Tuesday March 13, 2012 | 06:25 PM

Sen. Susan Collins' fellow lawmakers are throwing her an engagement party this evening, putting a temporary halt to work on a $109 billion transportation bill.

The Maine Republican announced her engagement to Thomas Daffron, the chief operating officer of a D.C.-based consulting and lobbying firm, last month. Daffron was a chief of staff to former Sen. William Cohen, R-Maine. Collins and Daffron first met when they both worked for Cohen when he was in the House in the 1970s. They have been close friends for years, but began dating about two years ago, her office has said.

The final vote on the transportation bill will be Wednesday. Senators were slogging through some 20 amendments today before they recessed for Collins' party.

The couple plans a small private wedding in Maine this summer.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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