OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 6:05 PM PT – Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Washington Democrat Patty Murray has become the first woman appointed President Pro Tempore on Tuesday. The Senator has outlasted almost all of her male colleagues from the time when she was elected in 1992.
“It’s changed a lot since I’ve been here,” Murray said in an interview on Tuesday. “When I first came here, the men were like, oh my God, there’s a woman, what are we going to do? And we had to prove that we were just like them.”
The 72-year-old Democrat said that she sees her ascension to this post as an example of the slow and steady progress of women in the Senate. She had ran her campaign as the first “mom in tennis shoes,” which she says she still wears to this day as a grandmother.
She was voted into her new post after former Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy retired following an almost five-decade long career in the Senate.
The President Pro Tempura is a Latin term meaning “for the time being.” This role is specified in the Constitution as a replacement for the Vice President, who also serves as President of the Senate when the Vice President is not available.
This role comes with a host of new security and security protocols due to its proximity to the presidency. The Democrat said that the security is different but is not a hinderance.
“It’s different,” Murray said, “But I’ve been through a lot of changes in my life, and I tend to just focus on what I need to do.”
Murray will also become Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriation Committee later this year, along with Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), becoming the top Republican on the panel. She said she is hoping to work with Collins to scale back the massive spending bills that happen in the last minutes before the deadlines, like the Omnibus bill that was passed at the end of the year.
President Joe Biden had been her colleague in the Senate for years. He tweeted out his congratulations and that he is looking forward to working with her moving forward.