Federal investment in our future
As Congress begins their work on the budget for fiscal year 2020, it is important for Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Angus King, Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Jared Golden to remember the many positive impacts that federal programs have on Maine.
Federal programs support Maine’s businesses, economy and people every day. These programs protect our environment, support our public health systems, provide affordable housing, ensure our neighbors have access to nutritious food and much more. Adequately funding the federal non-defense budget is critical to advancing Maine’s economic development and safeguarding Maine values.
The Maine Together coalition is a nonpartisan group of more than two dozen Maine organizations that recognize the vital role federal domestic programs play in supporting Maine’s economy and people. We value healthy, vibrant and inclusive communities for Mainers of all ages and capabilities. We support a federal budget that promotes a prosperous future for Mainers statewide.
Congress should prioritize funding parity for the non-defense side of the federal budget. Non-defense programs have been subject to repeated cuts in recent years as a result of the appropriations caps and sequestration process established by the 2011 Budget Control Act. These cuts are compromising our public health preparedness, weakening our infrastructure and hurting our state.
Lifting these arbitrary appropriations caps and rolling back the sequestration process would be a thoughtful and intentional way to begin ensuring effective domestic programs are adequately funded. Maine’s congressional delegation should continue to stand strong in advancing a federal budget that truly supports Maine people.
Who Collins stands with
Just over 1 percent of the $1.1 million in itemized contributions Sen. Susan Collins hauled in the first quarter for her expected re-election campaign came from the Mainers she purportedly represents.
In fact, just two New Yorkers — billionaire Robert Mercer, who bankrolled Brietbart, and his wife, Diana, donated more than all Mainers combined. Nearly $50,000 came from various out-of-state fossil-fuel industry PACs and executives.
Anyone remember the last time Collins held a town hall meeting in Maine to listen to us? Neither can I.
Just another sign that Collins doesn’t stand with the people who elected her. She stands with a small, powerful, elite political donor class that expects Congress to help them accumulate even more wealth at the expense of the rest of the country. Our only recourse is to vote her out in 2020 and elect someone who will truly represent Mainers.
Bad news for the planet
I respect the diversity of opinions offered by the Bangor Daily News. On Earth Day, on the page opposite an editorial celebrating the advances made by the Mills administration on climate policy, the paper published an OpEd by Nicolas Loris of the Heritage Foundation. He argues that “we should be thankful” that dire predictions in the 1970s that we would run out of oil did not come true, and that we have made progress on a number of environmental fronts since 1970.
The Heritage Foundation has received direct and indirect funding from the Koch network, which includes a petroleum empire that has sought to kill public transit projects around the country, and backed a 2017 bill in Congress, H.R. 1593, to repeal corporate average fuel economy standards. That legislation would cost Americans more at every visit to the pump.
What is most notable about Loris’ piece, however, is his complete failure to mention the problem of climate change. His supposed good news that we are swimming in oil is very bad news for the planet. The fact that he omits any word of climate denial suggests that, in his heart of hearts, he knows that, too.