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Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice: Senate Women Kick Ass!

Posted by Ryan Morgan on October 17, 2013 at 10:46 AM
Sugar, spice and everything nice- that’s what little girls are made of. And the ability to get things accomplished! Last night, after a $28 billion shut down that lasted over 2 weeks, the President signed a bipartisan bill that reopened the government and raised the debt ceiling. And who do we have to thank for this miraculous ability to compromise and find common ground? Women! The Senate Sisterhood is being credited with overcoming the shutdown. Specifically, people are naming Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) whose cooler heads prevailed and managed to reach a compromise. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) “said on Wednesday afternoon that their female colleagues can take most of the credit for driving the compromise.” "Leadership, I must fully admit, was provided primarily from women in the Senate," McCain said after the bipartisan deal was announced. "We're all just glad they allowed us to tag along so we could see how it's done," said Pryor. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that women were so heavily involved in trying to end this stalemate,” Maine Republican Susan Collins told The New York Times. “Although we span the ideological spectrum, we are used to working together in a collaborative way.” According to reports, compromise talks began among the Sisterhood when Senator Collins gave a speech on the Senate floor where she “refrained from partisan blame and proposed a plan to end the crisis.” “I ask my Democratic and Republican colleagues to come together,” Collins said on Oct. 8. “We can do it. We can legislate responsibly and in good faith.” Senate Appropriations Committee chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) picked up the ball. “Let’s get to it. Let’s get the job done,” she said. “I am willing to negotiate. I am willing to compromise.” And negotiate they did, over pizza and wine, discussing everything from repealing the unpopular medical-­device tax to pulling revenue from the farm bill. When the bipartisan deal was announced last night, many of their colleagues acknowledged that the women of the Senate provided much needed leadership. Last night was the latest example of a series of efforts to make the Senate more collaborative. The “Old Boys Club” of the Senate past (made up of secret alliances, cigars, personal relationships, poker, and back room deals) has given way to bipartisan dinners, mentoring lunches, celebrations of life milestones like bridal and baby showers, not to mention playdates amongst Senate children and grandchildren.

“The 20 women in the Senate have formed such strong friendships of trust, even though we come from different places,” said Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). “Those relationships are going to make a difference as we get into what matters, which is the long-term budget.” This type of thinking, combined with civility and a genuine desire to discuss real solutions has made the Senate Sisterhood a true force. Thank you, Ladies! We appreciate all that you do. To read more about the Senate Sisterhood, check out the following articles:

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