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Jan 03 2013

Senator Collins' Committee Assignments Announced

Senator Collins to Serve as Senior Member of Appropriations and Intelligence Committees and Top Republican on Aging Committee

Collins also to continue as top Republican on Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee and senior member of critical Defense Appropriations Subcommittee


WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, with the official swearing-in of the 113th Congress, U.S. Senator Susan Collins will become one of the most senior members serving on the Senate Appropriations Committee, the oldest and most powerful of Senate committees.  Senator Collins will continue to serve as the most senior Republican on the Senate Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees funding for the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"I support a robust investment in transportation infrastructure, both in Maine and throughout the nation," said Senator Collins.  "As Ranking Member of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I know well the positive effects of investing in our nation's aging infrastructure.  This investment not only repairs crumbling roads and bridges allowing the critical flow of goods and services, but also boosts the economy and creates much-needed jobs. "

In addition, Senator Collins expects to remain on the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, where she will move up to a senior position. In this critical role, Senator Collins will oversee funding for the Department of Defense, and be in a critical position to continue to fight for Maine's military interests including Bath Iron Works, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the Maine Military Authority in Limestone, the Maine Air National Guard base in Bangor, Pratt and Whitney in North Berwick, and many other Maine entities that contribute to our national security.

"Maine's contributions to our national security stretch from Kittery to Limestone and affect workers in every one of Maine's 16 counties," said Senator Collins.  "Our state makes enormous contributions to our national security, and Maine's interests will be well-served with Senator Angus King being named to the Senate Armed Services Committee and my leadership on the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.  I am delighted that our state will have advocates on the two Senate committees that determine our defense policies and funding.

Senator Collins also expects to continue to serve on the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, and the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee.  Each of these subcommittees makes important funding decisions about a wide array of vital programs affecting Maine.  In addition, important legislative policies are often passed on these annual Appropriations bills. For example, through the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins successfully blocked attempts by the Department of Agriculture to arbitrarily limit the servings of potatoes in the National School Lunch Program and eliminate the potato from the School Breakfast Program altogether.  In her role on the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins was able to highlight the groundbreaking work on deepwater, offshore wind research at the University of Maine and private sector companies in our state.  As a result, UMaine is on the cusp of securing millions of dollars of research grant funding that should eventually result in thousands of good-paying jobs in Maine.  In her role as the senior Republican on the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins championed the passage of legislation that now allows the heaviest trucks to travel on Maine's interstates-a policy change that has improved highway safety, saved fuel, and enhanced commerce in our state.  In addition, she has successfully advocated for important funding that will help replace aging bridges in Rumford, Richmond, and Kittery.

Senate leaders have also appointed Senator Collins to a senior position on the Senate Intelligence Committee, replacing retiring Senator Olympia Snowe.  As the former Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Senator Collins authored the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act.  This law, which represents the most sweeping changes to our nation's intelligence system in more than 50 years, passed following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and unified the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the United States.

And finally, Senator Collins will serve as Ranking Member of the Special Committee on Aging.  As the ranking Republican on this committee, Senator Collins will be in a key position to focus attention on issues that are vitally important to Maine, and America's, aging population, such as healthcare; long term care; elder fraud and abuse; retirement savings; and research on diseases like Alzheimer's and diabetes.  Maine has the oldest population in the nation as measured by the median age.  Senator Collins' leadership of this committee marks the first time that a Mainer has held the top spot since Senator Bill Cohen's tenure.