Senate Democrats

How It’s Playing: GOP Filibusters Paycheck Fairness Act

Associated Press – Senate GOP Blocks Democrats’ Equal Pay Bill – Senate Republicans have blocked a bill that calls for equal pay in the workplace. As expected, the vote Tuesday fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation. President Obama and his Democratic allies argue that the legislation is needed to protect people who try to find out how their pay stacks up against their coworkers. Republicans said it puts too much burden on employers. The vote was the latest effort by Democrats to protect their lead among critical women voters this presidential and congressional election year. Republicans are focusing on the No. 1 concern for all voters: jobs and the economy. LINK

Bloomberg – Senate Republicans Block Plan to Reduce Gender Gap in Pay – Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked Democrats’ latest proposal intended to attract women voters this election year, a measure to bolster workers’ ability to win pay-discrimination lawsuits. The 52-47 vote today in Washington, with 60 required, didn’t advance the measure, which also would prohibit retaliation against workers who share wage information. All Republicans opposed the bill. “For millions of American women, no amount of talent or dedication will bring pay equality with male co-workers,” Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor today. “In the minds of many employers, they simply aren’t equal.” LINK

Reuters – Senate Republicans Block Equal Pay Measure – U.S. Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked an election-year bid by Democrats for legislation they said would discourage employers from paying women less than they pay men for the same job. In a party-line vote, Democrats, who control the Senate, failed to muster the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation backed by President Barack Obama. The issue is part of an election-year effort by Obama and congressional Democrats to woo women voters ahead of November 6 elections. LINK

NY Times – Senate Republicans Again Block Pay Equity Bill – A bill that would pave the way for women to more easily litigate their way to pay equality failed  to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday, as Republicans united against the measure for  the second time in two years. As Lilly M. Ledbetter, the woman whose name was attached to prior legislation to ensure equal pay for women, watched from the gallery, the  Senate voted 52-to-47 to open debate on the legislation, eight votes short of the 60 required. “It’s a very sad day here in the United States Senate,” Senator Barbara Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, said after the vote. LINK

TPM – Republicans Block Dems’ Equal Pay For Women Bill – The Senate went back to the future on Tuesday. Republicans filibustered Democratic-led legislation aimed at closing the pay gap between women and men. The measure would beef up protections for women who sue employers for gender-based wage discrimination or discuss pay with their co-workers — and the GOP blocked it just as it did in late 2010 when the Paycheck Fairness Act last came up. The cloture motion went down 52-47 — short of the 60 votes needed to proceed. LINK

Washington Times – Republicans Filibuster Equal-Pay Bill – Republicans on Tuesday filibustered Democrats’ latest election-year effort to stoke the war on women on Tuesday, dooming a bill that would have opened up far more avenues for women to sue businesses when they suspect pay discrimination. Democrats fell more than a half-dozen votes shy of the 60 needed to head off the filibuster, but said said they’ll force the GOP to vote on it again in the walk-up to this year’s election. “We’re not going to let this bill die,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Maryland Democrat, who challenged women push the fight. “Put on your lipstick, square your shoulders and let’s fight for this new American revolution where women are paid for equal pay for equal work.” LINK