Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2015

Fischer Takes GOP Lead in Pay Equity Debate

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., arrives in the Capitol for the weekly policy luncheons on Tuesday. Fischer co-authored the GOP's alternative pay equity bill. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Fischer co-authored the GOP’s alternative pay equity bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., likes to tell a story about when she was first elected to the state legislature and a reporter asked if she would focus on women’s issues.

“And I said, ‘Tell me what a women’s issue is,'” Fischer said.

After serving in Nebraska’s unicameral Legislature for eight years, she takes the same approach in the Senate, to which she was elected in 2012.

In a hallway interview Wednesday, she argued that women’s issues are no different from anyone else’s and include creating a strong economy, jobs, building infrastructure and ensuring national security.

“Women want the same thing that men want, so I don’t like being slotted in what’s perceived as a women’s issue because I think women’s issues are the same important issues that everybody in this country is trying to address,” she said.

Her comments come after she helped lead Republican opposition to the Democratic pay equity bill sponsored by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md.

The vote failed, 53-44, with all Democrats voting in favor of advancing the bill with the exception of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who voted “no” on procedural grounds. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with Democrats, voted with Republicans to filibuster the measure. Three Republicans did not vote.

Fischer helped lead the filibuster after Democrats refused to grant her a vote on her alternative, which had the blessing of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

“I spoke with Sen. McConnell and told him what my office was working on; I reached out to him,” Fischer said. “Sometimes something pops up that you think you can offer a solution to that’s been overlooked and I think that’s what we did here.”

The other Republican women signed on to Fischer’s bill as well — Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Murkowski, who has long worked on the pay equity issue, said Fischer worked to get input from members.

“She was [also] trying very hard to help educate some folks in our conference in terms of the messaging,” Murkowski said. “To suggest that pay inequities don’t exist is not what we should be saying because they do. Let’s be honest about it and try to come up with some proposals that are rational, instead of saying, ‘No problem here.’ ”

On the Senate floor Tuesday, Fischer argued that the GOP alternative should get a vote, but Democrats objected to her request, as they did to similar overtures for votes on other Republican amendments.

Also raising the profile of the junior senator from Nebraska was her appearance with McConnell at his weekly question-and-answer session with the press.

The GOP bill would have addressed concerns Republicans had with the Democratic measure, which they charged would lead to negative effects on merit pay, rigid pay scales and costly litigation — while still prohibiting retaliation against workers for inquiring about salaries of their co-workers or disclosing them.

Democrats have sought to frame the debate as Republicans being out of touch with women and plan to revisit the bill ahead of the the November elections.

“The fight is not over,” Reid said at a press conference. “This is not going to be the last opportunity for them to vote for this or to vote against it.”

But Fischer dismissed that narrative and argued Republicans have a strong case to make.

“Yes, we acknowledge there is some discrimination out there, it still happens,” Fischer said. “We have laws that address it. Enforce the laws that address it. And then we need to create jobs, we need to make sure that people have opportunity.”

Fischer lamented that the Senate did not consider the Republican amendments, which she said hurts the minority’s ability to represent their constituents.

“I was sent here to do a job and we aren’t allowed to do our job, which is to represent not just the people of our state, but the people of this country,” Fischer said. “We should be debating. And standing up there and talking is not debating. A debate concludes by a vote and we aren’t allowed to do that here, so that’s very, very disappointing.”

Reid said he remains open to Republican amendments that are germane and constructive, but said Republicans have to agree to start the debate first.

The vote also came after a dinner Tuesday evening, held every few months by the women of the Senate.

Asked if it was awkward given that the issue resonates with them all and that they are opposed on ways of addressing the matter, Fischer said, “Not at all.”

“We have different views, we come from places, and we hold different principles,” Fischer said, adding the pay equity issue didn’t come up.

She noted the practice is not to talk politics.

“I don’t do that,” Fischer said. “Sometimes things are said and then people realize that they shouldn’t have said it. But … I think I can get along and work with any of my colleagues here.”

Mikulski agreed.

“Many of us agree on the same goals, but we disagree on methods,” she said.

Comments (62)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. MaleMatters

    April 10, 2014
    7:52 p.m.

    Here’s what Obama and the Democrats don’t want anyone to know about women, men, and the wage gap:

    In general, women not only live longer and enjoy better health than men, who die sooner and at a higher rate of the 12 leading causes of death, they also control most of consumer spending and most of the nation’s wealth. Soon they will control even more.

    “Over the next decade, women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. Estimates range from $12 to $40 trillion. Many Boomer women will experience a double inheritance windfall, from both parents and husband.” -http://www.she-conomy.com/facts-on-women

    Sound like an oppressed group in need of yet another equal pay law?

    I suspect that many if not most of women’s advocates think employers are greedy profiteers who’d hire only illegal immigrants for their lower labor cost if they could get away with it. Or who’d move their business to a cheap-labor country to save money. Or replace older workers with younger ones for the same reason. So why do these same advocates think employers would NOT hire only women if, as they say, employers DO get away with paying females at a lower rate than males for the same work?

    Here’s one of countless examples showing that some of the most sophisticated women in the country choose to earn less while getting paid at the same rate as their male counterparts:

    “In 2011, 22% of male physicians and 44% of female physicians worked less than full time, up from 7% of men and 29% of women from Cejka’s 2005 survey.” ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/03/26/bil10326.htm

    A thousand laws won’t close that gap.

    In fact, no law yet has closed the gender wage gap — not the 1963 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, not Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, not affirmative action (which has benefited mostly white women, the group most vocal about the wage gap – tinyurl.com/74cooen), not the 1991 amendments to Title VII, not the 1991 Glass Ceiling Commission created by the Civil Rights Act, not the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, not diversity, not the countless state and local laws and regulations, not the thousands of company mentors for women, not the horde of overseers at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and not the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is another feel-good bill that turned into another do-nothing law (political intentions disguised as good intentions do not necessarily make things better; sometimes they make things worse)…. Nor will a “paycheck fairness” law work.

    That’s because women’s pay-equity advocates, who always insist one more law is needed, continue to overlook the effects of female AND male behavior:

    Despite the 40-year-old demand for women’s equal pay, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of “The Secrets of Happily Married Women,” stay-at-home wives, including the childless who represent an estimated 10 percent, constitute a growing niche. “In the past few years,” he says in a CNN report at tinyurl.com/6reowj, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier….” at tinyurl.com/qqkaka. If indeed a higher percentage of women is staying at home, perhaps it’s because feminists and the media have told women for years that female workers are paid less than men in the same jobs — so why bother working outside the home if they’re going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman, as illustrated by such titles as this: “Gender wage gap sees women spend 7 weeks working for nothing” http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/cwgbaueysnsn/rss2/.)

    As full-time mothers or homemakers, stay-at-home wives earn zero. How can they afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Answer: Because they’re supported by their husband, an “employer” who pays them to stay at home. (Far more wives are supported by a spouse than are husbands.)

    The implication of this is probably obvious to most 12-year-olds but seems incomprehensible to, or is wrongly dismissed as irrelevant by, feminists and the liberal media: If millions of wives are able to accept NO wages, millions of other wives, whose husbands’ incomes vary, are more often able than husbands to:

    -accept low wages

    -refuse overtime and promotions

    -choose jobs based on interest first, wages second — the reverse of what men tend to do (The most popular job for American women as of 2010 is still secretary/administrative assistant, which has been a top ten job for women for the last 50 years. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/11/gender-wage-gap_n_3424084.html)

    -take more unpaid days off

    -avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining (tinyurl.com/3a5nlay)

    -work fewer hours than their male counterparts, or work less than full-time more often than their male counterparts (as in the above example regarding physicians)

    Any one of these job choices lowers women’s median pay relative to men’s. And when a wife makes one of the choices, her husband often must take up the slack, thereby increasing HIS pay.

    Women who make these choices are generally able to do so because they are supported — or, if unmarried, anticipate being supported — by a husband who feels pressured to earn more than if he’d chosen never to marry. (Married men earn more than single men, but even many men who shun marriage, unlike their female counterparts, feel their self worth is tied to their net worth.) This is how MEN help create the wage gap: as a group they tend more than women to pass up jobs that interest them for ones that pay well.

    “The more alarming wage gap might be the one between mothers and childless women: One recent paper (http://www.npr.org/2012/02/07/146522483/the-wage-gap-between-moms-other-working-women) found that women with kids make roughly 7 to 14 percent less than women without them.” So why do organized feminists and the liberal media focus only on — and criticize — the wage gap between men and women? http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/02/the-mommy-track-myth/283557/

    More in “Does the Ledbetter Act Help Women?” at http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/will-the-ledbetter-fair-pay-act-help-women/

    See also:

    “Feminists don’t want you to know how women help create the wage gap: Women ‘want rich husbands, not careers'” http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/what-feminists-dont-want-you-to-know-women-want-rich-husbands-not-careers/

    Excerpt:

    “By the late 1990s, the proportion of women who were ‘marrying up’ had almost doubled to 38 percent. Similar patterns are seen across much of Europe, the US and Australia. Hakim said many women did not want to admit that they were looking for a higher earning partner. They even keep the fact secret from the men they are dating, Catherine Hakim said.”

    Government study, U.S. Dept of Labor study: An Analysis of the Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women http://www.consad.com/content/reports/Gender%20Wage%20Gap%20Final%20Report.pdf

  2. Water Dude

    April 11, 2014
    1:40 p.m.

    Since judging merit requires certain people to judge the efforts of others, the objective utility of any results delivered is irrelevant.

  3. Five Guyz

    April 13, 2014
    4:11 p.m.

    As central governments become more intoxicated with their own vanity, they undertake more fool’s errands in the name of this or that superstition du jour conjured up to justify their actions.

  4. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    12:59 p.m.

    My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a number of websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  5. Google

    July 25, 2015
    10:58 a.m.

    Very handful of internet websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively really worth checking out.

  6. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    10:46 p.m.

    I just could not depart your site prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard information a person provide for your visitors? Is gonna be back often to check up on new posts

    http://wiki.veganisme.org/index.php?title=Home_Insurance_Calculator_Premium

  7. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    10:44 a.m.

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  8. oak floating shelves

    July 29, 2015
    5:34 p.m.

    please take a look at the web-sites we adhere to, which includes this one particular, as it represents our picks from the web

  9. פורץ דלתות בנס ציונה

    July 30, 2015
    5:14 a.m.

    please go to the internet sites we stick to, which includes this one particular, because it represents our picks from the web

  10. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    5:50 p.m.

    It’s really a great and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    http://brookereviews.com/product/fat-diminisher-review-wesley-virgin-does-fat-diminisher-really-work-or-just-a-scam/

  11. Intuitive Document Solution

    July 30, 2015
    5:55 p.m.

    very handful of websites that happen to be in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely worth checking out

  12. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    12:36 p.m.

    I like this post, enjoyed this one thankyou for putting up.

    http://hotel-guitar.pl

  13. data recovery

    Aug. 1, 2015
    8:24 p.m.

    just beneath, are many totally not connected web pages to ours, however, they’re surely worth going over

  14. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    10:04 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your web site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this blog. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched all over the place and simply couldn’t come across. What a perfect website.

    http://www.consultdustry.com

  15. pdr course

    Aug. 2, 2015
    11:27 a.m.

    here are some links to web sites that we link to for the reason that we feel they may be really worth visiting

  16. Sex Restraint

    Aug. 5, 2015
    2:51 p.m.

    Sites of interest we have a link to

  17. bluetooth phone watch

    Aug. 5, 2015
    3:06 p.m.

    the time to study or pay a visit to the content or web-sites we have linked to below the

  18. miniclip.com

    Aug. 5, 2015
    10:40 p.m.

    always a significant fan of linking to bloggers that I love but do not get a great deal of link enjoy from

  19. คาสิโนออนไลน์

    Aug. 6, 2015
    4:27 a.m.

    although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they are truly really worth a go as a result of, so have a look

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    8:25 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your site is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and just could not come across. What a great website.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/compare-auto-insurance-rates-by-zip-code.html

  21. work from home careers

    Aug. 6, 2015
    5:33 p.m.

    just beneath, are various totally not connected websites to ours, having said that, they’re surely really worth going over

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    3:16 a.m.

    I have been checking out many of your posts and i must say pretty clever stuff. I will surely bookmark your blog.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/compare-auto-insurance-rates-by-zip-code.html

  23. alternative cancer treatment centers

    Aug. 7, 2015
    6:07 p.m.

    just beneath, are many totally not associated web pages to ours, on the other hand, they may be surely really worth going over

  24. cheap international calls

    Aug. 7, 2015
    11:51 p.m.

    Here is an excellent Weblog You might Uncover Fascinating that we Encourage You

  25. dental crowns nogales

    Aug. 8, 2015
    12:05 p.m.

    below youll come across the link to some web-sites that we think you ought to visit

  26. Nettsider Bedriftsguiden

    Aug. 8, 2015
    8:32 p.m.

    just beneath, are a lot of entirely not associated web-sites to ours, nonetheless, they’re certainly really worth going over

  27. musaka

    Aug. 8, 2015
    10:40 p.m.

    the time to study or pay a visit to the content material or web sites we have linked to below the

  28. how to manifest abundance in your life

    Aug. 10, 2015
    7 p.m.

    that may be the finish of this report. Here youll discover some websites that we think youll value, just click the hyperlinks over

  29. classic coffee

    Aug. 11, 2015
    3:37 p.m.

    although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they may be essentially worth a go by way of, so possess a look

  30. anzac day tours

    Aug. 11, 2015
    9:58 p.m.

    Every after inside a even though we choose blogs that we read. Listed below would be the newest web sites that we opt for

  31. stone cleaning

    Aug. 12, 2015
    1:08 a.m.

    that is the finish of this write-up. Right here youll obtain some web pages that we assume youll enjoy, just click the hyperlinks over

  32. percent change calculator

    Aug. 12, 2015
    2 a.m.

    below youll obtain the link to some sites that we believe you should visit

  33. anzac day tours

    Aug. 12, 2015
    2:27 p.m.

    Here is a great Weblog You might Find Interesting that we Encourage You

  34. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    3:58 p.m.

    After study just a few of the weblog posts on your web site now, and I truly like your means of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will likely be checking again soon. Pls take a look at my web site as properly and let me know what you think.

    http://topcheapinsurance.com/companies-insurance-united-states.html

  35. Oak furniture

    Aug. 13, 2015
    9:45 p.m.

    usually posts some quite intriguing stuff like this. If youre new to this site

  36. nfl streaming games

    Aug. 14, 2015
    7:42 a.m.

    check below, are some totally unrelated web sites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use

  37. 411 PAIN pills

    Aug. 14, 2015
    12:51 p.m.

    although web sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they are truly really worth a go by means of, so possess a look

  38. Dolphins Riviera Maya

    Aug. 15, 2015
    7:09 p.m.

    Here are a number of the web-sites we suggest for our visitors

  39. international calling plans

    Aug. 16, 2015
    12:20 a.m.

    The data mentioned inside the post are a few of the ideal obtainable

  40. Kelowna Spiruality

    Aug. 16, 2015
    5:52 a.m.

    Here is a good Weblog You might Come across Intriguing that we Encourage You

  41. richmond inflatable hire

    Aug. 16, 2015
    8:45 a.m.

    usually posts some pretty fascinating stuff like this. If you are new to this site

  42. 1800flowers

    Aug. 16, 2015
    11:10 p.m.

    Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors

  43. ich werde nicht schwanger obwohl alles in ordnung ist

    Aug. 17, 2015
    8:45 a.m.

    the time to study or take a look at the subject material or sites we have linked to below the

  44. click to read

    Aug. 17, 2015
    4:57 p.m.

    Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated data, nevertheless truly worth taking a search, whoa did 1 master about Mid East has got extra problerms as well

  45. globalseoagency

    Aug. 18, 2015
    4:50 p.m.

    we came across a cool internet site that you simply could possibly love. Take a look in case you want

  46. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    7:03 a.m.

    Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for inexperienced blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  47. oil test tubes

    Aug. 19, 2015
    6:11 p.m.

    The facts mentioned within the report are a few of the most beneficial readily available

  48. motorcycle dealer

    Aug. 19, 2015
    10:37 p.m.

    Here are some of the web pages we advocate for our visitors

  49. veilingen

    Aug. 20, 2015
    9:51 p.m.

    The data mentioned in the report are several of the very best out there

  50. event photographer

    Aug. 21, 2015
    2:48 a.m.

    the time to study or visit the material or web pages we have linked to beneath the

  51. dent repair school

    Aug. 21, 2015
    4:19 a.m.

    usually posts some really interesting stuff like this. If you are new to this site

  52. Ad Valorem Tax

    Aug. 22, 2015
    7:01 a.m.

    although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they may be basically worth a go by means of, so possess a look

  53. instantrewardsnetwork

    Aug. 22, 2015
    12:50 p.m.

    Every after in a when we opt for blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest websites that we pick

  54. Internationals calls

    Aug. 22, 2015
    9:45 p.m.

    that will be the finish of this post. Here youll come across some web pages that we assume you will value, just click the links over

  55. visit the following website page

    Aug. 23, 2015
    6:54 p.m.

    we came across a cool web site which you might get pleasure from. Take a appear should you want

  56. industrial refrigerator

    Aug. 24, 2015
    4:56 a.m.

    Here is a great Blog You may Locate Interesting that we Encourage You

  57. SEO company in Bristol

    Aug. 26, 2015
    10:24 p.m.

    usually posts some quite intriguing stuff like this. If you are new to this site

  58. GOLAN YUVAL

    Aug. 27, 2015
    7:41 a.m.

    just beneath, are numerous totally not connected sites to ours, even so, they are certainly worth going over

  59. buy backlinks

    Aug. 27, 2015
    8:12 p.m.

    Here are a few of the web-sites we recommend for our visitors

  60. Cheap Viagra Online

    today
    2:24 a.m.

    usually posts some pretty exciting stuff like this. If you are new to this site

  61. Vitals

    today
    5:26 a.m.

    here are some hyperlinks to websites that we link to mainly because we believe they may be worth visiting

  62. Buy Ray Bans

    today
    12:31 p.m.

    Sites of interest we have a link to

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...