Letter: GOP trickery killed 'equal pay'
In the July 17 Courier, Bob Charlesworth's letter used twisted logic and erroneous statements in an attempt to show that it was actually the Senate Democrats who defeated the Equal Pay bill, not the Republicans. He states that the Senate is "...under the control of the Democratic party...." Not so. If it were, the 52 Democratic yea votes would have prevailed over the 47 Republican nay votes. The Republicans used a unique Senate procedural rule to require 60 votes to pass the bill. So, even though the Democrats had the majority, the Republicans were able to kill the bill. Yet Mr. Charlesworth claims the Democrats did it. Twisted logic indeed!
Mr. Charlesworth also states that no Equal Pay bill was brought to the floor during President Obama's first two years, when he had a Democratic House and Senate. Not so. In 2009 the Lilly Ledbetter law, extending the time in which equal pay discrimination suits could be filed, was passed with a filibuster-proof 61 Democrat yea to 36 Republican nay vote. It was the very first act of Congress signed by President Obama. In 2010 another equal pay bill was brought to the floor and, in a preview of 2012, 58 Democratic yea votes did not reach the 60 needed to overcome 42 Republican nay votes.
Finally, Mr. Charlesworth claims the Democrats "forced" the Republicans to kill the bill! How they did this is not clear. But he goes on to say they did this to give the President and his party "the advantage to blame" the Republicans. And in spite of the fact that the President and his party have long supported many forms of equal rights, including equal pay, Mr. Charlesworth concludes they pulled this bit of magic because, "...they do not have an interest in passing such a bill."
No, the fact is that the Republicans killed the 2012 Equal Pay bill, as they have so many other similar bills. And if they believe that was a good thing to do, then they should claim credit for it, not the blame Mr. Charlesworth fears is coming their way.