The gulf of Maine

By JEFF INGLIS  |  October 9, 2008

SNOWE supported Bush’s economic policies 54 percent of the time, including backing both “economic stimulus” bills, and most of his tax cuts (though not reductions in taxing dividends). Like Collins, she opposed the president on “bankruptcy reform,” but supported the financial bailout.

MICHAUD aligned with Bush 38 percent of the time economically, diverging from Allen’s position primarily on class-action lawsuits. (Michaud voted in favor of a bill called the “cheeseburger bill” because it blocks customers at fast-food restaurants from suing the chains’ owners for contributing to the customers’ obesity.) He opposed the financial bailout both times it was voted on in the US House.

Environment and Energy
COLLINS
voted with Bush’s energy initiatives 24 percent of the time. She supported his efforts to increase logging as a way to try to prevent forest fires, as well as the controversial 2005 energy policy revision that increased federal funding for alternative energy sources but preserved massive oil-industry subsidies. (She also supported the 2007 expansion to offer even more incentives for the electric-generating industry to reduce environmental impact.) She has opposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and has supported clean-environment legislation Bush has opposed, such as limits on mercury emissions.

ALLEN has supported six percent of Bush’s environmental initiatives, voting in favor only of preserving snowmobilers’ access to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. He opposed almost all the Bush energy-policy proposals (including the major revision in 2005, though he supported its expansion in 2007), as well as oil drilling in ANWR, and supported Bush-opposed efforts in the areas of renewable-energy generation and public transportation.

SNOWE’s 24-percent agreement with Bush has been exactly the same as Collins’s.

MICHAUD supported Bush 13 percent of the time, when it comes to the environment, differing from Allen only in his aggressive support for logging — he supported a bill that allowed federal agencies to suspend the Endangered Species and Clean Water acts, and even the National Historic Preservation Act, when granting permits to log forests recently affected by fires or hurricanes. The bill passed, under the guise of allowing the harvest of dead timber that would decay and become unusable if the usual, slower regulatory process were followed.

Health Care
COLLINS supported Bush’s healthcare efforts 40 percent of the time, backing the creation of the Medicare prescription-drug plan, and supporting efforts to find “alternate” ways to do stem-cell research, without using embryos. She opposed Bush’s efforts to curtail embryonic stem-cell research. And Collins worked against the president to try to allow price negotiation on Medicare-purchased prescription drugs, and also supported importing prescriptions from certain other countries that were deemed “safe.”

ALLEN voted with Bush on healthcare 10 percent of the time, supporting Bush’s efforts to ban “fetal harvesting” (in which embryos would be created for the sole purpose of harvesting organs or other tissue for transplantation), as well as supporting permission for research on stem cells derived from donated blood from umbilical cords. He opposed Bush’s limitations on embryonic stem-cell research, drug importation, Medicare prescription price negotiation, and human cloning for research and medical purposes. He also voted for a Bush-opposed bill that provides more coverage for mental-health conditions in private insurance plans than were previously required.

SNOWE ’s 40-percent alignment with Bush has been exactly the same as Collins’s.

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