Published On: Tue, Jun 5th, 2012

U.S. Senate Republicans Block Equal Pay Bill

The GOP today blocked a Democratic bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which called for equal pay in the workplace for men and women.

Even after President Obama continued to advocate for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, the bill that 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, it failed to advance in a senate vote Tuesday.

The vote Tuesday was 52-47, falling short of the 60-vote threshold needed to proceed to debate on the bill.

According to an article in Politico.com, the bill failed to attract any Republican support, with key moderates such as Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe and Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, warning of potential adverse effects on business.

“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,” President Barack Obama said in a statement after the vote Tuesday. “My administration will continue to fight for a women’s right for Equal Pay for Equal Work, as we rebuild our economy so that had work pays off, responsibility is rewarded, and every American gets a fair shot to succeed,” said the President.

According to the Census Bureau, women are still making 77 cents to every dollar that a man earns.

Democrats said in spite of pay discrimination laws already on the books; the Paycheck Fairness Act is needed. According to Politico, female House and Senate lawmakers quickly convened a press conference after the vote to blast the GOP.

“It’s pretty evident that the GOP agenda is focused on rolling back the clock on women,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Every single Republican voted against the bill.

“This is a fight for fairness, this is a fight for equity, so I ask them to put their lipstick on, square their shoulders, suit up, for this is a new American revolution.” said Maryland Democrat Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who sponsored the Paycheck Fairness act, at a press conference after the vote. Sen. Mikulski went on to say “So I say to you today, I’m putting my lipstick back on and I am combat ready”.

In all but 4 of the Department of Labors 105 categories of women employees and men employees, women get paid less than men.

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