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The Senate will debate the motion to proceed on the Paycheck Fairness Act Monday afternoon. Of course, the motion to proceed is expected to fail on Tuesday, so for all intents and purposes this is the debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Once it's over, Mitt Romney can heave a sigh of relief that he's managed to avoid going on the record about yet another important issue.

Republicans are attempting to use Democrats' past claims on the importance of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act against the Paycheck Fairness Act effort:

Republicans last week cited several quotes from President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) saying that the Ledbetter law equalized pay for women in America, implying that the new Paycheck Fairness Act is simply a vehicle to score political points against Republicans.
In reality, of course, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was an important step forward, but only a very partial one the importance of which has at times been oversold by Democratic leaders. From the moment it passed, though, many women's groups, labor groups, and other Democratic officials were pushing for it to be followed by the more complete fix of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Since Democrats held a Senate vote on that bill in late 2010, Republican efforts to paint this week's vote as some kind of newfound support for Paycheck Fairness based only in politics and not at all in policy are seriously undercut by facts.

As Bryce Covert argues, the Paycheck Fairness Act is both good politics and good policy. As policy:

The gender wage gap has barely budged in recent decades, and the bill aims to help reduce it by ensuring that employees are allowed to talk to each other about their wages. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has found that nearly half of all workers are either forbidden or strongly discouraged from sharing that information, yet “pay secrecy makes it difficult for women and men to find out whether they are paid fairly, and undermines attempts to reduce the gender wage gap.”
Politically, Covert argues, passing Paycheck Fairness could not only mobilize women, and especially unmarried women, to vote, and vote for the party that fought for pay equity, it could, in the long term, increase women's power in the political process by giving them more money to contribute to candidates—an unfortunately key means of gaining political clout in our system.

All of these reasons, policy and political, to support the Paycheck Fairness Act, though, are seen by Republican politicians as reasons to oppose it fiercely. It's a convergence of their wars on women and workers, aiming to give women more power (opposed by Republicans) in the workplace (opposed again by Republicans).

The effort to move toward pay equity happens now. Tell your senators to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What about the House? (0+ / 0-)

    Has anyone done an informal whip count of the House?  Are there GOP votes to be peeled off, or is this doomed in this Congress?  Not sure that I see too many Republicans voting for this within 6 months of a Presidential election...

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:50:29 AM PDT

    •  Since the House probably won't take it up, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auron renouille, shoeless

      I don't think anyone has done a formal count.

      More Democrats? Better Democrats? Fewer Tea Partiers? Get all three with Trevor Thomas (MI-03)!

      by ScottyUrb on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:58:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They definitely won't take it up. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScottyUrb

        Meh.  I'm not sure how I feel about being asked to support these "fake" things, not when I imagine that there are actual winnable causes somewhere to support.  Does it "keep pressure up" on them?  Feels more like misdirected energy to me.

        It's a great law, I'm sure, but I agree that no amount of pressure will get Boehner to bring it to the floor this year, not unless it suddenly became part of the RNC platform (to the sounds of fat ladies singing while pigs flew across the background).

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:07:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It does help to get Republicans on record as (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shoeless, Fury

          opposing this. Republicans did the same several years ago with a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality - they knew it wasn't going to get the 2/3 majority, but they did it to put Democrats on the record as opposing something that was, at the time, popular.

          More Democrats? Better Democrats? Fewer Tea Partiers? Get all three with Trevor Thomas (MI-03)!

          by ScottyUrb on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:14:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I don't doubt that, but what I don't get - (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ScottyUrb

            Why focus activists' on whipping Democratic votes in the Senate on something designed largely as TV commercial fodder?

            "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

            by auron renouille on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:20:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  House Republicans won't touch this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScottyUrb, OleHippieChick

        with a ten foot pole, lest all those Republican women discover that they are in the wrong party.

        Ann Richards on how to be a good Republican: You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.

        by shoeless on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:17:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Do they have fair pay in the Senate? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, OleHippieChick

    If so, I bet the Republican Senators hate that.

    Ann Richards on how to be a good Republican: You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.

    by shoeless on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:00:22 AM PDT

  •  Have Repub leaders given up on the women's vote? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, DamselleFly, shoeless, Fury

    I mean, how else to explain this?

    More Democrats? Better Democrats? Fewer Tea Partiers? Get all three with Trevor Thomas (MI-03)!

    by ScottyUrb on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:01:37 AM PDT

    •  I don't understand their opposition either. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScottyUrb, shoeless, Fury

      If the Republicans would all get behind this and vote for it, especially in the Republican-controlled house, they could take credit for it too. It would no longer be an issue Democrats could use.

      Maybe they are just doing the bidding of their corporate overlords who like being able to pay women less.

      •  My God, they're stupid. Here's what I don't get (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OleHippieChick, cocinero, ScottyUrb

        about this whole thing:  doesn't paycheck fairness help men too?  If you're competing for a job...in a weak economy especially...on an equal playing field (versus against a person who could be paid up to 25% less than you) doesn't that help men too?  They (middle class republicans) just keep digging their own graves.

        Got Social Security? Thank a Democrat!

        by Fury on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:24:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Republicans are counting on two things. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScottyUrb

      1. Republican women will continue to vote as ordered by their husbands.

      2. Independent women aren't paying attention.

      It is a formula that is tried and tested for many years.

      Ann Richards on how to be a good Republican: You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.

      by shoeless on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:22:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd love to see a breakdown of this, but I suspect (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScottyUrb

      that there is a statistically significant difference in the voting patterns of working women as compared to stay-at-home mothers and women who have chosen to be out of the workforce for long periods.  The latter may see these sorts of fights as unwanted reminders of the '60s and '70s.  There's certainly a lot of room for rationalization among people who haven't seen or needed a paycheck since the Reagan administration.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:38:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What else is included in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, OleHippieChick

    Paycheck Fairness Act besides granting the ability to compare salaries with co-workers?  

    Unfortunately it never does any good to call or write either Texas senator, even though one of them (for the time being) is a woman.  She doesn't give a damn about anything but protecting big energy companies.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:14:55 AM PDT

  •  I am aggravated beyond belief over unfair pay nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick

    I fall down, I get up, I keep dancing.

    by DamselleFly on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:15:41 AM PDT

  •  Repigs, both male and female, hate women. (0+ / 0-)

    Mitt, you're so full of shitt.

    by OleHippieChick on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:38:41 AM PDT

  •  Think Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    Do you think ensuring women receive equal pay as men might lower the abortion rate?

    Do you think equal pay for women might lower the need for working women and families to request food stamps?

    Do you think equal pay for women might help more working poor enter into the middle class?

    Do you think ensuring women receive equal pay might increase their ability to further their education as well as the education of their children?

    Do you think equal pay for women might allow more people to purchase a home of their own?

    Do you think ensuring women receive equal pay might strengthen the middle class and allow more people to achieve their American Dream?

  •  I wish this was a "same job/same pay" bill (0+ / 0-)

    Women are employed in just so many jobs that men aren't.  So, this bill should make the point explicitly that it's about "same job/same pay".  

    From small businesses to corporate structures to government, women are employed in jobs that are majority-women.  In that case, many of them are lower-paying positions.  So, we must be careful how we "compare" women vs. men with regard to pay.  

    Sure....I know the banter that goes around about what I've said here, but, it holds true nonetheless.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 11:24:41 AM PDT

  •  Republicans are Horrid (0+ / 0-)

    As an intersted observer, I honestly can not figure out who the 45% of voters are that pretend to favor Mitt (aka Milton) in the polls. This would mean close to 4 out of 10 Americans favor deceit....?

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