Susan Collins

Expect offshore drilling to play role in next week’s Interior secretary confirmation
The increased focus all but assures the plan will be part of Bernhardt’s confirmation next Thursday

The Atlantic Ocean is seen adjacent to President Donald Trump's beachfront Mar-a-Lago resort, the day after Florida received an exemption from the Trump Administration's newly announced ocean drilling plan on Jan. 11, 2018, in Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Democrats are pressuring acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to release the department’s updated plan for opening the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling, foreshadowing an increased focus on a proposal opposed by lawmakers of both parties.

In a letter sent Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, of New York, and 16 other Democratic senators asked Bernhardt to release details about the department’s draft five-year oil and gas leasing program for the Outer Continental Shelf, including which states will be included in the next version of the proposal.

Latest fundraising numbers from Beto O’Rourke and others are ridiculous
Texas Democrat raised more in 24 hours than earlier top candidates did in an entire cycle

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke reported raising $6.1 million within 24 hours after announcing his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When covering campaigns on a day-to-day basis, it can be easy to lose perspective, particularly when it comes to money. Million-dollar figures are thrown around without much thought. But the amounts of money being raised by candidates right now, particularly Democrats, are absurd.

I glanced back at competitive races nearly 20 years ago for some context, and the comparisons between a day of presidential fundraising and entire, top-tier congressional contests are staggering.

Gardner burned by hometown paper for upholding Trump’s emergency declaration
The Denver Post’s 2014 endorsement of Gardner was viewed as a boon to the candidate

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., was the target of a scathing editorial in The Denver Post on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Denver Post ripped Sen. Cory Gardner’s Thursday decision to side with President Donald Trump on his national emergency declaration, calling the lawmaker “a political time-server interested only in professional security.”

“Our endorsement of Cory Gardner was a mistake,” reads the headline of the Denver Post’s biting editorial published Thursday night. “Thursday’s vote was the last straw.”

Can Republicans make up any ground in New England in 2020?
Only real pickup opportunities for party are in Maine and New Hampshire

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, right, is the only New England Republican left in Congress. Republicans could pick up another seat by defeating New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The prospects for a Republican rebirth in New England in 2020 are dim.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the only New England Republican left in Congress, is likely facing her most competitive re-election next year.

Democrats vow Judge Chad Readler will be 2020 issue
Murray and Schumer among Democrats blasting his role in targeting health care law

The Senate confirmed Chad A. Readler, President Trump’s nominee to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the 6th Circuit, on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats say they will remember the Wednesday afternoon vote to confirm Chad A. Readler, one of President Donald Trump’s most contentious judicial nominees.

The 52-47 vote to install Readler on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio could easily be lumped in with many other Trump choices pushed through the Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Donald Trump is going to have to veto a congressional effort to stop his border security national emergency
With Sen. Rand Paul on board, the disapproval measure should have the votes to pass the Senate

Sen. Rand Paul is supporting the effort to stop he border security national emergency. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It appears President Donald Trump is going to have to veto bipartisan legislation that would stop his border security national emergency declaration.

The straightforward joint resolution disapproving of the emergency declaration appears to have reached the threshold of support needed to pass the Senate.

Senate confirms former coal lobbyist to lead EPA
Andrew Wheeler has worked to weaken and delay national and global environmental protections

Andrew Wheeler, arrives for his confirmation hearing in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Jan. 16, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Thursday voted 52-47 to confirm Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who has worked to weaken and delay national and global environmental protections, as the head of the EPA.

Wheeler has served as acting EPA administrator since July, when the previous head, Scott Pruitt, resigned under a cloud of more than a dozen federal ethics investigations.

Tom Udall and Susan Collins introduce Senate disapproval of Trump’s border security emergency
Encourage fellow senators to defend the congressional power of the purse

Democratic Sen. Tom Udall is leading the joint resolution to terminate President Donald Trump’s border security national emergency. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sens. Susan Collins and Tom Udall have teamed up on the Senate version of legislation disapproving of President Trump’s border security national emergency.

Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico and an appropriator, said the resolution to terminate the national emergency isn’t really even about the proposed border wall itself, saying on the Senate floor this is a matter of “standing up for the Constitution.”

At least senators showed up to vote in 2018: CQ Vote Studies
Senate had highest highest election-year participation rate since 2006

Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., cast just 47 percent of eligible votes in the House in 2018 as she made a run for governor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Leaders of Congress are adept at scheduling votes when members will be available to cast them — avoiding weekends, keeping to short work days and making sure members get days off.

That helps avoid voting participation low points, such as 1970 — when lawmakers cast votes only 79 percent of the time and fewer than a quarter had a 90 percent showing or higher.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins becomes first Republican to oppose Trump’s EPA nominee
Claims Andrew Wheeler’s policies ‘not in the best interest of our environment and public health’

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, opposed the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Maine’s Susan Collins on Wednesday became the first Republican senator to oppose  President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the EPA as the Senate cleared a procedural hurdle on the nomination.

The Senate voted 52-46 to end debate on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler, the acting EPA administrator, setting up his final confirmation vote for Thursday. Sens. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., did not vote, and Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., an ardent supporter of the coal industry, voted against ending debate on Wheeler’s nomination.