|00:00:02||I COME TO THE FLOOR THIS AFTERNOON CHEERED TO KNOW THAT ONE OF THE LAST OF OUR SEVEN MUST-PASS PROVISIONS HAS NOW FINALLY BEEN PASSED, AFTER HAVING BEEN PASSED SEVERAL TIMES, TWICE IN THE SENATE AND IN THE HOUSE, AND THAT IS A PROVISION THAT WILL ALLOW THE FULL RANGE OF CONTRACEPTIVE DRUGS AND DEVICES FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WHO FACED A SET OF FEDERAL INSURANCE -- FACED FEDERAL INSURANCE THAT WAS VERY DIVERSE IN WHAT WAS OFFERED.|
|00:00:56||THIS WAS A MAJOR FIGHT IN ABORTION POLICY THAT SOMEHOW MADE ITS WAY INTO MAINSTREAM CONTRACEPTIVE IDEA.|
|00:01:05||FINALLY IT WAS SETTLED AND THESE CONTRACEPTIVE DRUGS WILL BE AVAILABLE.|
|00:01:08||THAT MEANS FOUR OF THE SEVEN MUST-PASS BILLS OUT OF THE CONGRESSIONAL WOMEN'S CAUCUS, A BIPARTISAN CAUCUS, AND -- CAUCUS, AND ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE CAUCUSES IN THE HOUSE HAS BEEN PASSED.|
|00:01:21||WE ARE GRATEFUL THAT THE MAMMOGRAPHY QUALITY STANDARDS ACT HAS BEEN PASSED, WITH IN A RE-AUTHORIZATION AND STRENGTHENING OF THE SECTIONS OF THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT OCCURRED.|
|00:01:32||THAT A NEW COMMISSION ON WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES AND SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND TECHNOLOGY JOBS WILL NOW TAKE PLACE, AND NOW THAT CONTRACEPTIVE PRIORITY PASSED IN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE HAS NOW BEEN PASSED.|
|00:01:44||FOUR OUT OF SEVEN OF OUR PRIORITIES PASSED.|
|00:01:46||IT SHOWS WHAT BIPARTISANSHIP CAN GET YOU IF YOU ARE WILLING TO DO WHAT THE WOMEN OF THE CONGRESS HAVE SET THE EXAMPLE FOR THE ENTIRE CONGRESS.|
|00:01:52||I DO WANT THIS BODY TO KNOW THAT IN ADDITION TO OUR ANNUAL MUST-PASS PROVISIONS, THERE WERE OTHER LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES THAT THE CAUCUS HAD AND THAT WERE PASSED.|
|00:02:05||I AM PARTICULARLY CHEERED THAT GENDER INTEGRATED MILITARY TRAINING, A STRONG BIPARTISAN GOAL OF THE WOMEN'S CAUCUS OCCURRED, AND MY HAT IS OFF TO JANE HARMAN AND TILLIE FOWLER WHO ARE ON THE COMMITTEE AND CARRIED THIS MATTER FOR THE CAUCUS.|
|00:02:24||CHILDCARE AS WE DESIRED IT DID NOT COME ABOUT BECAUSE NO BILL CAME TO THE FLOOR, BUT I AM PLEASED TO NOTE THAT $45 MILLION WAS INCLUDED IN THE HIGHER EDUCATION RE-AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR CAMPUS-BASED CHILDCARE.|
|00:02:40||MR. SPEAKER, WITH ALL OF THE CONCERN ABOUT TAXES, THIS HOUSE DID NOT OVERLOOK THE NEED FOR TAX RELIEF FOR INNOCENT SPOUSES, WOMEN WHO WERE LEFT HOLDING THE BAG AFTER DIVORCE WHEN TAXES THEY DIDN'T KNOW WERE NOT PAID FELL TO THEM.|
|00:02:57||THE WOMEN'S CAUCUS HAS LED THE NOTION THAT WOMEN AND MINORITIES MUST BE INCLUDED IN CLINICAL TRIALS.|
|00:03:03||NOW WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET THAT POP SIGNIFICANCE ACCEPTED UNDER THE FEDERAL FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION REFORM ACT.|
|00:03:13||SPEAKER, CHILD ENFORCEMENT -- SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT CONTINUES TO BE A PRIORITY CONCERN OF THE CONGRESSIONAL WOMEN.|
|00:03:21||WE ARE MOVING ALONG INCREMENTALLY UNTIL THIS FULL JOB IS DONE.|
|00:03:26||THEIR INCENTIVE FUNDS THAT WE HAVE PASSED IN ORDER TO IMPROVE THE PERFORMANCE OF CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PROGRAMS.|
|00:03:33||WE TAKE HEART THAT IT HAS NOW BECOME A FELONY IF YOU DON'T PAY YOUR CHILD SUPPORT FOR A YEAR OR IF YOU OWE MORE THAN $5,000.|
|00:03:45||THAT IS WHAT A FELONY OUGHT TO BE WHEN YOU CONSIDER WHAT OUR -- WHAT IS AT STAKE IS THE LIVES OF CHILDREN.|
|00:03:55||WE ARE PLEASED THAT THE HOUSE, IN FACT, HAS HELPED DISPLACED HOMEMAKERS FIND JOB SKILLS.|
|00:04:02||THESE ARE WOMEN WHO WILL NOT QUALIFY FOR WELFARE.|
|00:04:05||MANY OF THEM DIVORCED OR SEPARATED WOMEN WHO NOW UNDER THE JOB TRAINING RE-AUTHORIZATION ACT WILL, IN FACT, BE ABLE TO GET JOB TRAINING TARGETED AND FOCUSED ON THEM.|
|00:04:18||MR. SPEAKER, I HAVE BEEN TO THE FLOOR THIS WEEK ALREADY WITH A STRONG SET OF DISAPPOINTMENTS ABOUT WOMEN'S ISSUES.|
|00:04:27||THEY WERE QUITE OVERWHELMING.|
|00:04:28||THEY INVOLVED ESPECIALLY CHOICE AND CHILDCARE ISSUES.|
|00:04:33||I COME TO THE FLOOR THIS AFTERNOON, HOWEVER, GRATEFUL THAT WE HAVE REMOVED SCOPPINGS FROM THE WOMEN'S LIST OF -- OF CONTRACEPTION FROM THE WOMEN'S LIST OF DEMERITS.|
|00:04:46||I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.|
|00:04:48||THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: THE GENTLEWOMAN'S TIME HAS EXPIRED.|
|00:04:50||THE GENTLEMAN FROM MICHIGAN, MR.|
|00:04:53||SPEAKER, FIVE MINUTES WITH PERMISSION TO REVISE.|
|00:04:56||THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.|
|00:04:58||MR. SMITH: WELL, I JUST CAME FROM OUR REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE, MR.|
|00:05:01||SPEAKER, TALKING ABOUT WHAT IS IN THIS OMNIBUS APPROPRIATION BILL, AND THE GOOD|
Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I have kept the count for the Women's Congressional Caucus of our legislative achievements in a productive session for our achievements, working closely with my Republican co-chair, the gentlewoman from Connecticut.
I come to the floor this afternoon cheered to know that one of the last of our seven must-pass provisions has now finally been passed, after having been passed several times, twice in the Senate and in the House, and that is a provision that will allow the full range of contraceptive drugs and devices for Federal employees who faced Federal insurance that was very diverse in what was offered.
This was a major fight. Abortion politics somehow made its way into this mainstream contraceptive issue. Finally, it has been settled and these drugs will be provided. That means that four of the seven must-pass bills of the Women's Caucus, which is a bipartisan caucus in the House has been passed.
We are grateful that the reauthorization of the Mammography Quality Standards Act was passed; the reauthorization and strengthening of sections of the Violence Against Women Act occurred; that a new Commission on Women, Minorities and People with Disabilities in Science, Engineering and Technology Jobs will take place.
Now that the contraceptive priority has passed, the House and the Senate have now been passed four out of seven of our priorities. It shows what bipartisanship can get us if we are willing to do it.
The women of the Congress have set the example for the entire Congress. I do want this body to know that in addition to our annual must-pass provisions, there were other legislative priorities that the caucus had and that were passed.
I am particularly cheered that gender-integrated military training, a strong bipartisan goal of the Women's Caucus, occurred. And my hat is off to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Harman) and the gentlewoman from Florida (Mrs. Fowler), who were on the committee and carried the matter for the caucus.
Child care, as we desired it, did not come about because no bill came to the floor. But I am pleased to note that $45 million was included in the Higher Education Reauthorization Act for campus-based child care.
Mr. Speaker, with all of the concern about taxes, this House did not overlook the need for tax relief for innocent spouses, women who were left holding the bag after divorce when taxes they did not know were not paid fell to them.
The Women's Caucus has led the notion that women and minorities are to be included in clinical trials. Now we have been able to get that proposition accepted under the Federal Food and Drug Administration Reform Act.
Mr. Speaker, child support enforcement continues to be a priority concern of the congressional women. We are moving along incrementally until this full job is done. There are incentive funds that we have passed in order to improve the performance of child support enforcement programs. We take heart that it has now become a felony if parents do not pay their child support for a year, or if they owe more than $5,000. That is what a felony ought to be, when we consider what is at stake is the lives of children.
We are pleased that the House, in fact, has helped displaced homemakers find job skills. These are woman who will not qualify for welfare, many of them divorced or separated, women who now under the Job Training Reauthorization Act will in fact be able to get job training targeted and focused on them.
Mr. Speaker, I have been to the floor this week already with a strong set of disappointments about women's issues. They were quite overwhelming. They involved, especially, choice and child care issues. I come to the floor this afternoon, however, grateful that we have removed contraception from the women's list of demerits for the 105th Congress. May we all do better in the 106th Congress.
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