It wasn't lost on Democrats that today is Equal Pay Day, the day the average woman has to work to in 2014 on top of working all through 2013 in order to earn equal pay to the average man who worked in 2013. While Republicans keep trying to disprove the 77 cents on the dollar pay gap, President Obama signed measures today to actually do something to erase it.
President Obama on Tuesday signed two executive measures intended to help close longstanding pay disparities between men and women as Democrats seek to capitalize on their gender-gap advantage at the ballot box in a midterm election year.
Mr. Obama, standing in front of a platform of women in a picture-ready ceremony in the East Room of the White House, said his actions would make it easier for women to learn whether they had been cheated by employers. He called on Congress to pass legislation that would take more significant steps.
Remember, President Obama's first legislative priority when he took office was the Lily Ledbetter Paycheck Fairness Act, which was blocked by Senate Republicans in 2010 and then again in 2012. Another vote on the act will come tomorrow, where it is expected to be blocked a third time. Real change will take Congress, but the President can do some things, and he chose to do them today.
Neither of the actions Mr. Obama took on Tuesday would affect the broad American work force. The executive order he signed bars federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their salaries and an executive memorandum he issued instructs the Labor Department to collect statistics on pay for men and women from such contractors.
But the White House staged a ceremony with the sort of profile usually reserved for a major bill signing. Aides arranged for Mr. Obama to be introduced by Lilly M. Ledbetter, who has become a symbol of the pay gap issue since the Supreme Court ruled that her discrimination case had been filed after the expiration of a statute of limitations. Congress passed a measure named for her changing the deadlines for filing such suits and Mr. Obama made it the first bill he signed after taking office.
Ms. Ledbetter said the executive order signed by Mr. Obama would have made a difference in her case. “I didn’t know I was being paid unfairly and I had no way to find out. I was told in no uncertain terms that Goodyear, then and still a government contractor, fired employees who shared their salary information. It was against company policy.”
Meanwhile, Republicans will all vote against this tomorrow and then tell women that they are stupid and being fooled by evil Democrats.