Toomey’s Disingenuous Support for Fair Pay

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Over the weekend, Pat Toomey tried to rewrite his position on equal pay. In a story about the gender pay-gap, a spokesman for Toomey’s campaign claimed he “opposes unequal pay and gender discrimination.” But if Toomey’s supposed opposition to this injustice were sincere, how does he explain lobbying against the Fair Pay Act as President of the Club for Growth? Or why he added to that record by voting against the Paycheck Fairness Act five times as Senator?

 In Pennsylvania, women make 24 percent less than men — a wider gap than the national average. The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide women avenues to challenge these gender-based pay disparities. But when it came time to act on fair pay, Toomey didn’t oppose “discrimination” — he condoned it.

BACKGROUND:

THE TOOMEY-LED CLUB FOR GROWTH OPPOSED THE LILLY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT

Jan. 2009: The Club For Growth Opposed The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. According to Club for Growth’s 2009 Senate scorecard, the organization supported a no vote on the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. [Club for Growth, 2009 Key Votes; S. 181, Vote 14, 1/22/09]

Toomey Was The Head Of Club For Growth Through April 2009. “Former Congressman and conservative activist Pat Toomey announced this morning he quit his job as head of the Club for Growth to challenge U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2010 Republican primary. […]’With 41 Republican senators, we should be able to use the filibuster to stop (Democrats) in their tracks,’ Toomey said in a statement. ‘But several of those Republicans support that liberal agenda. One of them is Arlen Specter. I personally believe that it is time for him to go. And that job falls on me. Very soon, I intend to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate in a Republican primary challenge against Arlen Specter.’” [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 4/13/09]    

TOOMEY VOTED 5 TIMES AGAINST THE PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT…

Jun. 2012: Toomey Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act. [CQ, 6/5/12; S. 3220, Vote 115, 6/5/12]

Apr. 2014: Toomey Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act. [CQ, 4/9/14; S. 2199, Vote 103, 4/9/14]

Sep. 2014: Toomey Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act. [CQ, 9/10/14; S. 2199, Vote 260, 9/10/14]

Sep. 2014: Toomey Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act. [CQ, 9/15/14; S. 2199, Vote 262, 9/15/14]

Mar. 2015: Toomey Voted Against Paycheck Fairness Amendment To Senate Budget Resolution. [CQ, 3/24/15; S.Amdt. 362 to S.Con.Res. 11, Vote 82, 3/24/15]

  • Amendment Was A Version Of The Paycheck Fairness Act. “Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) offered S. Amdt. 362, a version of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Among other things, the Paycheck Fairness Act would significantly expand the amount of damages available in an equal pay case, limit an employer’s affirmative defense in such cases, and prevent retaliation against employees who share salary information.  The measure failed by a vote of 45-54. Sen. Mikulski re-introduced the measure along with Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) a day later (H.R. 1619, S. 862).” [Littler Workplace Policy Institute, Workplace Policy Update,3/27/15]

…WHICH WOULD HAVE HELPED REMEDY THE GENDER PAY GAP, INCLUDING IN PENNSYLVANIA WHERE WOMEN MAKE 76 CENTS ON THE DOLLAR COMPARED TO MEN

In Pennsylvania Women Earned 76 Cents On The Dollar Compared To Men. According to the National Women’s Law Center, women in Pennsylvania made 76.4 cents on the dollar for every dollar a man made, amounting to a 23.6 cent wage gap for women. [National Women’s Law Center, 9/8/14]

  • Census Bureau: American Women Make 77 Centers For Every Dollar Earned By Men. “American women make about 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to data compiled by the US Census Bureau. In Massachusetts, women fare slightly better, making 81 cents for every dollar earned by men.” [Boston Globe, 6/5/12]

The Paycheck Fairness Act Would Have Required Employers To Find A Reason For Pay Gaps When Asked And Bar Companies From Retaliating Against Employees Who Discuss Pay. “Supporters of the Paycheck Fairness Act had hoped to build on the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and more recently the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, by requiring employers to provide a reason for pay gaps when asked, and bar companies from retaliating against employees who discuss pay.” [Boston Globe, 6/5/12]

The Paycheck Fairness Act Would Have Established A Salary Data Bank To Help Regulators Monitor Pay Gaps. “The $15 million measure would also fund skills-building programs to train women in negotiating better salaries. In addition, the legislation would have established a salary databank that could help regulators better monitor pay gaps between men and women.” [Boston Globe, 6/5/12]

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