Collins cast deciding vote to let Trump take money from military families for his wall


Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) claims she is opposed to Trump stealing money from the military to build a wall, but she doesn't vote that way.

At Senate Appropriations Committee meeting Thursday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) voted against an amendment to stop Donald Trump from raiding funds meant for the military and military families across the world in order to fund his border wall.

In a statement after the vote, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), an author of the amendment, lamented that Trump "has continually disregarded this Congress and subverted our Constitution for a failed campaign promise he said that Mexico would pay for."

"I'm disappointed that my colleagues refused to take a stand today for the Constitution, the Congress or their constituents," Leahy added.

After Congress rejected Trump's plea for $5 billion to build the wall, Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border, claiming such an action gives him the right to steal money meant for other projects and use it for a wall. Trump decided to take billions from the military, including funds meant for child care centers and schools.

The amendment to stop Trump, offered by Leahy and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), failed by only one vote, making Collins the deciding factor between standing up for military families or standing by Trump.

Collins cast her vote despite vowing to do the opposite in the days leading up to the vote.

"I strongly support protecting the institutional prerogatives of the Senate, and the system of checks and balances that is central to the structure of our government," Collins said on Wednesday. Collins made the statement to bring attention to her decision to back an effort to overturn Trump's national emergency declaration.

But when it came time to use her power as a senator and cast the deciding vote protecting the "institutional prerogatives of the Senate," Collins went back on her word.

"Unfortunately, this is another instance of Senator Collins telling Mainers one thing and then doing another in Washington," Kathleen Marra, Maine Democratic Party chair, said in a statement. "If Senator Collins were serious about preventing the president from raiding funds Congress had already set aside for military bases across the country, she would have voted to support this measure. Instead she was the deciding vote against it."

Trump is wildly unpopular in Maine, with 55% disapproving of his job performance and only 42% approving.

Yet when it comes to sticking by her word or siding with an unpopular Trump, Collins once again opted to stick by Trump.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.