Today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced her nominations to complete the deficit super committee: Reps. James Clyburn (D-SC), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Xavier Becerra (D-CA). A quick roll call of the members reveals a notable absence of an important demographic: Women. Out of the 12 principal players who will attempt to achieve an deficit agreement on spending cuts, only one is a woman: Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).
The committee members are: Sens. Murray, Max Baucus (D-MT), John Kerry (D-MA), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Rob Portman (R-OH), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Reps. Clyburn, Becerra, Van Hollen, Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Fred Upton (R-MI) and Dave Camp (R-MI).
Given that the principal players in the erratic and ultimately disappointing debt ceiling negotiations were all men (Pelosi’s role ended up being tangential), the question posed by Center For American Progress’s Madeline Meth must still be asked: Wouldn’t having more women at the negotiating table help Democrats get a better deal?
After all, numerous public policy, business, political, and media experts point to women’s “more results-oriented” approach as potentially more advantageous. Moreover, the National Organization for Women (NOW) noted that the debt deal resulted in nearly $1 trillion cuts that will disproportionately affect women — women who did not have a voice at the table. And with the super committee charged with finding another $1.5 trillion in cuts, it seems that women once again struggle to be heard. It is also important to note that out of the 12 members, only two represent racial minorities: Clyburn and Becerra.