20 Female Senators Sworn in on Capitol Hill

Diane Sawyer interviews the women of the new Congress.
5:21 | 01/03/13

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Transcript for 20 Female Senators Sworn in on Capitol Hill
But across the capitol, a milestone in history. One after the hour, women were sworn in as senators. For the first time ever, 20 u.S. Senators in all and they were lawyers, ranchers, a former governor. They are also mothers. A total of 40 children and stepchildren, as senator kirsten gillibrand reminded us as her swearing in. And before the holidays, we had a chance to gather these formidable women in one room to talk about a new era. And they said they fought to win tough races and they're not going to stop now. They are living, breathing history, climbing the stairs and sending a signal. They are 20 senators, republican and democrat, who say they have had it with gridlock and the way congress works. If they can delay a problem, pick and argument, and wait until next year, they'll do it. We don't believe in the culture of delay. Nor barbara mill cull ski. For a record 26 years, she's brought the women together for private dinners, cheering her them on with her . Fight the revolution. I don't want people who watch this show to think we're some kind of a sorority, because we're not. We all march to the sound of different drummers, to some extend. But senator dianne feinstein says women can be independent lawmakers and still work together. You know, we're less on testosterone. We don't have that need to always be confrontational. And I think we're problem solvers and I think that's what this country needs. Someone once said that women candidates speak softly and carry a big statistic. I do not agree with the speak softly part. When I saw president obama a few weeks ago, I told him about our dinners and I said, mr. President, if you want to see bipartisanship in washington, invite the women senators to help you get it done and he loved the idea and he plans to invite us to the white house. So, they say they're ready to tackle big issues like jobs, transportation, immigration, but it's their male counterparts who keep reopening roe versus wade and contraception. I think most of us would agree that the government doesn't have a place in that. It's really individual families who should make those decisions. I'm pro choice, so, I don't disagree with what my friend jean just said, but I think both issues should be settled and should not be the main focus of debate. I don't think they are entirely settled. I mean, that's the problem. Is that there. Reporter: Amendments produced to say that women wouldn't have access to health insurance coverage for birth control. There was a question raised about whether or not we'll really have enforcement of equal pay for equal work laws. And boy, if that's the case, then we better stand up and we better speak out. But if congress was 51% women, you can bet your bottom dollar we would not be debating contraception. We should be talking about transportation infrastructure, or economic development or how to solve the budget deficit. And we keep facing these amendments on abortion, it's like, can't you just leave that alone? Always by men. Always by men, diane. And these new female arrivals signal a modern era. The first we mall senator ever from nebraska, deb fischer. The first asian american woman elected to the senate, mazie hirono. And the first openly gay senator, tammy baldwin, of wisconsin, who was in college when she was inspired by geraldine ferraro. I said to myself, I can do anything. The sky's the limit. How many of you absolutely know america is ready to elect a female president? Absolutely. Easy. How many of you think there will be a nominee, a female nominee in 2016? Hope so. Hope so. We hope so. Is there a president in this room? Maybe. Maybe not in -- 20 of them. A succession of them. I think the thing is, every man wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, i can be president. Every woman looks in the mirror and says, what can I get done for the country today? Not one of you in this room looks in the mirror and says, i can be president. Well, you may think it from time to time. Snorkelly abeyond tells a story of her 8-year-old daughter. She said, mom, I don't want you to run for president. I said, hey, I'm notng for president. Why do you ask me that? And she said, because, mom, i want to be the first woman president. She better call hillary. Can she break the news to her, we're not waiting that long? And, again, our interview was taped before secretarynton was hospitalized and released. And, by the way, we asked these senators to pass on the best advice they ever got for all children, all boys and girls? And we're going to bring that to you tomorrow night.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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