Two years ago, a spat between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) over Planned Parenthood funding sparked a national debate about birth control that helped lead to a historic gender gap in the 2012 elections, with Obama beating Mitt Romney by about 10 points among women voters. Now, Democrats hope to leverage women’s support to pressure Republicans on a host of labor reforms, including the minimum wage, paid sick days and fair pay.
“A majority of Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act, and they only brought it to the floor this year with great reluctance because we made it too hot to handle out there,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told The Huffington Post in an interview. “That may be what we have to do with these issues — paycheck fairness, child care, sick leave. As President Lincoln said, ‘Public sentiment is everything,’ and that’s where we have to take our fight.”