Upon sitting out the vote on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) remarked that what women really need is ‘education and training.’ Puzzling, because in 2007 Sen. McCain avoided the vote on the America COMPETES Act and voted against the College Cost Reduction Act. The America COMPETES Act promotes education in engineering, technology, and science’fields not typically pursued by women’and was supported by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The AAUW also supported the College Cost Reduction Act‘which aimed to increase Pell grant awards to restore the grant’s purchasing power and reduce subsidized student loan interest’given the fact that ‘because women are more likely to borrow money for college than men are and will earn less on average after graduation, female graduates are more likely to struggle with their loan debt.’
In March 2005, Sen. McCain’despite his call to dramatically reduce the number of abortions in this country’voted against the Unintended Pregnancy Amendment, which would have ‘expanded access to preventative health care services that reduce unintended pregnancy (including teen pregnancy), reduce the number of abortions, and improve access to women’s health care.’ In addition to his enduring commitment to eliminating women’s reproductive rights, Sen. McCain introduced us to his sexist wit in 1998—revealing that even a woman’s self-confidence isn’t safe from the reaches of the Senator. You can read about his disgusting remark here.
In 2004, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced an amendment to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which among other things would have offered ‘emergency leave so a victim can go to court or to the police to stop abuse.’ It also offered health care and expanded unemployment insurance to victims of abuse. Sen. Murray also introduced the Security and Financial Empowerment Act (SAFE Act), which would have provided unemployment benefits for a woman who must leave her job to flee an abusive relationship and provided her legal assistance in custody disputes. Sen. McCain voted against both.
It should be clear from his record in the Senate that John McCain has consistently skipped out or voted against the interests of women on issues of employment, reproductive rights, and safety.