Sending Office: Honorable Rosa L. DeLauro
Support Gender-Based Policy Analysis in Congress
Cosigners: Velazquez, Grijalva, Lofgren, Soto, Khanna, Dingell, Norton, DeSaulnier, Takano, Frankel, Clark, Jayapal
Deadline: Wednesday, June 13
Please co-sign onto a letter to the Director of the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Dr. Mary Mazanec, urging the immediate appointment of a gender specialist at CRS.
It is imperative that Members of Congress have access to experts who can provide research, information, and analysis on the intersection of public policy with gender, which crosscuts every major policy issue. In the 115th Congress alone, gender has been
a critical factor in legislative debates on everything from the President’s proposed “ban” on transgender military troops, student loan borrower regulations, and Medicaid and Title X reforms, to S.T.E.M. policy, the child care tax credit, and D.A.C.A. protections.
Gender and women’s studies is a well-established academic discipline and field of expertise. Yet of the 600 policy experts, attorneys, librarians, and support personnel, on staff at CRS, there is not a single gender expert available to assist Members and
Absent high-quality gender expertise, Members cannot evaluate programs for potential gender differences, rectify gendered assumptions underlying policy, or develop legislative solutions to promote gender equality.
All Members rely on CRS for quality, non-partisan, reliable information, research, and analysis. It is about time that this analysis accounted for the singular role of gender on the congressional agenda.
To co-sign, please contact Emily in Rep. DeLauro’s office at 5-3661 or
Member of Congress
Mary B. Mazanec, Director
Congressional Research Service
Library of Congress
Washington, D.C. 20540-7210
Dear Dr. Mazanec:
We write to urge you to immediately retain a gender analyst at the Congressional Research Service (CRS). It is critical that Members of Congress have access to readily available experts who can monitor legislative developments and quickly provide information
on the intersection of gender with current public policy issues.
Gender and women’s studies is a well-established academic discipline and field of expertise – numbering approximately 650 departments in colleges and universities across the U.S.[i] However, of the 600 policy
experts, attorneys, librarians, and support personnel on staff, CRS does not have a single gender expert available to provide Members of Congress with appropriate research and analysis. The absence of a gender analyst has steep consequences for the quality
of debate and legislative solutions developed in Congress.
Gender crosscuts every major policy issue. Yet CRS issues only a handful of reports each year – only 5 in fiscal year 2017 – that address the impact of “gender” on policy.[ii] This is not surprising given the
lack of gender expertise at CRS – but it is not an acceptable reflection of the congressional agenda. In the 115th Congress alone, gender has been a critical factor in legislative debates on everything from the President’s proposed “ban” on transgender military
troops, student loan borrower regulations, and Medicaid and Title X reforms, to S.T.E.M. policy, the child care tax credit, and D.A.C.A. protections. Gender expertise is vital for enabling Members to understand the complex dynamics shaping these issues and
make informed policy decisions.
Members require expertise that goes far beyond simple statistics on the gender breakdown of Medicaid or Medicare program beneficiaries, for example, which CRS already provides. Indeed, gender specialists would help Members identify how gender considerations
may be embedded within a law from its inception; how legislative proposals account for (or fail to account for) gender differences in program beneficiaries or constituents; gendered assumptions underlying policy issues, legal arguments, and legislation; as
well as the latest insights from scholarly research on the broader intersection of gender, sex, race, ethnicity, religion, and class, with public policy.
In the 2017 Annual Report, you affirmed CRS’s commitment to serving “a diverse Congress with a wide spectrum of informational, research, and analytical needs.” We are a diverse Congress, but we are united by our reliance on CRS for quality, non-partisan,
reliable information and research. It is about time this information and research accounted for the singular role of gender on the congressional agenda. We urge you to immediately appoint a gender analyst.
Thank you for your attention to this request, and we look forward to hearing from you.
[i] According to a 2007 National Opinion Research Center-University of Chicago study.
[ii] According to the 2017 CRS Annual Report to Congress, only 5 reports explicitly address the impact of “gender,” “sex” or “women,” on a policy debate. These reports include, “Transgender Servicemembers: Policy
Shifts and Considerations for Congress”; “Federal District Court Rules that Landlord Violated the Fair Housing Act by Refusing to Rent a Home to a Transgender Woman”; “Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Gender Identity Case”; “Supreme Court Remands Transgender Case
After Agency Guidance Withdrawn”; and “Supreme Court Rules that Citizenship Statute for Children Born Abroad and out of Wedlock Unconstitutionally Discriminates Based on Gender of the US Citizen Parent.”
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0