The New Sheriffs – Collins and Nelson take on the stimulus bill

Maine’s own Senator Susan Collins (R) and Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson (D) have banded together. What are these two up to? They’re the new sheriffs in town. They’re gonna tell all those earmarks and pork in the stimulus bill to git an’ don’t come back!

The two are working to slice wasteful spending from the bill. Together they are trying to bring a bill to the senate that will attract the support of both conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans. Their main issue with the bill? A distinct lack of focus on job creation and economic growth specifically.

“Our goal is to have a bill that is both bipartisan and effective. That’s what we want. There’s no doubt that the American people don’t want to see partisan politics in this debate,” said Collins. Collins worried the bill was becoming “a Christmas tree where members are hanging their favorite program on it. A lot of these programs are worthwhile. But we have to focus on what the impact is on the economy and whether or not the spending creates or saves jobs. That’s the question. That’s the test that needs to be passed,” she told CNN.

Nelson goes on to explain some of the what should be cut from the stimulus or reduced:

“I like parts of it,” he said, pointing to funding based on infrastructure, “But there’s an awful lot of spending in it that I think is questionable, marginally supportive and stimulative for jobs.” Nelson said it’s important to fund things like programs to stop smoking, “but they ought to be part of something else, not part of a jobs stimulus bill.”

Collins and Nelson seem to have a grasp on what is really needed from this stimulus. As Nelson said, “The majority opinion is the people want jobs, jobs, jobs.” Both senators know that infrastructure spending is the key to this. First get our communities repaired and functional. Then we’ve got to move from the 20th century, 19th in some areas, to the 21st. That is how our communities can thrive and our industry stay competitive.

I have not always been a big fan of Collins. Unlike Maine Senator Olypmia Snowe (R) who I am a big fan of, I have disagreed with Collins positions a number of times. My opinion of her is turning around though, especially if she can pull this off. For the sake of this country the Senate Dems and Repubs had better pay attention to this.

Embedded video from CNN Video

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