For one brief day, women run the U.S. Senate

Sen. Lisa Murkowski posted wintry scenes like this on social media this weekend. Photo via Facebook.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski posted wintry scenes like this on social media this weekend. Photo via Facebook.

The East Coast is still digging out from this weekend’s blizzard. In Washington, the side streets of Capitol Hill look suitable for running the Iditarod. But the U.S. Senate did meet this morning.

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For all of 10 minutes. And that included the Pledge of Allegiance and an unhurried opening prayer from the Senate chaplain.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski was one of two senators to show up. She said she couldn’t help notice that both of them – herself and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine – are female. So was just about everyone else in the chamber, like the clerks and the parliamentarians, who ensure Senate rules are followed. Even the Senate pages on duty, Murkowski said, were an all-female team.

“Perhaps it just speaks to the hardiness of women,” she said, during the opening/closing remarks of the session. You “put your boots on and put your hat on and get out. (You) slog through the mess that is out there.”

She said she spent a good portion of the weekend shoveling, and felt stronger for it. She also spent some time posting wintry snapshots on Facebook. One showed her shoveled brick walkway, leading to a snowy Washington street.

Murkowski says many people have asked if these are just normal conditions for an Alaskan. Not this year.

“In fact,” she said on the Senate floor, “we got as much snowfall here in the D.C. metropolitan area as Anchorage, my hometown, has had accumulated over the course of this season. “

Little business was accomplished in the Senate today. Murkowski postponed consideration of her energy bill until tomorrow, when more senators might be present.

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She's @lruskin on Twitter. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz