Election season just got a new jolt of energy with the announcement of Mitt Romney’s VP pick, Representative Paul Ryan, who is considered by many to be the intellectual head of the Republican party.
Reporters and political strategists have noted that Ryan was undoubtedly chosen to draw in the more conservative voters that Romney has had trouble holding onto in the past. But the Ryan pick could also lose Romney a lot of female voters, and here’s why:
-He voted AGAINST amendments to the Employment Discrimination Law in 2008 and 2009 that would have made it easier for women and other minority groups to file complaints about unequal pay and to receive back pay for up to TWO years of discriminatory pay.
-He voted AGAINST the Equal Pay Bill in 2007 which designated that each discriminatory payment (as described above) would count as a new violation of civil rights.
-He voted AGAINST the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 which would have expanded the federal definition of a hate crime to include gender identity and sexual orientation.
-He voted AGAINST the Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA Appropriations Act in 2006 which would have expanded funds to the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. This is an indispensable program that assists low income women and children get the nutrition and medical attention they need.
But the kicker is his proposed budget for 2013, referred to as the Ryan Budget. This budget-which would have further extended tax cuts to the wealthy and hiked taxes on the middle class-would be utterly devastating for women across the country. It would:
-Repeal the Affordable Care Act
-Cut vast amounts of funding from Medicaid
-Raise the Medicare eligibility age and replace guarantees with vouchers that wouldn’t be able to keep up with the increasing costs of medical care
-Cut funding from Food Stamps, which many women and children (who are statistically more susceptible to poverty) rely on
-Cut funding from other essential programs like Head Start and Pell Grants
-The plan’s proposal to overhaul Medicaid would also put essential family planning provisions at risk, including cutting the ability to use Medicaid at Planned Parenthood, a large provider of medical care for low income women and children
Granted, the Vice-President’s influence only goes so far as the President will allow. But do we even want to chance a team like Romney/Ryan leading our country and all of the women in it back to the 1950s?
*For more information on Ryan’s votes on women’s issues, check out this link*