McConnell praises Collins for staying in Senate

McConnell praises Collins for staying in Senate
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money — McConnell searches for debt deal votes GOP working to lock down votes on McConnell debt deal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Debt limit maneuvers; Biden warns Putin MORE (R-Ky.) on Friday praised Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Debt limit maneuvers; Biden warns Putin Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection Hillicon Valley — Presented by Connected Commerce Council — Incident reporting language left out of package MORE (R-Maine) for deciding to stay in the Senate and pass on a bid for governor.

"Senator Collins lives up to her state motto, Dirigo, every day in the Senate," McConnell said in a statement. "She never misses votes. She fights fiercely for her constituents. She brings conviction, smarts, and leadership to every issue.

"Her decision to remain in the Senate is important not only for the people of Maine, who she serves so well, but for the nation as a whole."

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McConnell's praise comes even though Collins was one of three Republicans to thwart the majority leader by voting against the GOP's effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Collins was joined by Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill Congress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills MORE (R-Alaska) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhat we can learn from Bob Dole Biden nominates Meg Whitman as ambassador to Kenya Dole to lie in state in Capitol Rotunda MORE (R-Ariz.) to defeat a so-called skinny repeal bill.

On Friday, Collins said she would not run for governor of Maine, ending months of speculation that she would leave the upper chamber.

She attributed her decision to a desire to play a "key role" in major policy debates.

"I want to continue to play a key role in advancing policies that ... bring peace and stabilities to a troubled and violent world," Collins said in an announcement Friday. "And I have concluded that the best way I can contribute to these priorities is to remain a member of the U.S. Senate."

She also addressed the Senate's ObamaCare effort, saying it was crafted in secrecy and without public input.

“The Senate Republican health-care bills were drafted behind close doors. By the way, it was a group of 13 men who did it,” Collins said. “It completely bypassed the standard legislative process.”

Collins's decision to stay in the upper chamber is also a boost for centrist Republicans, who have seen their ranks hit by a number of planned retirements.

Collins is next up for reelection in 2020.