When Blanche Lambert Lincoln took the oath of office in the U.S. Senate on January 6, 1999, she was the youngest member of that body at age 39. As a member of the House of Representatives (1993–1997) and as a senator, Lincoln enjoyed working across the aisle. She focused on supporting working families, particularly mothers and children, and those living in rural communities. At the time she took the oath of office, Senator Lincoln was raising toddler twins and she describes the challenges of tending to her family’s needs while working in an institution with an unpredictable operating schedule. She brought her perspective as a member of a two-parent working family to bear on many Senate debates, at times challenging her colleagues to consider the value of quality, dependable child care to working families. A 12-year member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Lincoln served as its chair from 2009 to 2011, the first Arkansan and first woman to serve in that position. In 2010 Senator Lincoln lost her bid for reelection.
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