Senate Snowe Bids Fairwell to Washington; Calls Colleagues to Work on Consensus 

U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe says she’s hopeful lawmakers can overcome political polarization in Washington and find a way to work together on important issues facing the nation. After 34 years in Congress, Snowe delivered her farewell speech on the Senate floor Thursday, with her staff and husband watching from the gallery. The Republican served three terms in the Senate before announcing her retirement earlier this year. She said gridlock in Washington drove the decision. Thursday she reminded lawmakers of the countless ways the Senate has come together during its history.”Madam President I worry: We are losing the art of legislating. And when the history of this chapter in the Senate is written, we don’t want to conclude it was here that it became an antiquated practice. So as I depart the Senate that I love, I urge all of my colleagues to follow the founding fathers’ blueprint in order to return this institution to its highest calling of governing through consensus.”Snowe also thanked Mainers for placing their trust in her for so long. She says she wants to work from the outside to encourage bipartisanship and consensus, by creating a political action committee with those goals. Snowe is the third longest-serving woman in Congressional history.