Heard on the Hill

Maloney and Meng Take Tampon Issue to Speaker’s Office

Democrats say they should be able to use office allowance to purchase feminine hygiene products

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney teamed up with Rep. Grace Meng to write a letter to Speaker Paul D. Ryan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The tampon controversy in the House has been escalated to the Speaker’s office.

Rep. Grace Meng teamed up with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who raised the issue last week when he claimed he was asked to pay back money he used to buy tampons for his office, to write a letter to Speaker Paul D. Ryan asking for offices to be able to be reimbursed for feminine hygiene products.

“We implore you… [to] make feminine hygiene products available to those who need them,” the letter reads. “It is a simple change that can bring sanitation and relief to thousands of Congressional employees, visitors, and Members of Congress alike.”

[Sean Patrick Maloney Says Tampon Buy Denied by House Panel]

They also asked Ryan to provide free feminine hygiene products in all bathrooms that are under the jurisdiction of the House, as opposed to members’ offices.

“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,” Maloney said in a news release.

But a House Administration spokeswoman continued to push back on the Democrats’ assertions. 

“The Committee did not send Rep. Maloney a rejection letter for his purchase of feminine hygiene products. To claim so is false. The Committee did respond to his complaint letter he sent last week with the attached letter,” the spokeswoman said. 

Last week Maloney went public with a letter he said he received from the House Administration Committee denying him using his Members’ Representational Allowance funds to purchase tampons for his office.

“Feminine hygiene products are a basic and essential need for women,” Meng said in the release. “All women deserve access to them and that includes women who visit and work on Capitol Hill.”

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