This year marks the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment that established women’s suffrage in the United States. This milestone for women’s rights helped propel many women to positions of influence throughout American society. As the vice ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I’ve worked with President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE on his agenda to fortify the 19th Amendment’s legacy by making women’s empowerment a central tenet of U.S. foreign policy.
Since the first year of his administration, President Trump has worked to ensure America is a global leader on women’s empowerment. In 2017, he recognized the role of women in resolving conflict by signing the Women, Peace, and Security Act (WPS), legislation I co-sponsored that promoted women’s involvement in global conflict prevention and response. This historic legislation made the United States the first country to enact a comprehensive law on the issue. This month, the White House led the effort to release WPS Implementation Plans from the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, and USAID. These plans outline the U.S. government’s concrete steps towards ensuring women can lead in conflict prevention and promote reconciliation in their homelands.
Building on the success of Women, Peace and Security and recognizing the value of investing in women, President Trump established the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative in February 2019, the first ever whole-of-government approach to women’s economic empowerment. Under the leadership of advisor to the president Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpMary Trump calls Donald Trump Jr. her 'stupidest' relative Trump Tower debt added to watch list as vacancies rise House panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe MORE, W-GDP aims to reach 50 million women across the developing world by 2025, and it has already impacted over 12 million women. I am working with the administration and my colleagues across the aisle to improve upon and permanently codify this initiative into law.
President Trump values the impact of economic empowerment of women around the world, but he has also prioritized these efforts within the United States. Under President Trump, American women have experienced their lowest rate of unemployment in 65 years. At the end of last year, women comprised a majority of America’s workforce. I have also worked with the president to recognize the crucial role women play in America’s working families. The Trump administration and congressional Republicans doubled the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per child while also expanding eligibility so that in 2019, nearly 40 million families benefited from this credit.
President Trump is also shining a light on childcare affordability and accessibility and paid family leave. He pushed for and signed into law the largest ever expansion of the Child Care and Development Block Grants to states and is the first president to include a national paid leave program in all of his annual budgets. I personally drafted the first paid parental leave program introduced by Republicans, the New Parents Act, and I applaud the administration’s work to promote efforts like ours to fund paid parental leave.
I have been especially delighted to partner with the Trump administration on efforts to empower the most vulnerable women in society, particularly victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. I drafted the most significant anti-trafficking bill to be signed into law in nearly 20 years, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA-SESTA). President Trump and Ivanka Trump helped champion my legislation, and the administration is already using FOSTA to prosecute websites that facilitate human trafficking, giving so many women another chance at life. I also worked with the president to include the Wagner Language in the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which upholds FOSTA to help stop the online sex trade throughout North America. The president has given a powerful platform to survivors and has signed numerous pieces of legislation to ensure women are never victimized in the first place. Women’s empowerment is a consistent theme of this administration, and I was pleased that last year President Trump established a task force to help combat the tragedy of missing or murdered Native American women and girls.
Finally, President Trump’s own team testifies to the goal of all women having a seat at the table. For the first time ever, half of the National Security Council’s leadership is made up of women, with 12 of its 24 directorates being led by women. I am proud that under President Trump, historic measures have been taken to support women in the U.S. and abroad. America’s steps to lead the way in empowering women and girls is news worth celebrating as together we create new milestones for women’s rights.
Congresswoman Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerConservative women's group endorses Sarah Huckabee Sanders for Arkansas governor FOSTA is model for reforming Section 230 Navy admiral criticizes defense contractors over lobbying efforts MORE represents the 2nd District of Missouri and is vice ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.