Susan Collins

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Susan Collins
Susan Collins.jpg
U.S. Senate, Maine
In office
January 3, 1997-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 18
PredecessorWilliam S. Cohen (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
First electedNovember 5, 1996
Next general November 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
High schoolCaribou High School
Bachelor'sSt. Lawrence University
Date of birthDecember 7, 1952
Place of birthCaribou, ME
Net worth$205,002
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Susan Margaret Collins (b. December 7, 1952) is an Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Maine. Collins was first elected to the Senate in 1996.

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Collins is a "centrist Republican leader".[1]


Sanders was born in 1952 in Caribou, ME, where she also attended high school. She earned her B.A. from St. Lawrence University in 1975. Before seeking office herself, Collins had worked on the staff of now-former Senator William S. Cohen.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Collins' professional and political career[2]:

  • Staff Director of the Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on the Oversight of Government Management, 1981-1987
  • Commissioner of the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, 1987-1992
  • New England Regional Director, United States Small Business Administration, 1992
  • Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Massachusetts, 1993
  • U.S. Senate, 1997-Present

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Collins serves on the following Senate committees[3]:

  • Appropriations Committee
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
    • Subcommittee on Department of Defense
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
  • United States Senate Committee on Intelligence (Select)
  • Special Committee on Aging, Ranking Member


Collins served on the following Senate committees[4]:


Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Collins voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[5]

Paul Ryan Budget Proposal

Nay3.png In March 2013 the U.S. Senate soundly rejected a balanced budget plan by House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan (R).[6] Five Republicans joined every Democrat present to kill the measure, which failed on a 40-59 vote.[6]

Collins was one of the five Senate Republicans who voted against Ryan's budget proposal.[6]

The proposed budget would have cut about $5 trillion over the next decade and aimed to balance the budget by the end of the 10-year period.[7]

Some tea party members of the GOP opposed the measure because of its reliance on $600 billion-plus in tax revenues on the wealthy enacted in January 2013, in order to balance the budget.[6] Others in the Senate opposed the Ryan plan because of cuts from safety net programs for the poor and the inclusion of a plan to turn the Medicare program for the elderly into a voucher-like system for future beneficiaries born in 1959 or later.[6]

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists criticized President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[8][9][10]

According to the website Breitbart, Collins was one of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[11][12]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[13]



On November 4, 2008, Collins won re-election to the United States Senate. She defeated Thomas H. Allen (D) in the general election.[14]

U.S. Senate General Election, Maine, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSusan Collins Incumbent 61.3% 444,300
     Democratic Thomas H. Allen 38.6% 279,510
     Independent Other 0.1% 620
Total Votes 724,430

Campaign donors


Breakdown of the source of Collins' campaign funds before the 2008 election.

Collins won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Collins' campaign committee raised a total of $8,039,750 and spent $7,996,626.[15]


Congressional Staff Salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Collins paid her congressional staff a total of $2,549,604 in 2011. She ranks 16th on the list of the highest paid Republican Senatorial Staff Salaries and she ranks 50th overall of the lowest paid Senatorial Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Maine ranks 41st in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[16]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Collins' net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $110,005 and $300,000. This averages to $205,002, a decrease of 17.17% since 2010. This is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2011 of $6,358,668.[17]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Collins' net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $145,005 and $350,000. That averages to $247,502.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2010 of $7,054,258.[18]

Political Analysis

National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Collins was ranked the 47th most conservative senator during 2012.[19]


According to the data released in 2012, Susan Collins was ranked the 47th most conservative senator during 2011.[20]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Susan + Collins + Maine + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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Collins lives in Bangor, Maine.[21] In August 2012 she married Thomas Daffron, chief operating officer of Jefferson Consulting Group, a lobbying and consulting firm in Washington, and a former chief of staff to Senators William Cohen, Fred Thompson and Lisa Murkowski. This is her first marriage, his second.[22]

She is the niece of former Maine Supreme Judicial Court justice Samuel Collins, Jr.

External links


  1. Gov Track "Susan Collins," Accessed March 3, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Susan Collins," Accessed October 25, 2011
  3. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  4. Official Senate Website "Committee Assignments," Accessed October 25, 2011
  5. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 CBS News, "Senate Rejects Paul Ryan Budget," accessed March 22, 2013
  7. Washington Post, "10 House Republicans Vote Against Ryan Budget," accessed March 22, 2013
  8. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  9. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  10. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  11. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  12. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  13. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  14. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008" Accessed October 25, 2011
  15. Open Secrets "Susan Collins 2008 Election Cycle," Accessed October 25, 2011
  16. LegiStorm "Susan Collins"
  17., "Collins, (R-Maine), 2011"
  18., "Collins, (R-Maine), 2010"
  19. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  20. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  21. Official Senate Page "Biography," Accessed October 25, 2011
  22. Susan Collins and Thomas Daffron, The New York Times, August 12, 2012
Political offices
Preceded by
William Cohen
U.S. Senate - Maine
Succeeded by