Barbara Mikulski — the longest serving female member in the history of Congress — announced on Monday that she will not be running for a sixth consecutive term.
Mikulski is a Democratic senator from Maryland who has fought consistently for bipartisan compromise, for women's issues and for women lawmakers since she first gained the seat in 1988. She served in the House of Representatives for a dozen years before then.
When Mikulski won her seat, there were only two women senators: one Democrat and one Republican. There are now a total of 20 women senators.
The women meet on a weekly basis for lunch — where they discuss legislation, politics and their personal lives. In an interview with CNN on Monday, Mikulski and three other women senators discussed the “Zone of Civility,” an informal agreement between the women to support each others' legislation and improve bipartisan relations.