|U.S. Senate, Maine|
|January 3, 1997-Present|
|January 3, 2015|
|Years in position||17|
|Predecessor||William S. Cohen (R)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 4, 2008|
|First elected||November 5, 1996|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|High school||Caribou High School|
|Bachelor's||St. Lawrence University|
|Birthday||December 7, 1952|
|Place of birth||Caribou, ME|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Committee assignments
- 4 Issues
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 4.2 Drones filibuster
- 4.2.1 Economy
- 4.2.2 Paul Ryan Budget Proposal
- 4.2.3 Immigration
- 4.2.4 Social Issues
- 4.2.5 Expanded background checks on gun sales
- 4.2.6 Previous congressional sessions
- 4.3 DHS speculation
- 5 Elections
- 6 Campaign donors
- 7 Analysis
- 8 Personal
- 9 Recent news
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Collins is a more moderate right of center Republican Party vote. As a result, she may break with the Republican Party line more than her fellow members.
Collins 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.
Below is an abbreviated outline of Collins' professional and political career:
- 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
Collins serves on the following Senate committees:
- 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:
- Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member
- Appropriations Committee
- Armed Services Committee
- Special Committee on Aging
The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session. The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8%). For more information pertaining to Collins's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
John Brennan CIA nomination
Collins voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.
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 have been critical that President Obama did not offer a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.
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."
Paul Ryan Budget Proposal
In March 2013 the U.S. Senate soundly rejected a balanced budget plan by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R). Five Republicans joined every Democrat present to kill the measure, which failed on a 40-59 vote.
The budget cuts about $5 trillion over the next decade and aims to balance the budget by the end of the 10-year period.
Some GOP tea partyers 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.
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.
No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013
Collins voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspended the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.
2013 Senate Budget Proposal
Collins voted against the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal. On March 23, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014. Collins was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.
The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.
The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.
The House plan would have brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.
The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.
Completion of fence along Mexico border
Collins voted for Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.
Collins voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.
Expanded background checks on gun sales
On April 17, 2013, the U.S. Senate took a vote on and defeated a measure that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases. The vote was 54-46, with supporters falling six votes short of the required 60-vote threshold. Collins was one of the 4 Republican Senators who voted in favor of the measure.
Previous congressional sessions
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.
Upon Janet Napolitano's retirement from head of the Department of Homeland Security, there was speculation that Collins may have been tapped for the position. On July 16, 2013, she told reporters, "The White House has not contacted me, I do not expect to be contacted by the White House and I am very happy being senator from Maine and I’m fully committed to seeking reelection." 
|U.S. Senate, Maine General Election, 2008|
|Republican||Susan Collins incumbent||61.3%||444,300|
|Democratic||Thomas H. Allen||38.6%||279,510|
Comprehensive donor information for Collins is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Collins raised a total of $12,306,142 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 19, 2013.
|Susan Collins's Campaign Contribution History|
|2008||U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 15)||$8,039,750|
|2002||U.S. Senate, Maine||$4,266,392|
|Grand Total Raised||$12,306,142|
|Susan Collins (2014) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
|April Quarterly||April 15, 2013||$921,220.26||$374,028.55||$(63,543.74)||$1,231,705.07|
|July Quarterly||July 15, 2013||$1,231,705.07||$1,043,327.00||$(188,503.22)||$2,086,528.85|
|October Quarterly||October 13, 2013||$2,086,528.85||$805,793.81||$(125,679.77)||$2,766,642.89|
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.
|U.S. Senate, Maine, 2008 - Susan Collins Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$5,998,773|
|Total Spent by General Election Opponent||$6,462,451|
|Top contributors to Susan Collins's campaign committee|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Securities & Investment||$378,233|
Ideology and leadership
The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.
Collins most often votes with:
Collins least often votes with:
Lifetime voting record
According to the website GovTrack, Collins missed 0 of 5,172 roll call votes from Jan 1997 to Apr 2013, which is 0.0% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving.
Congressional staff salaries
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 ranked 16th on the list of the highest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 50th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Maine ranked 41st in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, 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.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, 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.
National Journal vote ratings
- See also: 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.
According to the data released in 2012, Susan Collins was ranked the 47th most conservative senator during 2011.
Voting with party
The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Susan Collins has voted with the Republican Party 61.5% of the time, which ranked 46 among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.
Collins lives in Bangor, Maine. 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 was her first marriage, his second.
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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- Social media:
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- USA Today "Moderate GOP Sen. Collins intends to run again," accessed July, 2013
- Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Susan Collins," Accessed October 25, 2011
- Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
- Official Senate Website "Committee Assignments," Accessed October 25, 2011
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress, accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity," December 9, 2013
- Project Votesmart, "Susan Collins Key Votes," accessed October 17, 2013
- CNN "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
- USA Today "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
- ABC News "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
- Breitbart "AWOL: Meet The GOP Senators Who Refused to Stand With Rand," March 7, 2013
- Politico "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
- Washington Post "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
- CBS News "Senate Rejects Paul Ryan Budget" accessed March 22, 2013
- Washington Post "10 House Republicans Vote Against Ryan Budget" accessed March 22, 2013
- NPR "Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks For Gun Sales" accessed April 19, 2013
- Fox News "Background check plan defeated in Senate, Obama rips gun bill opponents" accessed April 19, 2013
- NPR "Historically Speaking, No Surprise In Senate Gun Control Vote" accessed April 19, 2013
- U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
- Washington Post, "Susan Collins: No thanks on DHS secretary," accessed July 16, 2013
- USA Today, "Moderate GOP Sen. Collins intends to run again," accessed October 24, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996"
- Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Charles Rangel" April 2013
- Federal Election Commission "Susan Collins 2014 Summary reports," Accessed July 19, 2013
- Federal Election Commission "Susan Collins April Quarterly," Accessed July 25, 2013
- Federal Election Commission "Susan Collins July Quarterly," Accessed July 25, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
- Open Secrets "Susan Collins 2008 Election Cycle," Accessed October 25, 2011
- Gov Track "Susan Collins," Accessed June 27, 2013
- OpenCongress, "Susan Collins," Accessed August 9, 2013
- GovTrack, "Chris Collins" Accessed April 2013
- LegiStorm "Susan Collins"
- OpenSecrets.org, "Collins, (R-Maine), 2011"
- OpenSecrets.org, "Collins, (R-Maine), 2010"
- National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
- Official Senate Page "Biography," Accessed October 25, 2011
- Susan Collins and Thomas Daffron, The New York Times, August 12, 2012
|U.S. Senate - Maine
| Succeeded by|
State of Maine
|State executive officers||
Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Commissioner of Education | Superintendent of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of Conservation | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Public Utilities |