Collins herself was the subject of a censure effort in March by Maine Republicans, upset at her votes to convict Trump. That effort also failed.
Collins also went to bat for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was censured by her state’s Republican Party in February for her vote to impeach Trump. Cheney has continued to face criticism for speaking out about the role she feels Trump played in the Jan. 6 insurrection. And tensions heightened this week as Cheney, who hasn’t ruled out a presidential run in 2024, said some of the senators who “led the unconstitutional charge, not to certify the election” should be disqualified from the 2024 field.
Cheney also took heat this week after leaning in and fist-bumping with President Joe Biden as he made his way down the aisle for his speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. She went to Twitter to defend herself, posting: “I disagree strongly w/@JoeBiden policies, but when the President reaches out to greet me in the chamber of the US House of Representatives, I will always respond in a civil, respectful & dignified way. We’re different political parties. We’re not sworn enemies. We’re Americans.”
The intraparty rift has been evident, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declining to say whether Cheney was still a good fit for his leadership team, saying that it’s a question for the House GOP conference. Members voted less than three months ago to keep Cheney in her leadership spot, at McCarthy’s own urging.
“Liz Cheney is a woman of strength and conscience. And she did what she felt was right and I salute her for that,” Collins said. “We need to be accepting of differences in our party. We don’t want to become like too much of the Democratic Party, which has been taken over by the progressive left.”