Breaking: Paycheck Fairness Act Fails to Pass in the Senate


Senate Republicans have succeeded in blocking a measure designed to reduce wage disparities between men and women.

The 58-41 vote to take up the Paycheck Fairness Act fell short of the 60 needed to overcome GOP opposition.

Civil rights groups, labor leaders and the Obama administration all supported the bill, which would make employers prove that any disparities in wages are job-related and not sex-based.

It still baffles me that legislators can actually vote against a bill that actually protects women from pay discrimination, let alone filibuster the thing. Just shameful.

More details to come.

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  • nazza

    I continue to be amazed that it takes far more than a simple majority to pass routine legislation, and that the reconciliation option is so controversial. These days, it takes a landslide to get a super-majority, and those are rare. There won’t be another 2008 for a long time, I predict.

  • Sam Lindsay-Levine

    Unfortunately you should expect Senate Republicans to be filibustering everything, ever, that the Democrats try to pass. That is their whole strategy now – prevent Obama & the Democratic party from achieving anything.

  • Shannon Drury

    I’ve just posted a blog in which I demand fair pay reparations from Snowe, Collins, Bailey Hutchison and Murkowski, who clearly should not be earning the same yearly salary that Henry Reid does.

  • Joy Brondite

    The ultimate goal is wage parity between men and women. That can be accomplished by either raising the wages of women, lowering the wages of men or some combination of both. It may be easier to just convince men to work, say, four days per week and therefore earn less. That would leave more room for women to work and earn more. Also, under that scenario, married men with children would be home more thus freeing up more time for women to work at wage jobs. There are only so many wage dollars in the economy and its fair if everyone has a more equal shot at them. In other words, stop bogarting those wages!

    • Matt

      “We” (men) would do so (at least in part), except employment is more complicated than that. Employers (in order to optimize their bottom lines) and Republicans (because they’re conservatives) generally don’t give a damn about issues like “full employment” and “employment equality.” I don’t even begrudge employers, because it doesn’t make sense for them to shoot themselves in the foot if their competitors push the law to the limit. But simply, when it comes to “professional” workers, they either employed for part time work (so the employers can avoid paying benefits) or for exempt overtime work (if employers are going to provide benefits, they are going to squeeze the employees for as much as they can get instead of hiring more people who need benefits) — such people working ~35 hours a week, receiving benefits, and earning a market-level wage just does not happen very often.

      Unless these rules change, I think it will be hard convince employers to play along with the desired scheme.

    • MKE

      But it’s not just about equal wages at the end of the week, it’s about equal wages for equal work. It’s about acknowledging that women’s contributions are not inherently less valuable than men’s. Reducing the hours of paid labor that men work won’t do anything to that end. And what about families that can’t afford to take a cut in paid working hours?