Maybe it's a watershed moment when it comes to recognizing women, or just a "well, duh" sort of consensus, but news outlets and politicians alike are crediting female lawmakers with ending the government shutdown. For background, a bipartisan group formed by Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire began constructing the framework of a deal to end the shutdown earlier this week. Eventually, they were joined by three Democratic female leaders (Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire), as well as eight male counterparts. This group of 14 lawmakers ultimately created the basis for the deal that was finalized by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and got the government up and running again (at least for now).
The group comprises something that is unprecedented in Congress' history — an assembly of lawmakers that represent bipartisanship and gender equality. Outlets ranging from the New York Times and the Washington Post to USA Today and MSNBC picked up on it. Senator John McCain chimed in, saying that "leadership, I must fully admit, was provided primarily by women in the Senate." We're seriously pumped about what this accomplishment says about female governance in this country — that women lawmakers are level-headed and thoughtful, willing to compromise, yet also tough negotiators — and about the fact that credit is being given where it's due. We sincerely hope that Susan Collins (and all her fellow lawmakers) takes a moment to do the "brush your shoulders off" move in the privacy of her office.
Photo: Via Time/Andrew Burton/Getty Images.