It was quickly shadowed by the thoughts of Jenna Bush on CNN, buried by FoxNews, and nowhere to be found on BBCNews U.S./Politics page. The story of senate republicans blocking a bill that would make it easier for people to sue over pay discrimination faded as fast as the warpaint on the face of Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who issued a call to war after the bill was defeated.
Now that we’ve provided you will the links you’ll need to get properly pissed (works with both the American and British version of the word), here’s a quick summary:
“The bill, dubbed the Fair Pay Restoration Act, is a response to a 2007 Supreme Court decision that ruled a person who claims pay discrimination must file a complaint within 180 days of that discrimination taking place.” – CNN
“The bill that stalled Wednesday would have reset the clock with every paycheck, with supporters arguing that each paycheck was a discriminatory act. But Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, said the bill would allow retirees drawing pensions to sue their old companies over allegations of discrimination that happened decades ago.” -Also CNN
Let’s rewind to 2003. Remember the whole Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal? It was the Republicans who were fighting to do away with limitations to criminal filings – read this: Victims Want Limitations Lifted on Abuse Lawsuits. And the Republicans are accusing the Dems of political positioning? Obama and Clinton took time off of their campaign schedules to vote, McCain did not but said he was against the bill.
What baffles me even more is that the Republicans’ reasoning behind the bill’s defeat stems from the belief that a flood of lawsuits would be filed against corporations. So what? Isn’t that the point? Isn’t that the job of our state courts to decide these cases themselves? Do they think that discrimination is free or that workers forget about the horrible wrongs they’ve endured years later? Are they taking certain economic situations into consideration?
An example: If I have a job during the recession, I’m going to look at that job as a luxury. Even though I may be discriminated against for my race or gender, I may just shut my mouth to keep my job because I can’t afford a lawyer and my kids need to eat now. Let’s say the recession ends and my company ends up profiting in better times off the screwing they issued me year after year. Now that I’ve worked hard for this horrible, evil company and can afford a lawyer, I should have the right to fight for what’s owed to me, even if it’s 180 days after the screwing took place.
This is just plain wrong. It’s unbelievable that a government body can be this stupid. Republicans aren’t even trying to hide political divisions and alliances (well, at least FoxNews is), they’re making it an election issue. And thank heavens for that. If it’s in play, I say Obama or Clinton run one campaign ad from here to November:
A full-screen photo of John McCain with the words “I voted YES to block a discrimination bill,” underneath. I bet that will do wonders for the black vote he’s been trying to nuzzle up to in the last couple of weeks.