Spotlight: Senator Susan Collins on Global Poverty

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SEATTLE, Washinton — As a self-described and well-perceived moderate in the United States’ Senate, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has played a very important role in passing legislation. Since the presidency of Barack Obama, Senator Susan Collins has been essential in making some of the deciding votes on legislation in an often very partisan environment within the Senate, highlighting her performance in the United States’ fight against global poverty. Using Sen. Collins’ support record and statements on pertinent issues, one can better analyze the integral stance taken by Senator Susan Collins on global poverty.

In Support of Women

Senator Collins has played an important role in the fight against global poverty, especially when it comes to supporting women internationally. Senator Collins has constantly promoted and championed efforts to lift international women up from poor economic backgrounds as well as fight to protect them from gender-based violence.

Sen. Collins stated that “combating […] oppression against women and increasing their opportunities abroad has been a long-standing priority of mine,” and she has also acted on these words. Along with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Collins introduced the International Violence Against Women Act, which ensured that it is United States policy to take action in preventing and responding to violence against women.

From 2011 to 2014, the Senate Appropriations Committee had approved Collins’ requests for $50 million to designate to foreign aid targeted at increasing women’s participation in government around the world. The Senator also co-sponsored, with Senator Coons (D-DE), the Reach Every Child and Mother Act of 2015. The purpose of the bill, in Collins’ own words, was “to improve the health and well-being of women and children in developing countries.” Although different versions of this bill have been introduced, the bill has not yet been brought to the President’s desk.

Senator Susan Collins on Global Poverty

Senator Susan Collins’ strong record in combating poverty does not end in the support for women-focused legislation. She has been instrumental in passing other legislation that is geared towards ending global poverty in recent years. Sen. Collins co-sponsored The Global Food Security Reauthorization Act and the Build Act. Furthermore, the senator also voted in approval for other successful anti-global poverty bills, most of which passed the Senate unanimously.

Senator Collins has also been a large supporter of not only funding bills that appropriate money to global poverty but also in creating innovative and necessary bills. Sen. Collins initiated the Bill to Require a National Strategy to Address the Threat Posed by Boko Haram. This bill could have easily been a military-focused strategy plan to combat Boko Haram, but being initiated by Senator Collins, the bill intelligently allocated resources to help the humanitarian cause, to protect schools and to aid in the fight against human rights abuses by military factions around the world.

The Future Fight Against Global Poverty

Since her cosponsorship of a bill to provide relief to the humanitarian crisis that was taking place in 2005 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senator Collins has constantly supported anti-poverty and human rights bills. It seems safe to predict that Senator Collins will continue to promote anti-global poverty legislation in the future. In fact, the senator has already co-sponsored the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act in 2018. The bill will appropriate over $130 million to aid in the humanitarian crisis in Burma.

As moderate Republican representing a small New England state, Senator Susan Collins has been one of the most supportive and hardworking leaders in the fight against global poverty. With Senator Collins’ bipartisan and communicative leadership skills as well as her emotional connection to lift international women out of poverty, she has been instrumental in the passage of anti-poverty legislation for the past two decades. The Borgen Project commends the stance taken by Senator Susan Collins on global poverty as well as the Senator’s constant support of Borgen Project priority legislation.

Kurt Thiele
Photo: Flickr
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