Minority News Releases

07.11.24

Senate Committee Approves FY 2025 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill

Bill passes Committee by a vote of 27-0 Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations today approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, providing support for physical and cyber security, technology infrastructure, and overall legislative work capacity. The measure, which was advanced by a unanimous vote of 27-0, provides $7 billion in discretionary funding for legislative branch agencies, when combined with funding for the U.S. House of Representa… Continue Reading


07.11.24

Senate Committee Approves FY 2025 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

Bill passes Committee by a vote of 27-0 Washington, D.C. - The Senate Committee on Appropriations today approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, providing support for critical agriculture, rural development, nutrition, conservation, and food and drug safety programs.  The measure, which was advanced by a unanimous vote of 27-0, provides $27 billion in discretionary funding.  “This important bill s… Continue Reading


07.11.24

Bill to Fund Key Military Construction Projects in Maine Clears Appropriations Committee

Bill passes Committee by a vote of 27-0 Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, announced that she secured significant funding and provisions for Maine in the Fiscal Year 2025 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Act.  The measure, which was advanced by a unanimous vote of 27-0, provides $148.9 billion in discretionary funding, including $19.3 billion in defense funding and $129.6 billion in … Continue Reading


07.11.24

Bill to Fund Key Agricultural Programs in Maine Clears Appropriations Committee

Bill passes Committee by a vote of 27-0 Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, announced that she secured significant funding and provisions for projects in Maine in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.  The measure, which was advanced by a unanimous vote of 27-0, provides $27 billion in discretionary funding.  “This important legislation will assist … Continue Reading


07.11.24

Senate Committee Approves FY 2025 MilCon-VA Appropriations Bill

Bill passes Committee by a vote of 27-0 Washington, D.C. - The Senate Committee on Appropriations today approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Act, providing support for critical housing, infrastructure, and facilities for U.S. military forces and their families, as well as increased funding for veterans health care and benefits. The measure, which was advanced by a unanimous vote of 27-0, provides $148.9 bill… Continue Reading


06.18.24

Senator Collins Presses Top Army Reserve Official on Investigations into Lewiston Shooting

Click HERE to watch and HERE to download. Washington, D.C. - At an Appropriations hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for the U.S. National Guard and Army Reserves, U.S. Senator Susan Collins questioned Army Reserve Chief Lieutenant General Jody Daniels about the Army’s investigations into the horrific mass shooting that occurred in Lewiston, Maine on October 25, 2023.  The killer, Robert Card, was a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army Reserve. During her questions, Senato… Continue Reading


06.06.24

Senator Collins Questions Secretary of the Treasury on Lack of IRS Employees Returning to Workplace Full-Time

Click HERE to watch and HERE to download. Washington, D.C. - At a hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, questioned Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen on the lack of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees returning to the workplace full-time.  As of May 5th, the IRS expects its employees to return to the office for half of all their workdays.  The IRS is one of … Continue Reading


06.05.24

Senator Collins Questions FBI Director Wray on China’s Involvement in Illegal Marijuana Grow Operations in Maine

Director Wray:  “But we are starting to see… more ties between a lot of these growing operations and Chinese organized crime.” Opening remarks: Click HERE to watch and HERE to download Q&A with FBI Director Wray: Click HERE to watch and HERE to download. Washington, D.C. - At a hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for the FBI yesterday, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray on potential involvemen… Continue Reading


05.30.24

Senator Collins Questions Top Health Officials on Tick-Borne Diseases

Click HERE to watch and HERE to download. Washington, D.C. - At an Appropriations hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Senator Susan Collins questioned Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo on the progress made in Lyme and tick-borne disease prevention and treatment. In February, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the National Public Health… Continue Reading


05.23.24

Senator Collins Questions Top Health Officials on Tick-Borne Diseases

Click HERE to watch and HERE to download. Washington, D.C. - At an Appropriations hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Senator Susan Collins questioned Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo on the progress made in Lyme and tick-borne disease prevention and treatment. In February, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the National Public Health… Continue Reading


05.21.24

Senator Collins Questions Secretary of State on China’s Involvement in Illegal Marijuana Grow Operations in Maine

  Click HERE to watch and HERE to download.   Washington, D.C. - At a hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, questioned Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the Government of China’s potential involvement in the illegal marijuana grow operations in Maine and elsewhere.   Below is the full transcript of their exchange.   Sen. Collins said:   Illegal marijuana grows in … Continue Reading


05.21.24

Collins, Capito Raise Concerns About SSA Beneficiary Access after SSA Shutters Operations During Business Hours

 

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) sent a letter to Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner Martin O’Malley raising concerns that SSA beneficiaries would have difficulty accessing benefit services following a decision to close SSA offices nationwide during business hours.  Senator Collins is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee and Senator Capito is the Ranking Member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee.

 

“We write to express concern regarding your decision to close all Social Security Administration (SSA) offices at noon on May 10 and May 24 in honor of ‘Public Service Recognition Week.’ Like you, we value the contributions of public servants, but displays of employee appreciation should not come at the expense of beneficiary access to SSA services,” the Senators wrote.

 

“SSA plays a crucial role in ensuring that our nation’s retired workers and most vulnerable populations have timely access to the benefits to which they are entitled. SSA abdicated its core function of service to the public by undertaking this sweeping operational change with little notice and accommodation for beneficiaries,” the Senators continued.

 

On May 8, the Senate Appropriations Committee was notified that SSA would provide all SSA employees with several hours of administrative leave in honor of Public Service Recognition Week, closing all offices at noon on Friday, May 10 and Friday, May 24.

 

In the letter, Senators Collins and Capito requested responses to questions regarding the impacts of this decision on beneficiary services as well as the associated costs by May 28, 2024.

 

Click HERE to read the full letter.

 

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05.15.24

Collins, Graham Call for Answers as Administration Withholds Key Israel Assistance

  Washington, D.C. - As the top Republicans of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees overseeing the Departments of Defense and State, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling for answers surrounding the Administration’s decision to withhold certain assistance from Israel.    Senator Collins is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Defense Ap… Continue Reading


05.13.24

Senator Collins Questions Acting Secretary of Labor on Proposed Changes to Volunteer Fire Dept. Standards

  Click HERE to watch and HERE to download.   Washington, D.C. - Last week at an Appropriations hearing, U.S. Senator Susan Collins questioned Acting Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL) Julie Su on proposed changes by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that, in current form, would be detrimental to volunteer fire departments in rural communities in Maine and throughout the country.  Senator Collins is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee.   During Q&am… Continue Reading


05.09.24

Collins Calls on Secretary of Labor to Issue H-2B Visas

  Click HERE to watch and HERE to download.   Washington, D.C. - Ahead of Maine’s peak tourism season, U.S. Senator Collins questioned Acting Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL) Julie Su at an Appropriations hearing on the urgent need to make the authorized additional H-2B visas available to help fill open jobs in Maine’s hospitality industry.    As Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins secured language in Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations legislation that allowed… Continue Reading


05.02.24

Senator Collins Questions VA Secretary on Support Needed for Veterans’ Home

  Click HERE to watch and HERE to download.   Washington, D.C. - At a hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), U.S. Senator Collins, Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, questioned VA Secretary Denis McDonough on the need to support veterans’ homes and veterans in rural communities.  During the hearing, Secretary McDonough committed to working with Senator Collins to finds ways to help support financially troubled state vete… Continue Reading


05.01.24

Senator Collins Highlights Maine’s 101st Air Refueling Wing at Hearing with Top Pentagon Officials

  Click HERE to watch and HERE to download.   Washington, D.C. - At a hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for military construction, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, highlighted the important role the Maine Air National Guard’s (MEANG) 101st Air Refueling Wing plays in our national defense.   The existing fuel cell hangar in Bangor was designed and built to accommodate the Wing's existing KC-135s.  The proposed project would construct… Continue Reading


04.30.24

Senator Collins Questions Secretary of Education on Rise of Anti-Semitism on College Campuses

  Opening Remarks: Click HERE to watch and HERE to download.   Q&A with Secretary Cardona: Click HERE to watch and HERE to download.   Washington, D.C. - At a hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, questioned Secretary of the Department of Education Miguel Cardona on the rise of anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses throughout the country.   During her open… Continue Reading


04.30.24

Collins Blasts Secretary of Education on Inexcusable FAFSA Delays

  Opening Remarks: Click HERE to watch and HERE to download.   Q&A with Secretary Cardona: Click HERE to watch and HERE to download.   Washington, D.C. - At a hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, questioned Secretary of the Department of Education Miguel Cardona on the Department’s failure to implement the FAFSA Simplification Act, which has delayed students and… Continue Reading


04.23.24

Collins Urges Colleagues to Recognize Perilous Times, Pass National Security Supplemental

  Click HERE to watch and HERE to download.   Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Subcommittee on Defense, delivered remarks on the Senate floor today ahead of the Senate’s procedural votes on the national security supplemental package.  Senator Collins is managing the legislation on the Senate floor, which reflects the bipartisan bill she negotiated with Chair Patty Murray that the Senate passed in February.   In addition to … Continue Reading

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