When the House of Representatives voted on Friday to oppose President Bush’s plan to send more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq, a marked gender gap emerged. 71% of women representatives voted to express their “disapproval” of the troop escalation in the non-binding resolution, as opposed to only 55% of the men–a gender gap of over 15 percent. The rare rebuke to the White House passed by a vote of 224 to 182.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared on the House floor, “Today, we set the stage for a New Direction on Iraq by passing a resolution with fewer than 100 words, which supports our troops and disapproves of the President’s escalation proposal,” according to her released remarks. Pelosi went on to say, “The war in Iraq continues to detract from our ability to fight the war against international terrorism effectively. We need to finish the job started more than five years ago in Afghanistan against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and address other conditions around the world in which the appeal of terrorism breeds.”
In a rare Saturday session, Senate Democrats were denied the opportunity to initiate debate on a similar resolution after being blocked by Republicans in a procedural vote. Seven Republicans, however, crossed party lines to support opening debate, including two women: Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).