McConnell praises Collins for staying in Senate

McConnell praises Collins for staying in Senate
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Poll: 33% of Kentucky voters approve of McConnell Five takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump MORE (R-Ky.) on Friday praised Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOn The Money: Senate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump emergency declaration | Banks made billion in extra profits thanks to GOP tax law | IRS analyst charged with leaking Cohen's financial records Senate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down 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 Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration GOP Sen. Collins says she'll back resolution to block Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times MORE (R-Alaska) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMellman: Where are good faith and integrity? GOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech 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.