Politics

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public file

If approved, the stimulus deal reached in Washington this weekend will provide more money to schools, direct payments to people and extended unemployment benefits for those out of work. But one significant provision appears to have been left out: funding to local and state governments.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine says the defense bill that President Donald Trump has threatened to veto contains cybersecurity provisions aimed at combating the hacking of government agencies.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press file

Around the country, native people, including leaders of the Penobscot Nation in Maine, are rejoicing at the nomination of U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico to lead the Department of Interior.

This week on Maine's Political Pulse:

— Former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon faces questions about what she'll do with nearly $15 million in unspent campaign cash and why her campaign continued to ask for more through Election Day.

— Gov. Janet Mills considers publicly getting the vaccine for the coronavirus to boost public confidence.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Angus King publicly asked major internet streaming companies such as Netflix and Amazon to provide free access to their programming over the holidays as a way to keep people at home.

On Nov. 3, the final day of voting, the campaign for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon sent an email to donors containing all the hallmarks of modern donation solicitations.

The Legislature’s Appropriations Committee got some good news from economic and revenue forecasters on Thursday: Despite the recession, Maine’s economy is still growing.

The ceremony was smaller than past years, but the four members of Maine’s electoral college today cast their votes for president and vice president.

Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King are among a group of House and Senate members pushing a two-part pandemic relief package they hope will break a deadlock in Congress.

This week on Maine’s Political Pulse:

— As President Donald Trump continues his attempts to overturn the election, routine acts to finalize the results have turned theatrical. We’ll discuss how that might affect casting of ballots by Maine’s four electors.

— Republicans in the Maine Senate asked the state’s attorney general to join a lawsuit that seeks to throw out votes in key swing states.

Electors representing Maine’s four electoral votes will cast their ballots Monday for president and vice president, an event that will further cement president-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Kevin Bennett / For Maine Public

Some federal food programs have already run out of money, and others will run out at the end of the year. Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District says continuation of those programs is a top priority.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Citing unprecedented demand, the Mills administration is putting $2 million in federal relief funds toward food banks and pantries to reimburse them for at least a portion of extra expenditures they’ve had this year.

Under the program announced Friday, food banks and pantries can apply for up to $10,000 in relief money to defray expenses they’ve incurred during the pandemic.

The funds come through the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Food Security Network Reimbursement Program, and will be administered by Catholic Charities Maine.

This week on Maine's Political Pulse:

— New tax filings offer a glimpse at the liberal dark money operation that attempted to unseat Republican Sen. Susan Collins. We'll explain how that operation worked and its impact on the race.

— How one of president-elect Biden's cabinet picks could be in trouble for, of all things, mean tweets.

Alex Edelman / AFP via AP

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she is optimistic that Congress can reach a deal on a $908 billion pandemic relief package in the next week.

Collins says an increasing number of Republican senators are agreeing to the bipartisan proposal that she helped to write, but acknowledges that there is much more negotiation to do before the bill is ready for a vote.

“We are now at the stage where we are working out the actual language and the details, and that is where it becomes extremely complicated,” she says.

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