Collins casts 8,000 consecutive roll call vote in Senate

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Greg Nash

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) cast her 8,000 consecutive roll call vote in Congress on Thursday, eliciting praise from both sides of the political aisle.

Collins, who was first elected to the Senate in 1996, voted to confirm Elizabeth Prelogar to be Solicitor General.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) celebrated the moment by tossing confetti after Collins cast the vote.

The Maine Senator has the third-longest consecutive voting streak in Senate history, trailing behind former Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.) with 10,252 uninterrupted votes, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) with 8,927 votes.

“Growing up in Maine, I learned from an early age the values of hard work, perseverance, and honoring your commitments. I am proud to bring those Maine values with me to the Senate every day while representing our state,” Collins said in a statement.

“Mainers are known for their strong work ethic, and I strive to demonstrate that same commitment to work hard for them,” she added.

The vote prompted praise from both sides of the aisle, with the upper chamber’s majority and minority leaders applauding the feat from the Senate floor.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who sparred with Collins in March about the 2009 financial crisis, called the senator’s 8,000th vote “a great milestone.”

“I join in extending a warm congratulations to Sen. Collins on this terrific achievement and thank her for many years of public service to her state and country,” he added.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recognized the magnitude of Collins’ achievement by comparing it to Cal Ripkin Jr.’s record for the longest consecutive game streak, which sits at 2,632.

He also called the senator “diligent” and “devoted.”

“Anybody who knows Sen. Collins knows this moment is not really about a round number. It’s about the approach which the number happens to reflect. Our colleague is diligent, she’s devoted, her level of preparation is unparalleled, she holds herself to the highest standards and she delivers. It’s in her blood,” McConnell said.

Collins cast her first vote in Congress on Jan. 22, 1997, when she supported the confirmation of Madeleine Albright to serve as secretary of State.

Her second vote in Congress was the same day for the confirmation of former Sen. Bill Cohen, whom Collins succeeded in the upper chamber, as secretary of Defense.

Collins has cast a number of controversial votes throughout her tenure in the Senate, bucking her party to join Democrats on a handful of matters.

She voted to convict former President Trump in February during his second impeachment trial on a charge of inciting an insurrection, and was one of two Republicans to support calling witnesses in the then-president’s first impeachment trial, which was ultimately unsuccessful.

The Republican Senator also crossed the political aisle in 2017 when she voted against two GOP-led health care bills, one of which would have partially repealed Obamacare.

Another closely watched Collins vote occurred in 2018, when she ultimately decided to stick with her party and support Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, despite pressure to oppose it amid allegations of sexual assault against him.

Tags Brett Kavanaugh Chuck Grassley Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Kirsten Gillibrand Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell Roger Wicker Susan Collins

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