Rep. Kristi Noem today announced that Republican women in the House have joined together to form the Women's Policy Committee, a formal Congressional caucus with the goal of raising the profile of GOP women in their roles as lawmakers. The Caucus will highlight the diverse achievements of GOP women and provide a unique, unified voice on a wide range of critically important issues. Rep. Noem will be a member the Caucus' 7-person steering committee.
"Women bring a unique voice to the world of politics. As wives, mothers and primary decision-makers, we know firsthand the kind of policies that will help keep our families strong and our nation's future secure," said Rep. Noem. "I'm excited for this Caucus to get off the ground and am honored to be a member of the steering committee."
Saying it would add a "new perspective" on issues facing the House, Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have strongly embraced the formation of the new GOP women's caucus.
"Make no mistake, these aren't just leaders on so-called "women's issues,' these are women leaders on all issues," Speaker Boehner said. "I am confident the Women's Policy Committee will offer a fresh, new perspective on a vast array of challenges confronting Congress and be an important voice for the Republican Conference."
Majority Leader Cantor added, "Republican Women are leading the charge on issues that matter most to small businessmen and women and working families throughout the country. The newly-minted House Republican Women's Policy Committee will provide a much needed forum for thoughtful deliberation as we work to address big challenges like tax reform, health care and our nation's debt. Through their varied backgrounds and personal experiences, the members of the House Republican Women's Policy Committee have a unique advantage in making the case for lower taxes, less government red tape and pro growth policies to get people back to work. As a farmer, rancher and small business owner, Congresswoman Kristi Noem will continue to be a strong and effective voice for common sense policies as a leader of the Women's Policy Committee."
Today, 24 Republican women from 17 states serve in the House, with many of them holding key leadership positions on influential committees and in the Republican Conference. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), who first came to Congress in 1998, was elected Chairman of the Women's Policy Committee.
"As mothers, grandmothers, daughters, wives and sisters, women often see things in a different context," Rep. Bono Mack explained. "Today, our nation is confronting historic challenges -- from a $15 trillion national debt to a sluggish economy that has suffered through 39 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent. As Republican women, we have some really unique ideas for moving our nation forward, and we're excited about working together to find solutions."
The Women's Policy Committee will meet regularly and work to develop consensus positions, when possible, as well as to be a strong voice on everything from pocketbook issues to health care to homeland security.
In addition to Chairman Bono Mack, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) and Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25) were elected Vice Chairmen. Members of the 7-person steering committee include: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5), Rep. Sandy Adams (FL-24), Rep. Diane Black (TN-6), Rep. Kay Granger (TX-12), Rep. Nan Hayworth (NY-19), Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-3), and Rep. Kristi Noem (SD).