- Editor’s note: The Senate president pro tem position is usually third in line for the presidency, after the vice president and the House speaker.
- However, there currently is no House speaker, as Republicans failed to choose a leader.
- So Murray immediately, and temporarily, is the second person in line for the presidency.
From The Washington Post via The Olympian:
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.,was elected Senate president pro tempore Tuesday, becoming the first woman to hold the job since its inception and putting her third in the line of presidential succession.
Murray, who was elected to the Senate in 1992 as a self-proclaimed “mom in tennis shoes,” was selected for the role after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., declined to seek it.
In recent years, the job has gone to the senior-most member of the majority party, which is the 89-year-old Feinstein. Murray, 72, is the second in line.
Murray in an interview Tuesday recalled joining the Senate when there were only two women in the chamber. “When I was elected, it was called ‘the year of the woman,’ and we were six. And I think a lot of the men, although they wouldn’t tell you this, were just sort of like, ‘Oh my God, what are those women going to do when they’re here?’” she joked. “And I think over time we have earned the respect of not only them but people around the country that we are serious about our roles.”
Murray, wearing her signature tennis shoes, was sworn in by Vice President Harris on Tuesday afternoon to the role.
The ceremonial job of presiding over the Senate and signing legislation comes with a security detail and increased funding for staff.