Senate Republicans Block Paycheck Fairness Act For Third Time

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from The Huffington Post,

Senate Republicans blocked a vote on Wednesday to open debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would hold employers more accountable for wage discrimination against women. The Senate voted 53 to 44 to move forward on the bill, falling short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

The bill would prohibit retaliation against employees who share their salary information with each other, which supporters say would eliminate the culture of silence that keeps women in the dark about pay discrimination. It would also require the Department of Labor to collect wage data from employers, broken down by race and gender, and require employers to show that wage differentials between men and women in the same jobs are for a reason other than sex.

All Republicans present and one Independent, Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), voted against proceeding to debate the bill. All Democrats and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) voted in favor.

“At a time when the Obama economy is already hurting women so much, this legislation would double down on job loss, all while lining the pockets of trial lawyers,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said before the vote. “In other words, it’s just another Democratic idea that threatens to hurt the very people that it claims to help.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) criticized McConnell’s caucus for opposing the bill.

“Are they so repulsed by equal pay for hardworking women that they’ll obstruct equal pay for equal work?” he said Wednesday before the vote. “I’m at a loss as to why anyone would decline to debate this important issue.”

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