Republican Women in Congress Want Equal Power to Ruin Other Women's Lives

House Speaker Paul Ryan administering the House oath of office to Representative Elise Stefanik during a mock swearing in ceremony on January 3, 2017.
Image: Associated Press

Republican women in Congress are getting fed up, okay? In the wake of their Party’s losses in the midterm elections, in which the numbers of Republican women in the House dropped from 23 to 13, some are calling for the party to do some soul searching. “It’s so disappointing I could just scream,” retiring Congressperson Diane Black told Politico. “We have got to grow the women in our party.” Representative Elise Stefanik from New York is equally frustrated. “I am going to keep pointing out to my colleagues that we are at a crisis level for GOP women,” she said, adding, “This election should be a wake-up call to Republicans that we need to do better.” Unfortunately for Black and Stefanik, the men leading the Party don’t really seem to care. I wonder why?

Earlier in December, Stefanik got in a disagreement with Representative Tom Emmer, the newly elected head of the NRCC, after she announced that she would circumvent the NRCC to instead focus on building her own efforts to support Republican women running in primaries.

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“If that’s what Elise wants to do, then that’s her call, her right,” Emmer told Roll Call. “But I think that’s a mistake.”

Stefanik, a fearless champion of women who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, was not having that. “NEWSFLASH,” she wrote in a tweet responding to Emmer. “I wasn’t asking for permission.”

While Emmer has since announced he plans on holding a “listening session” with the 13 remaining Republican women in the House, for Stefanik, more needs to be done.

Stefanik wants the Republican Party to “look more like America,” which in her view means “adding more women and diversity to our numbers.” As the Hill reported, she and some of her Republican colleagues are urging the National Republican Congressional Committee to try and figure out the befuddling conundrum of why most women—with the exception of a majority of white women—dislike a party that continues to attack reproductive rights, demonize immigrants, and show an utter disregard for the lives of most women. “We fell short across multiple demographics, including women, who represent a growing segment of America’s voting population. Minimizing or ignoring the root causes behind these historic losses will lead us to repeat them,” they wrote, before asking for the NRCC to “officially assess the reasons behind our party’s historic losses and to develop recommendations for implementation moving forward.”

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Good luck to Stefanik on her quest to give more women the power to ruin other women’s lives.

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About the author

Esther Wang

Senior staff writer, Jezebel