Commend Senate Women for Urging End to Shutdown

111th Senate

Target: Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Kelly Ayotte

Goal: Commend women in the Senate for urging bipartisanship to end the government shutdown.

Three women belonging to the Republican Party recently spoke out, urging their colleagues in the Senate to cooperate in talks to reopen the government. In a male-dominated Senate, these women seemed to be the impetus for movement toward a final agreement during the last days of the shutdown. After their words, a tentative Senate deal was eked out from the negotiating framework created by a bipartisan group that the women formed. Without the speeches of Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Kelly Ayotte encouraging cooperation, the bickering between Republicans and Democrats still could be ongoing with little progress.

Frustrated with the stagnation of Senate talks, Ms. Collins took it upon herself to come up with a plan that she believed both Republicans and Democrats could live with. Before that, no one else had offered an alternative solution. Shortly after Collins presented her plan, Ms. Murkowski and Ms. Ayotte emerged as supporters. They formed a bipartisan group of thirteen Senators to work on a deal that would be acceptable to all parties and end the shutdown. About half of the group members were women, despite women making up only about twenty percent of the Senate.

Inspired by Senator Collins’ courage, Ms. Murkowski and Ms. Ayotte offered their own perspectives on the government shutdown. Ms. Ayotte astutely pointed out that it was possible to address her fellow Republicans’ concerns about the contentious Affordable Care Act without completely defunding it, and by working together. Ms. Murkowski reminded her colleagues that they have a responsibility to govern, and added that when cooperation is non-existent, neither Republicans nor Democrats are winning.

These women acted as the voice of reason during quarrelsome talks among the Senate, to bring the government shutdown to an end. By bravely asserting their opinions, they set progress in motion, resulting in a plan that ultimately led to the solution voted on by the Senate. Commend these courageous women for fostering bipartisanship cooperation to end the government shutdown.


Dear Senator,

Thank you for speaking out during Senate talks to reopen the government. Without your bravery, it is uncertain how long it would have taken to form a plan to end the shutdown. Despite a long-standing impasse between Democrats and Republicans, you were courageous enough to confront senators about their behavior. Because of this, you initiated progress that ultimately resulted in an agreement between the parties.

By acting as the voice of reason during this uncertain time, you reminded members of the Senate that they have a responsibility to govern, urging parties to work together to find a solution. You came up with a plan when no one else had, and challenged your colleagues to forge ahead. As a result, there is a plan in place that is agreeable to both Democrats and Republicans. We commend you for fostering bipartisan cooperation in an effort to reopen the government.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: U.S. Senate via Wikipedia

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