YESTERDAY’S SENATOR, MITCH MCCONNELL: ADVOCATE FOR 1963 GENDER PAY GAP
FRANKFORT – As we mark Equal Pay Day, Kentucky women are reminded that their senior senator believes the gender pay gap is acceptable and efforts to close the gap are nothing more but a “special interest vote.”
In fact, Mitch McConnell’s repeated votes against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act would have maintained 1963’s pay gap, when women made just 59 cents for every dollar for performing the same work as men. McConnell has twice voted to prevent women from seeking recourse for the pay discrimination that was common in the 1960s – and continues today.
Today, the women of Kentucky lose nearly $5 billion every year in wages due to the prevailing gender pay gap. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, closing the pay gap would allow a working woman in Kentucky to:
- Purchase 78 more weeks of groceries,
- Pay 14 more months of rent,
- Make 8 more months of mortgage and utilities payments, or
- Buy 2,477 additional gallons of gas.
Alison Lundergan Grimes recognizes that closing the gender pay gap is not a women’s issue – but a family’s issue. Alison is endorsed by fair pay advocate Lilly Ledbetter, strongly supports the Paycheck Fairness Act and has championed raising the minimum wage that will help level the playing field for over 250,000 women here in the Commonwealth.
Throughout her career, Alison has been a staunch advocate for women and families, and will continue to be their champion as Kentucky’s first female U.S. Senator.
McConnell Has Twice Voted To Keep 1963’s Standards For How Women Are Paid Compared To Men. Today, women in Kentucky make only 76 cents for every dollar a man makes in the same job. This disparity exists despite provisions of 1963’s Equal Pay Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act would update the provisions in the 1963 Equal Pay Act to close this pay gap. [NWLC, 2/14; Vote 115, 6/5/12; Vote 249, 11/17/10]
In 1963, Women Earned 59 Cents For Every Dollar Paid To Men. [NWLC, 5/3/12]
McConnell Blocked Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Multiple Times. In April 2008, McConnell voted to block consideration of a bill to reverse a Supreme Court decision in a wage discrimination case. The bill was intended to undo last year’s Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Rubber & Tire Co. The court ruled, 5-4 that workers filing suit for pay discrimination must do so within 180 days of the actual decision to discriminate against them. The motion to invoke cloture failed 56-42. [CQ Today, 1/22/09; Vote 14, 1/22/09; CQ Today, 4/23/08; Vote 110, 4/23/08]
McConnell And Senate Republicans Blocked Fair Pay For Women Legislation. In April 2008, New York Times reported: “Senate Republicans said on Tuesday that they were confident they would be able to block legislation intended to reverse a Supreme Court ruling last year that established tight time restrictions on lawsuits over pay discrimination. Even if the bill stalls, the fight over the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — named for the Alabama woman who lost her case at the Supreme Court — is likely to resurface in both the presidential and Congressional campaigns. Democrats and others argue that the legislation is needed to ensure pay equity, an important issue with women. But Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other Republicans said the bill, which is opposed by the business community and the Bush administration, could create a flood of lawsuits.” [New York Times, 4/23/08]