Averting Default: Six Chicks That Saved the Day


Susan Collins

Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said that the yeoman’s share of the work and, therefore, credit in averting an economic meltdown was owed to the women senators who sat on the bipartisan committee that laid the framework for the debt deal. Of the 14 members on the committee six were women. Susan Collins (R-Maine) started the group, and Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) all took part in negotiations.


It is admirable and it must be noted that there are Republicans who have resisted the pressure of the Tea Party and sought instead to find a bipartisan solution. They include the three female Republican senators on the committee, Collins, Ayotte and Murkowski and it was these women who along with their Democratic counterparts put forward a workable proposal in the Senate, and thus shook awake a legislative process that had stalled to the point of being comatose. Their intervention may or may not prove to have been a decisive turn of events, but they have distinguished themselves by at least acknowledging that finding a way to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government is more important than scoring a partisan victory. This willingness to compromise may be related to their status among the Senate’s 20 women members, who have a bipartisan caucus. They and the only other Republican woman in the Senate, Nebraska’s Deb Fischer, are joined by 16 Democratic women. They truly practice bipartisan politics as no other group on the Hill do. While there are passionate ideologies within this group, its mere existence can only be held high as a bright example of how common interests can be found even among serious policy differences.


A very large bow, a tip of the hat and a word of thanks to these six brave women for draining the committee room of testosterone and replacing it with a sense of willingness and hope in order to see past the bickering and get done that which is right for the country. Perhaps their male cohorts should take a few notes from the fairer sex and learn that to compromise is not defeat, it is the path to accomplishing goals. To give a little to get something done is the way life works and this has been lost on this newest breed of politicians. Given their record high disapproval ratings, any change would almost certainly be for the better.


All-len-all, a job well done by the ‘chicks’ on the Hill. Thank you one and all for showing us how the grown-ups can actually accomplish things.