Susan Collins

Regional News • Americas • United States
Rachel Levine confirmed as first transgender federal official
Rachel Levine confirmed as first transgender federal official
Credit: Governor Tom Wolf from Harrisburg, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Rachel Levine was confirmed as assistant secretary of health by the US Senate on Wednesday, making her the first openly transgender to be confirmed as a federal official. The vote was 52-48, with only two Republicans (Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski) joining the Democrats.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Two Republican senators break ranks with Trump on plans for Ginsburg's replacement
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska Credit: TALK MEDIA NEWS PHOTO ARCHIVES (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she would not support Trump's move to quickly fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court opened by Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.

Murkowski said in a statement: "I did not support taking up a nomination eight months before the 2016 election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Scalia. We are now even closer to the 2020 election – less than two months out – and I believe the same standard must apply."

On Saturday, Senator Susan Collins of Maine voiced similar concerns. Collins is locked in a tight re-election battle, while Murkowski’s current term extends two more years.