The White House's forum on women and the economy is billed as a policy event, not a political opportunity.
But ahead of Friday's event, senior White House officials took the opportunity on Thursday to contrast the Obama administration’s record of promoting economic opportunity and security for women with the budget put forward by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.—a contrast the president himself emphasized in a forceful speech earlier this week.
Officials said the president's budget protects programs that disproportionately affect women, including education and health care programs and programs that help small businesses grow, compared to the Ryan plan which they said would have a 19 percent cut starting from a year from now in the discretionary portion of the budget.
Officials also reviewed the ways in which the health care reform law helps women, including eliminating gender rating by insurance companies and providing coverage for preventative care services like mammograms and contraception. Repealing the act “would be devastating for women,” a senior White House official said.
Ryan’s budget has been endorsed by Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney. Romney has also vowed to repeal the health care reform bill, should he win the White House.