Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) announced on Monday she will retire from the U.S. Senate.
Mikulski has served in the U.S. Senate since 1987, and before that, was elected to the House of Representatives in 1976. She has been in Congress longer than any other woman, and was the first woman to head the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Mikulski, 78, pledged to work until her last day in office. According to NBC4 reporter Tom Sherwood, the senator said she'd rather spend her time "raising hell" than raising money for another campaign.
Mikulski still has two years left in her current term in the Senate.
President Barack Obama released the following statement Monday on Mikulski's retirement:
Senator Mikulski is more than just a legendary senator for the people of Maryland, she’s an institution in the United States Senate. Barbara’s service to the people of Maryland spans decades, but her legacy will span generations. Barbara is the longest serving woman in Congress, and her leadership serves as an inspiration to millions of women and girls across the globe to stand up and lead.
As the Chairwoman and now Vice Chairwoman of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee, Barbara has always known that our budgets should reflect our deepest held values. In that spirit, Barbara has wielded her gavel and used her booming voice to advocate on behalf of paycheck fairness, childcare, health care, education, women’s rights and countless issues that have contributed to the strength of America’s families. Thanks to her leadership, more women excel in their careers, more children have access to quality education, more families have health insurance and more people are treated fairly under the law. I look forward to working with Senator Mikulski over the course of the next two years, and Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to Barbara in her next endeavors.
This post has been updated with Obama's statement.