Jun 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate fails to advance Paycheck Fairness Act

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Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday failed to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation intended to address the gender pay gap.

The big picture: The 49-50 vote saw Democrats in support and Republicans opposed. At least 60 votes were required to end the filibuster and move the measure to the floor for a vote.

The bill would "provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex."

  • Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was the only republican to vote in favor.
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that Democrats' agenda is up against GOP resistance, and is "transparently designed to fail," CNN writes.
  • Most Republicans support the Wage Equity Act, introduced by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), which would encourage companies to voluntarily analyze employee pay and direct GAO, an independent government agency, to study the impacts of women leaving the workforce for family-related reasons.

What they're saying: "[T]he only way that a bill to provide equal pay to women is designed to fail is if Senate Republicans block it," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, per CNN.

  • "If the Republican leader wants to talk about radical positions, I'd say that opposing legislation to provide equal pay for women supported by a solid majority of voters is a radical position."
  • "We've been talking about the wage gap for years now with no action taken by the Senate. Women with the same jobs, the same degree, sometimes even better degrees than their male colleagues, are making less money. For women of color, the gap between them and their male colleagues is even wider," he said.

Background: The legislation passed the House 217-210 in April along party lines, making it the fourth time Democrats have attempted to pass the act. It previously passed the House in 2008, 2009 and 2019.

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