Sen. Mikulski Honored as Congress's Longest-Serving Woman - NBC4 Washington
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Sen. Mikulski Honored as Congress's Longest-Serving Woman

75-year-old says she's still spry



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    Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)

    Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski is now the longest-serving female in the history of Congress.

    The 4-foot-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," Boxer said. "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-70s and won her Senate seat a decade later. In that time, she's advocated for women's issues, the Chesapeake Bay and national security, Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin said.

    "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," Cardin said.

    And at 75, Mikulski said 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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