As the House readies to vote on a GOP plan to freeze federal student loan rates for a year, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Thursday fired back at Democratic claims that the proposal constitutes a “war on women,” calling the argument “pathetic.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi “wants to continue this fiction that every Democratic messenger is trying to put forward, which is there is a war on women,” Bachmann told Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto Thursday night. “There is no war on women. ... That’s what Nancy Pelosi is trying to do, because she’s trying to reach the all-important woman voter.”
Pelosi and other Democrats have argued that because the GOP’s plan to pay the $6 billion cost of extending the current Stafford loan rates includes rescinding monies from part of the national health care overhaul, the proposal represents the latest instance of Republicans taking aim at women.
But unmentioned by Democrats is the fact that a year-long payroll tax deal agreed to earlier this year also took away some funding from the same part of the national health care law.
The House is expected to vote on the GOP plan later Friday. Democrats favor a plan that they say would close some tax loopholes, a proposal that Republicans oppose.
The shots fired over the student loan plan are the latest sign that Democratic efforts to put the GOP on defense among women voters aren’t about to die down anytime soon.
While polls show President Obama leading Mitt Romney among women overall, Bachmann pointed out Thursday night that married women favor Republicans.
Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said in response, “Actions speak louder than words.”
“And time and time again House Republicans have sought to gut women’s health initiatives in their ideological drive to aid the wealthy and special interests,” he said. “I realize the Congresswoman has missed a number of votes in this Congress running for president, but surely she’s noticed the Republican record on women’s health.”
Hammill added that while money has been taken from the Prevention and Public Health Fund in the past, Republicans now “are punishing women and children by taking the drastic step of repealing the fund entirely.”
He noted that repeal of the fund is opposed by organizations including the American Lung Association, American Heart Association and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
This story has been updated.