Senate GOP thwarts bill on gender pay gap
WASHINGTON — Republicans in the Senate on Wednesday blocked a Democrat-supported bill aimed at addressing a gap in pay between male and female workers.
On a 53-44 vote, supporters fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the measure. Republicans called the legislation a political ploy whose purpose was to attract female voters to the Democratic side in the November elections.
Forty-two Republicans and one independent, Angus King of Maine, voted against the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., switched his vote from yes to no to reserve his right to bring up the measure again.
Democrats cast all 53 yes votes.
The action occurred a day after President Obama signed two executive orders to help close what has been a long-standing gender pay gap by requiring federal contractors to disclose more wage data and allow employees to share salary information.
The Senate Democrats' Paycheck Fairness Act would have imposed the same requirement on private employers.
But Republicans dismissed the bill, saying pay discrimination is illegal and that the measure would prompt frivolous lawsuits and discourage companies from hiring women.
“This legislation would double down on job loss — all while lining the pockets of trial lawyers,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Reid rejected the Republicans' criticism, saying: “Simply put, the Paycheck Fairness Act gives American women the fair shot they deserve.”
The bill is the first piece of the Senate Democrats' new legislative agenda, called “A Fair Shot For Everyone,” which is set to be voted on in the coming weeks and months in advance of the November elections.
Other pending measures include legislation to increase the minimum wage, make college more affordable, boost jobs through manufacturing and help small business development.
None of the bills may become law, but Democrats see the votes on them as a chance to rally their liberal base as they seek to retain control of the Senate and minimize anticipated Republican pickups in the House of Representatives on Election Day.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Drink of the Devil’ unites formerly feuding families
- Hillary Clinton’s charter jet costs scrutinized
- Ohio delays all 2015 executions
- Northeast waits for foot (or 2) of snow to drop
- Penn State University eyes changes to sexual misconduct case handling
- Large pipelines proposed to carry gas from shale formations
- Pittsburgh travelers feel effects of Northeast blizzard
- Medicare payments to tie doctor, hospital payments to quality rather than volume of care
- Blizzard-stricken East digs out amid forecast 2nd-guessing
- Judge orders nonprofit tax form release in case against IRS
- Teen girl Hernandez killed by Denver police once cited for resisting arrest