LatinaLista — If Republicans didn’t care about getting Latinos, gays and the poor mad because of their politics, let’s see how they do with the wrath of women voters. Today, the Senate Republicans refused to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The bill was meant to close the wage gap between men and women. Nationally, women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. African-American women earn 62 cents on the dollar and Latina women average only 54 cents on that dollar. Also, the bill “would have barred companies from retaliating against workers who inquire about pay disparities and permit employees to sue for punitive damages if they find evidence of broad differences in compensation between male and female workers.”
The bill needed 60 votes to pass; it received 52. Not one Republican passed it. Why?
Senate Republicans voted en masse against the measure, believing that it could adversely affect businesses if employees attempt to file pay-related lawsuits.
To not pass a bill that recognized women’s work was of equal value to men’s certainly appears to be political suicide for a party, whose extremist politics is seen by more people as not only being out of touch, but not changing well with the times and becoming increasingly irrelevant as a party.
As soon as news broke that Senate Republicans had once again acted to obstruct passage of a bill that Obama wanted, the criticism of the GOP by various women’s groups was harsh, unrelenting and promised retribution at the polls.
One women’s group whose track record for mobilizing their members into impressive action is MomsRising. When word hit their organization that the bill didn’t pass, a mass email went out declaring that the organization was fighting back.
The Equal Pay Act was passed on June 10, 1963 – almost 50 years ago this coming Sunday and we are still nowhere near equal pay. Women in 2012, and moms in particular, are still paid less than men for doing the same job. The U.S. Census found that women who worked full-time, year-round on average still made 23 cents less for every dollar earned by men. The wage gap for women of color is even more staggering. Black and hispanic women who work full-time, year-round, make only 64 and 56 cents, respectively, for every dollar their white, non-hispanic male counterparts earn. 
We are not done fighting. We are just getting started! It’s time for us to put a stop to this discrimination and hold our leaders accountable. We must remind Congress that they represent us and that Congress needs to take real action to close the wage gap before more families are thrust into poverty.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force also slammed the GOP for their action:
“Pay equity affects each of our lives, and the lives of all our families. It is shameful that many senators today turned their backs on the economic security of American women and their families — this includes lesbian, bisexual and transgender women, particularly women of color, who are vulnerable to inequity.
“The obstructionists in Congress who toy with women’s lives do so at their own peril. This is something many women will not forget, especially when they’re cutting that next round of checks to pay the bills — and especially when they cast their next ballot.”
The National Women’s Law Center issued a statement condemning the vote — The stakes right now are just too high for women and their families (to stop fighting).
And these responses are just the tip of the iceberg. No doubt more groups will issue their statements tomorrow and more women will be Facebooking and Tweeting their disappointment with these Senate Republicans until they understand one thing — women are entitled to equal pay!