The vice president held a roundtable with women in power to discuss the challenges of economic recovery
Vice President Kamala Harris met Thursday with women representing the Democratic Party in Congress as well as leaders of women’s rights organizations to garner the support the White House needed to pass a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill.
The virtual roundtable, which a White House source told Reuters, was one of many meetings Kamala Harris plans to hold regularly with women in power. Today’s meeting focused on the damage that has been done to women by the COVID-19 pandemic — the loss of jobs, the closing of small businesses, daycare centers, and schools — and the Biden administration’s plans to address these problems.
Women were particularly affected by the pandemic because they were the ones who lost their jobs more often than men. In addition, many women were forced to give up their jobs because of the need to take care of children who could not attend school.
The economic relief bill proposed by the Biden administration would provide $40 billion for child care, $100 million to fund paid family leave, and $130 billion to help open America’s schools.
“This issue is a personal one for me… The longer we wait before we act, the harder it will be for women to get back into the workforce,” Kamala Harris said, addressing the meeting.
Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Patti Murray, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto also participated in the roundtable, Melanie Campbell of the Black Women’s Roundtable, Jan Earle, head of the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs, Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, Mary Kay Henry, and Tina Chen, CEO of the sexual harassment group Time’s UP.
Senator Murray said women are facing problems with distance education for children who need to be returned to school. “Women are quitting their jobs because of this,” Murray said.
According to Reuters, women now hold 27 percent of congressional seats, double the number they held in 2001.