The 24 Republican Congresswomen in the U.S. House announcedyesterday that they have joined to form the Women’s Policy Committee, a caucus aimed at “raising the profile of GOP women in their roles as lawmakers, highlighting their diverse achievements and providing a unique, unified voice on a wide range of critically important issues.”
But a ThinkProgress review of their voting records shows that the two dozen women have been fairly consistent in their legislative opposition to women’s rights:
- Violence Against Women: Of the 24 women, 22 voted to rollback the Violence Against Women Act, backing a version of the bill that could violate the confidentiality of victims and that excluded protections for immigrants, LGBT people, and Native Americans.
- Access to contraception: 21 of the 24 co-sponsored the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” to take away regulations enacted under Obamacare requiring most employers to cover birth control in their health insurance plans, without additional cost-sharing.
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: Of the 15 Republican Congresswomen who were in the House at the time, all 15 voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, a law that helps women hold accountable employers who discriminate in the pay practices based on gender.
- Paycheck Fairness Act Act: 13 of those 15 also voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would update the 1963 Equal Pay Act by closing many of its loopholes and strengthening incentives to prevent pay discrimination.
- Reproductive health: According to Planned Parenthood, 20 of the 24 GOP women earned a zero score, voting against reproductive health at every opportunity. The average score for the women was under 6 percent.
In lauding the group’s formation, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said “Make no mistake, these aren’t just leaders on so-called ‘women’s issues,’ these are women leaders on all issues.”
But their leadership on women’s issues has been decidedly absent. In fact, even in their two-minutes-and-fifteen-seconds introductory video “Working For You,” they note they are “working together to create jobs, reduce spending, health small businesses, and put back into your hands.” But they do not name a single accomplishment or goal relating to equal protection for women.