In a blatant disregard for women’s rights, Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked legislation that would end pay inequality for women. Senators voted 49-50 to try to advance the legislation, falling short of the 60 votes needed to overcome the procedural hurdle, according to The Hill.
All Republicans voted against the bill, marking their second successful use of the filibuster under President Biden, the report noted.
While Democrats control the chamber because Vice President Harris is able to break ties, they still would have needed at least 10 GOP votes in order to advance the bill on Tuesday evening.
The legislation would limit employers to “bona fide” factors such as education, training and experience when justifying pay differentials in wage discrimination claims.
As noted by The Hill, “Employers would also be prohibited from retaliating against workers who compare salaries and barred from inquiring about prospective employees’ salary histories during the hiring process.”
The bill would further direct the Labor Department to establish a grant program providing negotiation skills and training for girls and women.
“Right now an employer can brush aside reports of pay discrimination by saying things like ‘Well, he was a better negotiator’ or ‘They work in different buildings.’ I mean, what does that have to do with it?” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), according to The Hill.
Addressing the paycheck legislation, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argued that trying to bring “paycheck fairness” was a sign that the “era of bipartisanship is over.”
“I think that’s coming to a screeching halt this month because the majority leader is starting with the so-called Paycheck Fairness bill late this afternoon, which is essentially a giveaway to the plaintiffs lawyers in America, a series of totally partisan bills designed to get no Republican support,” McConnell told reporters.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that “It’s ridiculous that Senate Republicans will not even allow the Senate to debate a straightforward piece of legislation to help provide equal pay for working women in America, just like it was ridiculous for the Republican minority to filibuster bipartisan legislation to create an independent commission on Jan. 6.”
“Americans expect their government to make progress to prove our country, but Senate Republicans once again seem to be choosing obstruction,” he added.