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Democratic Congresswomen Rally In Columbus For Women's Issues

Some U.S. Congresswomen are rolling through Ohio on a bus tour through the Midwest, talking about the challenges women face in the workplace. The bus made two stops in Ohio today: One in Cleveland, and one in Columbus. Democratic U.S. Representative Joyce Beatty hops off a big purple bus, plastered with the slogan “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds.â€? She takes the stage outside the Ohio Statehouse and explains the message that’s being stressed on the bus tour from Seneca Falls, New York to Chicago Illinois. "My message is simple: When women succeed, America succeeds. And women need equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave and access to affordable child care."

Washington Visits Ohio

But Beatty isn’t the only one on the bus. She introduces former Speaker of the U.S. House and the first woman ever to serve in that position, Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi says she and other Democrats in Congress are trying to pass bills that would mandate women get equal pay for equal work, would give families of all income levels more access to high quality, affordable child care and would raise the minimum wage. She notes many women are trying to raise families on jobs that earn the minimum wage. "So let’s make a decision to be the great country that we are and to do something about it. We know what the problem is. We have the legislative solutions," Pelosi says. "What is missing are the votes. We only need 17 votes to make this happen. Seventeen votes."

Women to the polls

And to get those votes, Pelosi says Ohio women need to go to the polls and elect Democratic candidates who will support these issues. "This is a fact. When women succeed, America succeeds. And it’s the actual jolt that our economy needs so that we have an economy that is not only job creating but GOOD job creating," Pelosi says. But Chris Schrimpf of the Ohio Republican Party says this is just Democratic rhetoric. He says the fact is what the Democrats say doesn’t match what the Democrats do. "We saw what a Nancy Pelosi Congress does. They ram through legislation like Obamacare without listening the opposition and the result is economic and health disaster for the American people." The Republican Speaker of the Ohio House, Bill Batchelder, doesn’t have much use for the message being spread on this bus tour. "I think a lot of these things have been addressed," Batchelder says. "So I would suggest that I’m not excited to hear much from people in Washington in terms of handling the problems the country has. Obviously, the economy continues to decline, unemployment continues to be where it was a year and a half ago and so forth. I would think they might to attend to those things.

Republicans respond

Batchelder says Republican lawmakers in the Ohio House are doing something about the women’s issues being discussed on the bus. He notes there’s a bill being considered right now that would set up a council to study problems faced by women in the workplace. But the Democrats say it’s not a matter of identifying problems….it’s a matter of fixing them. Pelosi says if Congress would pass legislation to make the workplace better for women, it would pay off. If you want to grow the U.S. economy, the best thing you can do is to engage women in the economic growth of our country. Pelosi and the Democrats say the only way to solve this problem is to get women who care about these problems to vote for people who will solve them. And she says that means voting in all elections, not just the presidential contests.