Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) will set a record as the longest woman to serve in the Senate when she is sworn in today. Senator Mikulski first took office in 1987 as one of only two women Senators. Currently, 17 women serve in the Senate.
Senator Mikulski will begin her fifth term as senator, exceeding the 24 year term of Senator Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME). Mikulski was the first Democratic woman to serve in both the House and the Senate and the first woman elected to the Senate who did not succeed her father or husband.
Senator Mikulski is a champion of abortion rights and women’s health. She sponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which helps not only women, but all workers who are victims of wage discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability.