When Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) showed up for work Tuesday after the one of the worst blizzards in history had ravaged Washington, DC, she noticed something unusual.
“Something is genuinely different — and something is genuinely fabulous,” Murkowski said.
In a usually male-dominated Senate, every single person on the floor that morning was a woman. Murkowski took advantage of the opportunity to note the hardiness of women, who had braved the elements to show up for work as their male coworkers took a snow day.
“As we convene this morning, you look around the chamber, the presiding officer is female,” said Murkowski. “All of our parliamentarians are female. Our floor managers are female. All of our pages are female.”
The single-gender group certainly defied the odds: just 20 senators — 20% of the total Senate body — are women. As low as the number may seem, it’s a sharp increase from past decades; in the history of the United States, just 46 women have ever served in the Senate.