Susan Collins

Analysis: Omnibus Bill Signals Policy Areas Congress Will Punt On
Immigration, health insurance and shielding the special counsel among items left out

Members of the House exit the Capitol down the House steps after passing the omnibus spending package. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress appears ready to delay action indefinitely on a number of pressing policy issues.

The 2018 omnibus spending bill could be the last major legislative package to advance this year, a reality that spurred members in both chambers to lobby leadership to attach their pet project legislation to it.

Bipartisan Health Care Compromise Falls Apart, Obamacare Battle Continues

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, and Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., conduct a news conference in the Capitol on legislation to lower health insurance premiums for citizens who pay out of pocket on March 21, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The politics of health care reared its ugly head yet again.

A grand, bipartisan bargain to stabilize the U.S. individual insurance market fell apart this week. And members on both sides of the aisle turned to what they know best: blaming the other party.

Senate Intel Unveils First Findings on Russia Election Meddling
Focus Tuesday was on election infrastructure security

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., left, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., lead a news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday to preview the committee’s findings on threats to election infrastructure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s recommendations for how to secure U.S. election systems from intrusion efforts by the Russians and others aren’t exactly earth-shattering.

But that’s not to say they aren’t important.

As Omnibus Looms, Lobbying Commences
Lawmakers are lining up to get their priority bills added to what is potentially the last major legislative vehicle of the year

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have just weeks to put together a massive fiscal yer 2018 spending package that will likely carry several unrelated policy measures. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s Christmas again in Congress.

Members in both chambers return to Capitol Hill on Monday from a ten-day recess with four weeks left to put together a massive fiscal 2018 spending bill. And the package, which Congress must pass by March 23 to avoid another government shutdown, may be the last major legislative vehicle to advance this year.

Opinion: Save the RINOs, Save Yourselves
Mitt Romney would add a voice of moderation

Mitt Romney tours Gibson’s Green Acres Dairy in Ogden, Utah, on Feb. 16. Romney hopes to succeed retiring Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch. (Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)


Mitt Romney is running for Senate. He found new political life by bashing President Donald Trump — who on Monday proceeded to endorse him anyway. (Even a candidate video that sideswiped Trump at least twice wasn’t enough to deter the president.)

White House Call on Immigration Plan Gets Personal, Testy
Bipartisan compromise ‘spectacularly poorly drafted,’ official says

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer were among those slammed by a senior White House official over a bipartisan immigration measure they both helped craft. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The White House is “alarmed” by a bipartisan immigration measure offered by nearly 20 Republican and Democratic senators, a senior administration official said during a testy midday briefing.

The measure is “totally and completely unserious,” the official said during a conference call that would only be attributed to senior officials despite their sharp critiques, by name, of sitting U.S. senators. Other terms and words this official used: “dead on arrival,” “reckless,” and “spectacularly poorly drafted.”

Manchin Gets Saltier at Pence: No One Is More Bipartisan Than Me
Vulnerable West Virginia senator ‘shocked’ at VP’s speech to Republican retreat in home state

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has tried to position himself as a Democratic ally of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 2:05 p.m. | Sen. Joe Manchin apparently did not vent enough on Wednesday when he responded to Mike Pence’s speech in West Virginia in which the vice president criticized the Mountain State Democrat for voting against the Republican tax code overhaul in December.

So he did what most politicians do now when they’re frustrated: let loose on Twitter.

GOP Plans to Keep Discussing Health Care, Even if Trump Does Not

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., thinks the GOP needs to continue discussing the nation's challenges when it comes to health insurance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Health care policy isn’t set to be a major focus of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday, although some Republicans say the GOP needs to talk about the rising costs of health insurance.

Republicans on Capitol Hill say they don’t want Trump to shy away from talking about health care, despite the fact that the 2010 health care law remains mostly intact a year into the GOP-controlled Congress and Trump presidency. Some Republicans say they’d like to hear Trump encourage lawmakers to keep working to address rising premium costs.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol?
Duckworth on her struggles to conceive, Snowden still mourning ‘The Bear’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., holds the “talking stick” of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, that was handed to him by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., right, while speaking with reporters before a bipartisan meeting on immigration in Collins’ office on Tursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Manchin Might Be Without Powerful Ally in Re-Election Bid
NRA cut West Virginia Democrat off after he teamed with Toomey on background check legislation

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., talks with reporters before for a bipartisan meeting on immigration in the Dirksen Senate Office Building office of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated Jan. 27 10:36 | Sen. Joe Manchin III could have one less crucial donor in his re-election bid this year: the National Rifle Association.

When Manchin first ran for Senate in 2010 to fill the remainder of the term of the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, he ran an ad touting the gun advocacy group’s support.