DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement today after Senate Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close existing loopholes that prevent women from securing equal pay and would help stop pay discrimination before it starts:
“Today’s vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act begs an important—and still unanswered—question: what exactly is it about equal pay for equal work that makes Mitt Romney and Congressional Republicans so uncomfortable? For weeks upon weeks, we’ve seen Romney refuse to stand up and show real leadership on the issue of pay equity. First his campaign couldn’t even say whether or not Romney supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which the President signed to help women fight for the equal pay they deserve. Then Romney refused to give America’s women a straight answer when he was pressed on whether he would have signed the Ledbetter Act into law.
“Now Mitt Romney has been saying that he wouldn’t change current pay equity laws—implying that he in fact opposes the Paycheck Fairness Act. Why on earth would Romney have a problem with legislation that helps stop pay discrimination before it starts and ensures that hardworking Americans can’t be fired for saying how much they get paid? His campaign couldn’t answer that question when asked on multiple occasions by the same newspaper, and millions of American women who work hard and deserve the same pay for doing the same work as men are still waiting for a response. Today, Romney had an opportunity to prove he could be a leader by joining the President in demanding that Republicans in Congress support this bill and other laws that help make equal pay for equal work a reality in this country. But he squandered it.
“Unlike Mitt Romney, President Obama believes that hard work should pay off for all Americans, and that’s why he’s fought from day one to help women fight for equal pay for equal work. He believes America’s economic security depends on ensuring that women are paid the same as their male co-workers—and that all women deserve to live in a country that rewards hard work and responsibility equally. Apparently Mitt Romney doesn’t share that commitment, and it’s proof once again that American women cannot and should not trust him to lead.”