MILWAUKEE — One Wisconsin Now is marking the 45th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act’s passage by calling on Senator John McCain to promote policies in the U.S. Senate that close the pay gap between women and men once and for all.
In April, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) skipped the vote on the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would have restored workers’ ability to pursue pay discrimination claims in the courts and provided greater protection for women receiving unfair wages. McCain explained his opposition to the bill by saying that instead of equal pay protection, women simply needed “education and training.” He even told a 14-year old girl that he didn’t think protections for equal pay would do “anything to help the rights of women.”
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“Senator McCain should know a lot about not doing anything to help the rights of women, as that is precisely what he’s done in the U.S. Senate—nothing,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “The women and families of Wisconsin and the nation can’t afford this costly inaction in the U.S. Senate any longer.
In 2006, Wisconsin women’s wages were about 22 percent lower than men’s. That means a full-time woman working in the state would earn around $28,000 per year, on average, compared with over $36,500 for a man. Earlier this year, Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Representative Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) authored the Equal Pay Enforcement Act, a bill that would have closed this gap and provided families with additional income that would help pay for rising health care, fuel and food costs. It passed the state Senate but continues to languish in the Wisconsin Assembly.
“It’s time for Senator McCain to set the tone for our nation and its state legislatures by making fair and equitable wages for women a priority,” said Ross. “We urge you to contact Senator McCain and let him know that in Wisconsin, we expect him to stop skipping votes and skipping out on women and their rights.”
To view more failed economic policies McCain has supported in the U.S. Senate, download the One Wisconsin Now Fact Sheet here.