Hello SOTGC community,
On November 4th, we elected the largest number of women to Congress in our nation’s history. Women now comprise roughly 1/5 of congress. Both Republican and Democrat, these strong females will make history as their ranks have reached the triple digit mark. But, will they help make the strides we so desperately need as a nation? Our last congress was littered with ineffectiveness, lack of negotiation, and lack of partnership between parties. In fact, many say that they were the most ineffective Congress in history – signing only 56 bills into law in their first session of 2013. Sessions were marked by gridlock and lack of conciliation.
Now, with more women than ever in Congress, they have an opportunity. An opportunity to show the country what women can do to promote compromise. The good news is that they have some role models: women of the Senate. In 2013, the female members of our Senate were famously lauded for their incredible bi-partisan relationships.
In Jay Newton-Small’s Time article, “Women are the Only Adults Left in Washington,” he discusses how the 20 female members of the Senate worked together to lead change during the senate shutdown, “Maine Republican Susan Collins went to the Senate floor to do two things that none of her colleagues had yet attempted. 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, a Maryland Democrat, happened to be standing nearby, and she soon picked up a microphone and joined in. “Let’s get to it. Let’s get the job done,” she said. “I am willing to negotiate. I am willing to compromise.” Ten minutes later, a third Senator stood to speak. “I am pleased to stand with my friend from Maine, Senator Collins, as she has described a plan which I think is pretty reasonable,” said Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski. “I think it is pretty sensible.” The women have been holding late night pizza meetings, throwing each other baby showers, and giving advice across the aisle. According to Newton-Small, they also have a pact that they will not publicly criticize one another.
To the 100 women of Congress, please take note from your female senate predecessors. Support each other and promote compromise. There are issues facing our nation that require the immediate attention of Congress, so gather your colleagues and help this congress gain the title of “most effective” Congress. Work with the President and work with those across the aisle, even if it means giving up a portion of what you needed for your own district. Give more than you take. Show the nation what women are made of.
What can our female congress members do to promote cooperation and compromise? Continue the conversation with me on Twitter @ryangreenonline and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007156953049