Speaker of the House, John Boehner, sure knows how to please the ladies. After days of ridicule and pressure from many quarters because House committees are totally chaired by white men, he and the rest of the GOP leadership finally appointed a woman to chair one: the Committee on House Administration. Or, as one Democratic official put it, the “Congressional Housekeeping Committee.”
After appointing Representative Candice Miller of Michigan to head the committee, here’s what Boehner had to say about her important new responsibilities:
“From ensuring the House runs efficiently and smoothly, to making Congress more open and accessible, Candice has a big job ahead… In her new post, Candice will provide the leadership needed to keep operating costs down, save taxpayer dollars, and help lawmakers use new technology to better engage with their constituents.”
In other words, Miller gets to be a glorified office manager. Perhaps it is telling that the new chair is one of the few U.S. Representatives to have only a high school education.
According to TPM Media, the president of NOW, Terry O’Neill said:
“It’s too little too late at best and it’s tokenism at worst. The reality is that John Boehner has already demonstrated that he doesn’t understand that in the Republican Party, there are extremely competent, very able women who should be leaders.”
Aside from ignoring the 55% of women who voted for President Obama in the last election, the GOP has provided ample evidence that it doesn’t value even Republican women. Counting down to number four in the House leadership roles, one finally arrives with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, the new House Republican Conference chair, and holder of two university degrees. Because of her, the GOP is touting the inclusion of women in its leadership ranks, but still–she’s number four! Other women are still vying for positions further down the rungs of the ladder, for instance as secretary of the Republican conference.
As stated by Jess McIntosh, spokesperson for EMILY’S List:
“Up and down the ticket, women voters rejected the GOP’s antiquated idea of what America should look like – and the GOP responded by doubling down on their 1950s’ vision. That’s why the GOP’s exclusion of women from committee chairs in the 113th Congress will definitely carry over to the 2014 election – women already know that the Republican Party doesn’t understand their daily lives or value their input and leadership. This move only reinforces that conclusion.”
While some might question the intelligence of any woman who chooses to remain in the Republican Party, the GOP, no doubt, has more important issues on its collective mind. For instance, does Rep. Candice Miller know how to make a decent pot of coffee?