Unable to move their colleagues in their direction, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey voted no on the student loan rate bill earlier this week. There was a time when members of Congress from Massachusetts would have crafted such a bill, chaired the committee hearings to consider it, and maneuvered it through both houses. That era is over. Warren is in her seventh month on the job. Markey is even newer — the seventh senator from the Commonwealth in just four years.
This reality puts the Commonwealth in a new and unwelcome political position. The Bay State now ranks last in Senate seniority, and no member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation holds a committee chair or leadership position in either the Senate or the House. For the first time since early 1919, no member of our House delegation has served with a speaker from Massachusetts.