Women Are the Only Adults Left in Washington

Swampland

This article appears in the October 28, 2013 issue of TIME under the title “The Last Politicians.” To subscribe to TIME magazine for $2.99 a month, please click here.

At one of the darkest moments of the government shutdown, with markets dipping and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue hurling icy recriminations, Maine Republican Susan Collins went to the Senate floor to do two things that none of her colleagues had yet attempted. She refrained from partisan blame and proposed a plan to end the crisis. “I ask my Democratic and Republican colleagues to come together,” Collins said on Oct. 8. “We can do it. We can legislate responsibly and in good faith.”

Senate Appropriations Committee chair Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, happened to be standing nearby, and she soon picked up a microphone and joined in. “Let’s get to it. Let’s get the job done,” she said. “I am…

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~ by Shauna Osborn on October 16, 2013.

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