Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

June-05-12

BREAKING: Paycheck Fairness Act Filibustered by Senate Republicans

The Paycheck Fairness Act failed to get the 60 votes necessary to break the Republican filibuster in the US Senate today and was not brought to the floor, with all Republicans voting against the bill and all Democrats voting for the bill in a straight party-line vote. (Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) must vote procedurally with the prevailing side so he has the option of bringing the bill back to the Senate floor this session.) The Paycheck Fairness Act sought to protect women's right to equal pay by closing loophole of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Under the proposed law, employers would have been required to demonstrate that salary differences between men and women who do the same work are not due to gender. Employers would have also been barred from retaliating against employees who share paycheck information with coworkers.

Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal commented, "The Republican war on women rages on. First they attacked birth control, then the Violence Against Women Act, and now they're attacking pay equity. With the straight party-line vote, the GOP caved to business interests and denied women the equality they deserve."

Before the vote, Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) held a press conference with Lilly Ledbetter urging its passage. After the bill failed, Senator Mikulski, the chief sponsor of the bill, called it a sad day for the senate, but a sadder day for women.

Republicans have falsely argued that the law does not strengthen equal pay protections and just adds to the government bureaucracy. Republicans offered an alternative bill with fewer protections, the misnamed End Pay Discrimination through Information Act. The GOP has argued that it hurts business interests and the Chamber of Commerce released a statement in opposition to the bill. "It was especially disappointing that Senators Snowe, Collins, and Scott Brown did not listen to the women of their states and voted instead with so-called business interests that want loopholes to prevail and pay equity laws to be weak," said Smeal.

The Paycheck Fairness Act was brought as a cloture vote to break the filibuster requiring 60 votes in order to move the bill to the floor for consideration. Earlier, the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives voted 233- 180 in nearly a straight party-line vote against bringing the Paycheck Fairness Act to the floor. The bill was last brought to a Senate vote two years ago, but it received only 58 of the 60 necessary votes.

Media Resources: The Hill 6/5/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/5/12


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/31/2015 Mexican Court Sentences Five Men to 697 Years on Prison for Femicide - Last week, a Mexican court made a unanimous decision to convict five men of eleven femicides, or gender-driven killing. . . .
 
7/30/2015 Boy Scouts of America Lifts Ban on Gay Troop Leaders - The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have voted to repeal its national ban on gay and lesbian adult staff and volunteers this week. "The resolution will allow chartered organizations to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation," a Boy Scouts of America statement read. Just 15 years ago, the US Supreme Court ruled that the BSA had the right to discriminate against gay volunteers and staff in a 5-4 decision. . . .
 
7/29/2015 An Extreme Abortion Ban is Now Law in Wisconsin - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed an extreme 20 week abortion ban into law last week. The law, which bans abortions performed past 20 weeks, has no exception whatsoever for rape, incest, or fatal fetal anomalies. . . .