Posted on October 17, 2020 11:15 pm

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The Maine House Republican leader expressed outrage on Friday that House Speaker Sara Gideon, the state’s Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate, has failed to convene the state legislature for seven months and has made no “legitimate attempt” to compromise with state Republicans.

During a Senate debate on Thursday, incumbent Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) observed that Gideon “has done nothing” to support Maine in its process of recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and noted that Gideon has barely spoken with her GOP counterpart, House Minority Leader Kathleen Dillingham (R-Oxford), since the legislature adjourned in March.

Gideon denied the accusation, saying, “That is simply not true. The number of times that I’ve talked to my fellow Republican leader I cannot even count on one hand.”

In response, Dillingham released a scathing statement Friday, claiming Gideon’s remark was “simply untrue.”

“There has been no legitimate attempt to reach a bipartisan compromise to bring the legislature back into session. … We have not spoken in months,” Dillingham wrote:

The state legislature adjourned in March “to mitigate the spread of disease,” leaving hundreds of bills unfinished, and the Democrats, who have a commanding majority in the Maine House, have not met Republicans’ demand for an agenda of what bills would be addressed during a special session.

Republicans say they only want to take up bills related to emergency issues, while Democrats say they have already provided a sufficient scope for a special session, as reported in the Bangor Daily News.

A majority in both parties must agree to return for the session to take place.

The Collins campaign released an ad after the debate spotlighting Dillingham’s statement and adding that Gideon, the House’s highest-ranking member, “hasn’t made ANY effort to bring the Legislature back — leaving Mainers high and dry while she focused on her campaign”:

Furthermore, the Collins campaign has been keeping tabs on Twitter on the number of days since the House has convened:

Write to Ashley Oliver at [email protected].

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