President Donald Trump seemed pleasantly surprised when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez jumped to her feet with other white-garbed female House members and cheered something he said.
The moment came when Trump said women have benefited most from the strong economy. The record number of female House members jumped to their feet and cheered.
Trump said, “You weren’t supposed to do that.”
Then he congratulated the women who hold seats in Congress. And the Democrats jumped up and high-fived each other, chanting “U-S-A!”
It was a rare exchange that crossed the partisan divide just a few days after Trump capitulated and agreed to reopen the government without any money for his border wall. Another budget deadline looms Feb. 15.
Trump also touted the number of women who are in the labor force.
“All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before,” he said.
Of course, there are more women working than ever before. But that’s due to population growth — and not something that Trump can credit to any his policies.
The big question is whether a greater percentage of women is working or searching for a job than at any point in history. And on this count, women have enjoyed better times.
Women’s labor force participation rate right now is 57.5 percent, according to the Labor Department. The rate has ticked up recently, but it was higher in 2012 and peaked in 2000 at roughly 60 percent.