Senator Brown votes against equal pay for women as Romney refuses to stand up and support the bill. As if we were expecting anything different?
BOSTON– Republican US Senator Scott Brown joined every other Senate Republican today in voting to prevent the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would update the Equal Pay Act and strengthen tools to fight pay discrimination against women, from being brought forward for debate. Mitt Romney, meanwhile, turned down repeated opportunities over the last few days to support the bill, refusing to answer reporters’ questions on the matter.
On a conference call, Massachusetts women leaders called out Brown and Romney for failing to support the legislation.
“Elizabeth Warren and President Obama believe that if you work hard, you should be paid fairly for your work, but with his vote today Scott Brown is saying that he is a Mitt Romney Republican who thinks it’s OK for women to work hard, yet expect less than men who do the same job,” said State Senator Harriet Chandler, “That’s just not right.”
Although Democrats in the House passed this important Act last Congress, Senate Republicans, including Scott Brown, blocked passage of the bill. Brown voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act for a second time, effectively denying women the right to receive proof from their employers that any discrepancies between male and female pay are job-related and not based in discrimination. This is just another in a long line of votes by Senator Brown against the interests of the middle class, as families with two working parents, a single working mother, or two female heads are all hurt by unequal pay, especially in Massachusetts, where 40% of working moms are primary breadwinners, and 25% are co-breadwinners.
“With his vote, Scott Brown is telling the women of Massachusetts that he is a Mitt Romney Republican who thinks it’s okay that women earn less than men with the same education doing the same work,” said Brookline Selectman Jesse Mermell.
Romney’s lack of leadership on the matter clearly demonstrates that he does not view equal pay as an important issue, even though census data shows women typically earn 77 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts earn for the same position. As the leader of his party, he stayed silent instead of using his influence to call on Senate Republicans to support the bill.
“Mitt Romney had a choice and a chance to show where he stands,” said Julie Kaviar, Communications Director for the Young Democrats of Massachusetts. “Unfortunately – but not surprisingly – Mitt refused to say whether he would have signed this bill that says women earn the same pay as men for the same work into law.”
The women agreed that this vote was a preview of things to come if Brown and Romney were to win in November.
“Today’s vote is a scary reminder of what Washington will look like under a Mitt Romney Presidency with Scott Brown in a Republican-controlled Senate carrying his water,” said State Rep. Kath-Anne Reinstein.