WOMEN, FAMILIES AND CHILDREN
Women's Issues and
Women still face many structural barriers to equal treatment under
the law. Women face unequal employment opportunities and are still
consistently paid less than men doing the same work. I have supported
and will continue to support community events and legislation aimed
at promoting women-owned businesses and creating more economic opportunities
for women. In order to connect, motivate, and empower women to face
and overcome these challenges, each year in December I host a Women's
Conference in the District, known as Sister-to-Sister. Last December
we held our Fifth Annual Conference.
There are many issues that come before Congress that address the
unique opportunities and problems that women face. My voting record
on women's issues speaks for itself. I co-sponsored H.
J. Res. 37, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the
United States relative to equal rights for men and women. I have
also co-sponsored H.
RES. 67 that asks the Senate to ratify the Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
Violence against women remains a major issue in our society that
requires legislation and social programs for education, counseling
and support for shelters to protect battered women. I co-sponsored
3171, to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 2005,
and amends numerous related acts including the McKinney-Vento Homelessness
Assistance Act and the Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act of
3171 would reauthorize, revise and establish various programs
for prevention of violence against women, including domestic violence,
child abuse, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Another way Congress can promote the advancement of women is by
recognizing their achievements. I co-sponsored H. Con. Res. 96,
which acknowledges the significant achievements and contributions
of African American women scientists, mathematicians, and inventors.
I also voted in favor of H.J.
Res. 59, supporting the idea of establish a day to commemorate
the women suffragists who fought for and won the right of women
to vote in the United States.
Women's Health and Reproductive Rights
Women's health and reproductive rights remain areas where women
face particular barriers or discrimination. I will continue to support
legislation regarding women's health and disease prevention. With
regards to women's health issues in general, I have recently co-sponsored
The first of these is H.R. 1245, the Gynecologic Cancer
Education and Awareness Act, which would initiate a national campaign
to increase the awareness and knowledge of women with respect to
gynecologic cancers. This bill has strong support.
The second is H.R.1849,
the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act, which would require insurers
to provide coverage of inpatient (and in the case of a lumpectomy,
outpatient) coverage and radiation therapy for breast cancer treatment.
The third is H.R.
3313, the Environmental Health Research Act of 2005, directing
the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to develop
multidisciplinary research centers regarding women's health and
I support a woman's right to choose. Since 2001, I have received
100% approval ratings on my voting record from NARAL Pro-Choice
America and Planned Parenthood.
Women and Families
As the reader surely knows, with the soaring cost of medical bills,
medical insurance, energy bills and so much else, women as single
or joint head of households are facing ever mounting challenges
to the task of raising children and providing for their families.
I have co-sponsored legislation that would provide assistance. The
Healthy Families Act (H.R.
1902) would provide for paid sick leave to ensure that Americans
can address their own health needs and the health needs of their
families. The Balance Act (H.R.
1589) seeks to improve the lives of working families by providing
family and medical need assistance, child care assistance, in-school
and after-school assistance, family care assistance, and encouraging
the establishment of family-friendly workplaces.
Since 2001, I have received 100% approval ratings on my voting record
from the Children's Defense Fund. I co-sponsored H.R.
1668, the Kids First Act, which would amend the Social Security
Act to ensure that every uninsured child in America has health insurance
coverage. I voted in favor of the Child Medication Safety Act of
1790) would direct the Comptroller General to review the prescription
rates of psychotropic drugs for children diagnosed with ADHD, and
would prohibit school personnel from requiring students to obtain
prescriptions for such drugs.
Children under foster care require special consideration. I have
am supporting two bills concerning foster care. I co-sponsored the
Foster Care Mentoring Act (H.R.
822), which would establish or expand public and private community
programs to provide mentoring for children in foster care. I also
voted for The Fair Access Foster Care Act (H.R.
3008) would amend the Social Security Act to provide for the
making of foster care maintenance payments to private for-profit
agencies. I also voted yes to the Assistance for Orphans and Other
Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act (H.R.
1409) to amend the Foreign Assistance Act to provide assistance
for orphans and other vulnerable children in developing countries.
Another issue that concerns me greatly is the use of child soldiers,
especially in Africa, recruited under the age of 18, often under
the age of 15. World-wide there are over a quarter of a million
child soldiers. In 1999, I introduced the Code of Conduct on Arms
Transfers Act (H.R.
2269) which would prohibit U.S. military assistance and arms
transfers to a foreign governments who are involved in human rights
violations, or who are not participating in the United
Nations Register of Conventional Arms. This bill would
curtail U.S. involvement withe regimes that do not respect human
rights, and that includes the recruiting of child soldiers.