Women in Congress played an outsized role in ending the government shutdown earlier this month. But the solution only funded federal agencies through mid-January. This week, as lawmakers grapple with a new round of budget negotiations t0 fund the government past Jan. 15, female senators and representatives could take center stage once more.
Five women — three Democrats and two Republicans — join co-chair Sen Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on the 29-member budget conference committee that will work to reconcile the differences between the budgets that the House and Senate each separately passed earlier this year and present a single budget by the Dec. 13 deadline.
Murray, who heads the Senate budget committee, will partner with her House counterpart, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), to lead the effort. The two have sharply different approaches to the federal government’s spending and taxation priorities, and Murray’s not fooling herself in thinking that the conference committee will adopt either the Senate’s or the House’s previously passed budget. As she said when the committee members were announced:
“Chairman Ryan knows I’m not going to vote for his budget. I know that he’s not going to vote for mine. We’re going to find the two common — the common ground between our two budgets that we both can vote on. And that’s our goal.”
Let’s see where Murray and the other women stand on the budget, starting with the Democratic senators, all of whom are members of the Senate Budget committee.