Political Headlines June 5, 2012: Senate Republicans Vote 52 to 47 to Block Pay Equity Bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act




J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press
Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland with Lilly M. Ledbetter, for whom an equal pay law is named.

Senate Republicans Again Block Pay Equity Bill

Source: NYT, 6-5-12

Republicans united against a bill that would make it easier for women to sue employers for pay discrimination….

A bill that would pave the way for women to more easily litigate their way to pay equality failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday as Republicans united against the measure for the second time in two years.

As Lilly M. Ledbetter, the woman whose name was attached to a 2009 law that ensured equal pay for women, watched from the gallery, the Senate voted, 52 to 47, to open debate on the legislation, 8 votes short of the 60 required….READ MORE

Congress Says No to Equal Pay

Source: WH, 6-5-12

Equal pay for women is about more than just fairness. Women are breadwinners in more than 50 percent of American households, and if they’re making less than men do for the same work, families have to get with less money for childcare and tuition and rent, and small businesses have fewer customers. Everybody suffers.

President Obama supports passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a comprehensive and commonsense bill that updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work. Following Congress’s failure to act on this bill today, the President released the following statement:

This afternoon, Senate Republicans refused to allow an up-or-down vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a commonsense piece of legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act and give women more tools to fight pay discrimination. It is incredibly disappointing that in this make-or-break moment for the middle class, Senate Republicans put partisan politics ahead of American women and their families. Despite the progress that has been made over the years, women continue to earn substantially less than men for performing the same work. My Administration will continue to fight for a woman’s right for equal pay for equal work, as we rebuild our economy so that hard work pays off, responsibility is rewarded, and every American gets a fair shot to succeed.

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