Sen. Susan M. Collins, Maine Republican, said Sunday she rejects her party’s strategy to tie a strike against Obamacare to the year-end spending debate, signaling a break that, if it grows, could prove disastrous to the GOP.
The Republican strategy has always relied on unity. Should enough Republicans in the House reject the strategy of demanding a dent in Obamacare in exchange for funding the government, it would undercut the GOP stance completely.
Mrs. Collins, who is on the liberal end of the Republican Party in Congress, said that her paramount goal is to avoid a shutdown and that she is not willing to gamble with that potential outcome.
“I voted against Obamacare and have repeatedly voted to repeal, reform, and replace it, but I disagree with the strategy of linking Obamacare with the continuing functioning of government — a strategy that cannot possibly work,” she said in a statement.
She said she wanted all sides to pass a short-term spending bill to carry the government beyond the midnight Monday deadline, and then asked President Obama to meet with her and a small rump group of Senate Republicans who had been trying to work out a long-term debt deal.