“We hear that women are not returning to the market right now for a number of reasons, including the fact that they simply do not get enough money to pay for childcare and other challenges they have,” said HELP Senate President Patty Murray (D- Wash.), A sponsor of the Senate bill, told POLITICO. “So if we want our economy to grow, we have to pay women what they’re worth.”
The bill, voted against 49-50, would require 60 votes in advance.
Most MPs from the GP oppose the measure, which they say is unnecessary and burdensome for employers. They point out that discrimination on the basis of pay is already illegal.
They are also worried that the language could open the business to frivolous lawsuits.
The bill will “use the pay justice cause to unexpectedly send lawyers to cases,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor on Monday.
Women’s annual incomes were 82% of their male counterparts in 2020, according to the Ministry of Labor. This gap widens dramatically with race: Blacks and Latin American women with a bachelor’s degree earn 65 percent of what white men with the same level of education do.
The pandemic has exacerbated disparities, with women disproportionately affected by redundancies, school closures and a lack of childcare. As early as February, the participation rate of women in the labor force was 56 percent, the same as in 1987, according to the Department of Labor.
“The economic crisis we are emerging from due to the pandemic has really hurt working women, especially people of color, and [the Paycheck Fairness Act] it will really help women today as they try to recover from this pandemic, get back into the workforce and make sure they get paid equally, ”Murray said.
“This should not be a party bill,” she added. “Any senator who agrees that women deserve to be paid fairly for the work they do and who wants our families in our economy to fully recover from the economic damage of this pandemic, [have voted] for this legislation. “
The house passed legislation 217-210 in April. Only one Republican, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Voted in favor.
The bill has no GOP sponsors in the Senate.
“At this point in the game, that’s not it,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (RS.D.). “In my country, we are a country with the right to work. In the next few years, we will have many opportunities to find consensus on different ideas. If you can’t find a consensus on these issues, they won’t go anywhere. Everyone knows that. “
Democrats are taking advantage of the failed vote to ignite their efforts to remove the filibuster.
“The Senate Republicans’ decision to block the Wage Justice Act is an insult to the millions of women who do the same work as their men for lower pay,” said Education and Labor Cabinet Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.). “This is further evidence that the US Senate is no longer a functioning legislature.”
“When something as simple as ‘equal pay for equal work’ cannot break through the Republican hurdle, it is clear that something needs to change,” he added.
This is not the first unsuccessful candidacy of the Democrats to pass the legislation through the upper house. After the House first passed the bill in 2019, Murray tried to bring it to the Senate in April, asking for unanimous consent. But former Senate HELP chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) Objected to the request, withholding the bill.
“The first vote I took in the Senate was on wage justice, and it’s been a long time since those inequalities have been overcome,” moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) said Tuesday. “As the original co-sponsor of this legislation, I am disappointed that the Senate has failed to pass the much-needed law, but I will continue to fight for equal pay in the United States.”