December 29, 2012

Washington Notebook: Congressional delegation faces a cliffhanger

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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"We believe that the root causes of this violence are complex and that responding to and preventing it will require a comprehensive approach that leaves no stone unturned," the senators wrote. "For example, if we are to act in a comprehensive manner that strengthens the mental health care system, improves law enforcement, results in healthier and happier families, keeps guns out of the hands of those who would do ill with them, and addresses an entertainment culture that too often glorifies violence, it will be essential to build a consensus grounded in facts. The recommendations of a National Commission on Violence could provide the basis for such a consensus."

Collins has not backed any specific, new gun control measures in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings that killed 20 children and six school employees.


Lastly, here's a political factoid that surprised even retiring Sen. Snowe, a history buff.

With a combined 34 years in the U.S. House and Senate, Snowe has amassed more time in Congress than all but two women in history. But there's another Maine native who ranks above her on that list, and it isn't the late Sen. Margaret Chase Smith.

Edith Nourse Rogers, a Republican, represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1925 to 1969. But Nourse was born in Saco in 1881. Her 35-year tenure in the House puts her second on the list of women in Congress behind Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

Snowe said that, although she was aware of Rogers' place in history, she didn't know until last year that she was born in Maine.

"I'm the third longest-serving woman and Margaret Chase Smith is the fourth longest-serving woman," Snowe said during a recent interview. "So of the top four longest-serving women in the history of this country, three were born in Maine. That is amazing, when you think about it."

Washington Bureau Chief Kevin Miller can be contacted at 207-317-6256 or at:


Twitter: @KevinMillerDC

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