Renee Ellmers

Just the other day when I was home in Dunn, a woman standing in the checkout line told me that she felt as though she had less money in her pocket. And, unfortunately, she’s right. Did you know that the average clothing cost for children has risen $310 during the president’s term and that food costs have risen an average of $210? Or that an average family of four is missing as much as $1,120 from their monthly budget? I bet women do.

No one understands the true implications of these missing dollars better than women. Women are the ones balancing the household checkbook, worrying about health care and education decisions for their families, and are the ones sitting at the kitchen table at the end of the month crunching numbers to figure out how to cut costs so the dollars don’t run out before the month does. I understand this because I have done this – and still do. Having worked at the local Burger King during high school, and then paying my way through community college and nursing school, I can relate to the pressures that women feel.

Women talk to me every day about the situations they face at work and home, and how they want a government that works to find solutions. My colleagues and I want to work together for solutions too. Our goal is to empower and engage every woman in this country, regardless of political-leaning or socioeconomic status. We are aware of the facts. The sad fact is that for every job the White House boasts about creating, two new people were added to the food stamp program. Additionally, if we were to factor in the number of people who have given up looking for work, real unemployment would be an astounding 10.2 percent. This is inexcusable. Our job is fighting to create good-paying jobs, grow a healthy economy and help hardworking Americans keep more of their paycheck.

Renee Ellmers

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers represents North Carolina's second district and serves on the House Committee on Small Business.