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Senate floor with C-SPAN chyron
As expected, Senate Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act from moving forward Wednesday morning. The vote was 54 in favor, 43 against, before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid changed his vote to "no" for procedural reasons.  Equal pay is a popular issue, with a strong majority of voters wanting to see new laws to make it a reality, so you might think Republicans would give some thought to backing a bill doing that. But no. Republicans aren't even bothering to pretend that they'd love to support the Paycheck Fairness Act if Democrats would only let them weaken it; they're attacking Democrats for bothering to advance this very popular bill:
The GOP is hoping that voters know better than to fall for what Republicans call Democratic “show votes” in the pitched seven-month battle for control of the Senate. Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said he’s even privately chided Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — who’s designed much of the Democrats’ election-year Fair Shot for Everyone agenda — over how transparently political Democrats have become in the past few weeks in laying out a Senate floor strategy heavy on legislation that has little chance of becoming law.

“This whole thing is really backfiring on the administration and on our Democratic friends because people are seeing it for what it is: It’s a transparent political campaign. It isn’t actually about solving problems, because the law of the land is already paycheck equity,” Cornyn said in an interview.

Talk about transparent political campaigns: The Republican strategy here is to insist that Democrats are only pushing the Paycheck Fairness Act (and minimum wage, and other bills) for political reasons, hoping that if they say it enough times, voters will forget that one party's allegedly transparent political action is to try to pass popular legislation that will help women and low-wage workers while the other party's idea of good politics is to stand in the way screaming about politics. If trying to pass legislation you believe in is some kind of cheap political ploy, what would responsible governance look like? Not to mention, it's kind of rich to watch members of the party that held dozens of Obamacare repeal votes complain about "show votes."

These are the parties: Democrats trying to pass fair pay, unemployment aid, and a higher minimum wage; Republicans trying to repeal Obamacare and force approval of Keystone XL while blocking everything else.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:45 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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