The Democrats have been pushing the Paycheck Fairness Act for a while now as a plan to address the gender wage gap or whatever it’s beeing called these days. They’re planning on pushing ahead with it in the House yet again this week, but it’s basically dead on arrival in the Senate and President Trump would never sign it anyway. Problem solved, right? Nope. Never willing to leave well enough alone, the Republicans have cooked up their own gender equity something or other bill and it’s been put forward by New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. (Politico)
House Republicans are introducing their own legislation Tuesday to close the gender pay gap as the party battles criticism from Democrats that the GOP is anti-women.
The bill, which will be unveiled by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), comes ahead of a floor vote on a Democratic-backed bill dubbed the “Paycheck Fairness Act.”
Stefanik stood up during a GOP conference meeting on Tuesday morning to encourage lawmakers to back her alternative measure, which she is billing as a rebuttal to the Democrats’ legislation, according to lawmakers who attended the closed-door session. An aide confirmed that Stefanik plans to introduce the “WAGE Equity Act” later Tuesday, but declined to provide further details.
We don’t have any details on the WAGE Equity Act yet, possibly because it hasn’t even been finalized, at least as far as I know. It’s really not easy to even imagine what it could contain because of the nature of the “problem” they’re trying to deal with.
What this may turn out to be is yet another solution in search of a crisis. There have been plenty of studies done showing that the perceived gender wage gap is actually a result of a variety of factors. These include differences in total years worked over the course of a career and women more often going into careers that, on average, pay less than other fields regardless of your gender. There’s also the matter of individual workers having different negotiating skills, levels of experience and resumes.
What sort of bill should the GOP craft to impose regulations on employers addressing these factors? And isn’t the idea of that level of pervasive intrusion on the free market kind of, shall we say… counter to the core concepts of conservatism? For the record, I’m a big admirer of Congresswoman Stefanik and have followed her career closely. (Her district is not far from mine.) She’s built an impressive resume since becoming (at that time) the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. She also comes from a small business background, so I’d expect she has a handle on the issues I discussed above.
I’ll take a wait and see attitude on this for now, but I hope she’s not about to roll out some sort of “Democrat-lite” version of an intrusive nanny-state set of government mandates on employers.