A gender gap held in the House’s vote yesterday to approve a bill authorizing supplemental funding for the war in Iraq without benchmarks for withdrawal. Of the total 142 votes opposing the measure, 37 were made by women. Women accounted for about 26 percent of the “no” vote, even though women comprise only 16 percent of the members of the House of Representatives. In all, 52.8 percent of the women representatives in the House voted against the measure, compared to only 28.8 percent of the men representatives.
The so-called compromise bill authorizes almost $100 billion to continue military operations in Iraq through September 2007. Unlike a previous bill that passed Congress and was vetoed by President Bush, this bill does not include benchmarks for US withdrawal from Iraq. The bill also includes a minimum wage hike for Americans that extends to the Northern Mariana Islands.
In the Senate, no gender gap is identifiable in the 80-14 vote to approve the measure. Only two women senators — Senators Boxer (D-CA) and Clinton (D-NY) — voted against the bill.