Collins recounts ‘heartwarming’ welcome in Maine after healthcare 'no' vote

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden clarifies his remarks on Russia Effort to overhaul archaic election law wins new momentum Bipartisan lawmakers announce climate adaptation bill MORE (R-Maine) on Sunday described receiving a “heartwarming” welcome in Bangor, Maine on Friday after she voted along with two other GOP senators to kill current GOP efforts to repeal ObamaCare.

“It really was so extraordinary, heartwarming and affirming. I got off the plane and there was a large group of outbound passengers, none of whom I happen to know, and spontaneously some of them started applauding and then virtually all of them started to applaud,” Collins told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” on Sunday. 

“It was just amazing. I’ve never had that happen in the 20 years that I’ve been privileged to serve in the Senate. So it was very encouraging and affirming, especially after arriving back home after a very difficult time,” she continued.

Collins joined 48 Democrats and Republican Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Overnight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Bipartisan lawmakers announce climate adaptation bill MORE (Alaska) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Redistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want MORE (Arizona) in voting against a barebones ObamaCare repeal bill put forth by GOP Senate leadership that was known as the “skinny” repeal.

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President Trump has expressed a desire to revive Republican efforts to repeal and replace former President Obama’s signature healthcare law this weekend. However, Collins said her vote would not be changed as a result of Trump’s pressure.

“We need to go back to committee, to the Health Committee and the Finance Committee, identify the problems, carefully evaluate possible solutions through hearings, and then produce a series of bills to correct these problems,” Collins said.

Collins and Murkowski had stood against the motion to bring the debate to the Senate floor on Tuesday, but McCain, who voted for the motion, dramatically put the nail in the repeal-and-replace coffin even after being personally lobbied by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team McConnell says he made 'inadvertent omission' in voting remarks amid backlash These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 MORE (R-Ky.), Vice President Pence and Trump.