When people in Washington want to solve a problem, they turn to the senior United States Senator from Maine, Susan Collins. First elected in 1996, Senator Collins has earned a national reputation as an effective legislator who works across party lines to seek consensus on our nation’s most important issues. For the past eight consecutive years, Senator Collins has ranked as the most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate by the Lugar Center and Georgetown University.
Senator Collins is the eleventh most senior member of the Senate and the most senior Republican woman. She serves as a senior member of the powerful Appropriations Committee, where she oversees the allocation of $1.4 trillion in annual federal funding. She also serves as the Ranking Member of the Transportation and Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, where she exercises additional influence over all federal housing and transportation priorities. Since 2009, she has secured more than $800 million in competitive transportation grants for the State of Maine. Additionally, she is a member of the Aging Committee; the Intelligence Committee; and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
Known for her Maine work ethic, Senator Collins has cast more than 8,000 consecutive votes and holds the longest perfect voting record in the history of the U.S. Senate.
Throughout her Senate service, Senator Collins has worked with members of both parties to advance landmark legislation to improve the lives of all Americans. Early in her Senate service, Senator Collins led the fight with Senator Dick Durbin to repeal a $50 billion tax break for big tobacco. In 2004, she and Senator Joe Lieberman co-authored a law that overhauled the nation’s intelligence community, improving its effectiveness while protecting civil liberties. She was the lead Republican in the successful effort to repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in December 2010. Her leadership was instrumental in ending the sixteen-day government shutdown in October 2013 as well as the shutdown in February 2018. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Senator Collins co-authored the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was a lifeline to millions of small businesses across the country. In Maine, tens of thousands of small businesses received $3.2 billion in forgivable PPP loans, supporting the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Mainers.
Senator Collins has had a long-standing interest in health care. In 1997, she founded the Senate Diabetes Caucus and has led the effort to more than triple federal funding for diabetes research. As the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, she has worked to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research and to strengthen support for family caregivers. She has championed efforts to lower the cost of prescription drugs and launched the Senate’s first bipartisan investigation into the causes, impacts, and potential solutions to these egregious price increases.
Senator Collins is also a tireless advocate for improving the quality and accessibility of education and has visited and read to children at more than two hundred schools across Maine. A champion for America’s small businesses, Senator Collins is proud of the 100 percent rating she receives from the National Federation of Independent Business, our nation’s leading small business organization. Senator Collins received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society for her work to support veterans, and she received the Navy’s highest public service award from the Secretary of the Navy for her tireless advocacy of shipbuilding programs.
Constituent service has always been one of Senator Collins’s top priorities. During her time in the Senate, she has helped tens of thousands of Mainers resolve issues with federal agencies at six constituent service centers throughout Maine.
Senator Collins was born on December 7, 1952, and raised in Caribou, Maine, where her family runs a sixth-generation lumber business, founded by her ancestors in 1844. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of St. Lawrence University, she is married to Thomas A. Daffron and resides in Bangor, Maine.