Lucy McCalmont

The GOP, Pitching Their Biggest Tent

House committee leadership for the second session of the 114th Congress, via The Rachel Maddow Show, 18 November 2014.

When Republicans pitch a big tent, it’s usually still a sausage-fest.

How’s that? Comedically concise enough? Or do we need the lede?

House Republicans have selected white men to chair all but one of their standing committees next year.

The secretive Republican Steering Committee announced its recommendations late Tuesday after an all-day meeting to pick the heads of 17 committees, with all of those slots going to white men. Rep. Candice Miller, who was previously reappointed by Speaker John Boehner to lead the House Administration Committee, will remain the only woman to wield a gavel.

(Newhauser)

We would be remiss to omit the fact that Rep. Miller (R-MI10) is not the extent of GOP diversity in House leadership. House Republicans also picked Devin Nunes, a man of Portuguese descent who also carries a title of nobility from that country, to chair the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

It should also be noted that the House Administration Committee is the chair least sought by any member of Congress. Rachel Maddow tried her hand, last night, at telling the story of how Rep. Miller got that job. It would be funny, except that a humorous telling does nothing to abate the tragedy of the tale.

Meanwhile, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise responded to inquiries about the lack of diversity by explaining just how diverse Republican leadership is:

“Well, as part of leadership, we have a lot of women in our leadership team,” Scalise said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” when asked about the near-total absence of women in committee top spots.

In the House, 20 men were chosen for 21 key positions — the exception was Rep. Candice Miller, who will continue to chair the House Administration Panel.

Scalise also cited Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who was re-elected chairwoman of the Republican Conference and said, “Obviously, we have a number of other women that are very talented as part of our conference leadership.”

(McCalmont)

Look, it’s not quite the same as saying a private company has strong female representation among executives because all the males have female administrative assistants, but neither is it so different.

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Newhauser, Daniel. “House Republicans Just Picked 21 Committee Chairs. 20 Are Men.” National Journal. 18 November 2014.

Maddow, Rachel. “Diversity not a priority in House GOP picks”. The Rachel Maddow Show. msnbc. 18 November 2014.

McCalmont, Lucy. “Scalise defends male-dominated committee chairmanships”. Politico. 19 November 2014.