Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Senator Collins Nears 5,000th Roll-Call Vote Without an Absence

It's not in the realm of sports, but it's definitely a long streak! U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) is on the verge of casting her 5,000th consecutive vote on Capitol Hill without ever missing a vote due to absence. Heading into this week's legislative sessions, her streak stood at 4,997. This article (located via Political Wire) describes some close calls Collins has had since her election to the Senate in 1996. The article also presents some other statistics on consecutive votes cast:
  • "Among sitting senators, only Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa [first elected in 1980] has a longer voting streak, having cast 6,444 consecutive votes dating back to 1993, when he missed votes to join President Bill Clinton in touring flood damage in Iowa."
  • "Grassley and Collins pale in comparison with the Senate's record holder, Wisconsin Democrat William Proxmire, who had 10,252 consecutive votes from April 20, 1966, to Oct. 18, 1988."
Not everyone is a fan of consecutive-votes streaks in government, however. Former Senator Eugene McCarthy (D-Minnesota) has said that voting on the Senate floor "is in many ways the least important thing that senators do." He went on to add that, "Shortly after I left the Senate, a roll-call vote was taken on what to do with the remains of Smokey the Bear."

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