Entries in Barbara Mikulski (4)


Move the Fiscal Cliff Deadline Up, Senator Proposes

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- In order to make a strong economic showing to consumers and markets the week before Christmas, one senator Wednesday proposed that Congress should move up its deadline to get a deal to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.
“I propose let's really conscientiously work hard to make sure that we have a framework that we could vote on by the weekend of December 16,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., said from the floor of the Senate Wednesday afternoon. “Let's have a strong economy closing of the week before Christmas.”
The White House and Congress’ hard deadline is to come to a deal by Jan. 1 in order to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, the $6 trillion in tax increases that will hit all working Americans and $1.2 trillion in deep spending cuts.
Moving the deadline earlier, to Dec. 16, Mikulski argued, would bring “an enormous sense of boosting consumer confidence” nine days before Christmas.
“I think it's a disaster for our demonstration of our ability to govern, and I think it's a disaster for our standing in the world. We need to show that we can govern ourselves,” Mikulski said, “Think about what a signal this would be to middle-class people on Main Street and also the people on Wall Street. Because business would have certainty, we would have consumer confidence and we could have a new self-confidence about ourselves that we could govern.”
Mikulski’s pie-in-the-sky call for an earlier deadline may be a little hard to reach around Capitol Hill, best known for pushing deal making to the last second of most deadlines.
The House of Representatives target adjournment date for the holidays is Dec. 14. The Senate does not have a target adjournment, and say they will stay in session as long as it takes to get a deal.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Senate Pays Tribute to ‘Dean of Women’ Barbara Mikulski

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Girl Scouts of America(WASHINGTON) -- Though she stands at just 4′ 11" Sen. Barbara Mikulski packs a lot of “punch.” Wednesday on the Senate floor, the tribute to “Barb” went on for more than three hours.

Thirty-plus senators delivered back-to-back speeches for the Democrat from Maryland. On Saturday, Mikulski became Congress’ longest serving woman, with 12,858 days of service.

Wednesday’s speeches were part roast, part homage.

“People are sometimes afraid of her when she gets mad,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said. “She doesn’t try to polish [her speeches]. That’s not her. She speaks from the heart directly to the people, and she cares so much about them that it comes through.”

“I remember when she was mugged a few years back, one evening outside her home in Baltimore. A man pushed her to the ground and grabbed her purse,” Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. said. “It was terrifying -- for the mugger. He had no idea who he was dealing with. At four-foot-eleven, Senator Mikulski fought back and defended herself just like she defends the people she represents.”

She “stands as one of the tallest United States senators and packs a punch way beyond her four-foot-eleven,” Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said. “We’re proud to have her as a colleague and are in awe of her ability to galvanize action, which is what this institution should be all about.”

Mikulski is affectionately known as the “dean of the women” in Congress.

When she came into office in the House, the gym was all-male, no women allowed.  When she first arrived in the Senate, there was only one other woman serving.  In the years since, she’s taken on a leadership role, bringing together women from both sides of the aisle for monthly dinners and conversations to promote civility.

“Senator Mikulski knows only one speed, and that is full speed ahead,” Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said. “But by the same token, she only knows one way to govern, through what she aptly refers to as a zone of civility. That approach, so integral to making this institution work, is indisputably one of the hallmark measures of Senator Mikulski’s long-standing success in public life.”

“One day soon, a woman will sit in the Oval Office of this great country,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said, “and when she does, she will owe a great deal to Barbara Mikulski.”

But many said that Mikulski’s work opening doors for women should not define her legacy. They said she should be remembered for above everything else being a fighter.

“No one is better at drilling down to the heart of an issue and expressing it in punchy, unforgettable terms,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.,  said. “No one cheers us up more than Barbara when she tells us to stand tall, square our shoulders, put on our lipstick and rise to the occasion. We don’t all put on lipstick, but we all get the message.”

A humbled Mikulski, with her family by her side, took to the floor and said she never started out wanting to be a “historic figure,” and that she had thought about being a doctor, social worker or even a Catholic nun when she was growing up.

“But that vow of obedience kind of slowed me down a little bit,” she joked.

The honor of this milestone is just one of many firsts. Mikulski was the first female Democrat to be elected in her own right to the U.S. Senate. And last year she became the longest serving female senator.

Today there are 17 women serving in the Senate and 76 women in the House.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mikulski to Become Longest Serving Female Member of Congress

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- She’s already won the title as the longest serving female in the U.S. Senate. Now, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., this weekend will become the longest serving female member in all of Congress.

On Saturday, the 75-year-old Mikulski will log 12,858 days of service, which will unseat Republican Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts who previously held the title after serving in Congress from 1925-1960.

Mikulski first came to Congress in 1976, representing Maryland’s 3rd district in the House of Representatives for 10 years. In 1986, she ran for senate and won, the first female Democratic Senator elected without succeeding her husband or father. She’s been serving in the senate ever since.

There are currently 17 female Senators and 76 female members of the House of Representatives.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sen. Barbara Mikulski to Become Longest Serving Female Senator

Photo Courtesy - Mikulski [dot] Senate [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- Barbara Mikulski, a 74-year-old Democrat who stands at just four-feet-11 inches tall, will become the longest serving woman senator in U.S. history when a new Congress is sworn in on Wednesday, Jan. 5.  She will surpass  Margaret Chase Smith by two days.

Sen. Mikulski of Maryland, grew up in a blue-collar Polish neighborhood on the wrong side of the tracks where her family owned a grocery store.  She didn’t go to the right schools, or belong to the right clubs.

"I was born in a generation where women didn’t go into politics, where women didn’t even know about a glass ceiling," Mikulski has said.  "We didn’t think in our family about going into politics because in Baltimore during those days politics was run by political bosses, political machines, pot bellied guys with cigars who made backroom deals... It's very unlikely someone like me would ever come to the United States Senate."

But she did, and there is legislation from breast cancer research to education that has her name on it.  When she arrived in the Senate, Mikulski was the 16th woman in all of American history to serve.

Today, there are 17 female senators.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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