Harris taps growing political power of women lawmakers to promote U.S. COVID-19 relief

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris met with feminine Democratic lawmakers and activists on
Thursday to enhance help for the White House’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief invoice, highlighting the growing political power of women in Congress.

The digital assembly, which a White House supply mentioned was probably the primary of many who Harris will maintain particularly with women in power, targeted on how women have been affected by job losses, small enterprise closures and an absence of childcare in addition to how Biden’s plan will tackle these points.

Nearly 400,000 childcare jobs have been misplaced for the reason that outset of the pandemic, Harris mentioned.The COVID-19 pandemic has had an outsized influence on women, who misplaced jobs at a better fee than males and have struggled to return to the workforce as a result of of the necessity to care for kids unable to attend college.

Specific carveouts within the COVID-19 relief invoice are designed to tackle issues confronted by women, together with an funding of $40 billion in childcare, paid household depart for 100 million extra employees and an funding of $130 billion to assist re-open Okay-12 faculties safely.

“For me this is personal…. The longer we wait to act, the harder it will be to bring these women back into the work force,” Harris advised the group calling the scenario the place 2.5 million women have left the workforce a “national emergency.”That compares with 1.8 million males who’ve left the work drive throughout the identical interval, in accordance to Labor Department knowledge.

“In one year…the pandemic has put decades of the progress we have collectively made for women workers at risk,” she mentioned.Harris mentioned the package deal would “lift up nearly half of the
children who are living in poverty in our country,” a declare backed by evaluation by Columbia University.Attendees included House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, Representative Barbara Lee and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto.

Harris has already been deeply concerned in coverage and diplomacy within the early weeks of President Joe Biden’s administration.

Earlier she met with Black Chambers of Commerce and Black mayors at a gathering convened by the African American Mayors Association to discuss COVID-19 relief, and this week
held a name with French President Emmanuel Macron.Harris’ assembly on Thursday occurred as Congress has extra feminine members than ever earlier than, with 27% of all seats, greater than double the quantity in 2001.

The overwhelming majority of women lawmakers are Democrats, and a growing proportion of women have
voted for Democrats in latest elections. Black women rallied behind Biden throughout important turns in his 2020 presidential marketing campaign.

Murray mentioned women are going through challenges with distant studying for kids, so they need to get them again into faculties safely. “Women are leaving the work force because of this,” she mentioned.

The assembly additionally included Melanie Campbell of the Black Women’s Roundtable; Jen Earle, National Association of Women Business Owners; Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry and Tina Tchen, CEO of the anti-sexual harassment group Time’s UP.

“Our economy cannot fully recover unless women can participate fully,” Harris mentioned.

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