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GOP Fails to Appoint Any Woman as House Committee Chair

Breaking from the traditional seniority-based system of appointment, House Republicans yesterday selected a slate of committee chairs that did not include even one woman. The most senior woman in the House, moderate Rep. Marge Roukema (R-NJ), was passed over for the chairmanship of the Financial Services Committee. The committee, which will hold broad jurisdiction over the banking, securities and insurance industries, will be headed instead by Rep. Michael G. Oxley (R-OH), a vocal ally of insurance and credit card corporations. Roukema later expressed concern that the lack of women in key positions could damage public perception of the Republican Party. In addition to excluding women, the panel has no minority members. Ironically, GOP leaders claimed the new appointment strategy was supposed to “open” the system.

Sources:

Washington Post _ January 5, 2001; New York Times _ January 5, 2001

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