On April 18, the House passed, 377-6, the 100 Years of Women in Congress Act (H.R. 4570), sponsored by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY).
The legislation acknowledges that more must be done to encourage women to enter the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and run for elected office. The bill seeks to increase women’s and minorities’ participation in the STEM fields by re-designating the Department of Agriculture research grant, “Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Grant Program,” as the “Jeannette Rankin Women and Minorities in STEM Fields Program Grant.”
The measure notes that Rep. Jeannette Rankin (R-MT), elected on November 7, 1916, was the first woman elected to Congress, and that she graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1902. The bill also notes that 100 years after her election, 108 women serve in the 114th Congress, more than at any other time in U.S. history.