Rep. Steve Knight and his election challenger Katie Hill traded jabs as they each recognized National Women’s Equality Day, observed on Sunday to commemorate the anniversary of the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.
Knight, R-Palmdale, issued a statement on National Women’s Equality Day Sunday talking about his efforts to increase economic opportunities for women when he introduced the Workplace Advancement Act in the House in April 2017.
The congressman said the act would “empower individuals to negotiate their salaries more effectively by preventing retaliation against employees who inquire about or discuss workplace salaries” and “reaffirm existing laws that ban gender discrimination.”
“A lot of people say there are already laws for this,” Knight said. “But the system isn’t working the way it should work. You should get judged on your performance, and your ability to do your job, not on who you are, what you look like. There are laws, and there are still problems.”
Hill, his Democratic challenger in the 25th Congressional District race, wrote on Facebook that Knight’s efforts fell short due to his pro-life voting record.
“Rep. Steve Knight, on #WomensEqualityDay, let’s remember that you voted to take away our healthcare and don’t believe in safe and legal abortion,” she wrote on Facebook. “Even though you don’t want birth control or maternity services covered, either. Yes, there are steps we need to take to get to equality. But you’re not taking them.”
Knight said the votes Hill was referring to reflect his pro-life stance, but he has voted for contraceptives for veterans in the National Defense Authorization Act and worked on bills to ensure women have access to affordable health care.
“I think we have been very clear that we are fighting for more options for health care, and we are pairing that with our urgent care initiative for veterans,” Knight said.
“I’m glad that he stands for birth control for veterans and the Workplace Advancement Act,” Hill said. “But if you’re voting regressively, then you have to be called out on it.”
Said Knight: “If you’ve never voted and you’ve never been in politics, then you can absolutely throw stones at somebody who’s done it. She’s never had to vote for health care for somebody, or to help somebody. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do in our legislative career.”
Hill said she could translate voting pressure on the congressional level due to her background as director of a regional homelessness services provider, PATH.
“I have not voted on legislation on the national level, but I have been on commissions that have voted on policies that affect tens of thousands of homeless people from Los Angeles,” she said. “While those are not the same, they are certainly of a magnitude that’s personal and has a great deal of weight. So I do understand the responsibility. But there will be issues on the Democrats’ side where I know I will not be bend on certain things just because of party lines, and I am aware I have to face the consequences of my votes.”