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Dems Lose Paycheck Fairness Vote, Gain a Campaign Meme

Reid didn't allow equal-pay amendments and Senate GOPs -- along with one independent -- ended up blocking the bill.

by
Bill Straub

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April 9, 2014 - 7:08 pm
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WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans foiled Democratic efforts to consider legislation aimed at assuring that women receive compensation at work equal to their male counterparts — an issue now almost sure to rise during the fall election campaign.

In a 53-44 vote, with 60 votes needed to proceed, GOP lawmakers stood in the way of Democratic plans to debate and consider the Paycheck Fairness Act, a measure that would require employers to pay men and women with similar qualifications the same wages for similar jobs. It would also allow women to file suit for punitive damages in discrimination cases and bar employers from forbidding employees to discuss their salaries among themselves.

Every Republican opposed consideration along with Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who usually sides with Democrats. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, also voted no but did so only for parliamentary reasons that allow him to bring up the bill later.

The vote marked the third time since 2010 that supporters of the bill sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) proved unable to move it through. Democrats entered the vote knowing they didn’t have sufficient backing but pushed ahead hoping the result will further erode Republican support among women voters, a voting bloc that in recent years has been problematic for the GOP.

A recent survey sponsored by the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund and Democracy Corps found that the pay equity issue could play to the benefit of Democrats in the midterm elections. When asked to respond to the statement, “Women succeed with pay equity and equal health insurance,” 65 percent of likely women voters questioned responded favorably. More significantly, 82 percent of unmarried women – a major Democratic bloc – expressed agreement.

Census data indicates women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to the White House. But a Pew Research Center survey drew a slightly different conclusion – women earn 84 percent of what men receive. Younger women are doing even better, drawing salaries equal to 93 percent of men.

The vote came the day after what supporters termed Equal Pay Day – the number of days a woman has to work beyond the end of a year to earn the same amount of money a man earns by the end of the year. President Obama, who supported the measure, added his voice on Tuesday, signing a pair of executive orders prohibiting federal contractors from punishing workers who discuss their compensation with co-workers and requiring employers to submit information that breaks down pay scales along gender and race lines.

Republicans responded by accusing Democrats of hypocrisy, noting that a substantial pay gap exists in the White House – women earn 89 percent of what men earn at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – and within the offices of Democratic senators up for reelection in 2014.

Mikulski noted that the 77-cent pay gap figure represents an 18-cent improvement over what women earned 50 years ago, a modest increase she characterized as “pretty unjust, even un-American.”

“I don’t think we’ve come a long way with an 18-cent improvement over a 50-year period,” Mikulski said. “Give American woman not just a raised but what justice demands. We want to end that discrimination. No discrimination, no loopholes, no veil of secrecy.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) asserted that the effects of pay discrimination are “real and they are long lasting.”

“America’s women are tired of hearing that pay inequality is not real,” Warren said. “We are tired of hearing that somehow it is our fault. We are ready to fight back against pay discrimination.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) argued that the pay gap “holds back entire families — it holds back the entire American economy.”

“Today women make up more than half of America’s population and nearly half the workforce,” Gillibrand said. “Women are out-earning men in college degrees and advanced degrees and a growing share of primary household earners. But to this day men are still out-earning women for the exact same work.”

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Indeed! According to the wording of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, it is already illegal to pay women less for the same work. So, if it's happening, why aren't women individually suing? They'd win; they have an excellent legal basis -- federal law.

As you say, more outrage-stirring...
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know what I'm tired of hearing is this debate. If these were true statistics then why wouldn't businesses have all their employees be women? I mean wouldn't profits be greater? Just sayin
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
The "Equal Pay Act" was enacted 51 years ago, 10 June 1963, signed by JFK.
I sense this "Paycheck Fairness Act" is more outrage-stiring Alinskyism than needed pragmatism.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Like everything else, it depends on how you slice the numbers.

For example, the salaries of every Obama cabinet member is the same ($199,700) - whether they are male or female. So, theoretically the same job, the same pay.

This of course does not count the opportunities for graft, financial coercion, or future insider lobbyist income potential. Looking at what gender is in which cabinet position, I believe the men have a (slight) edge over the women. Although I could be mistaken - by their very nature, those income-earning advantages are hidden very, very deep.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
"further erode Republican support among STUPID women voters, a voting bloc that in recent years has been problematic for the GOP."
I assure you my wife, my daughter and my grand daughters will not fall for this propaganda. They are not stupid.
I demand to be paid what the CEO of my company makes. I demand it NOW. Equal Pay for Equal Work! I work the same 40 hours a week he does! I want the same PAY!

15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think it's impressive that (even) every RINO stood firm on this.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Strange article for PJTV. Reads like it was written for the New York Times or some other disreputable Leftist rag.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
File this under "the law of in-intended consequences"...employers will have no choice but to lower the pay of men who make more than women, so there's no "gender inequality" in pay. Married women will see their household income shrink as hubby's paycheck plummets to meet this bureaucratic "standard". Families will have less money to spend to "fuel the economy", so (like Obamacare) this will hurt EVERYONE!!
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know what I'm tired of hearing is this debate. If these were true statistics then why wouldn't businesses have all their employees be women? I mean wouldn't profits be greater? Just sayin
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why don't you look at the businesses in this study?
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I work for a major business. I assure you the women who work the same position I do make the same money I do. Fact.
However, I have female friends in positions of greater responsibility than I. They make more money than I do. Fact again.
I have female friends in positions of less responsibility than I. They make less than I do. Fact as well.
The position that women are paid less than men for the same work is Not Fact.
End of argument.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Glad you can see that. However, if your business is also geographically dispersed, the numbers get slippery.

I handled the payroll system for a company that had divisions in California, Arizona, and Alabama (of their US locations, that is). My female boss, located where I was, made a very comfortable amount more than I did. On the other hand, one of her other male subordinates, exact same job title as mine, made somewhat MORE than her salary. Why? He was located in Los Angeles.

Visiting him, though, he had a lifestyle only marginally better than mine - which was perfectly explainable, as he had eight more years of service with the company. On the other hand, my boss had a lifestyle considerably better than either one of us.

Equal "pay" is a bad concept in the first place - equal real income (for the same work, same time in service, AND same employer) is the real "equitable" goal - which, of course, no politician will ever acknowledge.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
because according to your worldly view, businesses are evil and greedy, therefore, those evil greedy businesses would do better by laying off all those higher paid men and keeping the lower paid women.
See? He blew your fake world premises to smithereens in a few sentences and you couldn't even keep up.

Second: the study? It was taking all the income for men and all the income for women fro the IRS tables and comparing it. It does NOT compare job to job, position to position. It is bogus.

Third, equal pay is ALREADY law but leftists still think its the 1920's and their heyday.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
The "Equal Pay Act" was enacted 51 years ago, 10 June 1963, signed by JFK.
I sense this "Paycheck Fairness Act" is more outrage-stiring Alinskyism than needed pragmatism.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obamatrots are hoping their followers continue to be as ignorant as they have shown themselves to be.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Indeed! According to the wording of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, it is already illegal to pay women less for the same work. So, if it's happening, why aren't women individually suing? They'd win; they have an excellent legal basis -- federal law.

As you say, more outrage-stirring...
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
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