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Read Shenna's Plan: INVESTING IN MAINE’S WORKERS TO GET OUR ECONOMY WORKING AGAIN
What Matters Most
Creating Jobs and Investing in the Future
We should also invest in renewable energy – in solar, properly sited wind, tidal, geothermal, biodiesel and biomass – to reduce our domestic energy costs, confront climate change and create good-paying jobs. A modern transportation system, statewide Internet access, and a focus on the technologies and jobs of the future will mean a stable economy and a higher quality of life all over the state.
Helping Small Businesses
Fair Pay for Hard Work
Working people deserve a strong voice in Washington, and I will always be an ally to workers. I support the right to organize including collective bargaining. I oppose right-to-work-for-less legislation.
Fair Trade, Not Corporate Giveaways
Some politicians like to think of the economy as just another issue. For me, the economy is every issue. Better economic policies in Washington can make the difference when you want to get an affordable education, pay your bills, start a family, get the job you want and retire on your own schedule. Investing in Maine’s economy can make those things possible for every Mainer, and that’s what I’m going to do from the first day I’m in Washington.
Repealing the Patriot Act
In Maine, I led a coalition to pass groundbreaking privacy laws to require warrants before law enforcement accesses email or phone communications. As United States Senator, I will work with Republicans and Democrats alike to repeal the Patriot Act and restore checks and balances on government spying. I’m proud to have been called “the Elizabeth Warren of civil liberties,” and that’s exactly the kind of senator I intend to be.
Ending Our Drug War
Marriage Equality and Equal Protection
Common-Sense Gun Policies
Protecting the Right to Vote
Getting Money Out of Politics
That’s why I support campaign finance reform and public funding of federal elections. I support small donor public financing based on the Brennan Center model and the immediate overturning of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision. Corporations are not people, and we must work together to limit the influence of big money in our elections and restore grassroots democracy.
Supporting Public Education
Early Childhood Education
Student Loan Reform
Investing in Renewable Energy
Responsible Clean Air Standards
Sustainable Agriculture and GMO Labeling
A Clean Water Supply
I Oppose Keystone and Tar Sands Exploitation
Confronting the ISIS Threat & Military Involvement in Iraq and Syria
I am opposed to sending American ground troops in to fight in Iraq. We have been down this road before at great cost to our country without lasting security benefits. We need to be very thoughtful about what’s in the best interest of the American public and pause carefully before spending billions of dollars more on wars we cannot afford that make us less safe. I have serious concerns about the lack of Congressional oversight in this process and the seeming rush to war.
What’s happening in Syria and Iraq is a sectarian civil war whose history is rooted in deep religious conflicts that are centuries old. ISIS, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State, did not exist in its current form before we invaded Iraq. Instead, it is one of the many unforeseen consequences of rushing into a war without sufficient caution or consideration. That’s why I have deep concerns about the strategy to arm Syrian rebels whose interests and goals are not entirely aligned with ours. Without more information and oversight, in trying to defeat the ISIS of today, we may be enabling the conditions that would create the ISIS of tomorrow. I would have voted "no" on the recent resolution to arm and train Syrian rebels. We must stop fueling future conflicts.
We must be more strategic in our foreign policy. The war in Iraq, which Susan Collins voted for, cost us thousands of American lives and more than $1 trillion that we could have invested at home. Today, we see more chaos in the region than before. Ongoing military intervention will not solve problems that have been exacerbated by the war over the last decade.
Instead of rushing to war, we should confront the ISIS threat as a global community, working in coalition with regional partners. Our allies in the Middle East have far more at stake in this crisis, yet we have not demanded they take a stronger leadership role in solving it. Long-term peace and stability in the region requires that the governments most impacted by the cycle of violence take an active role in confronting it.
We need to be more targeted in our response to terrorist groups like ISIS. There is no question that ISIS is barbaric and dangerous, but there is a serious question about how we best defeat them. President Obama demonstrated that he was able to kill Osama Bin Laden and weaken the Al Qaeda leadership with an elite team of special forces, accomplishing in a targeted way what President Bush had failed to do by invading Iraq and sending more than one hundred thousand American troops into harm’s way. An important tactic in defeating radical groups is defeating their leadership. Our special forces may be able to target the ISIS leadership, which would be preferable to arming potential enemies in Syria and engaging in blanket air strikes that may kill as many civilians as terrorists or lead to another costly ground war.
Conflicts like this cannot be resolved with American military force alone, and unfortunately, we have learned over the last decade that too often we do not have full information about the nature of the threats we face. We cannot afford to be the world’s military policeman. Lasting peace and security worldwide depends upon a more targeted, strategic and agile approach to our foreign policy.
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Opposing War, Using Diplomacy
In Washington, I will advocate for peaceful and humanitarian solutions to international conflict where possible. I will work to I will support United Nations conventions against torture and in support of women and the rights of children, and I will always stand for the rule of law.
I Support Universal Health Coverage
Protecting Patients and Ending the Repeal Debate
Expanding Medicare and Medicaid
Eliminating the Social Security Tax Break for the Very Wealthy
Expanding Benefits to Meet People's Needs
I support legislation that would expand Social Security benefits like the “Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 and the RAISE Act, which helps widows, widowers, divorcees and the children of deceased disability benefit recipients. Benefits should be linked with a more realistic Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers that takes into account the high costs seniors face with healthcare and housing. We need to ensure meaningful cost of living increases.
With corporations cutting worker pensions, Social Security benefits are more important than ever. We can’t cut our way to prosperity. As Maine’s next U.S. Senator, I will stand up for seniors to strengthen Social Security benefits, not cut them.
More Cuts Won’t Work
To strengthen our existing Medicare system, we should allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies to reduce costs. I support strengthening the benefits provided for long-term care to allow seniors to stay in their homes and receive quality care that is lower cost in the long run than institutionalized care. I will always stand up for the provisions of Medicare that make it so successful including preservation of patient choice to use the doctors they trust and coverage of a broad set of defined benefits.
Civil & Economic Rights for Seniors
At the ACLU I also advocated for family medical leave policies that included caregivers, and I will advocate for policies at the federal level that support paid leave for caregivers. I will also support expansion of health insurance coverage to provide comprehensive coverage for long-term care, so that we can lower costs and preserve quality care for seniors and people with disabilities in their homes.
Seniors have so much to give to our communities, and as U.S. Senator, I will support job training programs like the AARP Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) to help adults 55 and older get the job training and assistance they need to find good work. I will work to strengthen and expand intergenerational engagement in our communities through support for the Corporation for National Service and programs like Senior Corps, ENcorps and RSVP. As an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, I saw firsthand how paid volunteer service benefits communities in need. As a VISTA volunteer I worked to create incentives for saving, including individual development accounts for youth, and I will support legislation that makes it easier for families to save for their retirement. We can grow our economy and promote financial independence for our seniors by expanding employment, training and savings opportunities for our seniors.
At the same time, we must be sure to support the social safety net that protects our most vulnerable seniors. I will be a strong advocate for expansion of SNAP, commonly referred to as food stamps, and federal funding for food and heating assistance programs that protect our friends and neighbors.
I will always be a strong advocate for civil rights and economic security for Maine’s seniors today and for generations to come.
The people of Maine know what we need: expanded Social Security benefits funded by the very wealthy paying their fair share. That’s going to take stronger leadership for retirees and Social Security recipients, and that’s what I’ll provide as your next Senator.
Increasing Eligibility Awareness
Government Shutdowns and Austerity Budgets Hurt Veterans
Access to Birth Control is a Right
As your senator I’ll always tell you up front where I stand on reproductive freedom, paycheck equality and other important women’s issues – before the vote happens. I look forward to working with advocates and women to advance women’s health and women’s rights.
ON THE ISSUES: the differences between Shenna Bellows & Susan Collins
|CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM|
|DISCLOSE Act||Shenna supports the DISCLOSE Act and endorsed it when it was reintroduced earlier this year. The bill would make sure big political contributions are publicly disclosed in a timely way to increase transparency.||Republican Susan Collins voted to block the DISCLOSE Act twice in 2010 -- including one instance where the bill failed by a single vote -- and again in 2012.|
|Udall Amendment to Overturn Citizens United
||Shenna supports a targeted Constitutional amendment to allow overturn Citizens United, allow Congress and state legislators to regulate money in politics and restore balance to our electoral system.||Republican Susan Collins voted to filibuster the Udall Amendment in September.|
|USA Patriot Act||Shenna started her ACLU career organizing a national campaign to fix the Patriot Act. As former Executive Director of the ACLU of Maine, Shenna advocates for repeal of the Patriot Act.||Republican Susan Collins voted for the Patriot Act originally and has since voted to renew the legislation every time it has come before Congress.|
|NSA Spying||Shenna opposes the warrantless NSA spying program and has called for checks and balances to require the NSA to secure a warrant before accessing Americans’ cell phone or email communications.||Republican Susan Collins has voted to legalize NSA spying program multiple times and has publicly stated that the program is “fair.”|
Freedom to Marry for Same-Sex Couples
|Shenna was a leader in the campaign for the freedom to marry in Maine for seven years. She and her husband waited to marry until her gay and lesbian friends in Maine could legally marry.||Republican Susan Collins declined to support the marriage equality campaign. It was not until this election year in June that she publicly announced her support for marriage equality.|
Raising the Minimum Wage
|Shenna supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour because working families deserve to earn enough money to care for their families.||Republican Susan Collins opposes raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. She voted with the Republicans to block the minimum wage bill from coming to a vote in April 2014.|
|Shenna opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership and fast-track authority. She advocates for fair trade that includes strong labor and environmental standards.||Republican Susan Collins has not revealed a position on the TPP. In 1997, she voted in favor of fast-track authority.|
Keystone XL Pipeline
|Shenna opposes the Keystone Pipeline as well as reversing the Portland pipeline to transport tar sands.||Republican Susan Collins has voted in favor of the Keystone Pipeline twice. She is the only member of the Maine delegation who has declined to take a position on the Portland pipeline and tar sands.|
|Shenna strongly supports a national Kids Safe Products Act, modeled on Maine’s law.||Republican Susan Collins cosponsored legislation drafted by the chemical industry that would prevent states from having stronger restrictions than federal laws, pre-empting the Maine Kid Safe Products Act.|
|GMO Labeling||Shenna supports GMO labeling.||Republican Susan Collins voted against legislation that would have required national GMO labeling.|
|Clean Air||Shenna supports the Obama administration limits on carbon emissions. She is a strong advocate for clean air protections.||Republican Susan Collins has a mixed record. In the past, she has voted to block EPA authority to regulate carbon emissions. She has remained silent on the Obama Administration carbon emissions regulations.|
|Bernie Sanders Veterans Benefits Bill (S.1982)||Shenna supported S. 1982, which expanded veterans' healthcare programs, offered veterans in-state tuition rates for higher education, provided advanced appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs and permanently fixed a cut to the growth rate of veterans' pensions.||Republican Susan Collins voted against S.1982 when it came before the Senate in February. The American Legion called the vote "inexcusable."|
Paycheck Fairness Act
|As a leader of the Maine Women’s Coalition, Shenna has advocated for ending pay discrimination for years.||Republican Susan Collins voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, along with other Republicans whose votes collectively blocked the bill from moving forward.|
Access to Birth Control
|Shenna led the defeat of anti-contraception bills in the Maine State Legislature as a leader in the Maine Choice Coalition. She believes that neither your boss nor the government should interfere in your personal decisions about whether or when to use birth control and strongly opposes the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby.||Republican Susan Collins has a mixed record. She has voted for numerous budget bills that would have defunded family planning clinics and Planned Parenthood. She also voted in favor of the anti-contraception Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed employers to deny women access to birth control coverage or any healthcare service based on personal religious beliefs of the employer. In July of this election year, she changed her position on the issue of whether private corporations can deny women birth control but maintains that non-profits should be able to do so.|
|Abortion||Shenna is a staunch advocate for abortion rights. As a leader in the Maine Choice Coalition, Shenna has led successful lobbying efforts to defeat multiple anti-abortion bills in Maine.||Republican Susan Collins has a mixed record. She voted for the antiabortion “Unborn Victims of Violence Act." She voted to defund family planning.|