Paul William Tenny seeded an article about the Fair Pay Act being voted down, strictly along party lines – again.
Once again, my response is article length. I am incredulous that the Republicans simply cannot and will not grasp the fact that women are discriminated against in the work force regarding pay and promotional opportunities. Some of the remarks below reflect Republican talking points. Once again, business wins out over people – citizens – the ones who voted these misguided, short-thinking, gender bigoted Congressmen into their own cushy little jobs. And like every other woman in America, except the female Republican Senators who voted against this bill, who ARE paid the same as their male counterparts, I am keenly aware of the long-term, life-long ramifications of pay inequality. I am not impressed with today's outcome.
The Republicans just told all female American workers that they, the Republicans, agree with the private business sector – women don’t have to be paid the same as men for doing the same or equivalent work. There is no getting around that. Congress recognized, 39 years ago, that women were not being treated fairly and equally in this society. What is the problem with THIS Congress?
“We already have on the books the Equal Pay Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which I did support,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told a few reporters in the Capitol. “And I believe that they provide adequate protections. I think this bill would result in excessive litigation that would impose a real burden, particularly on small businesses. So I think existing laws are adequate.”
“The pay gap is troubling if it is attributable to discrimination,” said Collins, a moderate Republican. “In other cases it may be due to personal decisions that women make to leave the workforce to raise children for a number of years and then to return to the workforce, for example. So I don’t think you can assume discrimination.”
Coming from Sue Collins, this is extremely troubling.
- 1) The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963.
- 2) The Lily Ledbetter Act was passed in 2009, to close a loophole and reverse a bad SCOTUS decision that prevented her from suing her employer for decades of pay discrimination, and as the result of rampant pay discrimination against women in this country.
- 3) "I think this bill would result in excessive litigation that would impose a real burden, particularly on small businesses." This, in and of itself, is an admission that pay discrimination exists to the point that 'excessive litigation' is anticipated, it is apparently occurring in many small businesses, and they would, of course, be affected if they had to follow the law.
- 4) "if it is attributable to discrimination...So I don’t think you can assume discrimination..." This is standard Republican party denial of the problem and blames the victim, I don't care how civil the tones were in which these remarks were delivered.
- 5) It has been studied at length and the results are well-known: pay discrimination exists and life choices do not, (and should not) have total bearing on pay levels - it's the discrimination, stupid. In cases where women have left the job market for a while but return to do the same job at the same level as male peers, then they’d better get paid the same current, going rate. Anything less is discrimination. It has always been discrimination. http://www.incontext.indiana.edu/2009/mar-apr/article1.asp, http://www.aauw.org/learn/research/simpleTruth.cfm, http://www.aauw.org/learn/research/upload/simpletruthaboutpaygap1.pdf, http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/16/the-gender-pay-gap-persists-especially-for-the-rich/
- 6) We have 18 female CEOS in the Fortune 500 (0.036). That's one third of one percent. One article brags that this is an accomplishment.* Congress is composed of 16.8% females. We are under represented in our legislatures, our businesses, and our power structures. *http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/08/business/f500-leading-women/index.html, http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fast_facts/levels_of_office/documents/cong.pdf
- 7) Then we have the women who have worked all their lives, but because they didn't receive an official paycheck, will have to retire at one half their husbands' Social Security rates rather than at the rates their work would have been compensated in a level playing field labor market: http://www.salary.com/what-s-a-mom-worth-in-2012/
- 8) The Republicans constantly browbeat the public with their ‘family values’, their religious tenets, their crude, thoughtless, and bigoted remarks against women and those who are not Christians. So let me remind those Republicans about a little Scripture, which I call the Equal Pay Scripture: Colossians 4:1 “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.” Equal Pay is Biblical, boys and girls. It's also moral, ethical, fair, and economically sound policy under any belief or political system. Wake up. Do the right thing. The right thing. Interesting phrase.
If you are a woman, or you have a mother, sister, wife, girlfriend, or friend who is a woman, vote your or their better interests this November. If women are becoming the main earners of families, then it is everyone’s and the nation’s better interests for women to be paid equally to men. And that also means, if they are doing a better job or excelling at a faster rate than their male counterparts, then THEY should be receiving those merit raises and promotions.
This is all about economics. This is all about the well-being of Americans. The Republicans have, out of one side of their mouths, denigrated women on just about every social level since the House went red in 2010, while, out of the other side, they claim they have women’s interests in mind. Actions speak louder than words – and so do party line votes.
We WILL remember in November.