Most consumer protection laws protect against bait and switch practices. Bait and switch occurs when a store or retailer advertises one product to steer you into the store and then switches you to another product. Republicans, during the midterm election, advertised that the American people need and want jobs. House Speaker John Boehner, (R. OH) in an August, 2010 speech, said “….the American people have had enough—of Washington politicians talking about wanting to create jobs as a ploy to get themselves re-elected while doing everything possible to prevent jobs from being created.” Over and over throughout the campaign, Rep. Boehner asked “where are the jobs.” Implicit in his campaign remarks was that Republicans would deliver on their jobs promise, if elected. Instead of delivering the promised goods, Republicans have gone out of their way to do anything but create, promote or introduce jobs bills to Congress. As we heard after taking the oath of office, Speaker Boehner, delivered his now famous remark of, if jobs are lost in the process, then “so be it.” His remarks sound like a classic case of bait and switch to me. And the switch is cuts to programs for women.
Instead of focusing on promised jobs, House Republicans choose now to switch to cuts to programs which help women and children as their focus. House Republicans proposed eliminating all funding for Planned Parenthood and drastic cuts to Women, Infants and Children (“WIC”) which provides grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk. They not only want to eliminate a woman’s choice but want to eliminate help to infants and their mothers before and after birth. They support pro-life but don’t want to support basic life needs for women and infants in need after birth. Isn’t that absurd?
Well, progressive women are mad and are not taking it lying down. Emily’s List, a national organization aimed at electing pro-choice Democratic women, has joined forces with MoveOn.org to campaign against the Republicans’ budget attack against women. Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock says the Republicans “passed a budget so backwards, so punishing, and so unacceptable to women and families that we’re fighting back.” Emily’s List, a major fundraising force, took in almost $39 million last cycle in support of Democratic Women candidates who support abortion rights, Planned Parenthood and women’s health related programs. Emily’s List launched a new initiative called “Stop the War on Women” and includes a web site, petition drive, grass roots campaign and other means to bring attention front and center to the Republican bait and switch. Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund says the Republican Congress is the most dangerous legislative assault on women’s health.
Consumer bait and switch laws should be enacted against the Republican controlled congress. The ball is with the Republican controlled Congress and they choose to assault and war against women. It’s now been more than 2 months since the 112th Congress took office and still no jobs creating bills. In retail, some products are sold with a “buyer beware” label which means it’s subject to all possible defects. Women now see the defects of the House Republicans and are fighting back. And unlike retail, we can return the goods the next election.