House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rogers called for lawmakers to quit "politicizing women" and instead celebrate the role they play in the economy and focus on how their role can be expanded, while outlining solutions Republicans are offering to help create jobs and boost wages.
"There was plenty of talk in Washington this week about equal pay," McMorris said in Saturday's GOP weekly address. "The thing is, it was just that: more talk."
She noted that as a woman who worked her way through college at a McDonald's, and as the mother of two daughters and the representative of thousands of women, she has always supported equal pay for equal work.
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"But for women across America, it’s not just about equal pay," McMorris Rogers said. "It’s about achieving a better life. And the Republicans are acting on solutions to make that happen."
However, she said President Barack Obama's economy is hindering women and all Americans from having a better standard of life, she said.
"The unemployment rate for women rose last month," McMorris Rogers said. "Meanwhile, growth is slow and wages are stagnant. Washington overreaches so much that employers have little choice but to lower wages rather than increase them – to reduce hiring rather than expand."
Women make up 47 percent of the workforce, she said, "so let’s improve job training and help connect out-of-work Americans with the skills they need."
Also, she noted that women are the nation's leading consumers, so an energy policy that lowers bills would help women. Women also make the majority of health care decisions for their families, "so let's make reforms that lower costs and preserve peace of mind in retirement."
Women are also starting two out of three small businesses, said McMorris Rogers, "so let’s rein in red tape and start overhauling the tax code to support our innovators and manufacturers."
In addition, women should have the option of using their overtime toward paid time off, if that's what they prefer.
"The House has acted on each of these ideas as part of Republicans’ long-term plan for jobs and growth," said McMorris Rogers. "We hope the president and his party’s leaders in the Senate will consider them."
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