AUGUSTA, Maine — A national group on Wednesday named U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, as the most bipartisan Senate member for the second straight two-year meeting of Congress.
Since 2013, Collins has topped an index from the Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s public policy school that measures how much members of Congress sponsor and co-sponsor bills alongside members of the opposite party.
Maine has been well-represented on it in recent years. Just before her 2013 retirement, former Republican U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe was ranked first with Collins second. Two years later, Collins was named the second-most bipartisan senator overall since 1993.
It comes at a time in which political polarization in both chambers of Congress — as measured by VoteView.com — hasn’t been higher in the post-Reconstruction period of the late 1870s.
Collins, who was elected in 1996, said the job has never been harder as “the center has shrunk in the Senate, but there are still members that are eager to work across the aisle,” which is “the way you get things done.”
Maine’s junior senator, independent Angus King, who caucuses with Democrats, was 25th on this year’s list, which measured bills from the last Congress in 2015 and 2016.
Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from Maine’s 1st District, was ranked 103rd out of 427 members examined by the index. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican from the 2nd District, was 166th.