GOP: We're Pro-Woman Because We're Pro-Business

June 22, 2011 11:42 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

Kristi Noem

One criticism that really irritates GOP lawmakers is the argument that their policies are bad for women, so every now and then conservative congresswomen band together to make the case that the "anti-woman" charge is unfair. Their defense generally goes something like this: GOP policies are good for America, and women are Americans, ergo Republicans are more "pro-woman" than Democrats.

Last night on the House floor, 14 of the 24 Republican women serving in the chamber stepped forward to explain why women are well served by Republican policies. Most of them talked about the alleged failure of President Obama and recited dishonest talking points about the health care law, but the argument was best summed up by freshman Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD). "The Republican agenda is indeed pro-women," she declared. "It is pro-woman because it is pro-business, pro-job creator, pro-family, pro-economic growth."

NOEM: Mr. Speaker, my agenda and the Republican agenda is indeed pro-women. It is pro-woman because it is pro-small business, pro-job creator, pro-family, pro-economic growth. You see, just as my dad taught me years ago, women in my home state of South Dakota and all across this country, we care about the same things that men do. They're worried about the security of their jobs, they're worried about their children's future, and they're worried about finding a job if they need one. We're worried about the excessive spending that this country is engaging in and the overwhelming debt that we're continuing to accumulate and that we're going to leave to our children and our grandchildren. We're worried about what new government regulation is going to come in and hinder our businesses and what's around the corner that's going to try to control our portion of our lives or hurt our small businesses on the street corner. Mr. Speaker, our Republican conference has rolled out a jobs plan. It's pro-woman and it's pro-man because it does exactly what we need to get our economy back on track.

Noem's argument would be more compelling if Republicans had spent their first six months in the majority focusing on job creation. Instead, they've wasted time on bills that have nothing to do with the economy but would make abortions less accessible, change the definition of rape, and cut funding for women's health care. Indeed, the House-passed "No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act" is overtly anti-business legislation that would punish private companies for offering legal health care procedures.  

Watch a roundup of the GOP women's statements below: