For the 4th time, Senate Republicans vote against equal pay protections for women

3079998.largeSurprise! For the 4th time since 2012, Senate Republicans have blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The GOP, of course, claims that it’s not that they’re against equal pay for women. It’s just that–well, to be honest, it’s not entirely clear how they finish the end of that sentence. Some argue that the Paycheck Fairness Act–which would prevent pay secrecy and increase penalties for discrimination–just isn’t the best way to ensure pay equity, but remain decidedly vague on what, precisely, they would propose instead. Mostly, though, they take the route of denying that the gender pay gap is really a problem at all. On this year’s Equal Pay Day, the GOP strategy seemed to be to dismiss the pay gap as “nonsense” and “a bogus issue” and call people who worry about pay inequity liars. (For some real facts, go here.) 

The Senate’s vote yesterday was entirely expected, of course. The GOP says the only reason Democrats brought it up for a vote again, when they know it won’t pass, is for political gain going into the mid-terms. And as Irin Carmon notes, “The only surprise was that they gave Democrats the political fodder of allowing another vote to proceed on the bill — and that the GOP did so in a midterm election year when women voters are one major key to obtaining and retaining control of the Senate and House.” Politico suggests that the GOP’s move was just a cynical attempt “to eat up Senate floor time and disrupt planned votes on raising the minimum wage and responding to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby contraception decision.” Cool, guys, thanks for the reminder that you treat legislation that profoundly affects people’s lives as nothing but political chips! Given that Congressional Republicans seem to have forgotten that they were elected to actually pass legislation, forcing votes for political fodder seems to be the only move Democrats have left to play.

So as the mid-terms come up, let’s all remember that Senate Republicans don’t believe in equal pay protections, a fair minimum wage, or birth control coverage.

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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