The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The last time Chuck Grassley missed a vote in the Senate, Bill Clinton had been president for six months

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) questions Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor during testimony on Capitol Hill on July 15, 2009. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)
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The year was 1993. Bill Clinton had been president for six months, SWV's "Weak" topped the charts, and Jeb Bush was preparing to run for -- and lose -- the governor's seat in Florida. And Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who'd been in the Senate for more than a decade, missed a roll call vote.

He hasn't missed one since.

According to a Washington Post analysis of data from GovTrack, Grassley has the longest existing voting streak in Congress. Given that the average tenure in the House is 8.8 years and the Senate 9.7, not many members of the 114th Congress were on Capitol Hill in 1993. At least in a voting capacity.

Grassley isn't the only lawmaker with an impressive streak, though. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) also has managed to make every roll call vote since the Clinton administration. Also impressive: The third-longest streaks of non-missed votes belong to Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Steve Womack (R-Ark.) who haven't missed a roll call vote since they came to the House.

Here are the 25 longest streaks in terms of number of votes:

And, because the two chambers have different numbers of votes, the streaks are in years.

You can see how quickly the streaks drop off. Only two members of Congress haven't missed a vote in the past year.

On average, members of the 114th Congress have cast the past 157 votes. That includes the new kids added in January, who of course haven't been around for that many votes. The median streak, though, is only 64 votes; Grassley, Collins, et al. pull that average much higher. Without the top two, the Congressional average drops by 30.

A final note: Most of the top 25 voting streaks are from Republicans. Is there some significance to that? We'll leave that up to your objective interpretation.