WASHINGTON (AP) - Retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski summarized her service on the Senate floor in a speech Wednesday.
Mikulski, who is 80, is retiring after 30 years in the Senate. She is the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1976 and has served in the Senate since 1987.
She announced her decision last year not to seek a sixth Senate term.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, won the seat opening after her retirement next month.
"After 45 years though it is time for me to say goodbye to elected service, but not to service. Mr. President I have the high privilege to being the longest serving woman in Congressional history. But I say it's not how long you serve, but how well you serve," Mikulski said. "Over the years I could go through accomplishments after accomplishments, but one of the things I've learned as my lessons in life, is that I learned that the best ship you ca sail on in life is something called friendship. That it is friendship that makes life worth living and enables life to have a life of giving."