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MEMO: Kentucky Women Reject the Record Mitch McConnell is Proud Of

MEMO: Kentucky Women Reject the Record Mitch McConnell is Proud Of

Today, Mitch McConnell kicked off a hollow initiative to try and attract women voters in Kentucky. And the McConnell campaign’s top line for his deplorable, anti-woman record is to offer up the demographics of McConnell’s staff – which is 54% women – as proof that he supports women’s issues.

At today’s event, he had the audacity to tout his record on the Violence Against Women Act, without noting that he voted against it earlier this year, unapologetically.

And his team even had the gall to mention his ‘support’ of breast cancer research, even though he’s worked tirelessly to defund efforts to provide women with access to mammograms and basic health care services.

It’s insulting that the McConnell campaign expects their hiring practices or photo ops with women will distract from the fact that he is working against 2.2 million Kentucky women every day.

McConnell’s shameful votes against equal pay legislation, the Violence Against Women Act, and countless other pieces of legislation geared towards protecting the health and security of women, have already been cast – and Kentucky women are taking note.

In fact, the majority of Kentucky women already know of and reject Mitch McConnell’s deplorable, anti-woman record.

The Republican Party has used this misguided logic to curry favor with women voters countless times before while still clinging to anti-woman policies. As a leader of the Republican Party, McConnell’s actions embody the ruthless agenda of the GOP. “Women for Team Mitch” won’t change that.


  • McConnell Voted Against S. 47, The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. McConnell was one of 22 Republican male senators to vote against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in February 2013. VAWA had expired during the previous Congress, and because of Republican opposition to provisions for Native American, undocumented, and LGBT victims of domestic violence, the different versions approved by the House and by the Senate were never reconciled, and the bill died without final passage at the end of 2012. [Think Progress, 2/12/13]
  • McConnell Cosponsored, Voted For Blunt Amendment, Extreme Legislation Allowing Employers To Deny Health Care Coverage For Moral Or Religious Reasons. On March 1, 2012, McConnell voted for S. Amdt. 1520, also known as the Blunt amendment, of which he was also a cosponsor. The amendment would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to “protect the rights of conscious with regard to requirements for specific items and services.”  In other words, employers would be able to deny health care coverage for moral or religious objections. It would also establish a private right of legal action for enforcement of the coverage exemptions. The amendment was attached to S. 1813, MAP-21, a transportation reauthorization bill. [S. Amdt. 1520 to S. 1813, RCV 24, 3/1/12]
  • McConnell Voted Against S. 3220, The Paycheck Fairness Act. McConnell voted against the procedural vote to move forward with S. 3220, Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (also known as the Equal Pay Act), “to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages.” The Paycheck Fairness Act would require a clarification in reasons for differences in wages paid to men and women doing the same work. [S. 3220, RCV 115, 6/5/12]
  • McConnell Voted Against S. 181, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Of 2009. On January 22, 2009, McConnell voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bill that reverses the Supreme Court ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (2007) to clarify that discriminatory compensation decisions are unlawful under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. Employers suffering effects of unlawful compensatory decisions are permitted to accrue up to two years of back pay preceding the filing of the charge. The bill passed 61 to 36 votes in the Senate. [S. 181, RCV 14, 1/22/09]
    • Women In Kentucky Make 72 Cents On the Dollar, 5 Cents Less Than The National Average. In Kentucky, the median pay for a woman working full time, year round is $31,628 per year, while the yearly pay for a man is $40,911. This means that women are paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to a yearly gap of $9,283 between full-time working men and women in the state. Women of color experience even greater disparities. African American women working full time in Kentucky, are paid just 72 cents for every dollar paid to all men, which amounts to a difference of $11,498 per year. Latinas fare worse, being paid just 58 cents on the dollar, or $17,310 less than all men per year of employment. [National Partnership for Women And Families, April 2012]
    • Wage Gap Costs Kentucky Women and Families. As a group, full-time working women in Kentucky lose approximately $5,190,060,319 each year due to the wage gap. If the wage gap were eliminated, a working woman in Kentucky would have enough money for approximately:
      • 85 more weeks of food (1.6 years’ worth);
      • Nine more months of mortgage and utilities payments;
      • 15 more months of rent;
      • 36 more months of family health insurance premiums (three years’ worth);
      • 2,397 additional gallons of gas.

[National Partnership for Women And Families, April 2012]

  • McConnell Voted Against H.R. 3590, Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act. On December 24, 2009, McConnell voted against H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Sec. 1303 of Subtitle D lists the special rules related to the coverage of abortion services, including abortions for which public funding is prohibited and allowed. However, a provision for states to opt-out of abortion coverage clarifies that “a state may elect to prohibit abortion coverage in qualified health plans offered through an exchange,” if the state passes a law to enact such a prohibition. Within the bill, a provider conscience protection clause maintains “no individual health care provider or health care facility may be discriminated against because of a willingness or unwillingness, if doing so is contrary to the religious or moral beliefs of the provider or facility, to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.” Additionally, the law clarifies that no preemption of state laws regarding abortion should occur. The bill passed the Senate 60 to 39. [H.R. 3590, RCV 396, 12/24/09]
  • McConnell Backed Hobby Lobby In Contraception Lawsuit. McConnell joined ten other prominent Republican lawmakers in standing behind Hobby Lobby, a Christian-run arts and crafts chain, in its lawsuit over the Obama administration's birth-control mandate. The group filed an amicus brief with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals which argued that the Obama mandate runs contrary to a federal law protecting religious practice. The appellate court denied injunctive relief for plaintiff Hobby Lobby in December. The company argues that covering a full range of birth-control methods in its employee health plan violates the religious beliefs of its owners. The brief highlighted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which applies strict standards to federal actions that might infringe on religious liberty. Other Signers: Sens. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.). [The Hill, 2/20/13]


  • 2013 Public Policy Polling: 54% of Kentucky Women Continued to Disapprove of McConnell’s Job Performance. On April 9, 2013, Public Policy Polling released a poll stating 54% of women disapproved of Mitch McConnell’s performance with 34% approving and 12% unsure. [Public Policy Polling, 4/9/13]