The 100 Most Influential People of 2021
Stefani Reynolds—The New York Times/Redux
By Susan Collins
September 15, 2021 7:15 AM EDT

My phone rang early the morning after the long 2020 election night. It was Joe Manchin waking me up. He immediately jumped from “congratulations” to discussing how to reinvigorate bipartisanship in Washington. At the time, we did not know that the Senate would be equally divided between Republicans and Democrats, making Joe’s vote the most sought-after in the Senate.

In 2021, Joe is in the midst of every debate. He is front and center on the filibuster issue, the infrastructure­ debate, and issues from voting laws to immigration to taxes and spending, as well as nearly every appointment made by the President. In short, Joe is the go-to-guy in the 50-50 Senate.

Joe believes passionately that bipartisanship leads to the best solutions, and he wants to prove it can still work. As someone who shares his belief in working across the aisle, I always want him on my side.

Collins, a Republican, is a U.S. Senator from Maine

More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

EDIT POST