Senate Democrats are trying to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, to take the next big step past the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Senate Republicans blocked it in 2010 despite a 58-vote majority in favor at the time. What could make congressional Republicans change their mind? Well, there’s this little thing called a presidential election, and their party’s presumptive nominee has said that he is favor of pay equity—in principle.
If Mitt Romney said he supported the Paycheck Fairness Act, might that flip some Republican votes? Greg Sargent argues that it might, and it would certainly put Republicans who care about winning the presidency in a tough spot if Romney embraced fair pay as a way to make the case to women that he would represent them and their economic concerns. But I’m with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz: It’s not going to happen.
“It speaks volumes that Romney can’t say whether or not he would have signed [Lily Ledbetter] into law,” Wasserman Schultz said on the call. “And so I feel quite certain that he also opposes the Paycheck Fairness Act.”
“That bill is not law, because Republicans blocked it,” she continued. “Republicans have absolutely no interest in ensuring pay equity in this country … Romney would turn back the clock and leave us stagnant and stifled.”
Republicans blocked this law once, and Mitt Romney—he’s a Republican. And he’s no kind of leader. Not only does he not want to see women have a better chance at fair pay, he would never take the political risk of trying to get Senate Republicans to do something they don’t want to do.
But if Romney is going to go around the country making claims about Barack Obama having been bad for women economically, he really needs to tell us where he stands on this. Pay equity in principle is all very well, but where does Mitt Romney stand when it comes to making the principle reality? Does he stand with women and against discrimination, or does he stand with employers looking to save a buck by discriminating against women and with Senate Republicans fighting the War on Women?