Washington, DC, United States (4E) – House Speaker John Boehner has announced the list of House members that will chair the major committees in the next Congress, and it turned out they are all white men.
In Boehner’s proposed list, there is not one woman or a minority in the 19 of the 21 most powerful House committees that set the legislative agenda and priorities in key areas. Two lower-tier House committees, the Ethics Committee and House Administration, are still awaiting a chair designation.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is currently the only female committee chair among the House GOP members but is stepping down as her term of office is up.
Despite the lack of women or minority in committee chair posts, Boehner did include female legislators in his new leadership team. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, will become the fourth top Republican in the House as she will assume the GOP Conference chairmanship position while Rep. Lynn Jenkins will become the vice-chair. Rep. Virginia Foxx will become the conference secretary.
Of the 200 or 201 House Democrats in the next Congress, depending on the outcome of the still-disputed races, 61 of them are women. On the Republican side, only 17 women will comprise the caucus of 234 or 235 members, or merely seven per cent of the ranks, which is fewer than six than in the current Congress.