GOP derails gender pay gap bill in Senate

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WASHINGTON (AP/WAVY) — Senate Republicans have derailed an election-year Democratic bill curbing paycheck discrimination against women.

The bill’s rejection was widely expected, yet Democrats hope the effort will pay political dividends in this November’s congressional elections. They are trying to drive up turnout this fall by women, who historically lean more Democratic than men.

It was the third consecutive election year in which Senate Democrats have pushed the bill and Republicans have shot it down.

Wednesday’s vote was 53-44 for ending GOP blocking tactics against the bill — six short of the 60 votes needed.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) released the following statement after the vote:

“I regret that many of my Senate colleagues chose to deny hard-working women the tools they need to close the gender wage gap. It is unacceptable that in 2014, women in Virginia earn 79 cents to every dollar earned by a man performing the same job. Gender-based wage disparity hurts families, the economy, and ultimately does not reflect the American value of being rewarded for hard work. The Paycheck Fairness Act would have been a step toward meaningful progress. ”

The bill would make it harder for employers to pay women less than men in comparable jobs, and easier for aggrieved workers to sue.

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