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WASHINGTON (NEWS CENTER) -- Senator Susan Collins is responding to criticism that she missed an opportunity to send a message to Tea Party Republicans about the Affordable Care Act and the Federal Government Shutdown.

Portland Press Herald columnist Bill Nemitz wrote in Wednesday's paper that the senator could have sent a message to the House Tea Party Republicans.She voted along party lines to keep changes to the ACA linked to the resolution to keep the government funded and avoid a shutdown.

Collins had already been on record as saying the two should not have been linked.

Collins spoke to us from the Capitol rotunda. She told us her votes did send a message to tea partiers.

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