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Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Tom Williams/Getty Images

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in a statement Saturday she believes whoever is elected in the 2020 presidential race should pick the nominee to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat.

Why it matters: Collins will be key in how the nomination process plays out. As one of the most centrist Senate Republicans, whether or not the Senate confirms Trump's SCOTUS nominee could hinge on her vote.

  • Collins, who is up for reelection in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, was also a deciding vote in confirming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, after which she faced a slew of criticisms from Maine Democrats.

What she's saying: “In order for the American people to have faith in their elected officials, we must act fairly and consistently—no matter which political part is in power."

  • "President Trump has the constitutional authority to make a nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, and I would have no objection to the Senate Judiciary Committee's beginning the process of reviewing his nominee's credentials."
  • "Given the proximity of the presidential election, however, I do not believe that the Senate should vote on the nominee prior to the election," Collins said. "In fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing the president or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the president who is elected on November 3."

Go deeper

Trump's chaos ploy

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Advisers to President Trump tell Axios three forces drove last night's twin bombshells — a slew of pardons for his allies and a last-hour attack on the $900 billion stimulus bill as a "disgrace."

1. Because he can: As Jonathan Swan has explained, Trump loves pardons for the same reason he relishes executive orders — pure power and instant gratification. A longtime Trump official says that pardons are uniquely satisfying to Trump because he can overturn the work of another branch of government, the judiciary.

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.

45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi expects “billionaire’s tax” to pay for Biden social spending

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday she expects the chamber to pass the bipartisan infrastructure plan by week’s end, and alternatives to corporate tax hikes and a “billionaires tax” will be used to finance President Biden’s promised expansion to the social safety net.

Why it matters: Pelosi’s comments come as House and Senate leaders try to wrap up a deal. What will get cut — and how the remainder will be paid — are linchpins to a final agreement.

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