Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues, 1977—Present

(From left) Representatives Lindy Boggs, Patricia Schroeder, Barbara Mikulski, and Millicent Fenwick meet in the Congresswomen's Suite in the Capitol/tiles/non-collection/w/wic_cont4_1_boggs_room_1980_cap_his_soc2.xml Image courtesy of the United States Capitol Historical Society (From left) Representatives Lindy Boggs of Lousiana,  Patricia Schroeder of Colorado, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, and Millicent Fenwick of New Jersey, meet in the Congresswomen’s Suite in the Capitol—now known as the Lindy Claiborne Boggs Congressional Reading Room.
In 1977, the women of the House formed a bipartisan Congresswomen’s Caucus (later called the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues) to publicize legislative initiatives that were important to women.1 The caucus became a forum for exchanging ideas and legislative strategy. Representative Lindy Boggs of Louisiana observed, “If we met regularly there would be mutual concerns that would be revealed that we may not think of as compelling now.”2 By honing their message and by cultivating political action groups to support female candidates, women became more powerful in the House. Most important, as the numbers of Congresswomen increased and their legislative interests expanded, women accrued the seniority and influence to advance into the ranks of leadership. Since its inception, the caucus has appointed bipartisan co-chairs.

 

Member NameCongress
Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY)
Margaret Heckler (R-MA)
95th (1977–1979)
Patricia Schroeder (D-CO)
Margaret Heckler (R-MA)
96th (1979–1981)
Patricia Schroeder (D-CO)
Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
97th–103rd (1981–1995)
Constance Morella (R-MD)
Nita Lowey (D-NY)
104th (1995–1997)
Nancy Johnson (R-CT)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
105th (1997–1999)
Sue Kelly (R-NY)
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
106th (1999–2001)
Judy Biggert (R-IL)
Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA)
107th (2001–2003)
Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
108th (2003–2005)
Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL)
Hilda Solis (D-CA)
109th (2005–2007)
Lois Capps (D-CA)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
110th (2007–2009)
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
Mary Fallin (R-OK)
111th (2009–2011)
Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
Gwen Moore (D-WI)
112th (2011–2013)
Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
Donna F. Edwards (D-MD)
113th (2013–2015)
Kristi Noem (R-SD)
Doris O. Matsui (D-CA)
114th (2015–2017)
Susan Brooks (R-IN)
Lois Frankel (D-FL)
115th (2017–2019)

Footnotes

1In 1981, the Caucus changed its name and admitted male Members to the group. Marjorie Hunter, “Congresswomen Admit 46 Men to Their Caucus,” 14 December 1981, The New York Times: D10.

2Peggy Simpson, “Women Weighing Caucus,” 26 December 1974, Washington Post: C22.