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MEMO: Shelley Moore Capito’s ‘War on West Virginia Women’

TO:         Interested Parties
FR:          Jess McIntosh, EMILY’s List
RE:          Shelley Moore Capito’s ‘War on West Virginia Women’
DA:         May 14, 2014


Republicans will tell you there’s no War on Women in West Virginia because their candidate happens to be a woman. They think they can hide their anti-woman agenda behind Shelley Moore Capito, but it’s not working in Michigan, and it’s not going to work in West Virginia.

Shelley Moore Capito signed on to Republicans’ extreme agenda and has been a part of the problem since her first day in Congress. She has turned her back on West Virginia women time and again. Whether it’s her work to block the end of gender discrimination in pay, her opposition to raising the minimum wage, or her support for budgets that make harmful cuts to women, children and seniors – it’s clear Shelley Moore Capito has lost touch with West Virginia values. 

Congresswoman Capito’s policy positions are the opposite of the economic opportunity West Virginia needs, and the results of public polling on the issues that matter most to women don't look good for Capito. 

Despite Republicans’ hopes otherwise - voters recognize that there’s a clear difference between a woman candidate and a pro-woman candidate. In this race Natalie Tennant is the only one who is both.


Capito Dismissed Idea of Republican War on Women by Noting That She is a Woman. In April 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported, “Democrats have often accused Republicans of waging a ‘war on women.’' As they wage similar criticisms this year, some of the top targets are women running for office, among them Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, a Senate candidate in West Virginia. ‘Essentially, you're trying to say I'm warring on myself. That doesn't hold much credibility,’ Mrs. Capito said in an interview Thursday in Ripley, W.Va. This week, Mrs. Capito was tapped to kick off a Republican National Committee effort to reach female supporters in 25 targeted counties nationwide. She is likely to face Democrat Natalie Tennant, the West Virginia secretary of state, for the seat held by retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/18/14]

Land Said She Wasn’t Waging a War on Women Because She is a Woman. In April 2014, Talking Points Memo reported, “Former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R-MI) is going on the offensive on gender issues in a new ad. In the spot, released Tuesday, Land pushes back on charges from her likely Democratic opponent in the Michigan Senate race, Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), that she's waging a war on women. ‘Congressman Gary Peters and his buddies want you to believe I'm waging a war on women. Really?’ Land said in the ad, before pausing and sipping from a coffee cup. The 30-second ad then continues for several seconds with Land not saying anything, shaking her head, and looking at her watch. ‘I'm Terri Lynn Land and I approve this message because as a woman I might know a little more about women than Gary Peters,’ Land said.” [Talking Points Memo, 4/22/14]

Capito Voted With Party 92% of the Time In 112th. [Washington Post, 5/13/14]

Capito Voted With Party 96% of the Time In 113th. [Washington Post, 5/13/14]

Capito Votes With Boehner 88% of the Time. [OpenCongress, accessed 5/13/14]

Capito Votes With Cantor 92% of the Time. [OpenCongress, accessed 5/13/14]

Capito Votes With Paul Ryan 94% of the Time. [OpenCongress, accessed 5/13/14]

Paycheck Fairness & Equal Pay. Moore Capito has not joined on as a cosponsor of HR 377, a bill introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro to provide more effective remedies to victims of wage discrimination based on gender. The typical American woman working full time earns only 77 cents for every dollar earned by her male counterparts. That translates into a loss of more than $11,000 each year in median earnings. The wage gap is even more substantial when race and gender are considered together, with African-American women making only 64 cents, and Hispanic women only 55 cents, for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. [HR 377, 1/23/13; National Women’s Law Center, accessed 1/25/13]

Capito Voted Against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009. Capito voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which requires employers to prove differences in pay are related to qualifications, not gender, and gives workers more time to sue employers for discrimination. President Barack Obama has touted his signing of the Democratic-backed measure into law in early 2009. Capito, a working mother and grandmother, said equal pay and women's rights in the work place "are probably as important to me as anything." She voted no, she said, because the law was "a trial lawyer's boon that would open up years and years and years of litigation possibilities. The way it was presented to me," she said, "it was excessive."  [S 181, 1/27/09; AP, 10/31/12]

Capito Voted Against Two Bills To Amend Employment Discrimination Law in 2009. [HR 11, HR 12, 1/9/09]

Capito Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act in 2008. [HR 1338, 7/31/08]

Capito Voted Against The Equal Pay Bill in 2007. [HR 2831, 7/31/07]

Tennant Quoted as Saying Capito Has Voted Against Raising the Minimum Wage Eight Times. In April 2014, the Charleston Gazette reported, “Tennant said Capito has voted against raising the minimum wage eight times, as recently as 2013.” [Charleston Gazette, 4/1/14]

Capito Opposed Raising the Minimum Wage in 2013. In 2013, however, Capito joined House Republicans who voted unanimously against raising the nation’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2015. [HR 803, RCV 74, 3/15/13; Committee on Education & The Workforce Press Release, 3/15/13]

Capito voted for the Ryan Budget. Capito voted for the House GOP’s 2015 Budget, commonly referred to as the Ryan Budget.  [The Hill, 4/10/14]

  • The Ryan Budget Cut $4.8 trillion From the Budget. The Ryan Budget proposes a total of $4.8 trillion from the non-defense over the next 10 years between 2015-2024. [CBPP, 4/8/14
  • The Majority of Cuts in the Ryan Budget Affected People with Low or Moderate Income. Of the total $4.8 trillion non-defense cuts in the Ryan Budget, $3.3 trillion or 69% of the cuts are from programs that serve people with low or moderate income. [CBPP, 4/8/14]
  • The Ryan Budget Required the Repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Built into the Ryan Budget is an repeal of the Affordable Care Act which would result in at least 40 million Americans losing health insurance or failing to achieve coverage by 2024. [CBPP, 4/8/14
  • This Includes a Repeal of the ACA’s Medicaid Expansion. As part of the Ryan Budget’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the expansion of Medicaid would be cut. [CBPP, 4/8/14
  • The Ryan Budget Cut Billions from SNAP. The Ryan Budget includes a cut of $137 billion over the next ten years for SNAP which will result in the end of benefits for an estimate 3.8 million low income individuals. [CBPP, 4/8/14]
  • The Ryan Budget Cut Billions from Pell Grants. The Ryan Budget includes a cut of $125 billion total from the Pell Grant program, making it significantly more difficult for low-income students to attend college. [CBPP, 4/8/14]
  • The Ryan Budget Ends Medicare as We Know It. The Ryan Budget would convert Medicare into a “premium support” system driven by private insurance vouchers. [New York Times, 4/1/14]                                                                                                                        

Capito Voted for the 2013 Version of the Ryan Budget. In March 2013, Captio voted for the Ryan Budget which was described by the DSCC as a buget that “ends medicare as we know it, cuts funding for job creating infrastructure projects, slashes pell grants and financial aid for college students. [DSCC, 3/21/13]

Charleston Gazette Op-Ed Slammed Capito for Vote for Budget Cutting Many Social Programs. An op-ed in the Charleston Gazette slammed Capito for her vote for a 2005 budget bill that would cut funding for many social programs. They wrote, Capito voted for “cuts to student aid, child-support enforcement, job creation, Medicaid and food stamps.” They wrote she must have been “feeling pretty secure” in her job, as “the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that the Republican-sponsored cuts will take food stamps away from 300,000 Americans - at least some of whom live in West Virginia.” [Charleston Gazette, 11/19/05]