On Oct. 1, the Republican tax plan faced a major problem. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), just a few days after announcing his retirement, appeared on "Meet the Press" and laid down a marker on his party's signature goal.
In unequivocal comments to NBC's Chuck Todd, the Republican senator said, "If it looks like to me, Chuck, that we are adding one penny to the deficit, I'm not going to be for it."
At the time, this spelled trouble for the GOP gambit: if Corker honored his commitment, many assumed at the time, the tax bill would likely fail. After all, it'd only take three Senate Republicans to break ranks, and if Corker joined the handful of GOP moderates in opposition to the regressive plan, Republican leaders would fall short of a majority.
But that's not how it worked out. Corker, to his credit, followed through on his pledge and voted against his party's plan, but literally every other Senate Republican supported the proposal.
That included Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), ostensibly the most moderate member of her caucus, who could've voted "no" -- the plan would have passed anyway -- but who nevertheless stuck with her far-right colleagues. As the Bangor Daily News noted yesterday, this didn't sit well with many of Collins' constituents who saw her as a likely ally.
After U.S. Sen. Susan Collins voted early Saturday morning in support of the Republican bill to overhaul the tax code, some Mainers broke out in protest over the weekend, calling Collins' vote a betrayal.
Gathered outside Collins' Portland office Friday night before the vote, Mainers for Accountable Leadership co-founder Gordon Adams told Portland-based ABC affiliate WMTW that Collins, who came out in support of Senate the tax bill, "has really let the people of Maine down."
With news that Collins had voted overnight in support of the bill, more gathered across the state, including at the Bangor International Airport, in case Collins flew home from Washington, D.C. Voters stood with their backs turned, claiming " Her vote turned her back on ME," according to a Mainers for Accountable Leadership Facebook post.
As it turns out, the Maine senator didn't see those protesters at the airport -- she remained in D.C. over the weekend -- but it's still hard not to wonder what in the world Susan Collins was thinking.