Interspersed in the news about the Wisconsin Gubernatorial Recall election (congratulations on your reaffirmation Gov. Walker) was this little gem....the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2011.
The Paycheck Fairness Act failed to garner the votes it needed to advance in the Senate, Tuesday.
The legislation, championed by President Obama and brought to the floor as a political ploy to paint Republicans (who had previously blocked the legislation in 2010) as anti-woman, needed 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. It failed in a vote of 52-47.
The legislation would have expanded protections for women to compare their salaries to men in the same position, created a grant program for women to improve their negotiation skills and allowed the government to collect salary information for use in enforcing possible pay discrimination.
Senate Republicans and the business community strongly opposed the legislation arguing that such a law would increase the cost of business, opening companies up to frivolous lawsuits.
The bill, which the Democrats claim is all about fairness, failed on a party line vote - leading Democrats back to the "War on Women" meme. There is just one tiny little problem with this bill....IT IS NOT NECESSARY.
In 1963, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (creative title don't you think?). The bill was championed by the Kennedy Administrations Labor Department and it was designed to do exactly what the Paycheck Fairness Act was allegedly designed to do (as supplemented by the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009).
So if legislation was already on the books that would achieve the purposes of the Paycheck Fairness Act, then why put forward redundant legislation? Well it should be obvious to any fair minded person. This was a bill designed SOLELY for political purposes.....designed to put forward a meme and manufactured crisis. The Democrats in Congress (who have not put forward a BUDGET in 1136 days) are more interested in passing meaningless message/talking point bills than they are about actually doing the JOB that they were sent to DC to do. Shocking I know...
If the Democrats were really concerned about the pay inequity issue, they have a much better platform. They could start by actually walking the talk and paying their own female staffers an equal wage! Female staffers in the White House AND the Senate are making 18-20% less than their male counter parts! Female staffers for former Speaker Nancy Pelosi make 27% less than the men on her staff!
The evidence is clear - Democrats don't give a flying fig about equal opportunity for women. The only thing that they care about about is that the APPEARANCE that they and they alone are the champions of this issue so that they can keep women blinded and voting for them. The problem with that theory is that when NO ONE has a job, there is no paycheck to make equal. Women voters are realizing that which is one reason why they are starting to lean toward Mitt Romney.
Thus the panic and presentation of an unnecessary show bill. The law is already on the books. If Democrats really cared, they would enforce the existing law...starting in their own houses.