Thursday, January 29, 2009

Overwhelming Support for Lily Except for House GOP Women

Today, President Obama has signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 ... his first piece of legislation.
Legislation that was driven by a woman, so do women support this legislation ?
Let’s look at the scorecard : Senate 100 % approval (16 yes and Zero No votes) while the House approved 59 to 16 with two not voting.

So who are these House Nay-Sayers ?
Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
Judy Biggert (R-IL)
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL)
Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO)
Mary Fallin (R-OK)
Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)
Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)
Candice Miller (R-MI)
Sue Myrick (R-NC)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Jean Schmidt (R-OH)
Note : Kay Granger (R-TX) did not vote on the initial version ( Roll Call 9 ) but did vote NO on the final version ( Roll Call 37 ).

That’s right, every NO vote in the House came from Republican women !
Yet in the Senate, EVERY Republican Woman voted FOR this legislation.
WHY the difference ?
Congresswoman Bachmann defended her vote on her blog entry .
Time will tell if the Congresswoman’s concerns are valid. She writes ”This would likely increase the number of frivolous pay-discrimination claims in future years, since older claims are more subject to faded memories, missing documents, unfound witnesses, and businesses that have changed hands or no longer exist. In the Fall of 2010, it would be a fair question to ask the Congresswoman how many “ frivolous pay-discrimination claims” have been filed … my gut tells me that she won’t have a significant number to report.
Republicans have not fared well in the past two elections. Women elected under the Democrat banner far exceed the Republican women. Somehow, this vote may not help their future cause.

Of course, this is only the women in Congress. The men had a say in this vote (the House male vote was 186 to 155 in favor). I wonder about some of those men. While I am sure that Hope Walz is proud of her poppa (that would be First District Democrat Tim Walz) for supporting this legislation, I wonder how Sixth District Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN) will explain his vote to Cassie, Briana, Tayler, and Liesl Paulsen. That may be a difficult conversation especially when President Obama cited protecting his two daughters from future wage discrimination while recognizing the employment of his maternal grandmother.

Although the 111th Congress is just starting, there is already a too strong partisan bent. There are some issues that should be above party ranker … yet the Republican women in the House would rather follow their Party Managers instructions than stand up as the Republican women in the Senate did.
Change needs to start in the House.


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