Lost in the turmoil of Washington politics is the fact that many bipartisan initiatives became law this past year. According to a Gallup survey, a majority of Americans believe political leaders should compromise to achieve their goals.

Given the gridlock that partisanship can produce, Americans are understandably tired of the divisiveness, controversies and hyperpartisanship in Washington. Nevertheless, Congress did make progress on issues that matter to the American people by working across the aisle.

A major accomplishment is the increased federal investment in biomedical research that is leading to progress in the fight against devastating diseases. Government has a critical role in investing in the basic science that leads to effective treatments or even cures. Congress has boosted funding for the National Institutes of Health by $7 billion in just the last three years, bringing total funding to $39.1 billion.

This year, I was successful in securing an extra $425 million for Alzheimer’s research — the largest funding increase ever — bringing the total to $2.34 billion. The bipartisan BOLD Act I authored with Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, which is heading to the president’s desk, will create a public health infrastructure to combat Alzheimer’s by promoting education, early diagnosis and improved care management.

More than 40 million Americans, including 178,000 Mainers, are caregivers for parents, spouses, children and other loved ones with disabilities or illness such as Alzheimer’s. This includes 5.5 million family members who care for a veteran.

In January, the RAISE Family Caregivers Act I authored with Sen. Tammy Baldwin was signed into law. Loving caregivers will now receive more resources and training to better balance the full-time job of caregiving with everything else that life brings. Another law I wrote with Sen. Bob Casey will help grandparents raising grandchildren, largely because of the addiction crisis.

A problem causing consternation among Americans is Russia’s attempts to polarize our society, interfere with our elections and undermine our democracy. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I have examined election security and the role that social media platforms play in disseminating Russia’s disinformation.

Nearly 4,000 Russian-controlled troll accounts have swamped Twitter, Facebook and other social media with more than 3 million deceptive messages targeting American political leaders since the spring of 2015. Russian-generated social media posts increased dramatically following the 2016 election, demonstrating how relentless the Russians are.

The committee’s investigation resulted in an extensive report on how the Russians used social media to drive Americans apart, even going as far as to promote protest movements in the U.S. To better guard against the Kremlin’s manipulation, I have co-sponsored the bipartisan DETER Act summary to send a powerful message to any foreign nation that illegally interferes with American candidates, elections or voting infrastructure.

Another foreign policy issue that has brought Congress together concerns Saudi Arabia. The bipartisan Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act;I co-sponsored would end American support for Saudi operations in Yemen’s civil war, address the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and demand accountability for the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Through the imposition of sanctions and the suspension of arms sales and other aid, this legislation puts Saudi Arabian leaders on notice that we do not support their war in Yemen, nor will we tolerate their brutal murder of Mr. Khashoggi.

Back on the home front, one of my highest priorities as chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee is to improve our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and ensure that Maine’s needs are addressed. This month, Maine was awarded $26.6 million for three vital projects, bringing Maine’s total federal funding from the TIGER/BUILD program to $160 million since 2009.

Congress also delivered a farm bill this year. It includes provisions I sought to strengthen support for young farmers, improve local farm-to-market efforts and increase funding for organic research, on which I worked with Rep. Chellie Pingree.

To address the opioid addiction epidemic, Congress took decisive action. In addition to appropriating $8.5 billion in federal funding this year alone, Congress enacted the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, a comprehensive package that received overwhelming bipartisan support. It includes two of my bills and embraces the multipronged approach I have long advocated for this epidemic: prevention, treatment and recovery, and enforcement to stop drug trafficking.

Ensuring a strong national defense also brings Congress together. This year, Congress provided funding for five ships to be built at Bath Iron Works. This will help to keep our nation safe and our skilled and dedicated Maine shipbuilders on the job. I also secured more than $162 million for infrastructure projects at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to support their important work to overhaul Navy submarines.

We also celebrated the first production of athletic shoes for our military at Maine’s New Balance plants. The entire Maine delegation worked for years to bring this opportunity to the skilled New Balance workers.

As chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, I worked to help ensure the well-being of our seniors. The Senior$afe Act I authored with Sen. Claire McCaskill became law in May and is empowering banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to better protect seniors from financial fraud. In October, following extensive committee investigations of prescription drug pricing, legislation I crafted also became law, ending the egregious practice of pharmacy “gag clauses” that prevented pharmacists from informing patients on how to pay the lowest possible price.

The divisiveness in Washington is disturbing, but we must not allow it to discourage us from coming together where we can find common ground and solve problems. The turbulent surface of political turmoil gets most of the attention, but the steady current of progress is what makes a difference.

Susan Collins, a Republican, is Maine’s senior senator.

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