News

Senate Republicans block ‘paycheck fairness’ bill

Senate Republicans block ‘paycheck fairness’ bill

PAY:President Barack Obama signs two new executive actions aimed at increasing transparency about women's pay during an event at the White House in Washington April 8. Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a bill that Democrats said would give women a “fair shot” at obtaining equal pay to men for comparable work.

On a 53-44 vote, supporters fell short of the needed 60 votes to advance the bill. Republicans called the measure a political ploy whose purpose was not to promote pay equity but to attract women voters to the Democratic side in the November elections.

Forty-two Republicans and one independent, Angus King of Maine, voted against the bill. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid switched his vote from yes to no to reserve his right to bring up the bill again. Democrats cast all 53 yes votes.

The action came a day after President Barack Obama signed two executive orders to help close what has been a long-time gender pay gap by requiring federal contractors to disclose more wage data and allow employees to share salary information.

The Senate Democrats’ Paycheck Fairness Act would have impose the same requirement on private employers.

But Republicans dismissed the bill, saying pay discrimination is already illegal and that better enforcement, not new laws, is what is needed.

They also said the bill would prompt frivolous lawsuits and discourage companies from hiring women, thus hurting those who it seeks to help.

(Reporting by Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Bill Trott)

Latest Headlines

in Local

Maine Health Centers Get $730K Through Health Law

Fresh
MONEY PILE LARGE SIZE

Three health centers in Maine are getting more than $730,000 in funding through the Affordable Care Act.

in Local

Maine Bear Trapping Season Begins Before Ban Vote

GENERIC BEAR

Maine's bear trapping season is set to begin about two months before a state-wide referendum that could ban the hunting method.

in Local

Law Leads to Stiffer Assault Charges in Maine

generic gavel

Maine prosecutors are more likely to bring stiffer charges for choking someone after lawmakers updated the definition for aggravated assault.

in Local

Missing Girl Found Safe

MISSING TEEN

AUGUSTA, ME (WGAN) - State Police say a 15 year old girl missing from her home in Woodstock has been found safe.

in Local

Maine Ready For Colorful Fall Foliage Season

FOLIAGE

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - As summer winds down, Maine conservation officials say they're expecting a vibrant fall foliage season.