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Keynote: U.S. Senator Susan Collins
September 9 @ 9:05 am - 9:30 am EDT
When people in Washington want to solve a problem, they turn to the senior United States Senator from Maine, Susan Collins. 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. For the past seven consecutive years, Senator Collins has ranked as the most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate by the Lugar Center and Georgetown University.
Senator Collins ranks eleventh in Senate seniority and is the most senior Republican woman. She serves on the Appropriations Committee, and she is the Ranking Member of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee. She also serves on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee; the Aging Committee; and the Intelligence Committee.
Known for her Maine work ethic, Senator Collins has never missed a vote in her 24 years in office. In June 2019, she cast her 7,000th consecutive roll call vote. She holds the longest-perfect voting record in the history of the U.S. Senate.
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 is also a tireless advocate for education and has visited and read to children at hundreds of schools across Maine. A champion for America’s small businesses, Senator Collins is proud of the 100 percent rating she receives from the National Federation of Independent Business, our nation’s leading small business organization. At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, Senator Collins co-authored the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provided a lifeline to millions of small businesses across the country and supported tens of millions of jobs. Senator Collins 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.
Constituent service has always been one of Senator Collins’ top priorities. During her time in the Senate, she has helped tens of thousands of Mainers resolve issues with federal agencies at six constituent service centers throughout Maine.
Senator Collins was born 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.