War on Women, Equal Pay Edition

Republicans Block Paycheck Fairness Act

In their latest assault on women, Senate Republicans today unanimously blocked the Senate from even taking up the Paycheck Fairness Act. By contrast, every single Democrat voted in favor of the bill.

The important measure would help give women the tools necessary to address the yawning gap between what men and women earn for doing the same work. Lilly Ledbetter herself noted yesterday that it would be the “hammer for the nail” of the Fair Pay Act that bears her name — the first law that President Obama signed. She added, “it’s also an incentive to employers to do the right thing and treat their people fair and pay the equal wage that is required by law.”

(Check out our explainer for everything you need  know about the Paycheck Fairness Act.)

Not the First Time the GOP Has Blocked Equal Pay Legislation

Sadly, this is not the first time that Republicans have gone on record opposing equal pay legislation:

  • Republicans almost unanimously opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, with just 8 Republicans total between both the House and the Senate supporting it.
  • In 2009, House Republicans overwhelmingly opposed the Paycheck Fairness Act, which nevertheless passed the House on a vote of 256-163.
  • In 2010, the last time the Senate took up the Paycheck Fairness Act, every single Republican voted in favor of a filibuster of the bill, which then narrowly failed despite the support of 58 Democratic senators. The lone Democrat to vote no in 2010, Sen. Ben Nelson (NE), voted in favor of the measure today. Had Senate Republicans not filibustered the bill in 2010, it would already be the law today.

Mitt Romney Refuses to Say If He Supports the Paycheck Fairness Act

Just as Mitt Romney would not say whether he supported the Lilly Ledbetter Act or would have signed it, he has consistently refused to take a position on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Numerous media outlets, including ThinkProgress, the Rachel Maddow Show, the right-wing Washington Times, and the New York Times have pressed the Romney campaign on this issue for months. None have received a straight answer.

Apparently wanting to have it both ways, Romney’s campaign would say only that he supports the concept of equal pay while repeatedly refusing to signal support for the legislation.

Romney’s latest insult to women is perhaps not particularly surprising, given that his top campaign aide recently referred to women’s issues as just “shiny objects” meant to distract voters.

IN ONE SENTENCE: Women’s rights aren’t a “shiny object” or a distraction, they’re issues of basic fairness and economic security that nobody in America — regardless of party — should be opposed to.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed

The Wisconsin GOP’s voter suppression law could prevent tens of thousands of college students from voting in today’s recall election.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals won’t revisit its decision striking down Proposition 8, setting up an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Top right-wing publication says don’t listen to Obama supporter Sarah Jessica Parker because she’s ugly.

Before today’s recall election in Wisconsin, some anti-Walker voters received robocalls telling them not to vote.

Even Karl Rove supports extending clean energy tax credits, something Mitt Romney opposes.

A collection of emails from Mitt Romney’s time of governor shed some light on his evolving views on health care — including a time when he firmly supported the individual mandate.

According to the IRS, more than ten thousand “One-Percenter” households pay zero income taxes.

U.S. officials report that Al Qaeda’s deput leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi, was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan ealier this week.

Top Mitt Romney adviser John Bolton expressed relief that the last round of nuclear talks between Iran and the West yielded no breakthroughs, writing in the Washington Times that “fortunately” the negotiations “produced no substantive agreement.”

***PLEASE NOTE: The Progress Report will be on hiatus for the rest of this week as we attend the Netroots Nation conference in Providence, RI. Don’t worry, we’ll be back Monday!***

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Advocacy Team