114 Facts About Susan Collins


Susan Margaret Collins was born on December 7,1952 and is an American politician serving as the senior United States senator from Maine.


Susan Collins became a deputy state treasurer in the office of the Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts in 1993.


Susan Collins was reelected in 2002, in 2008, in 2014, and in 2020.


Susan Collins chaired the Senate Special Committee on Aging from 2015 to 2021 and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs from 2003 to 2007.


Susan Collins is a senior Republican woman in the Senate, the dean of Maine's congressional delegation, and the only New England Republican in the 116th, 117th, and 118th Congresses.


Susan Collins has been called a moderate Republican, and is often a pivotal vote in the Senate.


Susan Collins, who has described herself as a pro-choice Republican, attracted controversy for her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.


Susan Collins attributed her vote to her belief that Kavanaugh would not support overturning Roe v Wade; in June 2022, Kavanaugh joined the majority opinion in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned Roe.


Susan Collins was the only Republican senator to vote against confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in 2020.


One of six children, Collins was born in Caribou, Maine, where her family operates a lumber business established by her great-great-great-grandfather, Samuel W Collins, in 1844.


Susan Collins's mother was born in Barrancabermeja, Colombia, to American parents.


Susan Collins attended Caribou High School, where she was president of the student council.


Susan Collins is the first program delegate elected to the Senate and holds the seat once held by Smith.


Susan Collins was staff director of the Oversight of Government Management Subcommittee on the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs from 1981 to 1987.


In 1987, Collins joined the cabinet of Governor John R McKernan Jr.


In December 1994, Collins became the founding executive director of the Richard E Dyke Center for Family Business at Husson College.


Susan Collins served in this post until 1996, when she announced her candidacy for the US Senate seat being vacated by her former boss, William Cohen, who retired to become United States Secretary of Defense under President Clinton.


In 2020, Susan Collins was challenged by Democratic State House Speaker Sara Gideon.


The hotly contested race became the most expensive in Maine history, with Susan Collins spending $23 million and Gideon nearly $48 million.


The race had national implications, as defeating Susan Collins was a key part of the Democrats' strategy to achieve a Senate majority.


In 2009, Susan Collins was called one of "the last survivors of a once common species of moderate Northeastern Republican".


Susan Collins is considered a centrist Republican and an influential player in the Senate.


Susan Collins was consistently endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, a major LGBT rights organization, until 2020.


Susan Collins supported John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.


Susan Collins became the state's senior senator in 2013 when Snowe left the Senate and was replaced by independent Angus King, who defeated Collins in the 1994 governor election.


The motion failed, and Snowe and Susan Collins voted to acquit, believing that while Clinton had committed perjury, that was not grounds for removal from office.


In 2001 Susan Collins authored a measure that granted the United States Secretary of Education authority to grant waivers that would relieve reservists and members of the National Guard from making federal student loan payments during active duty and grant the same privileges to victims and families of those affected by the September 11 attacks.


In 2004, Susan Collins was one of the primary sponsors of legislation overhauling the US intelligence community by creating a new post, Director of National Intelligence, to oversee budgets and most assets of the spy agencies, and mandating that federal agencies establish minimum standards for states pertaining to issuing driver's licenses and birth certificates along with directing the United States Department of Homeland Security to form standards for ID used to board airplanes.


In May 2005, Susan Collins was one of 14 senators to forge a compromise on the Democrats' use of the judicial filibuster, thus allowing the Republican leadership to end debate without having to exercise the nuclear option.


In October 2008, Susan Collins criticized robocalls by the McCain campaign claiming that Barack Obama "has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the US Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge's home and killed Americans", asserting that those "kind of tactics have no place in Maine politics" and urging McCain to cease the calls immediately.


In 2009, Susan Collins was criticized for blocking flu relief funding during the swine flu pandemic.


In May 2013, following a report that the Internal Revenue Service had put additional scrutiny on conservative groups, Susan Collins said the revelation "contributes to the profound distrust that the American people have in government" and added that she was disappointed that Obama "hasn't personally condemned this and spoken out".


Susan Collins tried to negotiate a compromise bill that centrist Republicans could agree to but was unable to do so.


In 2016, Susan Collins authored the Safe Treatments and Opportunities to Prevent Pain Act, a provision intended to encourage the National Institutes of Health to further its research into opioid therapy alternatives for pain management, and the Infant Plan of Safe Care Act, which mandated that states ensure safe care plans are developed for infants who are drug-dependent before they are discharged from hospitals.


Susan Collins said that as a lifelong Republican she did not make the decision lightly but felt he was unsuitable for office, "based on his disregard for the precept of treating others with respect, an idea that should transcend politics".


Susan Collins considered voting for the Libertarian Party's ticket or a write-in candidate.


In March 2017, Susan Collins said she could not support the American Health Care Act, the House Republicans' plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.


Susan Collins announced she would vote against the Senate version of the Republican bill to repeal Obamacare.


Susan Collins clarified that she opposed repealing the ACA without a replacement proposal.


In 2018, Susan Collins was one of three Republicans voting with Democrats to repeal rule changes enacted by the Republican-controlled FCC.


In January 2019, Susan Collins was one of 11 Republican senators to vote to advance legislation intended to block Trump from lifting sanctions on three Russian companies.


In September 2018, Susan Collins authored two bills as part of the Opioid Crisis Response Act, a bipartisan package of 70 Senate bills that would alter programs across multiple agencies in an effort to prevent opioids from being shipped through the US Postal Service and grant doctors the ability to prescribe medications designed to wean opioid addictions.


Susan Collins's comment was seen as hinting at the Intelligence Committee's interest in speaking with Donald Trump Jr.


In July 2019, Susan Collins cosponsored the Fallen Journalists Memorial Act, a bill introduced by Ben Cardin and Rob Portman that would create a new, privately funded memorial that would be constructed on federal lands in Washington, DC in order to honor journalists, photographers, and broadcasters who died in the line of duty.


Susan Collins called freedom of the press "one of our fundamental constitutional rights" and spoke of the risks of reprisals faced by reporters around the world for their work.


In February 2020, Susan Collins voted "not guilty" on both articles in the first impeachment trial of Donald Trump.


On October 26,2020, Susan Collins was the only Republican senator to vote against the confirmation of Trump's nominee Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.


On January 6,2021, Susan Collins was participating in the certification of the Electoral College vote count when Trump supporters attacked the United States Capitol.


Susan Collins was on the Senate floor listening to speeches related to the objection to counting Arizona's votes when the Sergeant at Arms of the US Senate and US Capitol Police removed Vice President Mike Pence and Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer.


Susan Collins called on him to call off the rioters.


When Congress reconvened after the Capitol was secure, Susan Collins voted to certify the count.


Toward the end of January 2021, Susan Collins led a group of 10 Republican senators who requested that President Joe Biden join bipartisan negotiations when creating his COVID-19 economic relief package.


On February 13,2021, Susan Collins was one of seven Republican senators to vote to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial.


Susan Collins cast her 8,000th consecutive roll call vote on October 28,2021; only Chuck Grassley and William Proxmire have set longer streaks.


Susan Collins voted to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, making her one of the only three GOP senators to support her nomination, the other two being Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney.


Susan Collins voted to acquit Trump of all charges at his first impeachment trial.


Susan Collins said she did not think Trump's request that the Ukrainian President announce an investigation into Joe Biden met the "high bar" for "removing a duly elected president".


Susan Collins criticized the firing, provoking a retaliatory response from Trump.


On February 13,2021, Susan Collins was one of the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial.


Susan Collins had amended the bill in the hopes of drawing sufficient Republicans to support it, but the vote failed for lack of 60 required "yes" votes to prevent a filibuster.


Susan Collins has defended these votes by citing her support for both of Obama's Supreme Court appointments.


Susan Collins voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, saying she did not believe he would overturn Roe.


Susan Collins said she felt "vindication" in 2018 when Kavanaugh voted with the court's four Democratic-appointed justices and Chief Justice John Roberts not to hear cases against Planned Parenthood from Kansas and Louisiana, although Planned Parenthood disagreed with her assessment of the situation.


In 2020, Susan Collins faced renewed criticism of her vote by progressive groups when Kavanaugh said states should be permitted to severely reduce access to and availability of abortion in his dissent in June Medical Services LLC v Russo.


In 2021, Susan Collins was one of three Republican senators to decline to sign an amicus brief supporting an anti-abortion Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.


In 2022, Collins received additional criticism for her support of Kavanaugh after a leaked draft of the Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization indicated the Court would overturn Roe v Wade, with Kavanaugh breaking with his statements that Roe was "settled law".


Susan Collins has received criticism for calling the police in reaction to chalk protests due to her votes to confirm justices involved in the draft ruling.


On May 11,2022, Collins voted against the Women's Health Protection Act of 2022, a bill that would prohibit a variety of restrictions on access to abortion, on the basis that it went too far beyond the standards established in Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey.


Susan Collins joined Murkowski in drafting alternative legislation that would codify Roe and Casey into federal law more narrowly.


In 2004, Susan Collins expressed concerns about how the Bush administration wanted to implement its proposed plan to cut taxes.


Susan Collins cited deficit concerns as a reason for opposing the plan, but ultimately voted in favor of the Bush tax cuts in 2003 and for their extension in 2006.


Susan Collins was one of just three Republican lawmakers to vote for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, prompting heated criticism from the right for crossing party lines.


In December 2017, Susan Collins voted to pass the 2017 Republican tax plan.


Susan Collins said she had been advised in this determination by economists Glenn Hubbard, Larry Lindsey, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin.


Susan Collins voted with all Republicans against the legislation to raise the debt ceiling.


In 2008, Susan Collins joined the bipartisan Gang of 20, which sought to break a deadlock on a bill allowing offshore drilling that would devote billions in proceeds to renewable energy development.


In February 2017, Susan Collins was the only Republican to vote against undoing an Obama administration rule that required coal mining companies to avoid contaminating local waterways.


Susan Collins was the only Republican to vote against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt, and later Andrew Wheeler, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.


In 2017, Susan Collins voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, allowing oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, after unsuccessfully attempting to remove that part of the bill.


In 2003, Susan Collins voted in favor of the Iraq War Resolution authorizing President Bush to go to war against Iraq.


In June 2014, while growing violence erupted in Iraq under the leadership of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Susan Collins said the violence would have been slower had a residual NATO force been present in Iraq and that the question was whether airstrikes were effective.


In September 2009, Susan Collins said she was unsure whether sending more American troops to Afghanistan would help end the Afghanistan War, but cited the need for "more American civilians to help build up institutions" and growth of the Afghan army.


In March 2015, Susan Collins was one of seven Senate Republicans not to sign a March 2015 letter to the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran attempting to cast doubt on the Obama administration's authority to engage in nuclear-proliferation negotiations with Iran.


Susan Collins announced her opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement later that year, saying it was "fundamentally flawed because it leaves Iran as capable of building a nuclear weapon at the expiration of the agreement as it is today", and predicted Iran "will be a more dangerous and stronger nuclear threshold state" after the agreement expires.


In June 2019, after the United States nearly launched an airstrike on Iran after Iran downed an American surveillance drone, Susan Collins said the US could not "allow Iran to continue to launch this kind of attack" but warned that miscalculations by either side "could lead to a war in the Middle East".


In March 2018, Susan Collins was one of five Republican senators to vote against tabling a resolution that would cease the US military's support for Saudi Arabia's bombing operations in Yemen.


Susan Collins was one of seven Republicans to vote to end US support for the war in Yemen in February 2019, and, in May 2019, she was one of seven Republicans to vote to override Trump's veto of the resolution on Yemen.


In June 2019, Susan Collins was one of seven Republicans to vote to block Trump's Saudi arms deal providing weapons to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan and one of five Republicans to vote against an additional 20 arms sales.


In May 2020, Susan Collins voted to confirm US Representative John Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence.


Susan Collins voted against a ban on high-capacity magazines.


In 2018, Susan Collins co-sponsored the NICS Denial Notification Act, legislation developed in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that would require federal authorities to inform states within a day after a person failing the National Instant Criminal Background Check System attempted to buy a firearm.


In February 2019, Susan Collins supported the Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act, legislation enabling the attorney general to deny the sale of a firearm to people on the no-fly list or selectee list.


Susan Collins has opposed magazine capacity restrictions and voted to prohibit lawsuits against gun manufacturers for crimes committed with guns.


In 2022, Susan Collins became one of ten Republican senators to support a bipartisan agreement on gun control, which included a red flag provision, a support for state crisis intervention orders, funding for school safety resources, stronger background checks for buyers under the age of 21, and penalties for straw purchases.


In May 2017, Susan Collins was one of six senators to introduce the Medicaid Coverage for Addiction Recovery Expansion Act, legislation that would allow treatment facilities with up to 40 beds reimbursement by Medicaid for 60 consecutive days of inpatient services and serve as a modification of the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Disease law, which authorized Medicaid coverage only for facilities with 16 or fewer beds.


Susan Collins voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act in September 2017.


In December 2017, Susan Collins was one of nine senators to sign a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer describing opioid use as a nonpartisan issue that was "ravaging communities in every state and preys upon individuals and families regardless of party affiliation" and requesting that they "make every effort to ensure that new, substantial and sustained funding for the opioid epidemic is included in any legislative package".


In 2007, Susan Collins voted against the bipartisan McCain-Kennedy comprehensive immigration reform proposal, which would have given undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship if they met certain requirements, while substantially increasing border enforcement.


In 2013, Susan Collins was one of 14 Republicans to vote in favor of a comprehensive immigration bill that included border security and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.


Susan Collins opposed Obama's decision to achieve immigration reform through executive action, which gave deportation relief to as many as five million undocumented immigrants through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.


Susan Collins was one of a dozen Republicans who broke with their party, joining all Democrats, to vote for the resolution rejecting the emergency declaration.


In 2004, Susan Collins was one of six Republicans who voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, a proposed amendment to the US Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage.


Susan Collins voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 and was the primary Republican sponsor of the repeal effort.


In 2017 and 2019, Susan Collins co-sponsored bills with Democratic senators to prevent Trump from banning transgender people from the United States military and prohibit anti-LGBT housing discrimination.


Susan Collins was the only Republican co-sponsor of the Equality Act, which aims to comprehensively prohibit LGBT discrimination.


In February 2021, Susan Collins announced she would no longer co-sponsor the bill over amendments that were not made.


In 2021, Susan Collins was one of 49 senators to vote for an amendment to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which aimed to defund schools allowing transgender students to compete in sports.


In 2022, Susan Collins was one of 12 Republicans in the Senate voting to advance and pass the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation intended to codify same-sex marriage rights into federal law.


In 2006, Susan Collins sponsored the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which passed the Senate unanimously.


Susan Collins received the Publius Award from the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress on March 12,2014.


In 2022, Susan Collins received the Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award.


Susan Collins is married to Thomas Daffron, a lobbyist who worked as chief operating officer at Jefferson Consulting Group in Washington, DC from 2006 to 2016; he consulted on Susan Collins's 1996,2002 and 2008 Senate campaigns.


Susan Collins has been on the general-election ballot six times in Maine: once for governor, five times for US senator.


Susan Collins has been defeated just once, in her 1994 campaign for governor.