Thursday, June 20, 2024

Women Absent as Republican Leaders of the House in Incoming Congress

Following a day of closed meetings, the House Republican Steering Committee elected a committee of chairs consisting of all male lawmakers for the incoming 113th Congress.

On Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner announced the 19 House GOP committee chairs. Of the 19 members, none were women or minorities. However, Politico explains that there is the possibility that a woman could be chosen as the chair for either the House Ethics Committee or the House Administration Committee.

“Disappointed to see House committee chairmanships in the 113th Congress will not include a single woman. –PM,” tweeted Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) shortly after the announcement.

Huffington Post writer Jennifer Bendery notes that House committee chairs are elected based on seniority, and most Republican committees do not have women or minorities in senior level positions. In comparison, of the 19 major Democratic House committees, nine of the Democrats are expected to be a woman or a minority.

“One would think House Republicans would learn from their mistakes. But they have elected a roster of committee chairs that represent their ranks: old white men,” says a senior Democratic aide.

Once the 113th Congress gets underway in January 2013, the House Republicans will have a total of 20 women representatives; while there will be 61 women on the House Democrat side.

“The GOP needs appeal to Latinos, African Americans, women, and all other minorities if they are ever to aspire to be a majority party again.  Not having any women included in leadership position in the GOP-led House of Representatives is certainly not a good start to the kind of massive brand overhaul the Republican Party needs,” says Maria Cardona, Principal at The Dewey Square Group and CNN Contributor.

UPDATE: As of 11/30/2012, Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that Representative Candice Miller (R-Mich) will be leading the House Administration Committee, in what several experts have called a direct response to the negative backlash Republicans received for not appointing any women or minorities in their original announcement.

Huffington Post