April 14 is Equal Pay Day, an annual opportunity for hardworking men and women to pause and reflect on the fact that, on average, women still only make 78 cents for each dollar men earn.
Republicans in Congress have repeatedly blocked Democrats’ attempts to pass pay equity legislation, and Republicans in state legislatures are in on the act, too. This year alone, the GOP has stymied equal pay bills in no fewer than five states.
In Colorado, where women earn about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, Republicans in a Senate committee voted in unison to kill the state’s Pay Equity Commission. The PEC was established by Democratic majorities in 2010 to study and suggest solutions to eliminating pay disparities encountered by women and minorities.
- Shortly after Senate Republicans killed the commission, a bill reviving it was introduced in the state House, where Democrats – who hold a majority in the lower chamber – supported it in a party-line committee vote.
- And then Republicans in the GOP-controlled Senate re-killed the commission in yet another party line committee vote just a week ago.
This experience was echoed in Washington (where women also earn 80 cents for every man dollar), where the Democratic majority in the Washington House of Representatives passed equal pay legislation, only for Republicans to let the bill languish in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Republicans in Virginia and Tennessee have spiked equal pay bills this year (79 and 83 women cents, respectively, on the man dollar). Republicans killed a similar measure in Montana, where women earn 74 cents for every dollar earned by men.