Equal pay, anyone?

Equal pay, anyone?

Equal pay, anyone?
Not for Comstock, it seems, if you look at advocacy record

STEPHANIE VAUGHAN

[May 2, 2016]

This letter is a continuation of one I wrote in April that cites the hypocrisy being shown by the current 10th District U.S. representative to the women of Virginia.

Below are concrete examples of how she refuses to defend women and fight against lower wages being paid to women. Congresswoman Barbara Comstock often touts her efforts to provide opportunities for women, yet her record shows she has repeatedly and consistently opposed policies that would help address the economic anxieties women and families are facing.

In a video, Comstock accused Lilly Ledbetter and other women who advocated for equal-pay legislation of being “partisan” and having a “left- wing agenda” ( MSNBC, Oct. 18, 2012).

In April 2015, Comstock voted for blocking consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would end the pay gap between men and women and ensure equal pay for equal work. “The legislation would protect workers from retaliation for sharing information about their wages, require employers to explain any pay disparities among workers performing the same job, and allow employees to seek unlimited punitive damages in wage bias cases.” The previous question passed 239- 183. A vote against the previous question would have allowed the bill to be considered (H. Res. 189, Vote No. 148, April 14, 2015; Bloomberg, April 14, 2015; Congressional Record, April 14, 2015).

Again, in April 2015, Comstock voted for blocking consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act. “The legislation would protect workers from retaliation for sharing information about their wages, require employers to explain any pay disparities among workers performing the same job, and allow employees to seek unlimited punitive damages in wage bias cases.” The previous question passed 240- 183. A vote against the previous question would have allowed the bill to be considered ( H. Res. 200, Vote No. 154, April 15, 2015; Bloomberg, April 14, 2015; Congressional Record, April 15, 2015).

In February 2015, Comstock voted against an amendment that “would have established a STEM Gateways program for state education agencies to issue grants for educating girls, underrepresented minorities, and low-income students in the science, technology, engineering and math fields at elementary schools and secondary schools.” The amendment failed, 217- 204 (HR 5, Vote No. 95, Feb. 26, 2015; Bangor Daily News, Feb. 27, 2015).

In September 2015, Comstock voted against a Democratic motion to recommit with instructions HR 758. “The Democratic Motion to recommit protects women’s right to demand equal wages, byexcluding claims of employment discrimination from the underlying bill that raises new obstacles for Americans to seek remedy in the courts.” The motion to recommit failed 239- 179. ( HR 758, Vote No. 500, Sept. 17, 2015; Democratic Motion to Recommit, HR 758, Sept. 17, 2015).

In October 2012, Comstock defended GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s opposition to the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act. The Romney campaign released a statement that Romney would not have signed the act when it was passed in 2009, but would not repeal it when elected.

“Well, it’s important to understand that equal pay for equal work for women has been the law since the 1960s. Sometimes, people forget that that’s the law and it has been the law. The Lilly Ledbetter Act was dealing with — (audio break) — limitations. So, I mean, that was a legal issue. That was trial lawyers and issues,” Comstock said (“ Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Oct. 18, 2012).

So ladies, when you work hard for a living, think about which woman better represents your interests to receive equal pay for equal work on Nov. 8 when you vote.

Stephanie R. Vaughan chairs the Winchester-Frederick County Democratic Committee.

Stephanie Vaughan

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