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The National Organization for Women

NOW Leaders,

I've got great news - Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is in line to become ranking member of the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  She would be the first woman to hold that position on this very important committee.  Carolyn has been a tireless champion for women's rights and would be a strong and effective leader in this position. Women's groups leaders are supporting her and I am hoping you will too, by agreeing to sign on to the letter of support that I have cut-and-pasted below.

If you want to sign the letter, please  click here.

December 15, 2010

Democratic Steering and Policy Committee 112th Congress 

Dear Members of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, 

With the change in leadership of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR), Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) should be the next Ranking Member of the Committee.  She is next in seniority after Congressman Ed Towns and has an extraordinary record of legislative accomplishment and effective oversight.   She knows how to fight and how to foil an unfair attack.  

We urge you to support Congresswoman Maloney’s candidacy for Ranking Member of OGR.

Maloney has a strong track record of accomplishment.

Congresswoman Maloney is a prolific and effective legislator in a wide range of areas, often taking on powerful interests such as Big Oil and Wall Street. She has authored and passed more than 50 bills, including landmark legislation such as HR 627, the Credit CARD Act, considered one of the signature achievements of the Obama Administration.  Her bill prevents credit card companies from using many of the most egregious tricks and traps that entangled consumers in an unending cycle of debt.  As a result of her work, she was primaried by a woman who raised more than $1.3 million, much of it from people who work for the financial industry.  Nonetheless, Maloney won overwhelmingly, receiving 81% of the vote in the primary and more than 75% in the general election.

Since 2002, Maloney has worked to reform the way the US government does business, proposing legislation to create a system to track vendors so that those who repeatedly violate federal law will not be able to obtain lucrative contracts.  Her bill,  the Contractor and Federal Spending Accountability Act, was signed into law as part of the FY09 National Defense Authorization Act.  

A long-time critic of Big Oil’s efforts to deny the US government its fair share of royalties on oil and natural gas extracted from federal lands, Congresswoman Maloney successfully fought to change the Interior Departments oil valuation rules.  Further, her amendment to the CLEAR Act (HR 3534), which passed last July, will help us gain a greater understanding of the amount of oil and natural gas extracted from federal lands so as to ensure that we get fair compensation.  

When the Republican Senate Campaign Committee sent out a mailing modeled on official census forms, Maloney authored and passed HR 4621, the Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act which prohibited non-government mailings that mimicked the look-and-feel of official census forms.

After 9/11, Maloney worked to pass legislation to adopt the 9/11 Commission's recommendations, leading to the first major restructuring of the US intelligence service in more than 50 years.  Maloney is now working to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, to provide health care and compensation for the first responders and victims of the most deadly attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor.

Maloney is a strong and effective advocate for women.

Maloney has been one of the strongest and most effective advocates for women’s rights in Congress, with a significant record of passing measures that make a difference in women’s lives.  Her Breast Cancer Early Detection Act of 1997 was incorporated into the Balanced Budget Agreement signed into law on August 5, 1997 and provides annual mammograms for women on Medicare.

Maloney's Debbie Smith Act, first signed into law on October 30, 2004 and reauthorized October 8, 2008 provides funding to increase the number of rape kits processed so prosecutors have access to DNA evidence, the best evidence to convict or acquit a rapist.  It has been called "the most important anti-rape legislation that Congress has ever passed." Maloney also succeeded in requiring the Department of Defense to eliminate its backlog of unprocessed rape kits as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2005.

Maloney has been a leading voice against trafficking in persons, the modern slave trade that embroils hundreds of thousands of victims worldwide, the majority of whom are women and girls.  Her End Demand for Sex Trafficking Act was incorporated into the 2006 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

Maloney’s Hate Crime Statistics Improvement Act, which added gender-based hate crimes to the list of hate crimes that the Federal Bureau of Investigations is required to track, was incorporated into the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2010.  Her legislation will make it easier for advocates to argue for stronger penalties for criminals who target women. 

The Health Care Reform legislation signed into law on March 23, 2010 including two pieces of legislation authored by Maloney that are important to women’s health: (1) the creation of a Women’s Health Office within the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that the needs and gaps in research, policy, programs, and education and training in women’s health will be addressed and (2) the requirement that employers with more than 50 hourly wage employees provide a private space and unpaid time off during the workday for mothers to express milk.  Women will no longer have to fear being fired for taking time to express milk to provide their infants with the healthiest and most cost effective source of nutrition.  Previously Maloney had passed legislation to allow women to breastfeed on federal property and to give WIC recipients assistance in breastfeeding their newborns.

Maloney took on the tanning industry, which promotes a product that is known to increase the risk of melanoma, by demanding better warning labels on tanning beds.  Provisions of her Tanning and Accountability and Notification Act were included in the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 and require the FDA to determine whether current labels are sufficiently strong to convey the risks to tanning bed users.  Maloney continues to fight for stronger labeling.

When America first went into Afghanistan, Maloney fought to make sure that our human rights efforts were also directed to helping women, who had suffered terribly under Taliban rule. Maloney was able to secure funding in the FY2004 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill for a human rights commission in Afghanistan and to direct funding specifically to organizations that help Afghan women.

As Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, Maloney has produced dozens of reports that have documented the economic situation, providing Democrats with useful data to frame an argument.  We have been particularly interested by her efforts to highlight women’s continued inability to achieve economic equality with men and documenting the impact of this inequality on women and families, including Social Security Provides Economic Security to Women (October 28, 2010), Women and the Economy 2010: 25 Years of Progress But Challenges Remain (August 25, 2010), Understanding the Economy: Working Mothers in the Great Recession (May 10, 2010), The Earnings Penalty for Part-Time Work: An Obstacle to Equal Pay (April 20, 2010), REPORT UPDATE: Comprehensive Health Insurance Reform: An Essential Prescription for Women (October 8, 2009) and Women in the Recession - Working Mothers Face High Rates of Unemployment (May 28, 2009).  On September 28, 2010, Maloney held a hearing titled: “New Evidence on Gender Pay Gap for Women in Management.”  These reports and hearings provide a wealth of data that is useful for advocates and scholars and build on Maloney’s earlier work documenting the persistence of the wage gap.  Along with Representative John Dingell, Maloney commissioned two General Accountability Reports, "A New Look Through the Glass Ceiling: Where are the Women" (October 2001) and "Is the Glass Ceiling a Permanent Fixture" (November 2003). 

In short, Congresswoman Maloney is a strong and effective fighter, a prolific legislator and a hard worker.  She is precisely the sort of person that should be leading OGR at a difficult time.  She has never backed down from a fight and we are proud to support her in this one.  We urge you to make Congresswoman Maloney Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Sincerely,

Eleanor Smeal
President, Feminist Majority

Terry O’Neill
President, National Organization for Women

Siobhan "Sam" Bennett
President/CEO, Women’s Campaign Fund

Lulu Flores
President, National Women's Political Caucus

Marcia Pappas
President, NOW NYS

Joan Wages
President, National Women’s History Museum

Loula Loi-Alifoyiannis
President, EuroAmerican Women’s Council

Edie Fraser

Please click here to add your name to the letter of support.

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