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Momma's boy: Santorum holds congressional record for 'mother'

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When it comes to their mothers, are the nation's lawmakers getting forgetful?

With Mother's Day coming up, Sunlight decided to use our Capitol Words tool to see who in Congress talks about mom the most. Our database, which searches the Congressional Record back to 1996, indicates that talk of "mother" and "mom" has been tailing off in more recent years. Several of Congress' top mother- and mom-mentioners are no longer in the nation's top debating society.

Rick Santorum, who recently retired from the Republican presidential field, holds the all-time record for using the word "mother," even though it has been six years since the former Pennsylvania senator left office.  He edges out Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., but the Senate's deputy Democratic leader can claim another distinction: He may be No. 2 in our tally of the use of "mother," but he leads the field by a country mile when it comes to saying "mom." That makes him the clear leader in filial piety for the current Congress.

Overall, Democrats have talked about "mother" more than Republicans, our database shows, while the the parties are evenly divided in usage of the more casual moniker. Women lawmakers, such as Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, and Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, both California Democrats, score high on our mom-o-meter, but it's the men who seem to talk about mothers the most.

Some of Congress' biggest momma's boys have, like Sen. Santorum, left its marble halls: Former Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, is among the top five members of Congress who used "mother" the most. The late Sens. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., come in Nos. 8 and 9. Former Rep. Greg Ganske, R-Iowa, is No. 5 on the list of lawmakers who mentioned "mom."

Here's a look at members of the current Congress who have talked about this weekend's honorees the most:

Who's mentioned mom the most in the 112th Congress?
Mom Mother
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill
Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa. Rep. Louie Gomert, R-Texas
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky
Rep. Louie Gomert, R-Texas Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio
Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.