González Colón elected co-chair of Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues

By John McPhaul

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón was elected by the Republican women of the U.S. House of Representatives to serve as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues.

The newly elected representative for Florida’s District 3, Kat Cammack, was elected co-vice chair of the caucus, a position held by González Colón during the previous 116th Congress.

“As the first woman to represent Puerto Rico in Congress, I’m honored to have been elected by my colleagues as the Women’s Caucus Republican Co-Chair, especially in these historic times with the largest number of women serving in Congress,” González Colón said in a press release. “Together we will work in a bipartisan manner to open doors for more women and girls to lead in politics and every aspect of our society.”

The Democratic side chose Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) as its chair and Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) as its co-vice chair.

The Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues (Bipartisan Women’s Caucus), created in 1977, is an organization of members of Congress composed of all female Republican and Democratic women in the United States House of Representatives. The leadership structure includes a Republican co-chair, a Democratic co-chair, a Republican co-vice chair, and a Democratic co-vice chair. They all serve a two-year term in Congress.

“I look forward to serving alongside Reps. González Colón, Dean, and McBath as Vice-Chair of the Women’s Caucus during the 117th Congress,” Cammack said. “The caucus is critical to continuing a tradition of bipartisan collaboration that works to ensure the values of American women nationwide are represented in federal policy. I’m excited to represent the Republican women of the 117th and to get to work on these important issues over the next two years.”

“It has been an honor to serve as Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Women’s Caucus for the 116th Congress,” said outgoing Co-Chair Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.). “I would like to thank my Co-Chair, Congresswoman [Brenda] Lawrence [D-Mich.] for her work on the caucus and wish the best of luck to the newly elected leadership. I look forward to continuing to work with the caucus to advocate for women across our nation.”

As co-vice chair of the Caucus, González Colón advocated for legislation in favor of women such as H.R. 1230 to prevent discrimination against women for reasons of age. She pushed for funding federal programs focused on women through legislation such as H.R. 777, which directed funds to perform analysis of accumulated DNA samples from offenders and crime victims, including “rape kits.” She also advocated for administrative actions that impact women, such as asking the Centers for Disease Control to guide health providers about the consequences of the coronavirus on pregnant women, among other steps, the resident commissioner said.

Moreover, González Colón organized roundtables and large events in Congress such as those related to NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program, with administrator Jim Bridenstine and two NASA female astronauts. The agency seeks to send the first woman and the next man, the Puerto Rican-born astronaut Joseph Acabá, to the surface of the Moon within five years, landing them where humans have never been before: at the South Pole of the Moon, the resident commissioner said.

She also hosted a fire-side chat with Voice of America (VOA) including journalists from the organization representing South and Central Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Persia, Eurasia, and Latin America to promote women in the media while providing professional development opportunities for VOA journalists, the press release said.

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