who have criticized Trump’s immigration order

1. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)

2. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

3. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE)

4. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)

5. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

6. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

Those are isolated cases (at least so far). The GOP leadership in Congress has largely lined up behind Trump on this — or at least stayed very quiet. No one who’s been paying attention should be surprised by this — “the party has largely fallen in line behind their president ever since the election.

Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski said Wednesday they will vote against Education Department nominee Betsy DeVos, leaving her with no votes to spare to survive a looming confirmation vote.

No Democrats are expected to vote for DeVos, while a handful of other Republican senators remain undecided. She needs at least 50 votes to win confirmation and there are just 52 GOP senators. Still, senior leadership aides remain confident that DeVos will prevail.

“This is not a decision I make lightly. I have a great deal of respect for Mrs. DeVos,” Collins said on the floor on Wednesday. “I will not, can not vote to confirm her.”

In an interview, Collins said that she will allow DeVos to advance to a final vote, before opposing her. Likewise, Murkowski said she will oppose Collins on final passage, a shocking rebellion against President Donald Trump that rippled through the Capitol.

“I have heard from thousands, truly, thousands of Alaskans who have shared their concerns about Mrs. DeVos,“ Murkowski said. “I do not intend to vote on final passage to support Mrs. DeVos.”

DeVos, a GOP megadonor and education advocate who has long pushed for charter schools and K-12 tuition vouchers using public funds, has encountered criticism from both parties since Trump nominated her.
Growing Number Of Republicans Call On Sessions To Step Aside
Sessions reportedly did not disclose conversations he had with Russia's U.S. ambassador during his confirmation.

WASHINGTON ― After a growing number of Republicans in Congress questioned whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions was fit to oversee an investigation into Russia’s role in the election, their former colleague announced he would recuse himself on Thursday.

House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was the first influential Republican to say the former senator should recuse himself amid reports that he failed to disclose conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

Others soon followed. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) called Sessions a “friend,” but said it would be best if he recused himself. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who introduced Sessions at the Senate confirmation hearing where he denied talking to Russians, said he should stay out of the Justice Department’s investigation to “ensure public confidence.”

“He should also clarify his statements to the Judiciary Committee with respect to his communications with the Russian ambassador,” Collins said.

The Washington Post reported late Wednesday night that Sessions spoke twice last year with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and didn’t tell lawmakers during his January confirmation hearing in either verbal or written answers.

Sessions met with Kislyak in his capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to Justice Department officials. U.S. investigators have also looked into Sessions’ communications as part of the larger investigation into possible links between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Trump told reporters that he had “total” confidence in Sessions, but more than a dozen Republicans on Thursday had urged Sessions to recuse himself.

Democratic leaders on both sides of Capitol Hill called on Sessions to resign entirely. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said “it would be better for the country.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sessions “lied under oath.”

The bombshell revelations had left many Republicans scrambling to come up with answers, with many saying they needed more information about what Sessions said to the Judiciary Committee and what he discussed with the ambassador.  

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Today at noon, Congress is expected to vote on whether to gut the FCC’s broadband privacy rules that prevent Internet Service Providers like Comcast and Verizon from collecting and selling your personal data without your permission.

Call Congress right now.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski   (202) 224-6665
Sen. Susan Collins      (202) 224-2523
Sen. Jerry Moran        (202) 224-6521
Sen. Cory Gardner     (202) 224-5941
Sen. Benjamin Sasse (202) 224-4224
Sen. Dean Heller        (202) 224-6244

Here’s a sample script you can use:

“Hi, my name is ______, I’m calling to ask Senator _____ to vote against the CRA proposal to roll back the FCC’s broadband privacy rules. This would let Internet Service Providers sell my personal information without my permission This is an issue I’m incredibly concerned about, and I hope you’ll take my thoughts into consideration. Thank you for your time.”

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