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McConnell promises women can take part in healthcare meetings

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellThe prepaid rule: A big loss for McConnell and Perdue, a big win for consumers GOP: FBI firing won’t slow agenda McConnell promises women can take part in healthcare meetings MORE (R-Ky.) has offered assurance to GOP colleagues that women might be invited to attend future meetings of a particular working group tasked with negotiating healthcare reform.

The assurances made in personal, backed up by a public assertion earlier in the week, have quelled concern in the GOP convention that the rollout of the working group can be derailed by controversy over gender politics.

McConnell invited three women Republican senators to attend a Tuesday assembly of the working group, which Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Moore CapitoMcConnell promises women can take part in healthcare meetings Overnight Healthcare: Portman, Toomey tasked with Medicaid talks | Trump threatens to stop ObamaCare payments | Senate defends writing health bill in private Portman, Toomey tasked with Medicaid talks MORE (R-W.Va.), a lawmaker involved about Medicaid cuts, attended.

A Thursday working group assembly was attended by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who’s frightened about Iowa’s final main ObamaCare insurer threatening to tug out of the state market.

“The leader has assured us that at least one of the women will attend all of the meetings going forward,” stated one GOP lawmaker.

Several Senate Republican sources say that McConnell advised colleagues at a lunch assembly this week that any senator who needs to attend the working group’s periods are welcome to return.

“He basically told the lunch that everyone in the caucus was invited,” stated one member of the working group. “He told the lunch that everyone in the caucus, including the women, can come.” 

Another GOP senator, who requested anonymity to keep away from the looks of second-guessing management, stated feminine colleagues “need to be” included in future meetings.

McConnell informed reporters Tuesday that nobody in his convention can be ignored.

“Nobody’s being excluded based upon gender,” he stated after Democrats criticized him for not initially together with any women in the 13-member healthcare working group. 

GOP senators on Thursday stated each effort can be made to incorporate women going ahead, however cautioned that their participation can be left as much as them.

There are 5 feminine members of the GOP convention — Capito, Ernst, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsThe prepaid rule: A big loss for McConnell and Perdue, a big win for consumers McConnell promises women can take part in healthcare meetings Watch: Live coverage of acting FBI director’s first public comments MORE (R-Maine), Sen. Deb FischerDeb FischerMcConnell promises women can take part in healthcare meetings Ethanol fight complicates push to repeal Obama drilling rule Dem labels infrastructure ‘top thing’ Trump can accomplish MORE (R-Neb.) and Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiThe prepaid rule: A big loss for McConnell and Perdue, a big win for consumers McConnell promises women can take part in healthcare meetings Opioid crisis becomes central issue in debate over Medicaid MORE (R-Alaska) —  so it could possibly be robust to ensure gender variety at each assembly, GOP sources cautioned. 

“I don’t that we can all guarantee that. We all have schedules that change,” stated Ernst, who defined she arrived a bit late to Thursday’s assembly as a result of she had “other obligations.”

Fischer stated she hopes to attend as properly, nevertheless it “depends on what the topic is going to be specifically within healthcare.”

Democrats have attacked the House-passed American Health Care Act as chopping advantages disproportionately for women. They word that the so-called important health advantages mandated by ObamaCare embrace women’s health providers and that extra women than males are on Medicaid, the healthcare program for the poor that was expanded by the regulation.

Republicans hope the clarification about who can attend the meetings will put an finish to the criticism they’ve acquired from Democrats and the media over membership in the working group.

“To not have women in the smaller group that we know is making many of the real decisions is a very, very bad thing. They are more than half the population,” Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles SchumerGOP: FBI firing won’t slow agenda Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump signs cyber order after long wait | Acting FBI head contradicts Trump on Comey | Russian cyber CEO defends company amid scrutiny Meet the incorruptible, nonpartisan FBI director the nation needs MORE (N.Y.) advised reporters earlier in the week.

Schumer delivered his remarks moments after McConnell was grilled by two feminine reporters on the Tuesday stakeout for not formally naming any women to the working group.

Growing exasperated, McConnell advised the throng of journalists, “You know, you need to write about what’s actually happening, and we’re having a discussion about the real issues. Everybody’s at the table.”

But when pressed additional, he didn’t explicitly promise that women would take part in future meetings of the group.

“There is no particular working group because we’re meeting every day,” he stated. “The group that counts, all 52 of us, have lunch every day, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.” 

One Senate GOP aide stated that women in the Republican convention don’t need to be included in meetings simply because they’re women and usually resent the implication that they’re wanted to fill some type of quota. 

But one other GOP aide quipped that it was one other instance of their celebration bungling a rollout this yr, acknowledging that not formally together with a lady was a “bad optic.”

Democratic women senators slammed their Republican colleagues as being tone deaf.

Sen. Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowMcConnell promises women can take part in healthcare meetings Dems request insider trading investigation into top Trump adviser Vulnerable Republicans back ObamaCare replacement MORE (Mich.), a member of the Democratic management workforce, stated “one of the biggest targets for Republicans has been eliminating preventative care for women and maternity care and so having no woman there” in the working group meetings “is stunning.” 

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenMcConnell promises women can take part in healthcare meetings Kelly Ayotte among candidates to be FBI director: report Senate Dems want information on Comey funding requests MORE (N.H.) referred to as it a “huge oversight and very disappointing given how much of the healthcare legislation affects women.”

“Women are very often the people in the family who deal with healthcare issues for the rest of the family,” she added. 

“It’s just a mistake, they should bring them in,” stated Sen. Jon TesterJon TesterMcConnell promises women can take part in healthcare meetings Lawmakers move to establish new VA office ordered by Trump Overnight Cybersecurity: Latest on Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey | US officials have questions for Kaspersky Labs | Dems want details on FCC cyberattack MORE (D-Mont.), who faces reelection subsequent yr in state President Trump gained by double digits.

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