U.S. Sen. Susan Collins cast her 9,000th consecutive roll-call vote Friday, making her the first senator in U.S. history to have cast that many votes without having ever missed one in her career.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

“Growing up in Aroostook County, I learned from an early age the values of hard work, perseverance and honoring your commitments. I am proud to bring those Maine values with me to the Senate,” Collins said in a statement. “No one works harder than the people of Maine, and I strive to demonstrate that same commitment every day while representing our state.”

Collins, a Republican, was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and cast her first vote on Jan. 22, 1997, when she voted to confirm Madeleine Albright as secretary of state. Her second vote, the same day, was to confirm former Maine Sen. Bill Cohen as secretary of defense.

Collins’ U.S. Senate colleagues congratulated her in remarks delivered on the Senate floor Friday.

“I’d like to acknowledge a rare milestone that has just been achieved here, or that is just about to be achieved, on this coming vote in the Senate,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, just before Collins’ vote.

“Our dear colleague from Maine, Sen. Susan Collins, will cast her 9,000th consecutive roll call. She has never, never missed a single roll-call vote in her entire career. Who else can claim that? Raise your hands! Even the freshmen can’t claim that,” he said. “I congratulate Sen. Collins on this historic accomplishment.”

Former Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., is the only senator who has a vote streak longer than 9,000 votes. Proxmire, who was first elected in 1957, had an uninterrupted streak of 10,252 votes between 1966 and 1988 – but he missed votes earlier in his tenure.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has the third-longest voting streak in Senate history. Grassley cast 8,927 consecutive votes between 1993 and 2020.

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