Senate Republicans Block Paycheck Fairness – Again

Bill doesn’t even get chance to be debated

Saying ‘No’ is something the Republican minority in the United States Senate does well (and often). Taking action on behalf of workers? Not at all.

From the AFL-CIO Blog:

Just three days into the lame-duck Congress, Republicans returned to their obstructionist ways. Today, all the Senate Republicans voted in lockstep to prevent the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182) from coming to the floor. The final vote, 58-41, fell two votes short of the 60 needed to break the Republican-imposed logjam. The House passed the bill last year. If enacted, it would help close the wage gap between women and men. Check out the roll call vote here.

Even though there are probably a majority of U.S. Senators who would vote to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, it will never get a vote. That a minority of Senators can block this important legislation from even being debated hurts working American women and their families, says President Obama:

As we emerge from one of the worst recessions in history, this bill would ensure that American women and their families aren’t bringing home smaller paychecks because of discrimination.  It also helps businesses that pay equal wages as they struggle to compete against discriminatory competition…. Despite today’s vote, my administration will continue to fight for a woman’s right to equal pay for equal work.

The Paycheck Fairness Act was bitterly opposed by the ‘U.S.’ Chamber of Commerce, as was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Fortunately, the latter bill was the first piece of legislation signed by the new President. Unfortunately, unless Senate Republicans have a change of heart, the former bill, even though it already passed the House of Representatives, won’t become law anytime soon.