They called it the Year of the Woman. In 1992, four women were elected to the U.S. Senate – fueled in part by outrage at the all-male Senate panel that had grilled Anita Hill – Patty Murray of Washington State, famously denigrated as just a “mom in tennis shoes,” was one of them. In 2012, that record was broken thanks to Murray, who ran the Democrats’ campaign operation, kept the Senate under the party’s control against all odds, and brought the the total number of women in the chamber to 20. It wasn’t the only time she represented for other women: In 2011, when budget negotiations threatened to shut the government down and House Republicans demanded that Planned Parenthood be defunded, Murray recalled to the Washington Post, “I walked in, and I was literally the only woman…They said: ‘We’re all done except the House wants one last concession. They want us to give on that and we’re done.’ And I said: ‘Not on my watch. Absolutely not on my watch.’”
That same year, conservative activist Grover Norquist sneered of Murray, “The lady from Washington doesn’t do budgets.” She proved him wrong.
Last week, Murray was in the Supreme Court to hear the arguments in the Hobby Lobby case, in which for-profit corporations are seeking to opt-out of covering birth control on their employee health plans. She talked to msnbc about Clarence Thomas, watching the women on the Court, and the continuing attacks on reproductive rights.
msnbc’s Irin Carmon interviewed Murray earlier this week, and now is your chance to ask the Senator your own questions. To leave a question for Senator Patty Murray, simply join the Women 2014 group, then leave your query in the comment thread of this article. As always, please remember to be respectful and follow our Community Rules.
Now, ask away!