Will the GOP regret blocking equal pay for Women?
Will the GOP regret blocking equal pay for women?
Republican senators unanimously shoot down an equal-pay bill, a vote that the GOP might come to rue in November
In defense of the Republicans' vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the equal pay legislation would only reward lawyers for filing discrimination suits. Photo: Benjamin J. Myers/Corbis
SEE ALL 32 PHOTOS
Best Opinion: Talking Points Memo, Wall Street Journal, Forbes
This week, Senate Republicans voted
to block Democratic legislation designed to reduce the persistent pay
gap between genders in the workplace. The bill would boost protections
for women filing gender-discrimination lawsuits, and put the onus on
employers to prove that wage disparities between men and women (who
typically earn just 77 cents
for every dollar a man earns) are not gender-related. Democrats say the
law is needed, but some see the bill as an electoral strategy to
convince voters that Republicans are waging a "War on Women." The GOP
says the bill would only lead to a job-killing flood of litigation
against businesses. Will the GOP regret that stance?
Yes. The GOP just gave Democrats a gift: Democrats see the vote as a "golden opportunity to strengthen their advantage with women voters ahead of the election," says Sahil Kapur at Talking Points Memo.
Republicans did their best to cast the vote as a political stunt, so
they won't "be seen as rooting against the cause of equal pay." But
their unanimous opposition paints the party as a relic of the past,
still struggling with women's issues. Female voters will take notice.
"Republicans block Dems' equal pay for women bill"
No. Voters will see through this election-year ploy: "Three cheers for the Senate filibuster," says The Wall Street Journal in an editorial.
Democrats are playing partisan games with this utterly unnecessary
bill: After all, the U.S. already has plenty of laws prohibiting
gender-pay discrimination. Furthermore, the bill "ought to be called the
'Trial Lawyer Paycheck Act,' since it is a recipe for a class-action
boom" that will hurt business profits and reduce pay across the board.
This type of overreaching legislation "is precisely the reason that
voters elected more Republicans in 2010."
"The trial lawyer paycheck act"
Actually, more gender-discrimination suits are needed:
Republicans argue that the bill would lead to an "unnecessary and
soul-crushing number of lawsuits against employers," but the country
actually needs far more pay-gap suits, says Bryce Covert at Forbes.
Studies "have found no other way to explain at least some of the gap
than discrimination," and yet the number of gender-discrimination cases
are falling. Only last year, the Supreme Court "knocked down a suit
against Walmart, handing down a decision that makes it even harder to
bring these cases." In the "face of a gap that is only getting worse, it
would seem the number of cases could stand to get a boost."
"Republicans are wrong: We need more equal pay litigation, not less"
Read More: http://www.theweek.com
See Votes by State
News & Politics