By Ramsey Cox
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) predicted that Republicans would block the Senate from considering legislation aimed at ensuring equal pay for women.
“For reasons known only to them, Senate Republicans do not appear to be interested in closing the wage gap for working women,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said. “Are Republicans in the Senate so repulsed by equal pay for hard-working American women that they can’t even stomach the thought of debating the issue?”
The bill is part of Democrats’ efforts to address wealth inequality ahead of November’s mid-term election. Democrats argued that women are making 77 percent of what their male peers are, resulting in a more than $400,000 loss of income over a lifetime.
Mikulski’s bill would punish employers for retaliating against workers who share wage information, put the justification burden on employers as to why someone is paid less and allow workers to sue for punitive damages of wage discrimination.
Republicans are blocking the bill because Reid wouldn’t allow them to call up amendments he said were unrelated.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Reid is blocking Republicans from participating in the legislative process. He had an amendment that would have allowed private sector workers to use comp time as flexible credit hours during the workweek rather than just being paid overtime.
Some other GOP amendments would have repealed parts of ObamaCare and forced the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline — measures the GOP say would create jobs.
McConnell also said he opposes the underlying legislation because it would "line the pockets of trial lawyers" instead of truly help women.