Maloney continues push for House tampon purchases

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney took his recent push for tampon availability in congressional offices to the top this week, writing a joint letter with Rep. Grace Meng asking House Speaker Paul Ryan make sure such purchases are reimbursable.

The Cold Spring Democrat first sounded the alarm last week after a congressional finance office refused to pay a $37.16 charge his staff had made for feminine hygiene products for employees and visitors. That set off a brittle exchange with a spokeswoman for the Committee on House Administration – who said the committee does allow such expenses – that prompted Maloney to release the emailed expense denial.

On Friday, Meng’s office released a letter she and Maloney sent Ryan a day earlier, which sarcastically applauded him for making free toilet paper and paper towels available in Capitol restrooms. “We implore you, however, to go one step further and make feminine hygiene products available to those who need them,” they wrote.

“Speaker Ryan should make it clear that women who visit or work on Capitol Hill will have their needs met and that the House is a welcoming place for everyone,” Maloney said in a press release. “Women have been treated as second class citizens for far too long. We have an opportunity to fix that problem here in the House, and the Speaker should take it.”

Meng, a Queens Democrat, has sponsored pending bills to make feminine hygiene products more available and safer, and has pushed for homeless shelters to buy them with federal funds and for federal prison inmates to get them for free, according to her office.

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