Another Year Without Paycheck Fairness

We have come so far over the past 50 years, and yet the road stretches out in front of us beyond the horizon. How it is that, in the 21st century, paycheck fairness can be so difficult to pass? And why, oh why, did women vote against it? 

I was once asked why it matters what a woman’s position is on the issues, or what party she is in -- shouldn’t she just care about the fact that a woman is running? No. And this is why! Women in the Senate actually voted against Paycheck Fairness, to help other women. My mind is unable to grasp this just yet. Senators Snowe and Collins both voted against cloture. Senator Murkowski did not vote, though I do realize she was still waiting to hear about reelection.

This party line vote only reassures my sense that nothing will actually get done in the next Congress. If a bill that would help families in a recession can’t make it to a full floor vote, what will happen next year? My concerns are greater though – with fewer women in Congress, will this really become more difficult? Or will everyone learn to work together on issues that the general public actually supports?

More women than ever ran for elected office this year. Fewer women will return to elected office next year. Who is going to be representing my interests and my needs, as a woman, in the next Congress? That appears to be unclear if you look at how the Senate voted. When did women and families become a partisan issue? 

In case you were wondering, Lilly Ledbetter Act passed the Senate with a vote of 61-36. Senators Collins, Snowe, Hutchinson all voted for it. So why change now? Is it really that important to hold the party line and make sure nothing happens? 

I just can’t get my head around this! 

In case you really like charts and graphs and knowing who voted what – check out the New York Times.  I also suggest AAUW’s response to the vote after 10 years of work. I hope they keep pushing!