Yesterday saw the Republicans block yet another bill that would have assisted the American public.
Sponsored by Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, the Paycheck Fairness Act included the following:
- Strengthen the Equal Pay Act
- Adjust the statute of limitations on equal pay lawsuits
- Forbid companies from retaliating against workers who inquire about pay disparities
- Require employers to prove pay differences were not based on gender, but job performance
- Create options for female employees to sue for damages in cases of paycheck discrimination
The bill needed 60 votes to pass; it received 52. There was not a single vote of support from the Republican Party.
It is an undisputed fact there is a gender gap in pay with the United States. The 2009 U.S. Census Bureau report revealed the full-time, year-round rate of pay for women is 23% less than men.
I LOVE the excuses in response to the voting against this bill by the GOP. Romney spokeswoman, Amanda Henneberg, said: “In order to have pay equity, women need to have jobs, and they have been getting crushed in this anemic Obama economy.”
In regards to pay equality and how it affects the millions of women currently employed, the Romney campaign has taken a unique, “Fuck ‘em” approach.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had this to say: “We have a jobless problem. We have a debt problem. We have a deficit problem. We got a lot of problems. Not enough lawsuits is not one of them.”
In our last entry, Return of The Living Brain Dead, I wrote: I think Washington already has enough Republicans who put corporations above people. McConnell re-affirmed that damn quick.
You would think the fact that women are underpaid during tough economic times would be more of a reason to defend their right to fair pay.
There is not a single valid excuse why this should not have passed. Well, other than greed and a misogynistic view of women in the workforce.
McConnell displayed no sympathy or understanding of the frustrations women feel across the nation on this issue. Then again, considering the laundry list of legislation against female citizens the modern-day Republican Party has supported recently, this should not come as a surprise.
In 1963, president John F. Kennedy signed in the Equal Pay Act. Kennedy said at the time of the signing:
“While much remains to be done to achieve full equality of economic opportunity–for the average woman worker earns only 60 percent of the average wage for men–this legislation is a significant step forward.”
Forty-nine years later, we are still struggling to “achieve full equality.”