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It took a guy to do this? House Speaker-elect John Boehner orders a change to benefit just 71 members

Womens bathroom SignFor some reason it took a male Speaker of the House to accomplish this:

The nearly six dozen female members of the incoming House of Representatives will have a new restroom just as close to the chamber's floor as their male colleagues. A sometimes significant comfort, given legislators' propensity to blather.

Ohio's Rep. John Boehner, who retakes the Speaker's gavel from Nancy Pelosi come the new Congress in January, is ordering up a myriad of changes symbolic and meaningful in the chamber to underline the transition to the leadership of a Republican majority this time.

His transition team under Rep. Greg Walden is still drawing up lists.

Out, for instance, go the frivolous House resolutions on somebody's birthday or some team's victory. And now we learn, in comes a brand-new restroom for the 71 female members of the House. And it'll be bipartisan too.

Until now female members have had to traipse much farther than male colleagues to find restroom facilities, even during these past four years of leadership under the country's first female speaker.

This is good news for everyone except one person. The House Parliamentarian's office adjacent to the legislative floor will disappear to make way for the new bathroom stalls.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Comments () | Archives (12)

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How far is the speaker's bathroom from the floor?

That might be why Nancy Pelosi didn't do it. Me me me.

With the coming repeal of DADT, why don't they just all use the same restroom?

Democrats exploit problems. Republicans address them.

A legend says that in soviet history there was only one women in Politburo - Furtseva, and the women washroom closest to their meeting room was quite far. On one meeting several members of Politburo conspired to overturn Khruschev, but Furtseva, pretending to go to washroom, called him by phone, and alerted about the coup attempt (her long absence was not suspicious exactly due to this great distance). Thus Khruschev was saved, and Furtseva became minister of culture.


The House may intermittently loose its quorum since women do something men don't: they always go the the rest room as a group.

Yeah, and it took Republicans to:
Republicans Freed the Slaves.
Republicans Established the Transcontinental Railroad
Republicans Passed the Land-Grant College Act
The First Hispanic Governor, Romualdo Pacheco, was a Republican.
Republicans Passed the 14th Amendment guaranteeing equal protection to all.
Republicans Established Howard University.
Republicans passed the 15th Amendment recognizing the right of African-Americans to vote.
The First African-American Senator, Hiram Revels was a Republican.
Republicans Outlawed the Ku Klux Klan.
Yellowstone National Park was established by President Grant, a Republican.
Republicans Passed the 1875 Civil Rights Act.
A Republican Wrote the 19th Amendment recognizing the right of women to vote.
First two Women Mayors in the United States were Republicans.
A Republican President Appointed the First Jewish Cabinet Secretary.
Republicans Passed the Indian Citizenship Act.
The First Hispanic U.S. Senator, Octaviano Larrazolo, was a Republican.
The First Asian-American U.S. Senator, Hiram Fong, was a Republican.
The Republican Party First Called for Ending Racial Segregation in the Military.
A Republican Integrated the University of Mississippi.
A Republican Wrote the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Republicans Established the Federal Highway System.
Republicans Passed the 1957 Civil Rights Act.
Republicans voted in larger proportions than Democrats for the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Republicans Ended Racial Segregation in Little Rock public schools.
A Republican opened up China.
Republicans stood up to the Soviets and won the Cold War.
Republicans support vouchers for DC Schoolchildren but Democrats, controlled by teachers unions, let the program lapse.


"For some reason"?

How about this reason: Republicanshypocrites like you would've ripped Pelosi from here to Waziristan for building "herself" a restroom on the House floor.

... and a Republican one at that.
Q. Did Nancy Pelosi have a cast iron bladder?

The amount of coverage that this simple change has garnered in the national news should highlight the power of symbolism in politics/policy. The recent Republican vote to ban earmarks is another (albeit more substantive) example. Little changes lead to changes in perception and momentum, which encourage and lead to larger changes, etc.

Hats off to Malcolm, this is sooo much more important to write about than the Republicans blocking our unemployment benefits extension. 71 huh? That is a large number of people, er ah, politicians who can are being cared for.

Why are they SPENDING OUR MONEY to build a new restroom??? Close the men's room down and make them ALL walk! There, now everybody's equal, and they didn't SPEND OUR MONEY!

Hope they put extra deodorant dispensers for Lois Capps and Pelosi to take the stink of their legislative efforts.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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