North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx is the only Republican woman in the House of Representatives in the running to lead a committee, highlighting the apparent lack of diversity among the GOP'S committee leadership, according to The Hill.
The only woman leading a House panel now is Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan, and she is retiring. According to The Hill, Republican leaders are under pressure to find at least one female legislator so that their roster of committee leaders is not completely white and male.
The House's GOP steering committee is expected to choose new chairmen for 2017 in November, after the election.
Foxx is already a member of the House GOP leadership as the conference secretary and may have a chance at gaining the leadership of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. The only Republican ahead of her in seniority is South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson besides retiring chairman John Kline of Minnesota, who endorsed Foxx for the job.
The House GOP has few women to choose from for leadership roles. 88 women, including delegates, serve in the House, and 23 of those are Republicans. Seniority is key in determining committee chairs, and only eight of the GOP women were first elected before 2010, reports The Hill.
As for minority representation in the GOP, two African-Americans out of 43 and six out of 29 Hispanic lawmakers in the House are in the GOP conference.
Many Republicans are in competitive races in the election, so the possibility exists that fewer will be around for the new Congress.
From 2007 to 2009, seven committee chairs were women or people of color during California Democrat Nancy Pelosi's tenure as speaker. Today, 12 out of the 21 committees' ranking Democrats are women or racial minorities, according to The Hill.
No senior GOP women are in the running for the five committee chairmanship openings in House Energy and Commerce, Education and the Workforce, Appropriations, Veterans' Affairs, and Administration.
Texas Rep. Kay Granger, had been mentioned as a replacement for House Appropriations Committee chairman Hal Rogers, who is eyeing the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees defense programs, reports The Hill. She is the most senior woman on the Appropriations committee, but she is focusing on the same job as Rogers.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee is the vice chairman of the Energy and Commerce committee, but she has not revealed her plans. Blackburn has been a surrogate for Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and was rumored to be one of his vice presidential possibilities.
House Speaker Paul Ryan personally chooses the chair of the House Administration Committee, but the only woman on the panel is freshman Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia, who is low in seniority.
Women legislators in the GOP appear to be on the decline. An analysis by Politico showed that since 2006, the number of GOP legislators in the House has risen from 229 to 247, but the number of women has decreased from 25 to 22.
Some 90 percent of House Republicans are male and 9 percent are female, a decrease from 11 percent in 2006.
By comparison, Politico reported that on the Democratic side, female representation in the House has increased from 21 percent in 2006 to 33 percent today.
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