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McConnell opens all-male health group to women

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invited all Republicans on Tuesday to be a part of with what’s been an all-male working group of GOP senators to craft a health care invoice, after dealing with criticism that women have been being excluded.

“McConnell stood up and said, ‘Please come and participate,’ ” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., stated in an interview, describing the Kentucky Republican’s request to GOP senators throughout a lunch. She additionally stated, “I think they are opening up those meetings. I don’t even know if they had any closed meetings.”

The male-only make-up of the 13-member group had been a distraction as GOP senators start writing their invoice repealing a lot of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, one of many celebration’s prime priorities. Earlier Tuesday, McConnell fended off criticism of the group’s membership, saying all 52 GOP senators have been shaping the laws.

“The working group that counts is all 52 of us, and we’re having extensive meetings” day by day, McConnell advised reporters. “Nobody’s being excluded based on gender.”

The all-male make-up of the group was clearly an irritant amongst a few of the chamber’s 5 GOP women. It additionally turned a goal for Democrats keen to paint the evolving Republican laws as a measure that’s damaging to women needing medical care, whilst key selections are being made by males.

“That’s really up to the leadership,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the longest-serving feminine GOP senator in her 21st yr within the chamber, stated of the group’s lack of women. “It seems to me they’ve already made their decision. The panel has apparently been meeting for some time, and I’m not a member of it.”

Asked concerning the group, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, stated, “I just want to make sure we have some women on it.”

“We know it makes a difference when women are in the room, and we know it makes a difference when women aren’t in the room on what is brought up, how it’s seen and how it’s put together,” stated Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the No. three Senate Democratic chief.

The GOP drive to write health care laws has shifted to the Senate, 5 days after Republicans pushed a model of it by means of the House.

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