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

5/22/2015 Senate Votes to Advance "Fast Tracking" of Dangerous Trade Agreement - The US Senate voted 62 to 38 yesterday to advance "fast track" trade legislation, just one week after Senate Democrats filibustered the controversial bill that would allow President Obama to force Congress to vote up-or-down on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP is a far-reaching trade agreement that has faced staunch opposition from a broad coalition of labor, environmental, women's rights, and human rights groups. . . .
 
5/22/2015 New York Politicians, Advocates, and Activists Have Come Together to Protect Nail Salon Workers - Following a report by the New York Times on the exploitation of nail salon workers almost two weeks ago, New York state and city officials have partnered with advocates and volunteers to bring comprehensive educational programs and labor reforms to the 5,000 licensed salons in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), who ordered emergency measures last week in the wake of the report - including posting workers' rights information in salons in different languages, shutting down unlicensed salons, implementing new safety requirements, and creating an educational campaign aimed at employees and managers - has introduced a legislative package aimed at building upon those reforms and leading the way for long-term protection for nail salon workers. . . .
 
5/20/2015 New York Attorney General Moves to Expand Access to Contraceptives - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman introduced the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act of 2015 last week to enhance the availability of contraception for New Yorkers. The bill codifies the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) in New York state law while strengthening and expanding many of its provisions. . . .