Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins cast her 5,000th roll call vote Thursday afternoon, making her the longest serving U.S. senator to have never missed a roll call vote, the Maine Republican Party proudly announced.
Collins was first elected in 1996.
After voting “nay” on a motion to an amendment for a small business tax relief bill, her colleagues applauded.
“This is a testament to a work ethic learned growing up in [Aroostook] County,” Maine GOP Chairman Charlie Webster said. “Senator Collins has not missed a single vote or day of work since being elected to the Senate. She makes all of Maine proud.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also praised Collins for the accomplishment. Few have come close to her record.
Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley cast his 6,446th consecutive vote Thursday, but he missed votes in 1993 to tour flood damage in Iowa with President Bill Clinton.
But both Grassley and Collins have a few years to go before they can beat the chamber’s record. Wisconsin Democratic Sen. William Proxmire voted 10,252 times between April 20, 1966, and Oct. 18, 1988.
Streaks in the House are more difficult to maintain, as more votes are called, but former Kentucky Democratic Rep. William Natcher holds the record with 18,401 votes from 1953 until his death in 1994.
Collins has reportedly returned from trips early, sprained her ankle while hustling to a committee hearing and scheduled her upcoming wedding during summer recess in order to attend every vote.