Marcy Kaptur breaks new record in Parliament but has a familiar message for organization: ‘See you soon’
Congressman Marcy Kaptur becomes longest serving woman in Parliament this week after winning her first competitive race for many decades. But she finds her job in Washington far from over.
“I function in a different way than many of my peers simply because of what I have lived,” said Ohio Democrat, the first in his family to graduate from college and represent the Rust community. Belt is leaving his party, said .
“Then why did I stay? She stayed the longest not just for the title. But to use every little bit of energy, I have to try to write this message: You are abandoning us. You don’t see us.
First elected in 1982, Kaptur became longest serving woman in the US House of Representatives 2018. But now she’s breaking records Former Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat who retired at the end of 2016 after 40 years in Congress. All the while, Kaptur urged his party — especially the leadership, which is often dominated by lawmakers from the shores — to wake up to the plight of “industrial America.” and agriculture”, not only for the survival of the party, but also for the survival of the party. democracy.
In an interview with CNN late last year, Kaptur recalled approaching a “senior member of the House of Representatives” and warned that the federal government needed to invest in the central part of the country. “We will have political instability. I even used a stronger word. I say maybe even fascism,” she said.
That was before the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Kaptur elected for the 21st term in November in a district that has been redrawn from heavily Democratic to more Republican, defeating a people who refuse to vote who was at the Capitol on January 6.
JR Majewski said he went to protest peacefully and left when “things went awry,” but ultimately the campaign arm of House GOP cut his spending in the county following revelations that he perjured his military background. Kaptur, despite criticism from some voters that she had been in Washington for too long, won 13 points.
“I see myself as the Statue of Liberty on top of the Capitol. It’s a woman and she looks east to see the sun rise,” said Kaptur, who is considered one of his proudest achievements, in 17 years of struggling to build the memorial. World War II. It was one of her constituencies, a postman from the village of Berkey, who pushed her to make legislation for it.
Kaptur dropped out of his doctoral program at MIT to run for Congress, having worked for President Jimmy Carter as a domestic policy adviser. She’s one of the only ones 24 women in Congress When she arrives. Today there are 149.
“So it’s really consequential progress – within a generation,” Kaptur said of record number of women service this year. She wrote a book in 1996 about women in Congress in the 20th century, joking that she was too busy updating it.
But having more women in Parliament is not as important to Kaptur as where the women come from and the types of communities they represent.
“As a woman, let me say, if you come from the part of the United States where I work – and I don’t just mean geographically, I mean economically – we are still not a majority.”
“What is the difference between a woman and a very rich man in Congress?” asked Kaptur, who lived in the same house in Toledo that she grew up in. “People like us, we are there. Were there. We are the radish in the salad. … But we are important voices because what we’ve been through will illuminate the conversation.”
She fought for years to get a seat on the House Appropriations Committee – ultimately going against Nancy Pelosi. “I was outraged,” Kaptur said, calling it “a hardline working-class fight” against a former California Democratic Party leader.
Kaptur has at times clashed with Pelosi in leadership races – even briefly challenging her for party leadership in 2002 – although the two women have recently praised and supported each other. together. Kaptur’s voting record on abortion has also evolved to be more in line with the national party.
When the Ohio Democrat joined the Appropriations Committee in the early 1990s, she was one of only three women. Democracy then-Rep. Lindy Boggs of Louisiana had to ask her to stand while speaking before the panel.
She was unsuccessful in finding a way to lead the committee – losing out to women from more coastal states. But by 2019, she became first woman to chair the subcommittee on energy and water development and her bill to create the Great Lakes Authority – a federal regional commission to address environmental and economic issues – was recently approved. passed as part of an aggregate spending package.
However, she said, it can be difficult to hear.
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“When you’re not in a leadership position, you don’t have a seat at the table — maybe you have your subcommittee or committee, something like that — but that’s pretty much impenetrable,” she says. about this organization. “And Americans know that. They feel that and that is why they become radicalized in their political expressions.”
But she credits President Joe Biden for visit Lorain, a city in Northeast Ohio, last year. “It was unprecedented. Joe Biden is trying. He’s on a team that can’t see places like Lorain, Cleveland and Toledo.”
She lamented the defeat of Democrat Tim Ryan, whom she supported in last year’s Ohio Senate race, and blamed the national party for ignoring disgruntled voters for so long. , who ended up supporting the Republican candidate.
“So my struggle is endless. And I hope God gives me many years, maybe I can put some of this meaning in the institute, but I don’t know,” Kaptur said.
And then, with a laugh, then added, “I have to stay as long as Mitch McConnell.”