Paycheck Fairness Act Going to Fail
Democrats are set to bring the Paycheck Fairness Act to the Senate floor on Tuesday. The bill was made to close the wage gap between men and women. According to observers, the measure will fail because its core is not a legislative vehicle. It is more of a political one that was made to embarrass the Republicans and help President Obama’s re-election bid.
It is a strategy used in the past where Congress pushes for legislation that’s aimed at getting political results, especially during an election year. For the Republicans, their strategy is to vote for the repeal of some parts of Obama’s 2010 health care reform bill as well as votes to focus on the increasing gas prices.
In the Senate, the Democrats want to continue their momentum on women’s issues that can help them maintain a slight majority after the election this fall. It looks like the Democratic strategy is working. According to the latest poll made by CNN-ORC, 50 percent of female voters said they will vote for Democratic congressional candidates. It has an 8 point lead over the Republicans.
The Paycheck Fairness Act will disallow companies from retaliating against workers who asked about pay disparities and allow employees to file a lawsuit for punitive damages if they find evidence of differences in compensation between men and women. The Democrats in the Senate said that the measure would foster reforms enacted with the 2009 Lily Ledbetter pay law that expanded the statute of limitations for filing equal pay suits.
During an interview, President Obama said that women are breadwinners for some families. If they bring home less than men do for the same work, then families would have to make do with less money for tuition, child care, and rent.
Senator Barbara A. Mikulski is the main sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act. She cited Census Bureau statistics that showed women earn around 77 cents for each dollar. This is up from the 63 cents to the dollar in 1963.