Sen. Barbara Mikulsi Sen. Barbara Mikulsi
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Sen. Barbara Mikulsi

Former Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., surrounded by senators, jokes about having a lectern her size during the room dedication ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 8. She retired in 2017 after 45 years in Congress. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Susan Walsh/AP

President Obama, pictured here with Lilly Ledbetter, and congressional Democrats are working the equal pay issue hard in a midterm election year when they will need as many women to vote as possible. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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Carolyn Kaster/AP