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Mitch McConnell refuses to let the Senate vote on paycheck fairness for all Americans

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to block the Paycheck Fairness Act from coming up for a vote.

By Dan Desai Martin - June 17, 2019
Mitch McConnell

Almost 100 days after the House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t even allow the Senate to hold a vote on the bill.

By a 242-187 vote, a bipartisan majority in the House passed the Paycheck Fairness Act on May 17. Since then, McConnell has refused to schedule a vote on the bill, continuing a legacy of blocking popular legislation from moving passing Congress.

The bill would make it easier for workers to fight against pay discrimination and strengthen remedies for those who have faced discrimination by amending the 1963 Equal Pay Act. In a 2018 poll, the overwhelming majority of Americans supported equal pay for men and women who are doing the same job.

“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 soon after it passed. The legislation provides working women “the opportunity to fight against systemic wage discrimination and receive the pay and economic security they have earned,” DeLauro added.

Unfortunately, McConnell is using his perch as Senate majority leader to stifle legislation passed by the House. In just four months, McConnell has blocked more than 100 bills passed by the House from coming to a vote in the Senate.

McConnell has gone so far as to call himself the “Grim Reaper,” acknowledging that he is killing a substantial number of bills from moving through the Senate. Even some of his own Republican colleagues have grumbled about McConnell’s behavior.

Then again, other Republicans are enabling McConnell’s obstruction. Last week, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) blocked an attempt by Senate Democrats to pass a bill to protect elections from foreign interference.

The House has passed legislation addressing gun violence, voting rights, LGBTQ discrimination, prescription drug prices, violence against women, and more.

“We’re very proud of the work that we have done to send over to the Senate where Mr. McConnell has said he’s the Grim Reaper,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in early June. “It’s a Senate graveyard.”

“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 before the Paycheck Fairness Act passed the House.

While the House tries to solve an outrageous problem, Mitch McConnell is refusing to lift a finger to help.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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