Susan Collins

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search
This is a profile of a U.S. senator. (See all the Maine portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
Maine state flag.png

Things you can do:

Susan Collins currently serves as the Jr. Senator for Maine

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

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Susan Collins voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

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. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00000491&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Susan Collins
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


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:
461 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1904
Web Email

District Office- Augusta:
168 Capitol Street
Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: 207-622-8414
Fax: 207-622-5884

District Office- Bangor:
Post Office Box 655
202 Harlow Street, Room 204
Bangor, ME 04402
Phone: 207-945-0417
Fax: 207-990-4604

District Office- Biddeford:
160 Main Street
Biddeford, ME 04005
Phone: 207-283-1101
Fax: 207-283-4054

District Office- Caribou:
25 Sweden Street, Suite A
Caribou, ME 04736
Phone: 207-493-7873
Fax: 207-493-7810

District Office- Lewiston:
11 Lisbon Street
Lewiston, ME 04240
Phone: 207-784-6969
Fax: 207-782-6475

District Office- Portland:
One City Center, Stop 23
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: 207-780-3575
Fax: 207-828-0380


Articles and resources


Related SourceWatch articles


  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
  3. Honorary Board, Republicans for Environmental Protection, accessed September 14, 2010.

External articles

Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. Senate
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: Senate Special Committee on Aging, Senate Committee on Armed Services, Senate Committee on Armed Services/Subcommittee on Personnel, Senate Committee on Armed Services/Subcommittee on Seapower, Senate Committee on Armed Services/Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs,
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 5, 1996
First Took Current Office:
January 7, 1997
Next Election:
November 4, 2014
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Commissioner of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, US Senator Bill Cohen, Principal Advisor on Business Issues, US Small Business Administration, New England Administrator
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 168 Capitol Street, Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: 207-622-8414 / Fax: 207-622-5884
2. Post Office Box 655, 202 Harlow Street, Room 204, Bangor, ME 04402
Phone: 207-945-0417 / Fax: 207-990-4604
3. 160 Main Street, Biddeford, ME 04005
Phone: 207-283-1101 / Fax: 207-283-4054
4. 25 Sweden Street, Suite A, Caribou, ME 04736
Phone: 207-493-7873 / Fax: 207-493-7810
5. 11 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, ME 04240
Phone: 207-784-6969 / Fax: 207-782-6475
6. One City Center, Stop 23, Portland, ME 04101
Phone: 207-780-3575 / Fax: 207-828-0380

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: December 7, 1952