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Paycheck Fairness Act and the “Which Way Is It” people; or, the Feminist Hypocrite Caucus stumbles again

May 24, 2012
paycheck fairness

Feminist Congresswomen pay their female staffers less than their male staffers!

Murray, who has repeatedly accused Republicans of waging a “war a women,” is one of the worst offenders. Female members of Murray’s staff made about $21,000 less per year than male staffers in 2011, a difference of 35.2 percent.

That is well above the 23 percent gap that Democrats claim exists between male and female workers nationwide. The figure is based on a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report, and is technically accurate. However, as CNN’s Lisa Sylvester has reported, when factors such as area of employment, hours of work, and time in the workplace are taken into account, the gap shrinks to about 5 percent.

A significant “gender gap” exists in Feinstein’s office, where women also made about $21,000 less than men in 2011, but the percentage difference—41 percent—was even higher than Murray’s.

Boxer’s female staffers made about $5,000 less, a difference of 7.3 percent.

The Free Beacon used publicly available salary data from the transparency website Legistorm to calculate the figures, and considered only current full-time staff members who were employed for the entirety of fiscal year 2011.

The employee gender pay gap among Senate Democrats was not limited to Murray, Boxer, and Feinstein. Of the 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus examined in the analysis, 37 senators paid their female staffers less than male staffers.

Senators elected in 2010—Joe Manchin, Chris Coons, and Richard Blumenthal—were not considered due to incomplete salary data.

Women working for Senate Democrats in 2011 pulled in an average salary of $60,877. Men made about $6,500 more.

While the gap is significant, it is slightly smaller than that of the White House, which pays men about $10,000, or 13 percent, more on average, according to a previous Free Beacon analysis.

The pay differential is quite striking in some cases, especially among leading Democrats. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), who runs the Senate Democratic messaging operation, paid men $19,454 more on average, a 36 percent difference.

Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) paid men $13,063 more, a difference of 23 percent.

Other notable Senators whose “gender pay gap” was larger than 23 percent:

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)—47.6 percent
  • Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D., N.M.)—40 percent
  • Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.)—34.2 percent
  • Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.)—31.5 percent
  • Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.)—30.4 percent
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.)–29.7 percent
  • Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.)–29.2 percent
  • Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.)—26.5 percent
  • Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore)—26.4 percent
  • Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa)—23.2 percent

Sen. Sanders, who is an avowed socialist who caucuses with the Democrats, has the worst gender gap by far. He employed more men (14) than women (10), and his chief of staff is male. Like many of his fellow partisans, he has previously accused Republicans of “trying to roll back the clock on women’s rights.”

One possible explanation for the pay disparity is the noticeable preference among Senate Democrats’ for male chiefs of staff, who typically draw the highest congressional salaries. Of the 46 Democratic Senators listing a chief of staff on their payroll in 2011, 13 were women.

A similar disparity exists in the White House, which employs 74 men and only 48 women in senior positions.

Senate Democrats have been actively pushing the issue of equal pay over the past several days. “In 19 of the 20 most common occupations for men or women, women earn less for the same work. We need #EqualPay,” the official Twitter account of Senate Democrats wrote on Tuesday.

Sen. Murray has invoked the so-called GOP “war on women” in fundraising pitches for months. “Women are people. That should be obvious, but apparently it isn’t, at least not to extreme Republicans who see us as mere targets of their political strategy,” she wrote in May 10, 2012, campaign fundraising e-mail.

Senate Democrats plan to bring the Paycheck Fairness Act, which some have described as a “trial lawyers’ payday” that would facilitate large punitive damage claims in discrimination suits, up for a vote following the Memorial Day recess.

Congress already passed equal pay legislation in January 2009. President Obama has frequently touted that bill—the Lilly Ledbetter Act—as the first piece of legislation he signed upon taking office, and has sought to declare “problem solved” on the issue of equal pay for women.

“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,” he said in June 2009.

When it comes to prosecuting instances of gender pay discrimination, however, the Obama administration has been far less active than that of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush. Under Obama, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed six gender-based wage discrimination lawsuits. That number is down from 18 lawsuits filed during Bush’s second term.


paycheck fairness

paycheck fairness

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4 Responses to Paycheck Fairness Act and the “Which Way Is It” people; or, the Feminist Hypocrite Caucus stumbles again

  1. Fred Sottile on May 28, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    How about we, as a society, demand equal work?
    Next time your car breaks down on the road, call a woman to tow and repair it.
    Next time your drain clogs or pipe bursts, call a woman to fix it.
    Next time a ship comes in to port, have women unload it.
    Next time we need road or bridge construction or maintenance, let's get a crew of women on the job.
    Next time we need to put a stop to another Hitler or Saddam, let's send in the women.
    Next time a woman wants to stay home to raise her child, let's make sure another woman will provide for her.
    And, off topic but undeniably important,
    Next time a child needs their dad to put a stop to abuse by their mom, let's make sure he is allowed.
    Equal pay, don't make me laugh.
    On Memorial Day, I can proudly say, without the MEN of the military, the women and politically correct, feminized men of our country would be conquered tomorrow morning.
    Support the MEN in our military. They are the only thing standing between our freedom and communist enslavement.
    (With the exception of women in the medical field who do equal work,) Equal work? Women are doing equal work? Really? No! Not by a long shot.
    I live in Los Angeles. Here we have an industry that is dominated by women. It is public education. I don't know what is happening where you live, but here we have a 40% drop-out rate, and among those who do "graduate," we have people who can't write a letter or make change for a dollar. I guarantee if you gave those teaching jobs to men, put their pay on a performance based commission, and allowed them to run the schools "man style," we would have the most competitive schools in the world.
    Equal pay? For What?
    The ironic truth is, in every instance of a woman doing equal work, they do get equal pay. If they didn't, the lawsuits would be filed instantly. You don't hear about these suits because no one can find an instance of disparate pay.

  2. HowardG on May 25, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    They should pass this act when we pass a "fair incarceration sentence gap" bill that makes sure women get the same sentences for crimes men get.

  3. Mad Dog Mike64806 on May 24, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    How can there be a pay gap if the majority of all college graduates are women. How can there be a pay gap if most of the Hollywood movies are made from books written by women. As a matter of fact women are out earning their male counterparts in Hollywood. Maybe I'm blind but I don't see the oppression here. If women are sincere about equality let’s see them push for a law that would make paternity fraud a crime with a mandatory 10 year sentence.

    • Mad Dog Mike64806 on May 24, 2012 at 11:21 PM

      When I worked in the textile mill back in 1987 I had the hardest jobs in the whole plant. I had to work for six female inspectors all of them made at least two dollars an hour more than me, but I had to do all of the heavy lifting and the hard work. This job was so hard that one day they had to put three men with me and we were all still worn out. They asked me how the hell I was still standing at the end of the day. The six women that had the easy job making my life a living hell never even broke a sweat. As matter of fact they took great delight in making my life miserable. And yes they expected men to pay their way. They would also make a point of letting me and all of the men there know that they only dated men that made more money than they did.

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