Legislative Update for June 8, 2012

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In the Senate:

Under the misguided “war on woman” rhetoric, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) brought the Paycheck Fairness Act to the floor for a vote this week. It received only 52 votes, thus failing to attain the 60 votes necessary.Click here to see the results.

Polls are showing that women do not buy this so-called “war on women.”Women aren’t only concerned with women’s issues but care deeply about all of the issues that impact all Americans.

Further, the Paycheck Fairness Act will hurt women, the group it purports to help.The Paycheck Fairness Act rams a one-size-fits-all approach onto the back of corporate America.With unemployment at 8.2 percent and 12.7 million Americans out of work, it is illogical to enact legislation that would discourage employers from hiring new workers.

Additionally, the wage gap is not necessarily the result of discrimination.There are many reasons that men and women may earn different wages, such as education, experience, or tenure.A 2009 study commissioned by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the issue of the wage gap found no conclusive evidence to determine that women’s wages were lower simply as a result of discrimination.The study did, however, find that women were more likely than men to leave the workforce to take care of children or older parents. It also found that women tended to value family friendly workplace policies more than men and often accepted lower salaries in exchange for more benefits.Congress should not use the disparity in wages between men and women as a basis to justify corrective action.

On Monday, the Senate will vote on Andrew David Hurwitz to be a United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.Hurwitz takes pride for the deeply flawed reasoning of Roe v. Wade, because as a law clerk he provided the underlining arguments relied on by the Supreme Court in that atrocious decision. We have been on the Hill opposing Hurwitz; however, he is backed by his two Republican Arizona Senators, Jon Kyl and John McCain.

Next week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). ENDA would overturn the historical basis of protected class status by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to civil rights law. Sexual orientation is a lifestyle choice, which is not on the same level as gender or a person’s skin color. It also expands civil rights protections on the vague basis of perception. Furthermore, an employer with a moral or religious belief opposed to homosexuality or bisexuality would be forced to lay down their rights and convictions.

Act Now: Call your senator and ask them to oppose to ENDA. Click here to find your senator.

In the House:

The House took up the Homeland Security Appropriations bill this week, which included a provision by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama) to prohibit federal funds from being used for abortions for immigrations detainees. It also provides conscience protections to individuals who have moral or religious objections to performing or facilitating abortions. This legislation passed 234-182 and we were able to keep hostile amendments off the bill.

The House Appropriations passed the Financial Services appropriations bill that included the D.C. Abortion ban.This was one of the pro-life riders that President Obama and the Pelosi-Reid controlled Congress eliminated in Fiscal Year 2010.We were able, with a fight, to get it reinserted into the bill, and we are pleased that the House will include it.