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Sen. Mikulski Honored As Congress' Longest-Serving Woman

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Sen. Barbara Mikulski attends a NASA event in November. The longtime lawmaker was honored for her service to Congress.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Bill Hrybyk
Sen. Barbara Mikulski attends a NASA event in November. The longtime lawmaker was honored for her service to Congress.

Maryland Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski is now the longest-serving female in the history of Congress, and her career is still far from over.

At 4'11, Mikulski is still one of the most intimidating members of Congress. Block her path and you'll hear from her. Throw a question her way without introducing yourself and expect to get brushed aside, no matter how prestigious your publication. The longest-serving female in the history of Congress also stands out for her quick and witty tongue, as California Senator Barbara Boxer recounts.

"She's called us women into battle to go earring to earring with our opponents," says Boxer. "She has challenged us to square our shoulders, suit up, put our lip stick on and fight."

Mikulski arrived in the U.S. House in the mid-seventies and won her Senate seat a decade later. In that time, she's advocated for women's issues, the Chesapeake Bay, and national security, according to Maryland Senator Ben Cardin.

"Now we can't issue press releases on this: she's a member of the Intelligence Committee; she works behind closed doors to keep us safe," says Cardin.

And at 75, Mikulski says she's still spry and ready to serve.

"I still am that young girl that watched her father open up that grocery store every day and say, 'Good morning, can I help you?' I'm still that young girl that went to the Institute of Notre Dame and Mount Saint Agnes College that said, 'I want to light one little candle. I don't want to curse the darkness.'"

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