House passes equal pay — with almost every Republican voting no


The House of Representatives capped off Women's History Month by fighting to make sure women are paid the same for equal work.

Democrats want to make sure women and men receive equal pay for equal work — but Republicans disagree.

On Wednesday evening, the House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act by a vote of 242-187.

Every single Democratic member voted for the measure. But every single "no" vote came from Republicans, and only seven GOP representatives voted for the bill.

"Women and men in the same job deserve the same pay," Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), lead sponsor of the bill, said in a statement after it passed. She said the legislation provides "working women the opportunity to fight against systemic wage discrimination and receive the pay and economic security they have earned."

The bill fixes loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act, in part by making it easier for workers to challenge pay discrimination and strengthen the remedies for employees who face discrimination.

According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, women lose out on more than $500 billion every year because of the gender pay gap. On average, women make only 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. The ratios are significantly worse for women of color.

Conservatives often try to argue that the pay gap is a myth, or that it exists but that women are to blame for choosing lower-paying jobs with more flexibility. But research also flatly disproves those claims: No matter how you analyze it, the gender wage gap is real and persistent.

"In 2019, the idea that we still don't have equal pay for equal work is nothing short of outrageous," Kim Churches, CEO of the American Association of University Women, said in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act shortly before it passed.

In her statement, DeLauro references the historic number of women in Congress this year. The massive gains in women's representation are solely thanks to Democrats, as the number of Republican women in Congress dropped this year.

In just the past three months, the House of Representatives has helped end the Trump shutdown, passed two pieces of historic gun safety legislation, and passed a bill to expand voting rights.

And now, the chamber capped off Women's History Month by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.