“As we convene this morning, you look around the chamber, the presiding officer is female. All of our parliamentarians are female. Our floor managers are female. All of our pages are female,” remarked Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), noticing something unusual about the Capitol Tuesday morning.
With Leslie Knope-level dedication to the issues, the Senate convened for a short session on Tuesday, despite campus being closed due to 29 inches of snowfall from the previous weekend. Other federal offices remained closed, and though the District government was open, only women showed up to work at the federal level. The female senators arrived Tuesday in preparation for debate on Murkowski’s “Energy Policy Modernization Act,” a bipartisan bill she introduced last summer along with Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
The bill aims to update the U.S. grid system and regulate water heaters for efficiency (part of the Portman-Shaheen energy efficiency bill, included in the act), and lift the crude oil export ban with additional provisions to expand oil and gas drilling efforts in the Atlantic and the Arctic. Passed by a vote of 18-4, with one objection, among others, opposition came from presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont.
“It has bipartisan support, and Murkowski is committed to it. It’s up to leadership as to when it will hit the floor,” said spokesman Robert Dillon. And it was leadership that brought women to work during a blizzard that literally shut down our government. "Perhaps this speaks to the hardiness of women," says Murkowski during a roll call. Despite snowfall recorded at 29 inches, this dedication to the issues shows that women in our Senate are aimed to get shit done.
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