U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today released the following statement after the Senate voted to not move forward on the Paycheck Fairness Act. In a vote of 52 to 47, the Senate defeated the legislation which is designed to increase protections for women filing gender discrimination lawsuits and create a federal grant program aimed at improving the salary negotiating skills of women.
Begich voted in favor of the bill and released this statement:
"I find it shocking that in the year 2012, there are still people who don't support equal pay for equal work.
"In Alaska, women earn only 78 cents for every dollar paid to men, which over a lifetime totals about $623,000. Many women in Alaska are the primary wage earner for the family, so this discrimination also hurts our families and children.
"It makes no sense to me how some can say they support women, but then actively prevent women from earning equal pay. This is gender discrimination pure and simple. I'm disappointed and was hopeful we would have a different outcome."