Mike Crapo: Congressional Justice Award Doesn't Mean He's a Friend to Women

On April 17, Sen. Mike Crapo, (R-Idaho), was given a Congressional Justice Award by the American Bar Association for his lead sponsorship role in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act 2013.

But Crapo's voting record makes clear he is no friend to women.

Although Crapo in a prepared statement promised he would "work with colleagues to ensure we have the most up-to-date protection in place to stop this violence from occurring," wasted no time to undermine policy which would do just that.

The day after receiving his award the senator cast a vote to help block even the most vanilla, common sense, gun law reform.

Background checks would be a start in curbing gun deaths against women, which  overwhelming is inflicted by a male intimate partner, this has long been known.

Crapo also makes it difficult for women to become financially independent by helping defeat the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2012.

The senator should be well aware of why such news laws are needed. According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, the pay gap has been flat since stalling the 1990s.

Closer to his home in Idaho, the capitol city, Boise, was named as one of the fifth most  unfair by Forbes. The city's gender wage gap is 37%, with men's earnings coming in at $60,156, compared to women's at just $38,067.

I don't find it surprising the same city was also named least romantic but best for men.

Crapo continues to be reelected, despite his opposition to no-cost birth control and his support to de-fund not only Planned Parenthood but Title X altogether, putting women and low-income populations wholly at risk.

Why should the nation care how Crapo votes? Now in his third term, Crapo is the Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee as well as the third-ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

"One good deed, in sponsoring (VAWA) does not undo all of the votes he has made that were not in the best interests of women," said Adrienne Evans, executive director of United Action For Idaho.

As Crapo rises in the ranks of the Republican party, Evans believes sponsoring VAWA may allow him to appear moderate to a broader national constituency.

"Anybody who looks into his voting record will know right away how far right he is," Evans said.

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Blair Koch

Freelance journalist and contributor to Earthworks' EARTHBlog.

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