Daniel Halper | Weekly Standard | May 23, 2012
Maryland senator Barbara Mikulski just announced that Democrats will be bringing up a pay equity bill after Memorial Day, sometime in June. The thing is, Congress already passed pay equity legislation, and President Obama signed that bill into law–the Lilly Ledbetter Act–in January 2009.
“We passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — the first bill I signed — so that equal pay for equal work is a reality all across this country,” President Obama said in June 2009, taking political points for this legislative act. In December of last year, Obama said something similar: “Change is the very first bill I signed, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which says in this country an equal day’s work gets an equal day’s pay. That’s change.”
So if a bill that supposedly ensures pay equity is already on the books, why are Senate Democrats intent on pushing for another one?
“Dems are still fundraising over their support for the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which Obama signed in January 2009—and which he said at the time leveled the playing field,” a senior Republican Senate aide tells me.
The aide is specifically referring to a fundraising letter sent by the wife of former DNC chief Tim Kaine, Anne Holton. On behalf of her husband who is running for Senate in Virginia, Holton writes, “I hope you’ll encourage your mothers, sisters, spouses, girlfriends, and others to join Women for Kaine. I look forward to working with you and other members of Women for Kaine in the months ahead. Tim needs all of us, working together, to become Virginia’s next Senator.”
The senior Republican Senate aide continues, “So they’re playing women for money–and votes. Their hucksterism knows no bounds.”