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Senate Republicans: No Pay Equity for Women

In procedural vote, Paycheck Fairness Act again fails to move forward

Senate Democrats speaking after Republicans' effort in April to thwart passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. (Photo: Senate Democrats)

For the second time this year, Senate Republican have blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act from moving forward.

In a procedural vote on Monday, the Act, which would help women achieve protections from gender-based wage discrimination, failed to earn the 60 votes needed.

Joining all the Republicans in issuing a "no" vote was Senator Angus King (I-Maine), who also helped block the measure in April.

Though enough Republicans voted last week to allow the measure to proceed to debate, Steve Benen writes at the MaddowBlog that it was "not because they supported it, but because they were trying to waste time, eating up the clock on the Senate’s limited pre-election schedule. If the GOP had killed the measure quickly, it would have meant moving on to something else Republicans don’t like, so they dragged out the fight on the Paycheck Fairness Act, simply because they could."

"The Senate’s continued failure to give the Paycheck Fairness Act an up or down vote lets down millions of American workers," stated Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU senior legislative counsel and co-chair of the National Paycheck Fairness Act Coalition.

"Pay equity is not a partisan issue, and paying women what they have already rightfully earned is good for them, for the nation’s economy, and for American businesses’ bottom lines," she said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized the outcome as well, saying, "In 2014, more than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, it is simply unacceptable that American women take home on average 77 cents for every dollar their male colleagues earn for doing the same work. But Republicans do not see this as a problem."

“Not only is the wage gap in our country unfair, but it also hurts our economy. Pay inequality will cost the average working woman $464,320 over her lifetime," Reid stated.

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