December 18th, 2008
04:40 PM ET
12 years ago

Landrieu and Snowe to make history in next Congress

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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.

Filed under: Congress • Senate
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Texas Teacher

    This is such a wonderful accomplishment.... I'm proud of these competent, capable women! At last, we are beginning to be respected as such! 🙂

    December 18, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. Carl from MI

    It's about time...

    December 18, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. GRITS - Girl Raised in the South

    Good job, ladies! That's wonderful.

    December 18, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Weareallfamily

    yeah !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 18, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Jennifer, GA


    December 18, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. tired of corporate politics

    There was so much sexism during the campaign. Foul names and derrogatory comments about Hillary were normal and largly ignored by voters and the media. No one was upset and so it was OK.

    Women need to stand up and say it is NOT OK.

    December 18, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. GG NYC

    Let's hope this is just the beginning. Good luck to you both!

    December 18, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. raagos


    December 18, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Seth

    Yeah, because Pelosi has done such a good job...........

    December 18, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Good. Maybe now they can get something done.
    BTW: Do either of them type?

    December 18, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. Matt

    booga booga yadda yadda blah blah blah!!!!

    December 18, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  12. who cares

    Both are good senators, but talk of race and gender is not as important as cleaning out all the crooks, and there seems to be a lot of them

    December 18, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  13. Heidi


    They're talking about women in the Senate – not the House. This is a big thing for women making it in the Senate.

    Why don't you stay on topic?

    December 18, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. barackobama4prez

    good to make history, now please make women proud or we'll not get another chance for a while!

    December 18, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  15. Clinton Supporter

    It's high time!!

    December 18, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |


    December 18, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  17. Brad - California

    Does it really matter if it is a woman or a man? Grow up. We need results, and we've gotten absolutely nothing. Find out where the crap is burried, root it out, make it public and dump the culprits, whether male of female. Oh, my bad, that might eliminate both houses!

    December 18, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  18. Look ALIVE!

    I'm male. I think women ARE more suited for roles previously held by men. They run a pretty good house[hold] and are good @ budgeting. You also get the + that they are more truthful to their sposes so that should mean less scandals! 🙂

    December 18, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  19. Willy Brown

    SNOWE= R-I-N-O

    December 18, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. Seth


    I was talking generally about women in politics, if you think Nancy Pelosi is doing a good job then good for you, because she leads a House that is less popular than Bush's Presidency.

    December 18, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Gozie Boy

    Big whoop-de-do.

    December 18, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  22. Greg Hodges

    Sen. Olympia Snowe has served the people of Maine with distinction for many years now. As a Nova Scotian and next door neighbour to Maine; I have watched Sen. Snowe become one of the G.O.P.`s most effective MODERATE voices in the Senate. She has constantly stood her ground in not being bullied by the radical right in the G.O.P. ranks, and has worked in a bipartisan manner when it was not cool to do so. Good on her; and congratulations on being recognized as a leader the Republican party should be proud of; in a time when their party needs real leaders.

    December 18, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |