The majority Democrats are now holding hearings, and Sen. Susan Collins, sensing a change in the political winds, is agreeing to an investigation that should have happened on her watch.

It was Collins’ and the Republicans’ responsibility to oversee the president’s handling of the war in Iraq and the country’s commitment to care for wounded brave men and women. But when it came to choosing between health care for veterans and tax cuts for the wealthy, Collins chose tax cuts for the wealthy.

It seems her strategy for congressional oversight was to trust the Bush administration. But simply hoping the president is doing the right thing in Iraq, and taking care of our soldiers, is not enough. Congress has a responsibility to oversee the conflict in Iraq and make sure that our soldiers are being taken care of when they return home.

Sen. Collins’ Johnny-come-lately approach to congressional oversight is a case of too little, too late. She and her Republican allies in Congress had a responsibility to oversee the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq conflict.

They failed.

Pamela Pace, Andover

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