WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) joined Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, in hosting a ceremony dedicating two rooms in the U.S. Capitol in honor of former Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine). Out of more than 540 rooms in the Capitol, these two rooms are the first to be named after women senators.
The resolution which Senators Van Hollen and Cardin co-sponsored and which passed the Senate unanimously in December 2020, names these rooms after the two trailblazing female senators. S-115 will be named the “U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski Room” in honor of Mikulski, the longest serving female senator and the first woman to serve as Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. S-124 will be designated as the “U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith Room” after Smith, the first woman to serve in both chambers of Congress.
“Senator Barbara Mikulski was powered by the people. She was a community organizer who changed the course of Maryland and national politics forever. It is fitting that powerful people will come into this room under the watchful eyes of Senator Mikulski. Her legacy and knowledge continues on to the next generation of community leaders,” said Cardin.
“It was an honor to join my colleagues today in dedicating these two rooms for two pioneering U.S. Senators, Barbara Mikulski and Margaret Chase Smith. As folks in Maryland know, when Senator Barb is with you, the Force is with you. Her legacy of fighting for Marylanders and our nation lives on throughout the halls of the Capitol – which is why our dedication of the new Mikulski Room in the Senate today was such a fitting tribute to her years of public service,” said Van Hollen.
The Senators were joined by former Senator Mikulski; Dr. Jonathan Rubin, Director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Institute; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.); Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.); and Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine).
“These are the first two rooms in the Capitol that are named after women senators – yes! They passed the Senate unanimously, and we’re excited about that,” said Klobuchar. “Senator Barbara Mikulski remains the longest-serving woman in Congress ever after leaving office in 2017. We’re also honoring Senator Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both the U.S. House and the Senate. This is of personal excitement for so many of us.”
“Senators Margaret Chase Smith and Barbara Mikulski more than earned their place in the history books,” said Blunt. “Both senators served as committee and party leaders, and were tireless advocates for the issues they cared about. I was proud to join Senator Klobuchar and our colleagues in this effort to honor Senators Margaret Chase Smith and Barbara Mikulski. I hope that seeing their names on these two rooms will inspire future generations of women to follow their lead and leave their mark on Congress.”
“I am so honored to be celebrating the dedication of the Barbara Mikulski Room and the Margaret Chase Smith Room in the Senate. My genuine thanks for doing this, because I know this is truly a very huge honor,” said Mikulski. “I would hope that when people see these two rooms…that they are inspired today about service, about duty, about respect for the Constitution and for each other. I am very grateful to have a room of my own in the United States Senate, but I want to share it with all of you and the American people.”