House GOP touts ‘war for women’
House Republicans promoted their plan for empowering working women and families on Wednesday, emphasizing tax credits, workplace flexibility and job training.
“I’m very proud to stand with them today in our ‘war for women’,” Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) said of his House colleagues, emphasizing the “for.”
The GOP legislators took turns speaking on legislation passed and pending while stressing their personal stories as women in the workplace, the children of aging parents, or fathers of daughters.
“Our workforce has changed, but our laws also need to reflect what is a changing workforce,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.). “That’s where Republicans have long been advancing solutions that address this.”
Republicans, however, have traditionally trailed Democrats in success with women at the ballot box. A June Washington Post poll showed that women favored a generic Democratic candidate over a generic Republican candidate, 52 to 42 percent.
In response to a question on how the GOP would appeal to women in the 2014 midterms and overcome any negative perceptions voters have about the Republicans’ policies towards women, McMorris Rodgers said they would continue to push their legislation.
“We appeal to everyone by talking to them about our role in empowering them,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Some of it comes through the federal government passing bills, passing legislation like you see here that would create more flexibility and more opportunity for them. That’s what we’re going to continue to promote.”
The GOP’s solutions targeted families of all generations: Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) spoke of her bill, the Families First Act, which would index the dependent care credits to inflation, as something that could help families who have to take care of kids and parents.
“I think this will help families on all ends of the spectrum,” said Capito, who is in a contentions race against Democrat Natalie Tennant for the Senate. Women, Capito added, are often the members of the family who have to balance the costs of caring for their dependents.
At the other end of the spectrum, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kans.) said that most conversations with her daughter, who recently graduated from college, are about how her friends can’t find jobs - a problem that she wants to work to find a solution to.
McMorris Rodgers said that while Wednesday’s press conference was a good review of what had been done so far, it wasn’t the end of the GOP’s efforts.
“I think it’s important that there’s a recognition we’ve been looking on these bills, these solutions for a long time,” McMorris Rodgers said. “We’ve seen some successes, but there’s more work to be done.”