A record number of women will be serving in the Senate come January, as new additions will put their tally at 20 -- an even fifth of the chamber. In an interview with ABC News, however, a few of the senators argued that if female representation in Congress and the White House was stronger, they would have already dealt with the nation's impending fiscal cliff problem.
“I think if we were in charge of the Senate and of the administration that we would have a budget deal by now,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told Diane Sawyer of ABC News, adding that "women’s styles tend to be more collaborative.”
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) echoed Collins' claim, arguing that women are naturally “less confrontational and more collaborative,” and tend to both think and act in the "bipartisan way" that is necessary to reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff by the new year, when automatic spending cuts and across the board tax rate increases are set to kick in.
While it's unclear if an increased female presence in the proceedings would have already produced an outcome, the senators are definitely correct that the fiscal cliff deadlock needs breaking. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), one of the key negotiators along with President Barack Obama, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) -- noticing a trend? -- warned his colleagues on Wednesday that stalled talks on the "fiscal cliff" could keep them in Washington for the holidays.