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March 30, 2023

Pressley, Democratic Women’s Caucus Lay Out Appropriations Priorities: “Red or Blue, Women Need Our Help”

Text of Letter (PDF)

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC) Policy Task Force, along with Chair Lois Frankel, Policy Task Force Co-Chair Kathy Manning, Vice Chairs Teresa Leger Fernández and Nikema Williams, and Chief Whip Lucy McBath led a letter outlining the DWC’s appropriations priorities and making clear that investments in women and girls shouldn’t be partisan—because they are absolutely critical to the success of our nation. 

“As you continue your work on the 2024 appropriations bills, we ask that you especially consider the impact this process has on women and girls across the United States of America. We do not believe these should be partisan issues; rather, these are investments that will make our economy and our communities thrive,” wrote the DWC leaders in a letter to the House Appropriations Committee Chair and Ranking Member. 

In the letter, the DWC leaders outlined a set of common-sense priorities to ensure that women are not left behind in the appropriations process. The members specifically pushed for investments to:

  • Boost women in the economy—including investments in child care, Head Start, home care, and paid leave;
  • Prevent violence against women—including by fully funding the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA);
  • Support women’s health—including investments in our national family planning program, and resources to address the maternal mortality crisis;
  • Support women service members and veterans—including by continuing efforts to prevent sexual harassment and assault in our military;
  • And provide aid to women and girls abroad—including investments to prevent and respond to gender-based violence worldwide. 

“Red or blue, women need our help and attention, and it is our duty not only as Members of Congress, but as women in Congress to advance gender equality and allow women to compete in our economy on an even playing field,” continued the DWC leaders.

The DWC priorities stand in stark contrast to plans floated by Republicans to cap the budget at FY2022 levels for all nondefense discretionary spending for the next decade—meaning huge cuts for families across the country. 

According to information requested by House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro, this proposal would be devastating for women, and lead to:

  • 200,000 children losing access to Head Start slots and 100,000 children losing access to child care—making it more difficult for parents to join the workforce and contribute to our economy;’
  • 1.2 million women, infants, and children losing vital nutrition assistance through Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC);
  • and more. 

Read the full letter HERE.