We worked with Corporate Voices for Working Families to name 30 members of Congress who had been fighting the good fight for family friendly legislation amidst the partisanship and lack of action that characterized the 112th Congress. Our winners put forward legislation requiring the federal government to offer paid parental leave and employers to consider flex requests from workers, amending FMLA to make it apply to workers caring for a grandparent or domestic partner, protecting employees’ rights to take reasonable breaks for lactation, strengthening the ban on sex discrimination in the payment of wages, and protecting the jobs of pregnant women who require reasonable accommodations at work.
None of these measures made much headway over the past two years, but we remain hopeful that progress is forthcoming, particularly since most of our 2012 winners will remain in office for the next session of Congress. Of the 30 Best of Congress winners, only 3 are retiring and 2 lost their races yesterday (both Russ Carnahan and Pete Stark were affected by redistricting in their states, Missouri and California, respectively).
One, Tammy Baldwin (pictured), is leaving her House seat to occupy the Wisconsin Senate seat that’s being vacated by Best of Congress winner Herb Kohl. That makes Baldwin the first woman senator from her state as well as the first openly gay member of the Senate.
Here's how the races shook out for all of our 2012 Best of Congress winners:
In the Senate, 6 Democrats received the 2012 Best of Congress award.
- Michael Bennet (CO) -- Senator Bennet's seat was not up for grabs this year.
- Sherrod Brown (OH) -- Senator Brown won his race.
- Robert Casey (PA) -- Senator Casey won his race.
- Kristen Gillibrand (NY) -- Senator Gillibrand won her race.
- Herbert Kohl (WI) -- Senator Kohl is retiring, but his seat was won yesterday by 2012 Best of Congress winner Tammy Baldwin, who is leaving her position as Representative in the House.
- Patty Murray (WA) -- Senator Murray's seat was not up for grabs this year.
In the Senate, 2 Republicans received the 2012 Best of Congress award.
- Mike Crapo (ID) -- Senator Crapo's seat was not up for grabs this year.
- Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) -- Senator Hutchison is retiring (she is being replaced by a Tea Party favorite, Republican Ted Cruz).
In the House, 16 Democrats received the 2012 Best of Congress award.
- Tammy Baldwin (WI-2) -- Baldwin is leaving her House seat to take over Herb Kohl's Senate seat. Her replacement will be Democrat Mark Pocan.
- Russ Carnahan (MO-3) -- Carnahan's St. Louis district was eliminated by redistricting in Missouri. He lost in the primary contest over the neighboring district that drew in most of his.
- Susan Davis (CA-53) -- Representative Davis won her race.
- Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-3) -- Representative DeLauro won her race.
- Chaka Fattah (PA-2) -- Representative Fattah won his race.
- Raul Grijalva (AZ-7) -- Representative Grijalva won his race.
- Carolyn Maloney (NY-25) -- Representative Maloney won her race.
- C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2) -- Representative Ruppersberger won his race.
- Ed Perlmutter (CO-7) -- Representative Perlmutter won his race.
- Linda Sanchez (CA-39) -- Representative Sanchez won her race.
- Allyson Schwartz (PA-13) -- Representative Schwartz won her race.
- Adam Smith (WA-9) -- Representative Smith won his race.
- Pete Stark (CA-15) -- Representative Stark's district was redrawn recently; he lost yesterday to another Democrat, Eric Swallwell.
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) -- Representative Wasserman Schultz won her race.
- Lynn Woolsey (CA-6) -- Representative Woolsey is retiring.
- John Yarmuth (KY-3) -- Representative Yarmuth won his race.
In the House, 6 Republicans received the 2012 Best of Congress award.
- Jeff Denham (CA-19) -- Representative Denham won his race.
- Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5) -- Representative McMorris Rodgers won her race.
- Kristi Noem (SD-1) -- Representative Noem won her race.
- Erik Paulsen (MN-3) -- Representative Paulsen won his race.
- Dave Reichert (WA-8) -- Representative Reichert won his race.
- Peter Roskam (IL-6) -- Representative Roskam won his race.
Congratulations and good luck to all the 2012 Best of Congress winners who are moving forward to fight for working parents over the next two years!