Matt Haarington

Matt Haarington

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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The Paycheck Fairness Act: A Filibuster for You… But Not For Them

It didn’t surprise me to read the headlines that Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act.  We expect a Republican-controlled House of Representatives to do these things.  No, my surprise came when I read the articles.  That’s when I found out that it wasn’t the House that blocked the bill.  It was the Senate.

Yep, you read that right.  The Democrat-controlled Senate blocked the bill.  They introduced a bill called the Paycheck Fairness Act that would eliminate gender wage discrimination, and then they killed it.  When it died, they claimed they couldn’t get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

Uh, wait a second here… only last November, Senate Democrats eliminated the filibuster to prevent Republicans from blocking judicial and executive appointments.  They called it their “nuclear option,” remember?  They changed a nearly two-century-old tradition to put their judges on the bench over Republican objections.  They said it was necessary to end Republican “obstructionism.”  Four years ago, the Senate had no problems doing an end-run around the filibuster rules to pass the Affordable Care Act as a budget measure.

So we know Senate Democrats don’t have a problem with circumventing filibuster rules, so why not end the filibuster for a basic civil right?  Certainly basic civil rights are more important than judges, right?  Senate Democrats could have easily changed the filibuster rules and then passed the bill.  But instead, they stood by and let it die.

Are you starting to get the feeling that something here isn’t right?

The Democrats can’t end a filibuster for a basic civil right, but they sure had no problem eliminating it to put their judges on the bench.  Undoubtedly, these judges were personal friends of the senators.  Undoubtedly, these judges were backed by corporate machines that pumped millions of dollars into Senate Democrats’ pockets to “persuade” them to change the filibuster rules.  And what about the ACA?  Oh, that’s right – the insurance companies stood to gain $10 billion over 20 years if the ACA passed.  How much would you give to your Senators if you knew you could get $10 billion in return?

Do you think these corporations want to have to pay their women more?  Of course not.  It’s cheaper to give money to the Senate leadership than it is to be forced to pay men and women equally.

That’s why we get an end to the filibuster for appointments and the ACA, but no end to the filibuster for a basic civil right affecting half the country.

Do you now see how this works, folks?  The Democrats created a bill they never intended to pass.  Then the media reported it to you as if it were the Republicans’ fault.  And now you’re angry at the Republicans when you should be far more angry at the Democrats.

And Senate Democrats did it this way because they knew they could get away with it.

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    • Matt Haarington Matt Haarington April 15, 2014

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