Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Credit: Al Drago / Pool via AP

We are writing in support of re-electing Susan Collins to the U.S. Senate.

Collins has a proven record of being a bipartisan leader in the Senate. She is respected on both sides of the aisle.

Collins has advanced to a senior position on the Senate Appropriations Committee and authored the Paycheck Protection Program providing $659 billion for small businesses; and has assisted Maine business and workers, such as those in Maine’s fishing industry, in obtaining assistance.

Sara Gideon did not lead Maine’s House of Representatives into action when the COVID-19 pandemic closed the state down, and she has no experience in Congress. Recent ads, including one directly from Gideon’s campaign, were found to be “mostly false” because they misrepresented Collins’ record.

Collins’ record however stands for itself. Her bipartisan work on the federal response to the COVID-19 public health and economic catastrophe includes: $175 billion to support hospitals and health care providers, $150 billion in assistance to states and local governments to help offset the cost of COVID-19 response in their public health response and the Paycheck Protection Program brought $2.2 billion in forgivable loans for nearly 80 percent of Maine small business, protecting an estimated 200,000 jobs.

In April, while serving on a bipartisan task force working on how to reopen the economy safely, Senator Collins prioritized increased testing for COVID-19. Notably, as a result of the CARES Act, a $75.5 million contract was awarded to Maine’s Puritan Medical Products to manufacture more nasal pharyngeal testing swabs. Additionally, by championing the CARES Act, which provides $10 billion for airports and workers, Collins rescued an estimated 200,000 Maine jobs.

Understanding the devastating economic impact of the pandemic-related plunge in passenger traffic at the Portland and Bangor International Airports, Collins again worked across the aisle, this time with Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, to ensure airports were included in the rescue package Congress approved.

Collins has led Maine’s congressional delegation in writing bipartisan letters to the Department of Health and Human Services, FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security Department requesting more personal protective equipment for Maine; and led the Congressional Fire Services Caucus in writing to President Donald Trump requesting a strong federal effort to address the national shortage of PPE for first responders. She is also on record warning against over reliance on foreign manufacturing of testing technologies.

Collins is available to her constituents. We have heard her speak several times at local gatherings over the last few years. She also regularly takes questions from audiences, responding with candor and demonstrating her vast knowledge of current issues impacting Maine. She has not forgotten her rural roots, and remains approachable and humble.

America needs bipartisan senators in Washington to effectively balance public health safety with economic recovery efforts to deal with COVID-19. Maine needs Collins’ experienced, strong advocacy in Washington.

We hope when the election is over in November, Mainers will still be able to call Susan Collins “Our Senator.”

Jeffrey and Allene Scott live in Saco. She is a medical consultant and he is a substitute teacher.