GOP blocks 'paycheck fairness' bill in Senate
April 9th, 2014
12:12 PM ET
4 months ago

GOP blocks 'paycheck fairness' bill in Senate

(CNN) - Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a Democratic-backed proposal that aims to even the pay gap between men and women.

GOP members argued there are already laws against pay discrimination and the "paycheck fairness act" would lead to government interference in the workplace.

Republicans tried to offer multiple amendments, but Democrats refused to promise votes.

The measure now stalled in the Senate would have no chance of making it through the Republican-led House regardless.

The pay equity bill is one of a series of pocketbook issues Democrats are promoting ahead of the midterm elections this fall.

President Barack Obama is also promoting the issue this week, having called the income disparity between genders an "embarrassment."

On Tuesday, he highlighted so-called pay secrecy, which is the idea that women who are paid less than male coworkers may not know it because they don't know what other employees make.

Obama signed executive orders prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay and requesting new requirements for contractors to submit summaries of pay data, including a breakdown of sex and race.

Democratic strategists see equal pay as a way to galvanize the base and raise money for midterms that historically see less turnout and excitement than a presidential election year.

By keeping the issue in the news, Democrats hope to benefit in the long term by showcasing GOP presidential hopefuls who oppose equal pay protections.

According to CNN national exit polls, Democrats won the female vote 56%-43% in the 2008 presidential election and by 55%-44% in Obama's 2012 reelection.

But the GOP narrowly edged out the Democrats among women 49%-48% in the 2010 midterms, when Republicans, thanks to a landslide 63-seat pick up, won back the House, and made a major dent in the Democrats' Senate majority.

Many in the GOP see laws like the paycheck fairness measure as an effort to help trial lawyers mount cases. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said it would interfere with the free market.

CNN's Ted Barrett and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress • Senate
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Tom l

    Real TP,
    Simply not true. I have stayed on several occasions that I don't agree with Donna or just saying on almost all social issues. Tell me how I channel "fox".

    April 9, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. Mike Phila

    And the obstructionist war on women continues unabated.

    April 9, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. ja

    I hope their barely block of voters remember, come reelection

    April 9, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "not everyone should be treated as equal...[everyone's different, etc.]"

    Yes, we're all aware that Bill O'Reilly has been spending all sorts of time over the past week or so making that exact argument so you could regurgitate it for him everywhere. It's nothing but misdirection and a semantic shell game of deliberately mischaracterizing the meaning of and what is intended to be achieved in terms of "equality" in this context.

    April 9, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Dave

    How are the current LAWS not enough? Are they truly not adequate, or just not enforced? Is this new bill anything more than a gift to lawyers, while doing little to help anyone (other than the lawyers)?

    April 9, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    OUCH! The GOP really is addicted to shooting itself in the foot. I Love It!

    April 9, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Tom l

    In tired of our elected officials doing everything they can to divide us and I'm tired of intelligent people like the gang buying in to the whole game they play with our lives.

    April 9, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Mary

    First of all, the Democrats run the Senate, so in turn for the bill to be voted down, several Democrat Senators up for re-election must not have thought it was a good bill to run on in 2014 – very similar to the obamacare debacle legislation, in which these same democrat Senators are running far away from as well.

    Second, not everyone should be treated as equal ... ....
    -------------------------------
    Not everyone should be treated as equal. That's a flat out rejection of the pillar principle that founded this country. You cannot get any more un-American as that.

    April 9, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Chris-E...al

    @ MARY you are so right ! And the dems must think there is not any women business owners out there in the real world man what a stratagem ! ha

    April 9, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Dave

    How are the current LAWS not enough? Are they truly not adequate, or just not enforced? Is this new bill anything more than a gift to lawyers, while doing little to help anyone (other than the lawyers)?
    -------------------------
    Let's take the case of Lilly Ledbetter. She sued, but her suit was rejected on the grounds that she waited too long. Suppose that someone works somewhere, and are abused on a daily basis. They are initially unaware of the severity of the abuse, but take action against the *ongoing abuse* just the same.

    Suppose your kid goes to school, and gets beat up every day while the school's staff looks the other way. You try to sue the school, but the judge rejects your suit because you should have filed when the abuse first began. Furthermore, you kid will be subject to additional abuse if you try to inquire about whether or not your is being subjected to daily abuse. Apparently, the GOTP seems to feel that that is how things should ought to be.

    April 9, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. Dave

    "Econ301

    "Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said it would interfere with the free market."

    Isn't the implication here that Rand Paul believes that women and men should not receive equal pay for equal work?"

    Absolutely a false flag argument. There are already LAWS covering this. In MOST industries there is currently little evidence that women with the same level of experience in each industry that are also working the same amount of hours (overtime included) are actually making less. No study shows women entering the workforce out of college are getting paid any less than their male counterparts in the same industries for the same work.

    Men, on average, may get promoted more often, but a LOT of the difference has to do with men seeking promotions more. Some women make the personal conscious decision to NOT seek promotions to specific levels as they want to have more time at home to raise their children. This is good, and by NO MEANS indicates the % of women actually ACTIVELY and aggressively pursuing promotions are getting the less than men.

    Yes, of course in the past this was not the case. This is NOT and SHOULD NOT be about the past. It is about NOW and the future.

    April 9, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Rusty Krus

    Just when you think they can't stoop any lower...

    April 9, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. Dave

    Women need men to think for them.
    They need to stay at home and have babies when we tell them to.

    April 9, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    We have to pass to see what's in it I'm guessing

    April 9, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Ron L

    tim
    "The GOP hate women, minorities, the middle class, the poor, the elderly"

    Tim,
    It's not that they hate them they just feel it's everyone for themselves. Republicans believe If you aren't successful it is your own fault! They are willing to help but they will only offer "crumbs" because they truly believe most of the unfortunate are just lazy. I view them as extremely self centered and selfish, not hateful. It's too bad they weren't always this way. It has been a slow devolution of empathy for their fellow man/woman. EXTREMELY SAD!!

    April 9, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Bill

    Democrats only had 44 votes. Thats not the GOP standing in the way. It's the Democrats not passing it

    April 9, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Name jk. Sfl. THE KOCH BROTHERS GOP STOOGES PARTY NEEDS to be VOTED OUT IN NOVEMBER !!!!

    Only an IDIOT should vote for the IDIOT GOP the GARBAGE and SEWAGE of America KOCH BROTHERS PARTY. Here's a list of GOP accomplishments over the last six years---0.

    April 9, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. sandie shuck

    I live in WA state-there are many union jobs in the trades. How come women leaders like Hillary, Debbie Wassermann Schultz, Sandra Fluke, Nancy Pelosi do not insist that more women be hired as loggers, crabbers, plumbers, miners, masons-all of these pay $60,000 or more a year. I have never yet seen a female logger, miner, or mason on the job in my state-we have high unemployment. There are probably a few but why are we, as women, out there demanding more unions see to it that women are hired.

    April 9, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. rs

    Tom l

    rs,
    You have proven that you really don't care about the issues but just the optics. Your posts confirm that. If there really isn't a pay gap, as Sniffit demonstrated yesterday when he was defending the White House, then what's the problem other than politics and optics? That's all you care about.
    ____________________
    Stop with the delusion: there is a pay gap for women in the American workplace. No one will discuss any points with you if you deny reality, your perception of "optics" aside.

    April 9, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. Tom

    Gopers doing what gopers do best – obstructing any effort to help the most vulnerable citizens.

    April 9, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. Getoverit

    From the article:
    "Republicans tried to offer multiple amendments, but Democrats refused to promise votes".
    ------–
    I guess all of you screeching about the "Republican obstructionists" missed that part.

    April 9, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. rs

    Tom l

    In tired of our elected officials doing everything they can to divide us and I'm tired of intelligent people like the gang buying in to the whole game they play with our lives.
    _______________________
    Yeah! We all ought to rally around paying women less and taking their civil rights for granted because we're Americans! :-)

    April 9, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    Tom l, there are times when you have, especially when you have let your emotions get the better of you. I was off the boards for a while, so if you have done engaged Donna or some of the other mouth breathers, I'm sorry I missed the spectacle. I did have a defense and explanation of libertarians and religion that did not make it on recently, so I'm in agreement with you on occasion, so its more tone that substance, I guess, with the FOX comparison. Anyway, nice to be back.

    April 9, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
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