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Where Women Stand on Issues Facing Capitol Hill

Demonstrators at the Women's March on Washington in January. (Mobilus in Mobili/flickr.com)

House Democratic women, plus a handful of men, donned red on Wednesday to descend the steps of the Capitol to recognize International Women’s Day.

“Thank you for resisting this anti-woman, Trump agenda,” said Rep. Barbara Lee of California, pointing to President Donald Trump’s past incendiary comments about women, along with Republican policies, such as the current effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, that she said could hurt the poor.

While other lawmakers on Wednesday also addressed abortion rights and access to contraception — subjects often broached by groups helping to elect more women to government — many of them focused on broader issues as they hope to combat Trump’s agenda.

“We stand against his administration’s draconian cuts to foreign aid,” said Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, while also jabbing Trump for supporting policies she said would separate immigrant children from their mothers.

Over the past couple of years and into the Trump administration, Morning Consult has tracked the views of women on some of the key policy battles taking place on Capitol Hill.

  • Slightly more women than men (75 percent to 69 percent) support allowing undocumented immigrants that came to the U.S. as young children to apply for legal status, according to a Morning Consult/POLITICO survey last month.
  • Slightly more women than men (70 percent to 66 percent) support allowing undocumented immigrants already who are already in the U.S. to stay legally if they meet certain standards, such as having no criminal record.
  • Only 34 percent of women, compared with 43 percent of men, support deporting all undocumented immigrants in the United States.
  • When it comes to budget cuts that could slash foreign aid, only 2 in 10 women said they support decreasing the budget for the State Department. By comparison, three in 10 men said it should be cut, as did a quarter of Americans.
  • Women are mostly aligned with men (46 percent to 48 percent) when it comes to increasing spending on the Department of Defense, a key pillar of Trump’s forthcoming budget.
  • On Obamacare, women have a less favorable view of the 2010 health care law than men: 44 percent of them approve, compared with 47 percent of men. Another 45 percent of women said they disapprove of the law. Both figures are aligned with Americans overall.
  • Roughly 3 in 10 women (28 percent) think the Affordable Care Act should be repealed, in part, while 23 percent want it repealed completely. A quarter of women (24 percent) said it should be expanded.
  • Overall, Americans rank “women’s issues” sixth at 5 percent, just below energy issues at 6 percent. That hardly changes among women, 8 percent of whom view women’s issues as most important.
  • Economic issues rank No. 1 on the minds of women. But 3 in 10 Americans (31 percent) and slightly more men (34 percent) rank economic issues, whereas 26 percent of women do. Two in 10 Americans, men and women rank security as their top issue.

On the Capitol steps, Pelosi noted the just-passed centennial of the first woman elected to Congress, Jeannette Rankin, taking office, when talking about today’s acknowledgment of a “Day Without A Woman.”

“We want people to understand what that day would be like,” she said.

Pelosi remains an unknown to many women voters. A Morning Consult survey taken over the weekend showed nearly half of women (47 percent) said they did not know or had no opinion of her. About a quarter (24 percent) said they viewed her favorably, and 29 percent said they had an unfavorable view.