[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/18/art.snowe1218.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Olympia Snowe, pictured, will make history with fellow Sen. Mary Landrieu when they become the first two women to lead a full congressional committee next year."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, may have fallen short of breaking the ultimate glass ceiling in American politics, but two of her fellow female senators will make history next year.
When Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, becomes chair and Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, becomes the ranking member of the Senate’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, the two will become the first pair of women to lead a full committee in the House or the Senate
The accomplishment would not have been possible 20 years ago. “We’ve never had more than two women in the Senate at one time until after the election in 1992,” said Associate Senate Historian Don Ritchie.
Ritchie also observed that with the number of female senators at a record high, with women accruing the levels of seniority necessary to obtain coveted committee chairs, and with women occupying more positions of authority in both parties, the odds are greater now that women will lead more committees
In a news release issued Thursday, Landrieu and Snowe emphasized their plan to promote the interests of women-owned small businesses as their historic roles atop the committee.