A new bill, which was designed to rid the 1963 Equal Pay Act of loopholes, needed 60 votes in order to pass. The bill only got 58 of the votes needed, and none of which were from any Republicans. The Republican Party said that while they opposed discrimination, the bill was written with very little of their input. Only Dean Heller of Nevada spoke out against the bill thoroughly. He proposed an alternative bill, but Democrats said that it lacked the ability to solve the problem at hand.

Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, went to a news conference with the pay equity advocate, Lilly Ledbetter, and claimed Republicans of “sticking their heads in the sand” about women being paid less than men. Near the end of the meeting he said that “It’s clear where the Democrats stand.”

A day before voting on the bill, President Obama held a speech at Washington D.C. about this issue. This speech told of how women get $0.78 for every $1 men earn, even if they do the same exact work. African American women earned even less than that. Over the course of their job, women wold lose around $150,000 just because of their gender. The bill also would have solved the problem which allows an employee to be fired or punished just for sharing information about their wages.

After the meeting was over, a couple of Republicans spoke to the reporters about the bill. Senator Mike Enzi said, “This is just politics. This should be called the trial lawyers bonanza bill, It has nothing to do with the women. They will get very little out of it. What it allows is huge class-action suits with very little defense by any employer.” Even a retiring Republican senator from Maine, Olympia Snowe, disapproved of the bill. “I think there are other ways of addressing these issues, and this legislation goes too far. The bill would put a tremendous burden on employers through class-action lawsuits.”

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