In more than 20 years in the US Senate, Barbara Boxer said there have been good changes (more women today) and bad (the “chasm” that divides the parties). But sometimes, despite the gridlock and insults, there is common ground, she told an audience at PPIC yesterday. She and Republican Senator Mitch McConnell found it in teaming up on a multi-year highway bill.
“Working with Mitch McConnell was unexpected,” she said. “We actually hadn’t talked too much in 20 years.” Bringing senators from both parties to an agreement—particularly on how to pay for the bill—was tough. But the bill got the votes. It passed the Senate and is now pending in the House.
Boxer told this story and others in a wide-ranging conversation with Mark Baldassare, PPIC’s president and CEO, that touched on climate change, California water policy, the presidential race, and the nuclear deal with Iran.What’s next? For the record, Boxer says she is not retiring. She’s just not running for Senate again.