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

Woman Dies In Single-Car Crash Near Medway


State Police say a woman was killed Sunday morning and her husband was injured in a one car crash in I-95 just south of Medway.

in Local

Walmarts Evacuated After Bomb Threats


A series of automated voicemail bomb threats caused several Walmarts to be evacuated across the state Saturday evening.

in Local

Maine Police: 6 Fires Intentionally Set Along Interstate 95


Maine State Police say they are looking for a white sedan with two men inside who may be responsible for setting six fires along a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 95 southbound from Waterville to Sidney.

in Local

Methamphetamine Continues to be a Problem in Maine


Maine's heroin epidemic is getting much of the attention from law enforcement officials and policymakers, but methamphetamine continues to be a persistent problem.

in Local

Maine Asking For Help Tracking Invasive, Destructive Moth


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is asking for the public's help in locating destructive winter moth populations around the state.


  • 1h
  • 2h
  • 13h
  • 14h
  • 22h
  • 38h
  • 52h