Today, a minority of United States Senators, all of them Republican, killed legislation meant to fight gender discrimination in the workplace. The Paycheck Fairness Act, supported by 9 out of every 10 Americans, and by the overwhelming majority of Republican voters, would have held corporations responsible for paying women less than men for the same work, allowed more time for women to file claims for pay discrimination, and stopped corporations from retaliating against their employees. Every single Senate Republican voted against the bill. Even though more than half the Senate supported the legislation, archane Senate rules permitted the Republican minority to block it from passage.
Paycheck fairness and equal treatment for women in the workplace strike us as self-evidently good things, and why the overwhelmingly white male Senate Republican caucus would vote against them is mystifying. In our view, votes like this one show how profoundly out of touch the Republican Party Leadership has become. Out of touch with the rights of women, out of touch with public sentiment, and out of touch with their own constituents. Perhaps the flood of corporate money into national politics is to blame. None of us can know for certain. But there is at least one thing of which all women who support equal pay for equal work can be perfectly clear, the Senate Republicans just spit in your direction.
From our offices here in Pittsburgh, however, we send special kudos to Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey. Senator Casey joined every other Democrat and Independent in the Senate and cast a vote for women and pay equality.