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Senators hail Mikulski's milestone in Congress

Wednesday - 3/21/2012, 5:58pm  ET

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - One by one, Republicans and Democrats stood on the Senate floor to recognize Sen. Barbara Mikulski, now the longest serving female member of Congress.

The count is 12,892 days in Congress. The Maryland lawmaker was elected to the House in 1976 and the Senate in 1986. She moved into the history books this past weekend, surpassing Edith Nourse Rogers, a Massachusetts Republican who was the longest-serving member of the House.

Senators delivered a series of speeches Wednesday hailing the 75-year-old Mikulski's tenacity and feistiness. Listening in the chamber were Mikulski's family, former Sen. Paul Sarbanes and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Mikulski acknowledged the praise with a mix of humor, self-deprecation and appreciation for those who helped her. She received a standing ovation at the end of her speech.

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