Clumsy Punishment of High Republican Women in North Carolina

This week didn’t look good for a party that had some problems with women when North Carolina Republican leaders had very public problems with women.

In an unusually visible intra-party dispute, North Carolina Speaker Tim Moore has abandoned a prominent commission from Mocksville’s longtime Republican Rep. Julia Howard this week.As Reported by Lucille Sherman of News & ObserverHoward was removed from his position as Chairman of the Senior Finance Committee on Tuesday Openly opposes Moore-backed bills This benefits companies that have received coronavirus bailouts from the Federal Paycheck Protection Program.

HB 334 It will give tax cuts to those financed businesses, including those of dozens of lawmakers. Howard was, of course, concerned about lawmakers who would benefit directly from legislation. If the bill is passed, one member of Congress, John Bradford of Mecklenberg, will earn about $ 20,000. Howard also said the bill mistakenly excluded North Carolina residents who received PPP loans and North Carolina residents who received unemployment benefits after 2020.

Moore, along with Republicans Sarah Stevens and John Bell, said, “Against the will of the caucuses, Julia Howard, who acted as one of the four senior house finance chairs, passed the bill. I didn’t move it. ” However, Howard proceeded with the bill, but said, “I was ordered by a speaker to listen to this PPP bill today.” Moore, who benefits from the bill, has denied letting Howard do what he said he wouldn’t do.

The change in the Finance Commission has made three Republicans the senior chairs, highlighting the long-standing lack of diversity on the GOP side of the aisle. Today’s women’s classes are the largest in the history of the General Assembly, but the partisan breakdown of female members is uneven, especially in the House of Representatives. Twenty-one of the 51 Democrats in the House are women, but only eight of the 69 Republicans in the House. In the Senate, 10 out of 22 Democrats and 6 out of 28 Republicans are women.

To be clear, there were no official reports or private tweets of Moore having a nasty problem with a female legislator. Republican leaders, including Moore, say Howard’s loss of her position was about being a poor team member. “We respect different perspectives, but the chairman of the committee must be willing to set aside personal agendas and move forward with the will of the caucuses,” Moore and the company said in a statement. Said.

By the way, this is a problem in itself. Disagreements are a function, not a bug, and the party is more powerful in responding to the legitimate concerns of its members rather than punishing those protests. As it turns out Fixes to be addressed later Howard is concerned about taxing PPP beneficiaries and unemployment allowances after 2020, but not ethically about lawmakers who are directly benefiting from legislation. The House of Representatives passed the bill on Thursday.

This is also true. Leaders rarely resign as chair. Moore has done that before — when he became a speaker and was dismissed in 2015 … Julia Howard chaired the Treasury Committee.

There has long been a feeling among female lawmakers that they are facing a difficult battle in the legislature to gain equal opinion and respect.It’s not just a Republican issue, and According to female lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, It involves women being steered towards softer problems and frequently asked, “Who is watching your child?”

Thankfully, as more women took office, their collective voice became stronger. Still, Moore needs to rethink his clumsy reaction to Howard. It doesn’t look good to Republicans who have wrestled with female voters and have recently shown certain vulnerabilities to college-educated women. It also sends the wrong message about welcoming a thoughtful objection — and in this case an objection coming from a strong woman.