Yesterday, the House held lengthy discussions about troop levels (featuring Tim Walz (D-MN-01) and H.R.4534 – POSTURE Act – “Protecting Our Security Through Utilizing Right-Sized End-Strength Act of 2016”) and the failure of the Republicans to fulfill their April 15th budget approval due date … but those were just floor discussions … no votes.
But that doesn’t mean that the Republican-controlled Do-Nothing House didn’t vote at all … they did approve some measures … that is most notable by not what was approved but who voted in dissent.
Yep, when the House had a chance to weigh in on the Greater Washington Soap Box Derby, and naming of Post Offices in Cedar Rapids Iowa, Perryville Arkansas, and Deptford Township, New Jersey, Glenn Grothman (R-WI-06) did not object.
For those that don’t know, H.R. 4570 is the “Jeannette Rankin–Women and Minorities in STEM Fields Program, 100 Years of Women in Congress Act”
Born in 1880, Jeannette Rankin graduated from the University of Montana with a biology degree in 1902. She also worked as a social worker, advocating for women and children who had no vote — no say — in American government. But she found her true calling in politics, where she was an energetic campaigner and electrifying speaker. She was truly ahead of her time, being the first (and only women to represent Montana in Congress) … in fact, she was elected on November 7, 1916, almost four years prior to ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave women the right to vote.
“Montanans have always been pioneers, and Jeanette Rankin is the perfect example of that, leading the way for women in STEM and politics at a time when many women didn’t even have the right to vote,” said Congressman Ryan Zinke (R-MN). “It’s important to remember who blazed the trail before us and look to them as mentors and inspiration.”
H.R. 4570 would have pretty much the same impact as renaming a post office … it would rename an existing Department of Agriculture science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program that provides grants to colleges and universities who encourage women and minorities to pursue degrees and careers in STEM fields. The program would remain a competitive grants program supporting research and extension projects that seek to increase capacity for carrying out the USDA mission by rural women and underrepresented minorities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 47 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Although gains have been made in the STEM fields, women still comprise only 39 percent of chemists and material scientists, 28 percent of environmental scientists and geoscientists, 16 percent of chemical engineers and 12 percent of civil engineers.
For a DoNothing House there should have been zero objections … but for some unreported reason Glenn Grothman voted NO.
This despite the fact that Glenn Grothman has been assigned to the Joint Economic Committee … and as such, should be familiar with the findings in the JEC report —
— which reported that in his district, women earn 76 cents for every dollar that a man earns. The JEC report noted that of the 116 occupations with enough men and women to make a comparison, women earn as much as or more than men in only two—stock clerks/order fillers and health practitioner support technologists/technicians. Boosting women’s earnings would increase spending by households, generating additional consumer demand. Stimulating demand increases production and leads to economic growth. According to the OECD, the U.S. economy would be 5 percent larger in 2030 if the gap between men’s and women’s labor force participation were cut in half. Having more women working full time in the paid labor force also could decrease income inequality and lift many women out of poverty.
“Representative” Grothman just ignored his colleagues and voted NO.
This vote won’t change anything … the competitive grant program is relatively small — it awarded $400,000 nationwide last year.
But it begs the question … if Glenn Grothman will not even want to acknowledge America’s first Congresswoman by naming an existing program in her honor, does Wisconsin’s Sixth District want him representing them in Congress ?
Let us remember that last month CongressMAN Grothman also voted against H.R. 4742 The Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act … which was approved by 383 of his colleagues.
Fortunately, the voters will have a choice this November … someone whose background fits the district quite well.
Sarah Lloyd has a PhD in Rural Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and teaches the Rural Social and Economic Issues course in the UW Farm Industry Short Course, covering social, economic, and ecological issues of agriculture.
Sarah also farms with her husband Nels Nelson and his family on the 400-cow Nelson dairy farm outside of Wisconsin Dells. Sarah has represented the dairy farmers of Wisconsin on the National Dairy Board and Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Sarah studies have resulted in reports such as “New Jobs, New Workers, and New Inequalities” and “Activating the Countryside: Rural Power, the Power of the Rural and the Making of Rural Politics”.
Yep, Sarah Lloyd … someone who combines Ag and STEM is running for Congress … and that probably does not sit well with Glenn Grothman.
Learn more about Sarah at Lloyd For Wisconsin.