It’s been a hot mess all week in the House, where Republicans live Publicly offending Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) In his unsuccessful attempts to become speaker.

But across the building, with little fanfare, the Senate quietly made history: It elected Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) as its first female president pro tempore. The position represents the second-highest ranking in the Senate after the Vice President, and it makes this senator third in line for the presidency.

The role was established 234 years ago, and it has been held by men ever since.

“It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? I’m the first?” Murray told HuffPost in a Tuesday interview. “I mean, what happened all these years?”

Asked what it feels like to be third in the presidency, the Washington Democrat quipped, “Well, today I’m second because Kevin McCarthy isn’t the speaker.”

Vice President Kamala Harris leads the ceremonial swearing-in of Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) with her husband, Rob Murray, on Tuesday.

Jacqueline Martin/Associated Press

Murray, who has been in the Senate since 1993, was selected for the position because of his seniority. She is the second most senior Democrat in her caucus after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), who passed in role, His new responsibilities include signing all incoming bills from the Senate and opening the session each day, as well as overseeing floor operations. She’s clearly keen to use the role to be an inspiration to girls.

“I hope my election to President Pro Tem is a message to young girls everywhere: Work hard, believe in yourself, don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something, resolve, and you really can.” can make a difference,” she said.

Murray, 72, also takes his role in the line of succession very seriously.

“Should that dreadful moment happen that no one ever wants to happen, I need to be prepared for that,” she said. “I’m trying to make sure I’m up to speed on all domestic issues, international issues, making sure that if it happens, I can step in and the country can feel confident.” “

Murray will now have a US Capitol Police security detail and a beefed-up staff budget,

The Washington Democrat said the Senate has come a long way in welcoming women into its ranks. She said she would never forget a speech she gave on the Senate floor in 1993 in support of a family leave bill, during which she talked about a friend whose boss told her she would be fired if she wanted to take care of the family. If she takes time out, she will be fired. Her son, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.

After Murray left the floor, she was stunned when a male Republican senator came up to her and said, “We don’t tell stories on the Senate floor.”

“I just looked at him and said, ‘I’m here to tell stories because that’s what’s happening in the country. If we don’t tell stories, how will anyone know?'” she said. “I think dramatically changed. I think people understand the importance of connecting it with people…. The whole dynamic of how we talk and get things passed in the Senate has changed.

Murray declined to say which senator he was, but said he was no longer in the Senate. is he still alive? “I don’t know. I haven’t tracked.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) is now chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee in addition to being the president-elect pro tempore.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) is now chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee in addition to being the president-elect pro tempore.

Tom Williams via Getty Images

In addition to being President Pro Tem, Murray will chair the Senate Appropriations Committee in the new Congress. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will be her GOP counterpart on the panel. In the House, their counterparts are Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Kay Granger (R-Texas). This means that the top four appropriations in Congress will be women.

Asked if he thinks having women in charge of congressional spending would make a difference, Murray said he and Collins don’t agree on everything, but they know how to work together. The four women have also known each other for years.

Murray said a personal priority is raising more money for child care.

“We know you can sit in a room,” she said. “If there are two different numbers, there is a way to get a number we can agree on.”

Democrats have certainly elevated women in Senate leadership roles in recent years. In the new Congress, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Michi.) will chair the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) will chair the steering committee, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) will be vice chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) will be vice chair of Democratic Policy and Communications. Committee.

This is in addition to the committees being headed by several women.

“Okay, I’m going to second today because Kevin McCarthy is not the speaker.”

– Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) is third in line for the presidency

But that’s not to say that the Senate’s history of being a good ol’ network of boys – one in which a handful of men are in charge and expect to remain in charge – is gone.

In recent years, some Democrats murmured particularly regarding the lack of concentrated power and upward mobility within her caucus for women. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), for one, disappointed some in your caucus With his efforts to retain his leadership role, chairing the powerful Judiciary Committee last year. Murray Challenging Durbin Considered for his whip position in 2016, but Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) intervened and created a position for him as assistant Democratic leader, a position he has held ever since.

On Tuesday, Murray only smiled when HuffPost asked if she thinks longtime male senators in her caucus are unwilling to let go of some of their power to clear the way for emerging leaders in the party, including women.

“I’m going to stay out of that fight,” she said. “I’m sure there are people here, and I’m sure we have equally strong Democratic women in our caucus who will continue to be an important part of those discussions.”

He admitted, however, “WE is not there yet.



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