Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTo Build Back Better, we need a tax system where everyone pays their fair share Democrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda MORE (D-Nev.) brought debate to a close on a bill that aims to ensure women get equal pay for equal work.

He didn’t allow any votes on Republicans amendments.


On Wednesday, the Senate voted 73-25 to end debate on the motion to proceed. The motion to proceed was adopted by voice-vote Thursday morning.

Reid said he hoped to have the last procedural vote before final passage later Thursday but it could spill into next week. Republicans are expected to block the bill at that point.

Democrats are using S. 2199, the Paycheck Fairness Act, to appeal to women voters ahead of the midterm elections. Senate Republicans blocked this same bill early this year.

The legislation punishes employers for retaliating against workers who share wage information, puts the justification burden on employers as to why someone is paid less and allows workers to sue for punitive damages for wage discrimination. 

It requires the Department of Labor to increase outreach and training with employers to eliminate pay inequality and to continue to collect wage information based on gender. 

The bill would also create a grant program to train women on wage negotiation skills.

Republicans said they opposed the legislation as a “giveaway” to trial lawyers because it would remove caps on punitive damages against businesses found guilty of discrimination.