Susan Collins

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U.S. Senator

Susan Collins




Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senate Committee on Armed Services, Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, Senate Special Committee on Aging
(subcommittees and past assignments)

Candidates for the ME-Senate Class II Seat:
(Next election: 4 November 2014)

Confirmed: None so far
Considering: None so far
Rumored: None so far
Potential: None so far
Dropped-out: None so far
(more info and editing for the ME-Senate Class II Seat)
On the Web
Official website

Susan Margaret Collins, a Republican, has been the junior U.S. Senator from Maine since 1996.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

Click through the score to see the records of other members of Congress and full descriptions of the individual votes.

Want to see someone else's scorecard added to the list? You can do it!

Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union 36 - 9/25 not avail.
AFSCME 57 - 4/7 not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action 55 - 11/20 75 - 15/20
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council 22 - 2/9 22 - 2/9
Information Technology Industry Council 100 - 5/5 100 - 5/5
League of Conservation Voters not avail. 100 - 11/11
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce 64 - 7/11 not avail.

Iraq War

Collins voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Statements and action on the Iraq war

Statements made by Susan Collins:

  • March 27, 2007: If Bush's strategy in Iraq does not show "significant results" by fall, "then Congress should consider all options including a redefinition of our mission and a gradual but significant withdrawal of our troops next year." [1]

Resolution opposing the troop "surge"

On February 5, 2007, Collins was one of two Republican Senators who crossed party lines and voted to open debate on a bill opposing President Bush's troop "surge" in Iraq. The measure failed 49-47. Later on February 17, 2007, Collins was one of seven Republicans to cross party lines and vote in favor of cloture on another non-binding resolution opposing the troop "surge." That measure failed 56-34.

Main article: Congressional actions regarding President Bush’s 2007 proposed troop “surge” in Iraq

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Ethics reform

In 2006, Collins introduced a bill to establish an independent congressional oversight committee, the Office of Public Integrity. On March 2, 2006, however, the bill was defeated in a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee vote of 11-5. Later that month when the Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 was under consideration on the floor of the Senate, Sen. Collins introduced her Office of Public Integrity bill as an amendment to the overall reform package. Her amendment failed 30-67.

Main article: Prospects for Ethics Reform in the 110th Congress

Senate filibusters and the Gang of 14

On May 23, 2005, Collins was one of fourteen senators from both parties that struck a deal over the Democrats' use of the judicial filibuster, thus blocking the Republican leadership's attempt to implement the so-called "nuclear option". Under the agreement, the Democrats would retain the power to filibuster a Bush judicial nominee only in an "extraordinary circumstance", and the three most conservative Bush appellate court nominees (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William H. Pryor, Jr.) would receive a vote by the full Senate.

Executive power

In July 2006 Collins gave her support to a bill by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) that would allow Congress to file a lawsuit to get presidential signing statements declared unconstitutional. [2]

Sam Pattern link

In the past Sam Patten has served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Susan Collins advising her on foreign policy and defense issues. [3]

Term limits

Sen. Collins reneged on her pledge to only serve for at most 12 years, or 2 only terms, in the Senate. During a campaign appearance in 1996, she answered "Yes" to a question about whether she would pledge to only serve 12 years in the Senate. In 2002, Collins stated in a letter to a constituent her continued pledge to serve only 12 years in the Senate, "I intend to serve only two terms as I indicated in the Sanford forum six years ago." On October 12, 2006 Collins stated that she was breaking her pledge and would seek another six year term in the Senate. Collins justified her new position stating that her viewpoint on seniority has changed, "At the time, I thought that 12 years, that two terms, would be enough. This was at the height of what I would call the frenzy over term limits."

Main article: term limits



Collins was born December 7, 1952 in Caribou, Maine. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of St. Lawrence University. She worked for Senator William Cohen from 1975 until 1987, when she became chair of the Maine commission on financial regulation. She served in this position until 1992, when she briefly served as New England regional director of the National Small Business Administration. She then moved to Massachusetts and served as its Deputy Treasurer in 1993, but then moved back to Maine. She was the Republican candidate in the Maine gubernatorial election of 1994, but both she and the Democratic candidate, former Governor Joe Brennan, were defeated by the Independent candidate, Angus King.

Senate Career

When Senator William Cohen announced his retirement, Collins announced her Senate candidacy, and after a difficult three-way primary she defeated Democrat Joe Brennan in the 1996 general election. She was reelected in 2002 over State Senator Chellie Pingree (D) 58% - 42%.

In the U.S. Senate, Collins played a role during the Senate's impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, when she and fellow Maine Senator Olympia Snowe sponsored a motion that would have allowed the Senate to vote separately on the charges and the remedy. When the motion failed, both Snowe and Collins subsequently voted to acquit, believing that while Clinton had broken the law by committing perjury, the charges did not amount to grounds for removal from office.

Labeled as a moderate or liberal Republican, Collins often breaks with her party. She voted against the ban on partial-birth abortions, the restrictions on travel to Cuba, harsher punishments for drug users, and she opposed amending the U.S. Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages. On taxation and trade she has taken a more moderate line, voting against some trade agreements, most recently CAFTA. In 2001 she was one of only four Republicans to vote to limit the reduction in the top tax rate and to increase the amount of tax relief for those at the bottom of the income scale. In 2003 she was the only Republican to vote in favor of spending a portion of the tax cut reserved for upper-income payers on the building of hospitals in rural areas. She has voted against drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in favor of increasing the average mile-per-gallon requirement for vehicles. In September of 2005, Collins cosponsored a resolution with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), which disapproved a new rule put in place by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency that delisted coal and some other energy sources from the Clean Air Act. The resolution failed by a vote of 47-51.

2008 election

Collins has confirmed she is running for reelection in the 2008 congressional elections.[2]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
DLA Piper$ 54,133
Elliott Management$ 45,450
General Dynamics$ 41,450
Cohen Group$ 33,726
Lions Gate Entertainment$ 24,850
NorPAC$ 24,500
Deloitte LLP$ 20,250
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher$ 19,550
Kleinberg, Kaplan et al$ 19,473
FedEx Corp$ 19,400
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for Susan Collins
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Susan Collins. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC office
  • 413 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-2523 Fax: 202-224-2693
    Webform email
District offices
  • 168 Capitol Street, Augusta, ME 04330
    Ph: 207-622-8414 Fax: (none entered)
  • Post Office Box 655, 202 Harlow Street, Room 204, Bangor, ME 04402
    Ph: 207-945-0417 Fax: (none entered)
  • 160 Main Street, Biddeford, ME 04005
    Ph: 207-283-1101 Fax: (none entered)
  • 25 Sweden Street, Suite A, Caribou, ME 04736
    Ph: 207-493-7873 Fax: (none entered)
  • 11 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, ME 04240
    Ph: 207-784-6969 Fax: (none entered)
  • One City Center, Stop 23, Portland, ME 04101
    Ph: 207-780-3575 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.


Susan Collins posts on Twitter at

Latest posts:

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Articles and resources


See also


  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. 2008 Race Tracker page on Maine's Senate race

External articles

Local blogs and discussion sites

Semantic data (Edit data)