113th Congress: No women receive committee chair positions in next US House
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113th Congress: No women receive committee chair positions in next US House

Washington : DC : USA | Dec 11, 2012 at 9:54 AM PST
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Committee chairs have been decided in the US House of Representatives, and there are no women among them. The only open slots, including panels in Washington, are the House Ethics Committee and House Administration Committee which are still to be named, according to Politico.

The meetings to decide who will chair committees is closed to the public, so the all-male decision makers cannot be scrutinized for their decision making process or their reasoning for not having any women in any of these key positions.

According to the 2010 census, the US population is 50.8 percent female, and one would think the “people’s house” in Washington would make some attempt to be representative of women in leadership roles.

Michigan Representative Candice Miller was the top female considered to lead a major committee, but she lost out to Texas Rep. Mike McCaul for the chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.

Republican women did make gains with the help of Republican leadership. Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will be House Republican Conference chairwoman, Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins will be her vice chair. No Democratic women were among the considerations, which is glaring because there are Democratic women who will be ranking members on committees. House Democrats should have five women as ranking members committees as follows: Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.) or Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) on Appropriations, Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.) on Financial Services, Rep. Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) on Rules, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas) on Science and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (N.Y.) on Small Business.

There were places in the House for women to be considered as new chairmanships, but they were all awarded to men: New chairmen include Reps. Jeb Hensarling of Texas atop Financial Services, Ed Royce of California on Foreign Affairs, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia on Judiciary, Lamar Smith of Texas on the Science, Space and Technology Committee and Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania atop Transportation and Infrastructure.

Republicans are not the only ones who can “change” the rules

Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) will be keeping his chairmanship of the Budget Committee thanks to the GOP bypassing its own rules and giving a waiver to Ryan, so he can keep his post for a fourth term. The Democrats need to remind the Republicans they are not the only ones who can change the rules.

Yesterday, the Senate asked a federal judge to dismiss a citizen lobbying group’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Senate rules setting a 60-vote threshold for defeating filibusters. Harry Reid the Senate Majority Leader wants the ability to bring a bill before the Senate with the approval of a simple majority of its 100 members. A minority of 41 opponents could still resort to a filibuster to prevent the Senate from voting on the bill itself, but only by talking continuously about it on the Senate floor, according to a Washington Post report.

The states’ constituency of the women elected to the US House need to make their voices heard in Washington. There are ranking women both Democrat and Republican, and they deserve to have leadership positions to, at the very least, represent the demographics of the United States for equal and fair representation.

Resources

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/84293.html#ixzz2ElPAarEc

http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/united-states/quick-facts/all-states/female-population-percentage#map

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/senate-lawyers-want-filibuster-challenge-dismissed-critics-call-60-vote-rule-unconstitutional/2012/12/10/a90dcb4a-4316-11e2-8c8f-fbebf7ccab4e_story.html

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According to the 2010 census, the US Population is 50.8 percent female, and one would think the "people's house" in Washington would make some attempt to be representative of women in leadership roles.
Dava Castillo is based in Clearlake, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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  • 	According to the 2010 census, the US Population is 50.8 percent female, and one would think the “people’s house” in Washington would make some attempt to be representative of women in leadership roles.   

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