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Kamala Harris. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Kamala Harris wants to use the power of the presidency to close the gender pay gap.

Driving the news: Her new proposal: Use executive action to ensure federal contractors act first, then get Congress to fine big companies 1% of profits for every 1% of pay gap.

  • Past federal legislation put the burden on employees to sue or report their employers if gender-based pay discrimination was suspected.

The big picture: While other 2020 Democrats have talked about unequal pay or more transparency from companies, Harris' proposal is the most concrete.

Details: Legislative action would be required to impose her policy on private corporations.

  • Companies with 100+ employees would have to obtain an “equal pay certification” every two years from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Companies would have to prove pay gaps for similar jobs are based on something other than gender.
  • This policy could generate $180 billion in 10 years, Harris' campaign estimates.
  • That revenue would be spent on paid family and medical leave programs.

What they're saying: “Closing the wage gap would mean tens of millions for women and their families," Vicki Shabo, a senior fellow at nonpartisan think tank New America, told HuffPost.

  • "It could wipe out student loan debt, give relief to homeowners, and literally put food on the table. It’s something that can help stimulate the economy.”
  • Yes, but: "Penalties tend to slow compliance and undermine the goals that they seek to achieve," said Joseph Vaughan, executive director of Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Forum, a trade group. "I'm always concerned when people introduce policies with punitive fines and penalties that it will never be enacted into law."

The bottom line: If things continue as is, women won't get equal pay until 2059.

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”