WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today commended U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, after she announced that she would not seek re-election in 2016.

Senator Mikulski was the first female Democrat to be elected to the U.S. Senate in her own right in 1986.  A commanding presence in Congress, Senator Mikulski is the longest serving female member of Congress in U.S. history, and the first woman to ever lead the Appropriations Committee.  Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, stated:

“I commend Barbara Mikulski for her distinguished service to Maryland and the nation.  She has blazed a trail and become one of the most powerful, dynamic forces in our nation’s capital.

“Senator Barbara Mikulski is not only the dean of the Senate women—she is the dean of the Senate.  She brings great energy, eloquence, and passion to everything she does and advocates for those who are often overlooked or ignored in our society.  She has been an effective force for social justice and working families throughout her storied career.

“The Senate will lose a great leader when she departs, and I will lose a respected and valued friend.  But she has inspired and mentored many others who will continue to carry the torch.  I am proud to serve with her and wish her well in the future.”