[update] No female Senators or Reps on stimulus package conference committee

You have got to be kidding me:

Senate Democratic leadership has announced who will be serving on the conference committee to iron out differences in the House and Senate versions of the stimulus bill.

  • Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
  • Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.
  • Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii
  • Finance Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa
  • Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran, R-Miss.

Both Finance and Appropriations were heavily involved in the creation of the Senate version, with each committee holding markups on their portions.

And for the House:

  • Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey, D-Wis.
  • Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.
  • Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif.
  • Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Jerry Lewis, R-Calif.
  • Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Dave Camp, R-Mich.

This is what it means to not have a critical mass, to have less than 25% of your constituency represented. Only 17% of all congressional members are female. And so, with five from the Senate (5% of the Senate) and 5 from the House (just over 1%), what chance do women get to be selected for these critical reconciliation meetings?

The evidence is out there about the economic impact on women of the recession and women’s organizations have been consulted all along the way. This exclusion of all female congressional members from this final process is absolutely perplexing to say the least.

If you’re in the know, at least explain to me whether this matters. I don’t see how it doesn’t, but I’ll listen.

UPDATE: I’m not the only one who noticed.  Read comment #24, from a man:

although two Republican women senators are chiefly responsible for the passing of the senate version, there are no women on this committee!


13 thoughts on “[update] No female Senators or Reps on stimulus package conference committee

  1. Pingback: Should Nancy Pelosi Stay On In House Leadership? : Writes Like She Talks

  2. i hope that those Stimulus Package coming from the government would really kick start the Economy. the economic recession has been very bad on my business. ~

  3. Pingback: Deciding Our Fate « The Apostate

  4. Agreed. The issue is not enough ranking women on important committees. Conference committees are generally made up of ranking members from both houses from the committees that considered the bills — in this case — House Appropriations, Senate Appropriations, and Senate Budget. No ranking women on these committees.

    We still have a lot of work to do. Please support the work of Women’s Campaign Forum, Emily’s List and other organizations that work to fund women’s campaigns and to get more women into the political pipeline (which remains 86% male).

  5. Jason – no – it’s the chairs of certain committees that have jurisdication over the bill. I don’t know all the ins and outs but for sure it has to do with getting women through the pipeline to those places, as well as a matter of having more women. I’m working on getting a better sense of the context but at a minimum, it’s another example of the work that needs to be done to keep the effort going.

  6. It definitely matters Jill, but the real problem behind this is who is made the Chairperson of these committees.

    At best, Snowe is the ranking member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. Forget about that mattering, because it didn’t when either chamber was drawing up this bill.

    Collins is actually – despite/in spite of the economic disagreement or her influence – among the most qualified to be in this Conference, but isn’t even close to being a ranking Republican member of the Appropriations Committee.

    Seniority has it’s place I’m sure, but among the rules changes bandied about for the Senate in particular (filibuster anyone?), the plum-Committee-assignment-process really needs to be looked into.

    I’m 90% sure a few less good ole’ boys would do the Republic some good.

  7. Jill,

    I might have thought that this was simply the act of a gentlemen, permitting women not to soil their hands with such things. Then I remembered we were talking about Congress and dismissed that concept.

    I think that the women representatives of this country will be saddled with enough of the guilt for this odious piece of legislatiion. I believe that asking them to take on more, in what will undoubtedly become a bad situation made worse, is more of a burden than any gender should be asked to carry.

  8. WOOOOT, it works now

    I think that this is more of a case where you see sexisim where there is none. The court reflects the federal courts, so that is where the sexisim lies. But then, you need to look even further to each state, where men are the vast majority. It lies with the voters who elect the judges at lower levels, not the President who appoints

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