As Economic Impacts Worsen, Mainers Are Afraid Senator Collins Will Do Little to Help Working Families
Portland, MAINE – Today, the US Department of Labor announced that 700,000 Americans lost their job in the first half of March, which comes a day after news that a record-shattering 6.6 million Americans, including 25,000 Mainers, filed for unemployment benefits last week.
As Maine families find themselves in ever more dire circumstances, Senator Susan Collins has continued not only to push for policies that prioritize bailing out corporations and protecting their profits, but also stood by while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Trump Administration continue their push to weaken the safety net programs that many Maine families depend on now more than ever.
“Mainers are hurting. Families need help paying for groceries and rent, but Senator Collins is busy working to get bailouts for her corporate donors, and worrying that unemployment benefits will be too generous,” said Willy Ritch, executive director of 16 Counties Coalition. “She needs to stop listening to lobbyists and start listening to Mainers. We need a leader who will fight for us, not corporate profits.”
In the past two weeks more than 45,000 Mainers have filed for unemployment — more than the total number of unemployment filings for all of 2019. Mainers have expressed increasing skepticism that Susan Collins’ approach to responding to the ciris will address their needs, and that they will see much benefit from the COVID-19 stimulus bill.
Not only did Senator Collins push hard for a no-string-attached corporate bailout, she echoed the concerns of her Republican colleagues who held up the vote because they worried the increased unemployment benefits fought for by Democrats could result in higher payments for low-wage workers.
Susan Collins has also remained silent on the Trump Administration’s refusal to reopen enrollment for ACA health benefits, and has not addressed the fact that the Trump Administration is also moving forward with their lawsuit aiming to add work requirements for those receiving food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Aid Program (SNAP).
About the 16 Counties Coalition The 16 Counties Coalition is a year-long grassroots advocacy campaign aimed at amplifying the voices of families and working Mainers and encouraging Senator Susan Collins to vote in favor of the people she was elected to represent and defend. The campaign will mobilize members through small- and large-scale events, through digital action, and paid television, radio, and digital ads.
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