Republicans Filibustered And Killed A Bill To Pay Women The Same As Men

Republicans don’t want women to be paid as much as men for the same work. That’s why on Tuesday the minority party used its favorite legislative tool, the filibuster, to successfully block passage of the majority party Democrats’ Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill was voted down 49-50. It required 60 votes to advance.

The act is designed to narrow the gender wage gap and would require employers to demonstrate that any difference in pay between a man and a woman performing the same work was due to job performance and not gender.

Sponsored in the Senate by Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the bill also would forbid employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information and from asking about or taking into consideration a worker’s wage history when preparing a job and compensation offer. It also would have created a grant program to train women on salary negotiation and require public education about wage discrimination.

“We’re hearing about how women are not returning to the market right now because of a number of reasons, including that they just aren’t getting paid enough to pay for child care and the other challenges they have,” Murray told Politico. “So if we want our economy to grow, we need to pay women what they’re worth.”

Most Republicans said they opposed the bill because they say there already are laws in place making gender pay discrimination illegal. “I don’t think it’s a good bill,” Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) told Politico. “We have three statutes on the books that don’t allow pay discrepancy today. We need a fourth one?”

Burr’s comment, however, ignores the fact the pay discrimination persists despite those laws. According to the Labor Department, women’s annual earnings were 82 percent of their male counterparts’ in 2020. That gap widens dramatically by race: Black and Latina women holding a bachelor’s degree take home 65 percent of what white men with the same level of education do.The pandemic has only made it worse. Women have been disproportionately impacted by layoffs, school closures and a child care shortage.

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