Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) hit back at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Wednesday after he cited her as a cautionary tale of 2009, when Democrats watered down major relief legislation during the economic crisis to try to win over Republicans.
“I thought that Leader Schumer’s comments were bizarre,” Collins told reporters, according to a pool report. “He voted for the same package that I did.”
The Maine Republican painted Schumer’s remarks as mere bitterness over her winning her reelection bid in 2020.
“I think it reflects, regrettably, his inability to accept the fact that despite pouring $100 million into defeating me, the people of Maine said no and reelected me to a historic term,” she said.
During a CNN interview on Tuesday, Schumer signaled that Senate Democrats’ decision to pass their huge COVID-19 relief package without GOP support came from the hard lesson they learned in 2009 about trying to work with Republicans on crucial legislation.
The Democratic leader asserted that it was his party’s desperate chase for Republican votes, including that of Collins, that led to a far weaker bill to help Americans deal with the recession.
“We made a big mistake in 2009 and ’10. Susan Collins was part of that mistake,” he told CNN. “We cut back on the stimulus dramatically and we stayed in recession for five years.”