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Sen. Kelly Ayotte
Sen. Kelly Ayotte takes time out of her busy Benghazi-based schedule to explain to a constituent why she voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act:
We have existing laws — Title VII, um, Lilly Ledbetter, all those existing protections in place — that, I believe, enforce and provide that people doing equal jobs are, certainly in this country, should receive equal pay. So, uh, that bill, in my view, didn’t add — in fact I think it created a lot of additional burdens that would have been hard, um, to make it more difficult for job creators to create jobs. . . . The reason that I voted against that specific bill is that, I looked at it, and there were already existing laws that need to be enforced and can be enforced and I didn’t feel like adding that layer was going to help us better get at the equal pay issue.
Well, Ledbetter doesn't even apply here—it just gives women more time to file a discrimination suit, it doesn't have anything to do with actually enforcing equal pay before the fact. Title VII is great, yay Civil Rights Act, but has been in place for 50 freaking years and yet the pay gap stubbornly continues, which would suggest to any reasonable person that perhaps we ought to be contemplating why that might be. And we know why that might be, in fact: It's because employers can easily dodge all the "existing laws that need to be enforced." That's what the Paycheck Fairness Act was intended to do—to provide a mechanism for enforcing the meaning of those "existing laws," making it a tiny bit harder for employees to dodge them.

What is this conservative obsession with pretending that certain current laws work, even when there may literally be decades of evidence that they are not, in fact, working? Why can conservative lawmakers rush back to Washington because they think the body of a lone woman in an irreversible vegetative state must be protected by the full force of our elected government, but deem 50 years of pay discrimination not enough evidence to act on?

Don't answer that. I don't want to know. Oh, and I'm not even going to touch the "job creator" thing; that's become a bit of a pornographic word, with these people; I'm not even sure what they think it means, at this point.

Ayotte is not good at these constituent meetings, and I'm a bit surprised she continues to do them. Telling a woman whose grandmother was discriminated against all her life that we can't close the gaping loophole in existing law that made that possible and still does is like telling a woman whose mother was killed by a mass murderer that we can't close gaping loopholes allowing felons and other violent types easy access to those guns because hey, it's practically heroic for a Republican to even allow a vote on such things, much less pass the damn stuff. And you'd have to be an idiot to do that.

Originally posted to Hunter on Thu May 02, 2013 at 10:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Take New Hampshire Forward!, and Daily Kos.

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