Vice Chair Collins
Susan Collins, U.S. Senator for Maine.
As the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, U.S. Senator Susan Collins wields her influence, seniority, and experience to benefit the people of Maine and America. Her committee holds jurisdiction over all discretionary spending for the federal government.
Senator Collins also serves as the Ranking Member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees and sets the annual budget for the Department of Defense. She received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society for her work to support veterans, and she received the Navy’s highest public service award from the Secretary of the Navy for her tireless advocacy of shipbuilding programs. In addition to her role on the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins is a member of the Intelligence Committee and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
Senator Collins first joined the Appropriations Committee in 2009 and previously served as both the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee. She is also the former Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Aging Committee.
First elected in 1996, Senator Collins has earned a national reputation as an effective legislator who works across party lines to seek consensus on our nation’s most important issues. She was reelected in 2002, 2008, 2014, and 2020. In 2020, she made history by becoming the first-ever Republican woman in the nation to win a fifth term. She is also the first popularly elected U.S. Senator from Maine to be elected to a fifth term. She is the eighth-most senior member of the Senate and the most senior Republican woman.
Senator Collins has repeatedly ranked as the most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate by the Lugar Center and Georgetown University. Known for her Maine work ethic, Senator Collins has cast more than 8,500 consecutive votes and holds the longest perfect voting record in the history of the U.S. Senate.
When people in Washington want to solve a problem, they turn to Maine’s senior U.S. Senator. Throughout her Senate service, Senator Collins has worked with members of both parties to advance landmark legislation to improve the lives of all Americans. Early in her tenure, Senator Collins led the fight with Senator Dick Durbin to repeal a $50 billion tax break for the tobacco industry. In 2004, she and Senator Joe Lieberman co-authored a law that overhauled the nation’s intelligence community, improving its effectiveness while protecting civil liberties. She was the lead Republican in the successful effort to repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in December 2010. Her leadership was instrumental in ending the 16-day government shutdown in October 2013 as well as the shutdown in February 2018. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Senator Collins co-authored the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was a lifeline to millions of small businesses across the country and supported tens of millions of jobs.
Senator Collins has had a long-standing interest in health care. In 1997, she founded the Senate Diabetes Caucus and has led the effort to more than triple federal funding for diabetes research. As the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, she has worked to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research and to strengthen support for family caregivers. She has championed efforts to lower the cost of prescription drugs and launched the Senate’s first bipartisan investigation into the causes, impacts, and potential solutions to egregious pharmaceutical price increases.
Senator Collins was born on December 7, 1952, and raised in Caribou, Maine, where her family runs a sixth-generation lumber business, founded by her ancestors in 1844. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of St. Lawrence University, she is married to Thomas A. Daffron and resides in Bangor, Maine.