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)

Recent Headlines

in Music

Josh Gracin loses music rights in divorce

Fresh
gracin

The former "American Idol" star has been embroiled in a bitter battle with his ex.

in Entertainment, Viral Videos

What color is this dress?

Fresh
19-overlay6

The "great dress debate" has been dividing the Internet. Are you team #WhiteandGold or team #BlueandBlack?

in Music

Las Vegas plans Elvis exhibit

ELVIS

It opens 59 years to the day since the King first performed in Las Vegas.

in Music

Christina Aguilera hopes ‘Nashville’ gig boosts her country street cred

christinaaguilera

The "Beautiful" hitmaker is determined to challenge Blake Shelton to land aspiring country singers for her team on the new season of "The Voice."

in Music

Garth Brooks surprises fans with intimate club gig

garthbrooks

Brooks hit the stage for the "secret" show at the city's Marathon Music Works.