On the Hill

Senate Republicans Block the Paycheck Fairness Act

On Tuesday, Republicans in the Senate blocked the debate of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill aimed to eliminate pay discrimination against women. 

If passed, the Paycheck Fairness Act would require employers to demonstrate that any pay disparities between men and women are related to the job. It would also give more power to those impacted by pay discrimination in class-action suits. 

Even after almost six decades have passed since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was enacted, women still make an average of 82 cents for every dollar that men earn. Black women are paid 63 cents to white men’s dollar, and Latina women are paid 55 cents. This averages a loss of $400,000 over the course of a women’s career. 

“As workers across the country struggle to make ends meet amid this economic crisis, women cannot afford to wait any longer to get equal pay,” said Senator Murray. “Right now, women are still paid less on average than their male counterparts—and the gap is highest for women of color. I want our economy to be one where every worker gets paid fairly for the work they do and can support themselves and their loved ones. This is not too much to ask and should not be controversial—so I’ll keep pushing to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and other important policies that will support women in the workforce and make sure our economy works for everyone.”

The broader goal of introducing this legislation is to end the legislative filibuster, which currently gives Republicans the power to block all Democratic legislation.

Sources: New York Times 6/8/21; Paycheck Fairness Act 1/19/21; DeLauro Press Release 1/28/21 

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