Senator Capito confesses to not knowing why there are not more Republican women in Congress
On Wednesday, Politico talked to West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito about the scarcity of Republican women elected to Congress. (The Republicans account for only 13 of the 102 women elected last month.) Jenny Ament reports:
Capito, who was the first woman elected to the Senate from West Virginia, said she sees progress overall for women on the Hill.
But Capito doesn’t understand why the Republicans have not done better:
“I don’t know if there’s not enough of us to sort of mentor people through their campaigns, to get more and more,” she said. “But we’re definitely well aware of it and focusing on it.”
Yes, she’s optimistic:
“We are breaking out of the mold, I think, of the stodgy all-male club, and it’s been a gradual thing,” Capito said. “I think this year is going to make a big impact.”
And she uses her own experience as an example:
Capito said she has played a part in changes over the years. She was part of the bathroom committee as a member of the House, because not so long ago, there wasn’t a women’s bathroom convenient to the chamber in which lawmakers vote.
(The bathroom committee is her best example? Look it up, she actually said that.)
As you might expect, several sites reacted to Capito’s not knowing why Republicans aren’t getting more women elected. Here’s Ashley Reese, at the liberal Jezebel, supplying an explanation for Capito:
It’s almost as if Republican attacks on family planning services, abortion access, worker protections, and public education isn’t a winner in the eyes of many women. Or maybe it’s Brett Kavanaugh? Or the Republican assault on the voting rights of black and brown people? Or putting children in cages? Or there just aren’t enough white women to prop up Republicans for that much longer?
But who knows? Damn, Capito, this really is a head scratcher.
Senator Manchin could have a much bigger say on energy policy
From yesterday's New York Times:
As the Senate undergoes the customary postelection reshuffling of committees, Mr. Manchin, whose state is a major coal producer, has become a leading contender to become the senior Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. But his pro-coal views and past campaign contributions from coal companies are causing a stir on his party’s left.
Over the past several days, two potential Democratic White House aspirants — Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and Tom Steyer, the billionaire philanthropist who has made fighting climate change his signature issue — have joined environmental advocates in calling on Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, to keep Mr. Manchin out of the ranking spot.
“He supports Donald Trump’s dirty energy agenda,” Mr. Inslee wrote in an email to supporters. “He simply can’t be trusted to make the bold, progressive decisions we need.”
Or as environmental writer for Vox, David Roberts, tweeted:
Perhaps Democratic opposition to his becoming chair explains why Manchin changed his mind on a Trump nominee to FERC. Bloomberg explained:
Senator Joe Manchin reversed course Wednesday and voted against President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission amid a drive by his party’s progressive wing to stop him from becoming the top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Manchin was the sole Democrat to advance the nomination of Bernard McNamee out of committee, but he said in a statement that he changed his mind after viewing video footage of McNamee denying the human impact on climate change. Even without Manchin, McNamee’s nomination advanced on a 50-49 procedural vote, and then received final approval by the same tally Thursday.
Additionally, Manchin had lunch with President Trump on Monday and discussed health care.
Manchin will be 77 when he's again up for re-election. His actions look like he's already running (although maybe he's just being Joe Manchin).