Updated 1 p.m. | Sen. Susan Collins’ impressive Senate vote streak hit a new marker Thursday.
The Republican from Maine cast her 6,000th consecutive roll call vote on the second vote of the day.
Her “aye” vote came on a third attempt by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to limit debate on a measure disapproving of the international agreement with Iran regarding nuclear development. The vote, which failed, took place after another McConnell amendment imposing conditions on the relief of sanctions for Iran failed to achieve the 60 votes needed to advance.
The streak is something of a legend in Maine. Collins has made a habit of returning to Washington, D.C., early when there’s a risk that New England snowstorms could mettle with travel schedules to avoid missing even the most routine “bed-check” votes on Monday evenings.
Senator Marks 6,000 Consecutive Votes
“Voting is a Senator’s most important responsibility, and one of my goals has always been to make sure that Maine is represented to the extent that it is humanly possible for me to be present for votes. People around the country respect Mainers for their work ethic and diligence, values that I have always worked to reflect during my time in the United States Senate,” Collins said in a statement.
Collins acknowledged Thursday she’s benefited from good health. The longest active streak overall belongs to the senator celebrating a birthday on Thursday, Republican Charles E. Grassley of Iowa.
Grassley last missed votes in July of 1993, while observing flooding damage in Iowa with President Bill Clinton.
Relative newcomer Deb Fischer, R-Neb., is third with 924 consecutive votes. The trio is chasing former Wisconsin Sen. William Proxmire, whose streak of 10,252 ended with his retirement in 1988.
The Collins streak began in January of 1997, with confirmation of Madeleine Albright to be secretary of State under Clinton. Collins has said that the inspiration for the effort not to miss votes was fellow Mainer Margaret Chase Smith.
Her current Pine Tree State colleague, independent Angus King, called the streak “an unbelievable accomplishment.”
“I pointed out to her that I have about a 98 percent voting record and her comment was, ‘You’ll never catch me.’ And she’s right,” the senator told CQ Roll Call in the hallway.
Matthew Fleming contributed to this report.
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