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Hello again! I’m Eleanor Mueller and I’m back after last week’s dispatch on how the private sector is responding to the Roe v. Wade news“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.politico.com/newsletters/women-rule/2022/05/13/how-employers-are-reacting-to-the-roe-news-00032392?nname=women-rule&nid=00000169-5991-d01a-a169-5d9f0cc10001&nrid=00000161-0f65-db71-a5f3-fffd338d0000&nlid=2485581″,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21760000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21760001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>how the private sector is responding to the Roe v. Wade news. As a labor reporter for POLITICO, I’ve written extensively about paid leave, child care and other policies that shape the way women work. I’d love to hear your thoughts: Don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected] or find me on Twitter at @eleanor_mueller. See you next time!

It’s been almost a year since the Biden administration unveiled its American Families Plan, which proposed 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, free pre-K for all 3- and 4-year-olds, lower child care costs for qualifying families and more. The plan — eventually rolled into the Democratic social spending package known as Build Back Better — gave hope to working women and families still grappling with the fallout from the pandemic.

And yet in the months since, those policies have been stripped down or abandoned altogether amid opposition from moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), whose support is a dealbreaker in the narrowly divided Congress.

Care advocates are still hoping Congress might pass at least some investment in child care and home care, but that’s uncertain in the quickly evaporating weeks before the midterms.

Instead, advocates are now shifting their focus to those very elections, where they hope to elect enough women to Congress that things will be different next time around.

That pivot was a near-constant topic of conversation at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research invitation-only summit in San Francisco last month, where some of the most powerful women in politics and policymaking gathered at the foot of the Bay Bridge for a couple days.

“There are a lot of women in this room [who] were part of this really incredible fight in a very tough Congress, a 50-50 Congress, for paid family leave; for maternity benefits; for the issues that, honestly, everyone has been [fighting for] forever, and then we never got this close,” Cecile Richards, co-founder of Supermajority and former Planned Parenthood president, said at the summit. “We didn’t get there but we are going to get there.”

“That conversation would not have happened without the representation of women in Washington,” she added.

Richards and others who took the stage that week — including EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler, National Partnership for Women and Families President Jocelyn Frye, National Women’s Law Center President Fatima Goss Graves and United States of Women Executive Director Jordan Brooks — called upon those in attendance and watching from home to focus their efforts on electing women and other candidates who prioritize so-called care policies so that there is a better chance at enactment next session.

Sponsored by Business Leader members of Women Rule: The Exchange:

As inflation rates soar and disruptions to the global supply chain persist, all eyes are on the nation’s economic recovery. But getting back on track in an inclusive and sustainable way is no easy feat. POLITICO Focus connected with members of Women Rule: The Exchange to learn about the strategies and solutions that will power an economy that benefits all. Join the Conversation.

“How do we get to a place where we are holding our leadership accountable, being bold, being brave to say, ‘No, actually, this is what women and girls need across this country and we are going to fight and vote in the way that we know is going to make that happen?’” Brooks said at the summit. “I’m hoping we can get there over the course of the next year.”

There are 145 women in Congress right now comprising 27 percent of lawmakers — a historic high, but still “anemic compared to what it should be,” Richards said. One hundred and six are Democratic.

“It is not a coincidence that our representation is anemic, and the things that we care about so much are under despair,” Butler said in San Francisco.

Richards’ moonshot? “I actually think women need their own political party in the United States,” she said. “Instead of trying to knock at the door and get child care or maternity benefits on their agenda, we could say, ‘no, you come to our power sources.’”

Paid leave is already preparing its playbook. The U.S. is the only wealthy nation without a federal paid leave policy, and enacting the country’s first has broad support from those on both sides of the aisle.

“Our movement is doubling down, scaling our political arms,” Dawn Huckelbridge, director of Paid Leave for All, said back in D.C. “We intend to make clear that voters demand paid leave, and they don’t intend to wait years to catch up with the rest of the world on this common-sense policy.”

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Child care is also starting to think about how they can make sure that the voices of women “will be heard loud and clear in November,” said Julie Kashen, a senior fellow and director for women’s economic justice at The Century Foundation. “Parents, providers, and other advocates will remember who stood up for them, voted for child care and preschool, and championed progress,” Kashen said.

But there are other things voters care about. Democratic pollster Carly Cooperman said that how much these advocates can move the needle will depend on their ability to supersede other issues like rising prices that rank high on voters’ list of concerns.

“They have the ability to certainly raise the issue,” but they must figure out how to do so “in a way that becomes dominant as long as inflation is high … to get people’s attention to really focus on anything besides the economy and inflation,” Cooperman said.

If they can accomplish that, Cooperman said, it might help with Democratic turnout more broadly: “Democrats are so much less enthused and interested and engaged in these elections and just feeling really frustrated and disconnected,” she said. “If they can turn to the midterms and focus on both electing candidates who care about these issues and also connecting to voters, largely women voters, where this is a priority — it’s something that could help the Democrats in terms of hopefully increasing turnout.”

Sponsored by Business Leader members of Women Rule: The Exchange:


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In the Round: A conversation with today’s leaders.“,”_id”:”0000017f-986c-d0a7-ad7f-dbeccac60000″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>A conversation with today’s leaders.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS – Join Women Rule on Wednesday, May 25 at 1:00 p.m. EST for “Women Running the Midterms,” a virtual program moderated by POLITICO’s Elena Schneider featuring back-to-back conversations with Democratic and Republican women who are shaping the midterm campaigns.

Heritage Action for America Executive Director Jessica Anderson, veteran GOP consultant Kristin Davidson, EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Executive Director Christie Roberts are the confirmed panelists. We will discuss trends among women voters, what the candidates are doing to target them, and how the draft opinion from the Supreme Court’s conservative majority that would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling is reshaping the political landscape. RSVP to watch live: thewomenrunningthemidterms.splashthat.com/Newsletters“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”http://thewomenrunningthemidterms.splashthat.com/Newsletters”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21790000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21790001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>thewomenrunningthemidterms.splashthat.com/Newsletters

Kamala Harris walking through the halls of the Capitol

Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

“Kamala Harris wants to get out of D.C. more. But she literally can’t,” by Eugene Daniels for POLITICO: “On Sunday afternoon, Vice President Kamala Harris led an American delegation to the United Arab Emirates to express condolences after the death of the federation’s president. By Monday morning, she was on her way home.

“The need for the 36-hour-turnaround reflects one of the critical dual roles Harris has been forced to play in office. She is both the second most high-profile member of the administration and the 101st senator, the latter of which requires her to be in Washington in case she needs to cast a tie-breaking vote.

“In her 16 months as vice president, Harris has broken 23 ties in her official role as president of the Senate, according to the official Senate count. That puts her third of all-time, only trailing America’s very first vice president, John Adams (29 votes), and its seventh, John C. Calhoun (31 votes). Last week alone, Harris cast six tie-breaking votes. Her current boss, Joe Biden, broke all of zero ties while serving for eight years as vice president under President Barack Obama.

“With a 50-50 Senate, the need for Harris to be on hand for possible votes has frustrated some aides who said she would much rather be traveling the country, touting the administration’s accomplishments on replacing lead pipes or repairing highways and bridges. That’s especially true as the Covid-19 pandemic has receded. Harris, those around her say, would prefer amplifying support for abortion rights, voting rights and other issues important to her and the administration. But tie votes need breaking, and she has that constitutional honor.”

“How the baby formula shortage links back to a federal nutrition program,” by Meredith Lee and Helena Bottemiller Evich for POLITICO: “The uproar over infant formula shortages is prompting lawmakers to confront how a federal nutrition program may be helping a small handful of formula manufacturers dominate the U.S. market.

“The federal government’s widely-used nutrition program for women, infants and children, known as WIC, is by far the largest purchaser of formula in the U.S., with more than half of infant formula in the U.S. going through the program. And just two companies serve close to 90 percent of the infants who receive benefits through the program, in part because of the way WIC awards its contracts.

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“Now lawmakers, particularly Democrats, are zeroing in on that reality as they try to prevent another infant formula shortage like the one triggered, in part, by a single formula plant closure in Michigan in February. They acknowledge, however, that Congress doesn’t have the time or political will to tackle larger reforms right now, and are instead focused on moving legislation that would create emergency measures to protect millions of WIC recipients from future recalls or shortages.”

Sponsored by Business Leader members of Women Rule: The Exchange:

As inflation rates soar and disruptions to the global supply chain persist, all eyes are on the nation’s economic recovery. But getting back on track in an inclusive and sustainable way is no easy feat. Today, women are still finding themselves disproportionately affected by pervasive inequities when it comes to leadership, wages, and skills-building. Bridging these profound gender ‘gaps’ will be paramount to the country’s ability to achieve sustained growth for the future. But where do we start?

POLITICO Focus sat down with members of Women Rule: The Exchange to answer this very question. Click here to see what leaders had to say about the strategies and solutions that will power an economy that benefits all.“,”_id”:”0000017f-9866-de36-a37f-fffe4faf0000″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Click here to see what leaders had to say about the strategies and solutions that will power an economy that benefits all.

Blue states expand who can provide abortions as they brace for a flood of patients“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/17/states-expand-abortions-flood-of-patients-00032815″,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd217d0000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd217d0001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Blue states expand who can provide abortions as they brace for a flood of patients,” by Alice Miranda Ollstein and Megan Messerly for POLITICO: “States bracing for a likely flood of patients seeking abortions are changing their laws to allow nurses, midwives and other non-physician health care workers to provide the procedures — and setting aside millions to train the expanded workforce.

“Democratic lawmakers and abortion-rights advocates say they are worried that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, their clinics — which are already struggling with pandemic burnout and budget cuts — will be overwhelmed, causing long waits for abortions for in-state residents and travelers alike.

“‘We are likely going to see a serious increase in our patient load from out-of-state patients within weeks,’ said Democratic Delegate Ariana Kelly, who sponsored legislation in Maryland to expand who can provide abortions. ‘We saw what was happening in states adjacent to Texas, the increased wait times for appointments, and we didn’t want that to be what happens in Maryland, both for the sake of patients in Maryland and for the sake of out-of-state patients.’”

“What abortion rights advocates are planning if Roe falls,” by Alice Miranda Ollstein and Laura Barrón-López for POLITICO

“New York accuses Amazon of pregnancy, disability discrimination,” by Shannon Young for POLITICO: “ New York Division of Human Rights filed a complaint Wednesday against Amazon over alleged pregnancy and disability discrimination against workers, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced. …

“The complaint accuses Amazon of denying reasonable accommodations to workers who are pregnant or have disabilities, in violation of New York’s Human Rights Law. It alleges that the company, which operates 23 worksites in New York, has policies that force such employees to take unpaid leave rather than allowing them to work with accommodations.”

“Cindy McCain on her new U.N. ambassador role and diplomatic ‘baptism by fire,’” by Meredith Lee for POLITICO

“Pramila Jayapal endorses Jessica Cisneros in Texas runoff,” by Nicholas Wu for POLITICO

29 percent of women approve of the Supreme Court, according to a new UMass Amherst poll. That number is down from 39 percent in April 2021.

Read more here.“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.umass.edu/news/article/new-umass-amherst-poll-finds-increasing-disapproval-supreme-court-support-keeping-roe”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21800000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21800001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Read more here.

Amber Heard's profile.

Steve Helber/AP Photo

Why the Internet Hates Amber Heard“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2022/05/modern-celebrity-fandom-johnny-depp-amber-heard-trial/629887/”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21830000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21830001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Why the Internet Hates Amber Heard,” by Kaitlyn Tiffany for the Atlantic: Johnny “Depp’s ongoing and highly public lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard … is complicated“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/21/arts/johnny-depp-amber-heard-trial.html”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21830002″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21830003″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>is complicated, and the testimony is rife with sordid, disturbing details. In short, Depp has taken Heard to court for defamation over a 2018 essay she published in The Washington Post that identified her as a victim of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Heard also made abuse allegations when she filed for divorce“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/may/27/johnny-depp-restraining-order-amber-heard-divorce-domestic-violence”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21830004″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21830005″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>when she filed for divorce from Depp in early 2016, and was granted a restraining order“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/may/27/johnny-depp-restraining-order-amber-heard-divorce-domestic-violence”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21830006″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21830007″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>restraining order against him.

“[Former Depp fan] Rebecca felt betrayed by Depp when Heard came forward with her story, and has since renounced her fandom. But she’s been positively horrified by the behavior of Depp’s other fans, who have spent the past several years trying to discredit Heard as a ‘gold digger’ and a ‘monster.’ (I agreed to identify Rebecca by only her first name because she was concerned about harassment from this community.) In April, when fans’ efforts picked up momentum, Rebecca started a Twitter account called @LeaveHeardAlone“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://twitter.com/LeaveHeardAlone”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21830008″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21830009″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>@LeaveHeardAlone, with a plan to document and counter the ridiculous claims that #DeppfordWives, as she and others call them, have made about Heard. …

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“Rebecca’s new Twitter account has not many more than 500 followers, which means she is far, far outnumbered by the other side. The pro-Depp, anti-Heard stance is now a dominant trend on social media. Across the web, Heard’s supposed lies have been turned into all manner of memes“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://embedded.substack.com/p/the-amber-heard-memes-are-getting?s=w”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd2183000a”,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd2183000b”,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>all manner of memes, and even, by one cosmetics company, a piece of marketing material“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ikrd/milani-cosmetics-tiktok-about-johnny-depp-and-amber-heard”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd2183000c”,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd2183000d”,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>a piece of marketing material. On TikTok, couples have been acting out violent moments as described in Heard’s testimony, in order to highlight their alleged absurdity. On Tumblr, Depp supporters continue to circulate the debunked claim“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/amber-heard-johnny-depp-trial/”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd2183000e”,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd2183000f”,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>the debunked claim that Heard plagiarized part of her opening statement from Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. …

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“One could blame ‘the Deppford Wives’ for all these online smears, but that’s not exactly right. Some of the most active commenters aren’t so much determined fans of Johnny Depp as anti-fans of Amber Heard.”

Georgia Republicans drew one fewer Democratic district. Now at least one woman will lose her House seat“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://19thnews.org/2022/05/georgia-mcbath-bourdeaux-primary/”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21830010″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21830011″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Georgia Republicans drew one fewer Democratic district. Now at least one woman will lose her House seat,” by Amanda Becker for The 19th: “A Democratic primary in Atlanta’s suburbs is pitting two of the party’s rising stars against one another. Only one of the women can return to the House of Representatives, where Democrats’ recent successes have been largely driven by women candidates.

“Both flipped districts blue in recent elections: Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux did so in Georgia’s 7th District in 2020 and Rep. Lucy McBath in the 6th District in 2018.

“Now, they are competing to be the Democratic nominee for the recently redrawn 7th District. They have nearly indistinguishable voting records: Both have voted with President Joe Biden 100 percent of the time. Bourdeaux is campaigning with a focus on local issues, while McBath has a national profile and is running with the backing of multiple outside groups that have poured millions of dollars into the primary race.”

U.S. women’s and men’s national soccer teams close pay gap with ‘game-changing’ deal“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2022/05/18/uswnt-equal-pay-deal/”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21850000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21850001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>U.S. women’s and men’s national soccer teams close pay gap with ‘game-changing’ deal,” by Steven Goff and Molly Hensley-Clancy for the Washington Post

Two Nostalgic, Fiercely Feminist Graphic Novels“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/16/books/review/two-nostalgic-fiercely-feminist-graphic-novels.html”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21850002″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21850003″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Two Nostalgic, Fiercely Feminist Graphic Novels,” by Etelka Lehoczky for the New York Times

'It's not easy to give up the money [the men's U.S. Soccer team is] giving up. They should be applauded' - quote by Cindy Cone, president of U.S. Soccer.

The U.S. Soccer Federation guaranteed equal pay for men and women players this week. The deal happened because the men’s team agreed to pool their larger shares of World Cup bonus money with the smaller payments the women receive. Read more here.“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/18/sports/soccer/us-soccer-equal-pay-deal.html”,”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21870000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000180-e345-d353-a3b0-ebfd21870001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Read more here.

Margaret Richardson will be GoFundMe’s first chief corporate affairs officer. Richardson was most recently at Apple where she led Trust & Safety Services overseeing initiatives focused on personal safety, account integrity, and content standard. … Michaela Balderston has been promoted to partner at Tusk Venture Partners, a venture capital firm. Previously, she was chief communications officer. …

Pili Tobar is joining Fireside Campaigns as a partner and will be overseeing the firm’s Communications and Public Relations team. Pili was most recently the deputy communications director at the White House. … Anisha Singh is now executive director for the Sikh Coalition. She previously was director of judiciary and democracy affairs at Planned Parenthood. … (h/t Playbook)

Sadia Iqbal is joining BlueLabs Analytics as VP of its new insights division. She most recently was VP of data and analytics at 270 Strategies. … Hadar Arazi is now director of operations for Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.). She most recently was D.C. scheduler for Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and is a Josh Gottheimer alum. (h/t Playbook)


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