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The Grand Old Tea Party Has A New Majority Leader

Kevin McCarthy is your new majority leader, a victory for the Republican establishment in the ongoing battle with its identical twin, the Tea Party. Then again, who can tell who’s who?

Take a quick look at McCarthy’s record on women. He’s repeatedly voted against legislation to help women fight back against pay discrimination. He’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood and control women’s access to reproductive health care services. And oh, last but not least, he co-sponsored extreme, anti-woman legislation to redefine rape as “forcible rape.” Sound familiar?

It’s tragic, really, watching the Tea Party and the Republican establishment continue to fight like this, and over what? We’d tell them to put their differences aside, but there are no differences. Even Speaker Boehner says so.

Now that they have a new majority leader, can’t everyone just get along in the Grand Old Tea Party?

WOMEN’S HEALTH

“Forcible Rape” Bill

McCarthy Was An Original Co-Sponsor Of The 2011 No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act. According to Congress.gov, Representative Kevin McCarthy was an original co-sponsor of the 2011 No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. The bill was introduced on January 20, 2011, and passed by the House of Representatives on May 4, 2011. However, it failed to pass the Senate. [Congress.gov, “H.R. 3 – No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act,” 112th Congress, 2011-2012)

  • Original Version Of 2011 No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act “Tried To Narrow The Definition Of Rape” By Only Allowing Insurance Coverage For Abortions In Cases Of “Forcible Rape.” According to the Huffington Post, “Ryan also cosponsored the ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’ with Akin in 2011. The GOP tried to narrow the definition of rape as it related to abortions with the measure. Only in instances of ‘forcible rape,’ the bill specified, would a woman be eligible to have her abortion covered under insurance.” [Huffington Post, 8/19/12]

Limiting Access to Health Care Services

2013: McCarthy Voted To Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks. In June 2013, McCarthy voted for a bill banning most abortion across the country twenty weeks after conception. According to Congressional Quarterly, “Passage of the bill that would create a nationwide ban on abortions performed at 20 weeks or later, except in cases where the life of the woman is in danger. It would provide exceptions to the ban in cases of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest against a minor, if it has been reported to law enforcement or a government agency authorized to act on reports of child abuse. It also would impose criminal penalties on physicians who violate the ban and subject violators to a maximum five-year jail sentence, fines or both.” The House approved the bill by a vote of 228 to 196. As of November 2013, the Senate had taken any substantive action on the bill. [House Vote 251, 6/18/13; Congressional Quarterly, 6/18/13; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1797]

  • Bill Included Exceptions For Rape, Incest, And The Life Of The Mother, But Not Other Health Exceptions. “According to the Associated Press, “Republicans quietly altered the bill to include an exception to the 20-week ban for instances of rape and incest. Democrats still balked, saying the exception would require a woman to prove that she had reported the rape to authorities. The bill has an exception when a physical condition threatens the life of the mother, but Democratic efforts to include other health exceptions were rebuffed. The legislation would ban abortions that take place 20 weeks after conception, which is equivalent to 22 weeks of pregnancy.” [Associated Press, 6/18/13]
  • Rape Exception Required Women To Prove That They Had Reported Rape To Authorities, Which Is Not Required In Rape Exceptions In Other Federal Abortion Laws. According to Mother Jones, “But it does contain a provision that redefines rape exemptions, significantly limiting the number of women who would qualify. In order to obtain an abortion after 20 weeks under this law, a woman who was raped must be able to prove that she reported the rape to authorities—a requirement not present in other rape exceptions to federal abortion laws. [. . .] It is more restrictive than the Hyde Amendment, the law barring federal funds from being used to pay for abortions. Hyde specifically exempts cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake—with no requirement that women have documentation from police that they reported the crime.” [Mother Jones, 6/18/13]
  • Less Than Half Of All Rapes Are Reported To Police Due To Fear Of Violence, Concerns About Legal System, And Shame. According to Mother Jones, “According to numbers from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, less than half of all rapes or sexual assaults are reported to the police (the bureau’s latest report actually found that the percentage reported to police has declined in recent years—from 56 percent in 2003 to 35 percent in 2010). Democrats pointed out that fear of violence, concerns about dealing with the legal system, and shame may prevent many women from reporting rape. ‘They leave out even Hyde exceptions for rape and incest, and then they try to shove it back in, but they do it with this crazy requirement that rape victims prove that they reported the rapes, only underscoring the point we’ve been making all this time which is that they really have no respect for women,’ Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) told Mother Jones on Tuesday” [Mother Jones, 6/18/13]

Funding For Planned Parenthood

2009: McCarthy Voted To Bar Planned Parenthood From Receiving Federal Funding For Voluntary Family Planning And Related Health Services. In July 2009, McCarthy voted for an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] bar[red] funds [in the underlying bill] from being available for Planned Parenthood for voluntary family planning.” The vote was on a proposed amendment to the proposed Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Department appropriations bill for fiscal year 2010. The House rejected the amendment by a vote of 183 to 247. [House Vote 643, 7/24/09; Congressional Quarterly, 7/24/09]

2011: McCarthy Voted To Defund Planned Parenthood. In February 2011, McCarthy voted for an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, would have “prohibit[ed] any funds in the bill from being made available to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. or its affiliates.” The underlying bill combined the Defense Appropriations Act and the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2011. The amendment was approved by the House by a vote of 240 to 185. The House approved the underlying bill and sent it to the Senate, which substituted different legislation into the bill. [House Vote 93, 2/18/11; Congressional Quarterly, 2/18/11; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1]

2011: McCarthy Voted To Defund Planned Parenthood. In April 2011, McCarthy voted for a resolution that, according to Congressional Quarterly, would have “bar[red] the use of funds made available in the bill to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. or its affiliates.” The vote was on a concurrent resolution to order the House clerk to make a correction in the enrollment of the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2011 by inserting the proposed amendment. The House adopted the resolution by a vote of 241 to 185, and it was then sent to the Senate, which rejected it. [House Vote 271, 4/14/11; Congressional Quarterly, 4/14/11; Congressional Actions, H.Con.Res. 36]

MINIMUM WAGE

2007: McCarthy Voted Against Increasing The Minimum Wage By $2.10 Over Two Years. In January 2007, McCarthy voted against an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, would [have] increase[d] the federal minimum wage by $2.10 over two years – from the current level of $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour. The minimum wage would [have] increase[d] 60 days after enactment, from $5.15 to $5.85 an hour. It would [have] rise[n] to $6.55 an hour a year later, and to $7.25 an hour the next year.” The bill passed the House by a vote of 315 to 116; the Senate later passed the bill with an amendment adding small business tax provisions. Differences between the two bills were not subsequently resolved. [House Vote 18, 1/10/07; Congressional Quarterly, 1/10/07; Congressional Actions, H.R. 2]

2013: McCarthy Effectively Voted Against Raising The Federal Minimum Wage To $10.10 Within Two Years. In March 2013, McCarthy effectively voted against an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] incrementally increase[d] the federal minimum wage to $10.10 within two years of the bill’s enactment.” The vote was on a motion to recommit the underlying bill – the proposed SKILLS Act, which would have reauthorized and overhauled 35 employment and job training programs into one funding stream for state and local use – with instructions to report it back immediately with the prescribed amendment. In addition to raising the minimum wage, the amendment would have also clarified that nothing in the bill would repeal, deny or loosen employment protections, training opportunities or educational benefits for certain seniors, veterans, women or youth. The House rejected the motion by a vote of 184 to 233. [House Vote 74, 3/15/13; Congressional Quarterly, 3/15/13; Congressional Actions, H.R. 803; Congressional Quarterly, 3/15/13]

LGBT RIGHTS

2010: McCarthy Voted Against Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy. In December 2010, McCarthy voted against a motion which, according to Congressional Quarterly, “allow[ed] for the repeal of the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, which prohibits military service by openly gay men and women, after certain requirements are met, including the submission of a written certification, signed by the president, the secretary of Defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the repeal is consistent with military readiness and effectiveness and that they have considered the recommendations of the Comprehensive Review Working Group and prepared the necessary policies and regulations to implement the repeal.” The motion was to concur in the Senate amendment to the bill with a House amendment, the House passed the motion by a vote of 250 to 175. The bill was agreed to by the Senate and signed by the President. [House Vote 638, 12/15/10; Congressional Actions, H.R. 2965; Congressional Quarterly, 12/15/10]

2007: McCarthy Voted Against Prohibiting Job Discrimination On The Basis Of Sexual Orientation. In November 2007, McCarthy voted against a bill that would have, according to Congressional Quarterly, “prohibit[ed] job discrimination on the basis of an individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation. It would [have] define[d] sexual orientation as heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality. An employee who alleged discrimination would [have] be[en] required to demonstrate that the nature of the discrimination was intentional. As amended, it would [have] exempt[ed] religious organizations. It also would [have specified] that the bill would not [have] alter[ed] the federal definition of marriage as being between a man and woman.” The vote was on passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007. The House passed the bill by a vote of 235 to 184. The Senate took no substantive action. [House Vote 1057, 11/7/07; Congressional Quarterly, 11/7/07; Congressional Actions, H.R. 3685]

2012: McCarthy Voted To Try To Force The Justice Department To Defend The Defense Of Marriage Act’s (DOMA) Constitutionality. In 2012, McCarthy voted for an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, would have “bar[red] the use of funds in the bill for activities that would violate the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman and stipulates that states are not required to grant the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples.” The underlying bill was the proposed Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2013. The House adopted the amendment by a vote of 245 to 171. The House later passed the underlying bill and the Senate took no subsequent action. [House Vote 235, 5/9/12; Congressional Actions, H.R. 5326; Congressional Quarterly, 5/9/12]

THE RYAN BUDGET

McCarthy Has Voted For Every Budget Authored By Current House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan That Has Been Brought To A Vote In The House While He Has Been A Congressman. McCarthy voted for Ryan’s budget resolutions in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. [House Vote 211, 3/29/07; House Vote 140, 3/13/08; House Vote 191, 4/2/09; House Vote 277, 4/15/11; House Vote 151, 3/29/12; House Vote 88, 3/21/13; House Vote 177, 4/10/14]

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

September, 2013: McCarthy Voted To Fund The Federal Government At Current Levels Through Mid-December 2013 And To Permanently Defund The Affordable Care Act. In September 2013, McCarthy voted for funding the federal government through December 15th while permanently defunding the Affordable Care Act. According to Congressional Quarterly, “The resolution continues funding for most government operations through Dec. 15 at current, post-sequester FY 2013 levels in order to continue government operations once FY 2014 begins on Oct. 1. It also permanently defunds the 2010 health care overhaul and allows the U.S. Treasury, once the statutory debt limit is reached, to continue borrowing over the debt limit until Dec. 15, 2014 — but only to pay the principal and interest on both government debt held by the public and on obligations to the Social Security trust fund.” The House passed the resolution by a vote of 230 to 189. The Senate subsequently replaced the text of the House-passed continuing resolution with a “clean” one that funded the federal government through November 15, 2013, and sent that back to the House for further action. [House Vote 478, 9/20/13; Congressional Quarterly, 9/19/13; Congressional Actions, H.J.Res.59]

  • Partial Federal Government Shutdown Began On October 1, 2013 After Senate Rejected This And Several Other House Continuing Resolutions That Temporarily Funded The Government But Also Delayed Or Defunded The ACA. According to Congressional Quarterly, “Republicans remain opposed to the 2010 health care overhaul (PL 111-148; PL 111-152), and with central elements of the health care law set to go into effect — including operation of state health care exchanges on Oct. 1 and the requirement, starting January 2014, that all individuals buy health insurance coverage — GOP efforts to block or roll back elements of the law have become the focus of the debate over the need to enact a continuing appropriations resolution for FY 2014. The House has three times passed a CR that included health-care-related language, but Senate Democrats each time rejected those House provisions. […] On early Tuesday morning, the House voted to request a formal conference with the Senate on the measure, but the Senate also rejected that effort, calling on the House to simply approve the Senate-passed ‘clean’ CR. […] The new fiscal year began at midnight Monday night, and because no funding agreement has been enacted, a partial shutdown of the government has begun.” [Congressional Quarterly, 10/2/13]

EQUAL PAY

2008: McCarthy Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act, Which Made It Easier For Women To Successfully Sue Their Employers Over Unequal Compensation. In July 2008, McCarthy voted against a bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly,“would make it easier for women who are paid less than their male counterparts to bring suits against their employers and receive compensation. Employers seeking to justify unequal pay would have to prove that disparities are job-related and required by a business necessity. Workers who won wage discrimination cases could collect compensatory and punitive damages. As amended, it would specify that punitive damages could only be awarded to plaintiffs who prove intentional discrimination.” The House passed the bill, named the Paycheck Fairness Act, by a vote of 247 to 178. The Senate took no substantive action on the measure. [House Vote 556, 7/31/08; Congressional Quarterly, 7/31/08; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1338]

2009: McCarthy Voted Against Requiring That Employers Prove That Instances Of Unequal Pay For Men And Women Were Job Related. In January 2009, McCarthy voted against a bill that according to Congressional Quarterly “would [have] require[d] employers seeking to justify unequal pay for male and female workers to prove that such disparities are job-related and required by a business necessity. It would [have] bar[red] retaliation by employers against employees who share salary information with their co-workers. Workers who won wage discrimination cases could collect compensatory and punitive damages.” The House passed the bill by a vote of 256 to 163. The text of the bill was appended to the end of H.R. 11 as new matter. H.R. 11 was passed by the House, but the Senate took no substantive action. [House Vote 8, 1/9/09; Congressional Quarterly, 1/9/09; Congressional Actions, H.R. 12; Congressional Actions,H.R. 11]

2009: McCarthy Voted Against The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. In 2009, McCarthy voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allowed lawsuits for pay discrimination to be filed within 180 days of any discrimination-affected paycheck, even if it was the result of discrimination that occurred more than 180 days ago. The bill effectively overturned the Supreme Court’s 2006 ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. According to The New York Times, in that case, “A jury found [Ledbetter’s] employer, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant in Gadsden, Ala., guilty of pay discrimination. But in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court threw out the case, ruling that she should have filed her suit within 180 days of the date that Goodyear first paid her less than her peers.” According to the New York Times, the Ledbetter Act “restarts the six-month clock every time the worker receives a paycheck.” The bill passed the House, 250 to 177, and President Obama signed it into law on January 29, 2009. [House Vote 37, 1/27/09; Public Law 111-2, 1/29/09; New York Times, 1/29/09]

DREAM ACT

2010: McCarthy Voted Against The DREAM Act. In December 2010, McCarthy voted against the DREAM Act, a bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] allow[ed] the Homeland Security Department to grant the undocumented children of illegal immigrants conditional nonimmigrant status if they [met] certain requirements, including that they have been in the United States continuously for more than five years and were younger than 16 when they entered the country, and that they have been admitted to a U.S. college or university or enlisted in the military, and were younger than 30 on the date of enactment. The measure would [have] require[d] such individuals to pay an application surcharge of $525 and, after five years, pay an additional $2,000 to renew their conditional status for another five years, when they would be eligible to apply for legal permanent status.” The vote was on the motion to concur with two Senate amendments to the underlying bill – which dealt with transferring certain cases from state courts to federal district courts – and concur in the third Senate amendment with a House amendment that added the DREAM Act. The House agreed to the motion by a vote of 216 to 198, but the amended bill died after the Senate voted against ending debate on it. [House Vote 625, 12/8/10; Congressional Quarterly, 12/8/10; Congressional Quarterly, 12/13/10; Congressional Actions, H.R. 5281; House Report 111-677, 12/8/10]

2012: McCarthy Voted To Block Implementation Of Obama Executive Order Deferring Deportation Of DREAMers. In June 2012, McCarthy voted for an amendment that would have, according to Congressional Quarterly, “bar[red] the use of funds in the bill to finalize, implement, administer or enforce Immigration and Customs Enforcement memos regarding prosecutorial discretion to prioritize the removal of certain illegal immigrants.” The underlying bill was on Department of Homeland Security appropriations. The vote was on passage of the amendment, the House passed the amendment by a vote of 238 to 175. The bill was passed by the House, but the Senate took no subsequent action. [House Vote 363,6/7/12; Congressional Actions, H.R. 5855; Congressional Quarterly, 6/7/12]

2013: McCarthy Voted To Block President Obama’s Order Deferring Deportation For DREAMers. In June 2013, McCarthy voted for an amendment that would have blocked President Obama’s executive decision not to deport illegal immigrants who came to America as children, known as DREAMers. According to Congressional Quarterly, the amendment would have “bar[red] the use of funds provided in the [underlying] bill to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce a number of policies and memorandums within the Homeland Security Department, including ones pertaining to prosecutorial discretion for illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children.” The House approved the proposed amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014 by a vote of 224 to 201. The House later passed the overall bill. The Senate Appropriations Committee has produced its own version of the bill, but the full Senate has not acted on it. [House Vote 208, 6/6/13; Congressional Quarterly, 6/6/13; Congressional Actions, H.R. 2217]