Senate Republicans Oppose Fair Pay for Women

In an effort to appease business interests, the Senate Republicans unanimously opposed passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have narrowed the pay gap between men and women. The bill fell short by two votes, 58-41.

Right now there is an oft-repeated 77-cent-to-a-dollar pay gap between men and women. The gap between mothers and non-mothers is even greater, which is why we are very disappointed at Here is an e-mail recently sent by our co-founder Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner:

The Paycheck Fairness Act was (and is) sorely needed to update the Equal Pay Act, which passed in 1963, and doesn’t reflect modern realities of a labor force that’s 50% women. Right now women make 77 cents to every dollar made by men and the pay gap has been narrowing by less than half a percent a year. [1] That means at this rate the pay gap won’t close until 2057. Forty-seven years from now! With more and more families depending on moms’ paychecks, American families simply cannot afford to wait that long.

Sign on to our short letter to all the Senators who voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act asking them to explain to their daughters, and ours, why in 2010 women don’t deserve the right to equal pay for equal work.

I did a quick google search on the Paycheck Fairness Act, and was disappointed that hardly any news organizations covered it. But there was plenty of gloating by the business community. Here is what one HR newsletter had to say:

Employers can breathe a little easier. The Paycheck Fairness Act — which one labor attorney said had “the potential to cripple companies, particularly smaller businesses” — has been scuttled.

My reaction? Eff you. This is about protecting BIG BUSINESSES who donated handsomely to the coffers of the Republican Party to kill this bill. It is unconscionable that in the 21st century, paying women for the same jobs that men do still sparks raucous debate and is somehow responsible for the crippling of our economy. As the mother of a daughter, I am saddened that gender bias in the workplace still exists. Otherwise, why would the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its ilk spend so much time and money to fight it?

What will it take for us to achieve equal pay for equal work in this country?

In related news, private health insurance companies gave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce $86.2 million to fight healthcare reform legislation, namely a government-run public option to compete with them, according to Bloomberg News.


5 thoughts on “Senate Republicans Oppose Fair Pay for Women

  1. I’m not surprised by any of this, are you?

    It’s hard to believe that we are about to enter 2011 and we are still talking about equal pay for women. That’s an issue that should have been put to bed decades ago.

    I was fortunate enough to work in a field–law–where I earned as much (or more) as my male colleagues. The female attorneys in our firm were rewarded for their talents and ability and were compensated accordingly. Not so with a lot of other professions. A sad commentary on the work still to be done for us.

    Concerning the health insurance, of course it’s a GOP payback to big business for all their contributions.

  2. Ughh,

    between this news and MinistryOfTruth’s diary over at DailyKos (here) this all makes me feel a little helpless.

    Bleah. Human brains are so feeble. With power and money, most turn all jelly-like and unable to remember any other condition, sort of like not being able to imagine being hungry after a large, Thanksgiving feast.

    The upper crust sucks…..except maybe those thoughtful millionaires who don’t want their tax cuts extended, and Alan Grayson….he’s cool. Did you see his speech yesterday? That was a good speech. Okay, I feel better now.

    • You can’t make generalisations about the

      “upper crust.” My old law firm dealt with ultra high net worth  individuals. When I gave up trial work and moved to the transactional side, I dealt with millionaire and billionaire real estate developers. Most were very philanthropically minded, the “old money” more so than the nouveau rich. The old money people were very understated, not ostentatious and gave millions to good causes. The new money people, like the dot-com’ers, were among the most conceited, obnoxious and self-entitled people, yet most came from nothing and didn’t hit it big until middle age.

  3. How will this cripple business?

    The only businesses this would or should cripple would have to be pretty shady in regards to pay practice to begin with.  I call BS on that justification for voting against it.

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