President Obama is putting his muscle behind a measure that would make it harder for employers to wage discriminate against women.
The president hopped on a conference call organized by the White House on Monday, and said that he hopes the Senate will pass the bill when it’s voted on tomorrow.
“If Congress passes the Paycheck Fairness Act, women are going to have access to more tools to claim equal pay for equal work,” he said. “If Congress doesn’t act, then women are still going to have difficulty enforcing and pressing for this basic principle.”
Obama touted his efforts to help women in the workplace, noting that one of his first acts as President was signing into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. He explained that the new legislation serves as a much-needed supplement to that law.
“We’ve made progress, but we’ve got a lot more to do,” the president said. “Women still earn just 70 cents for every dollar a man earns.”
Democratic Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also held a conference call to drum up support for the bill, which needs 60 votes in order to clear the upper chamber. Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) are leading a similar push in the House.
Conservative critics, however, accused Obama, himself, of being guilty of pay discrimination. According to an April report in the Washington Free Beacon, female administration employees earn an average of 18 percent less than their male counterparts.
Of course, Obama made no allusion to that report during his remarks, and neither did other senior White House officials who spoke before and after him.
The Hill has more on the fight between Obama and his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, for female votes this Fall.