GOP Women Push Back on All-Male Chair Picks
Republican women pushed back Wednesday after the full House Republican conference approved 19 white, all-male chairman picks recommended by Speaker John Boehner as the GOP reflects on its relevance to a diversifying America.
Outgoing Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) told The Hill: "It's not over yet. There's still two committees open."
The two remaining spots -- the Committee on House Administration and the Ethics Committee -- are to be filled at Boehner's discretion.
Outgoing Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) echoed Ros-Lehiten's sentiments, saying Republican women were lining up to appeal to Boehner.
Three new GOP women join the House as seven women depart the 113th Congress, leaving 19 total - down from the 24 women currently serving.
Ros-Lehtinen told The Hill the turnover's caused a lack of viable leadership for chair positions.
Only one woman - Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) - stepped up and nearly secured the Homeland Security chairmanship resulting in a number of tie-breaking votes among the 22-person GOP Steering Committee before Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) clinched the seat.
Miller ranked eighth in seniority compared with McCaul who ranks fifth.
The tight vote gave Republican House women hope that Miller could step into one of the open chair positions.
Republicans quickly pointed out that four women did just fill party leadership positions.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash) is the new House Republican Conference Chair, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) is conference vice chair, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) is conference secretary, and Rep.-elect Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) will represent freshman members in party leadership.
Even still, the optics of the white, all-male committee chair slate doesn't set well after an election cycle during which the Republicans battled its homogeneous reputation.
Especially as the GOP grapples with clear evidence that older white males broke resoundly for nominee Mitt Romney.
The lack of women and people of color among the elected House Republicans leads to some natural questions surrounding the Party's relevance since November 7.
Does the Party support and encourage or squash and suppress diverse candidates who represent people of color, women and the poorer classes?
What does the future of the GOP look like if it remains status quo?
What does it take to win and is the Party willing to do it?
Conservative blogger Shirley Husar wrote a nakedly honest account about her life as a black Republican woman for The Washington Communities.
Husar urged the GOP to open its eyes, hearts and minds to how the Party's values appeal to a America's changing demographics.
"It is time to lay down the tracks of a new 'underground railroad,' a movement to help a people who are in bondage to the Democratic Party find hope and encouragement in the GOP, a movement that will wake up complacent Democrats and Republicans alike, a movement that will stop the hemorrhaging of the GOP...
"If the RNC continues to think of blacks and Latinos as an afterthought, the GOP will continue its genteel decline and forfeit any chance of victory in 2016."
After losing five of the last six popular votes, a GOP victory in 2016 seems unrealistic based on hard-headed resolve to preserve the status quo.
Perhaps this latest coast-to-coast throttling finally woke up the leadership to see that the survival of the Republican philosophies depends on one thing - winning.
- Follow me @erica_holloway.