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Patty Murray becomes first female US senator to vote 10,000 times

<i>Alex Brandon/AP</i><br/>Sen. Patty Murray speaks during a Senate Health
AP
Alex Brandon/AP
Sen. Patty Murray speaks during a Senate Health

By Nicky Robertson and Ted Barrett, CNN

In a rare moment of bipartisanship warmth Thursday, the top Democrat and Republican in the Senate halted floor action for a few minutes to praise Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, after she cast her 10,000 vote, becoming the first woman in US history to vote in the chamber that many times.

“Our dear friend, Sen. Patty Murray, reached an amazing milestone: 10,000 votes over the course of her career in the Senate, the first woman senator in American history to do so,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the floor to a round of applause from her colleagues.

Schumer also noted Murray’s other accomplishments: the first woman to serve as Senate president pro tempore — a role that positions her to be third in line to the presidency — and the first woman to serve as the chair of the Veterans Affairs and Budget Committees.

After Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor to praise Murray’s accomplishments.

“1992 was declared the year of the woman, and a number of women were elected to the Senate, but you were the leader of the group, and you’ve had an extraordinarily successful career,” McConnell said, “and I wanted you to know that people on both sides of the aisle admire your service, and congratulations.”

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is the top Republican on the powerful Appropriations Committee that Murray chairs, also congratulated her.

Before being elected to the Senate in 1992, Murray was a teacher and then served as a state senator in Washington. In addition to her many other roles, Murray was a member of the Democratic-elected leadership team for many years before she gave it up this year.

There is a list of 32 men who have cast more than 10,000 votes, according to a list on the US Senate website. The record-holder is the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, a Democrat from West Virginia, who cast 18,689 votes between 1959 and 2010. Two current senators also have more than 10,000 votes:, McConnell with 12,790, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who has cast 14,491 votes.

President Joe Biden cast 12,810 during his long career in the Senate.

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