Very few pols emerged from the shutdown looking good, but one group increasingly looked like the adults in a rotunda full of toddlers: women senators. .
As Congress shot jabs across the aisle during the sixteen-day standoff, a bipartisan group of 14 senators (including six women) led by Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine quietly worked toward compromise.
While the group’s proposal wasn’t taken in its entirety, leaders say it formed the framework of the deal ultimately crafted by Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell on Wednesday.
Senator John McCain, a member of the bipartisan group, spelled it out on Wednesday morning: “Leadership, I must fully admit, was provided primarily by women in the Senate.”
“Senator Murkowski and Senator Ayotte were the first members to call me up,” Collins said Wednesday. “Now I know my colleagues are tired of hearing about women in the senate but they were the first two to contact me.”
“What is it about women?” Andrea Mitchell asked Ayotte. ‘You’re certainly outnumbered by the men up here, but you’ve reached a certain critical mass of positions of power and authority where you can actually get things moving.” A record 20 women were elected to the senate last November.
“We have,” Ayotte said, noting there were “so many women involved in that group because we want to solve problems. We understand that the nation wants leaders who solve problems.”
Watch Andrea Mitchell’s interview with Kelly Ayotte here.