Florida Democrat Charles Bennett hasn't missed a legislative vote in 40 years, a record unmatched in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives, his office said.

Bennett, 80, has made every roll call vote on the passage, defeat or amendment of bills before the House since June 5, 1951, casting 17,397 votes in his career, his office said.Bennett set the goal after skipping some votes early in his career.

"I never dreamed that 40 years later I would be here celebrating this anniversary. I'm thrilled that I am," he said Tuesday.

Bennett, first elected in 1948, is vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.