April 12 was Equal Pay Day, the day that that the average American woman’s pay catches up to what her male counterpart earned at the end of the previous year. New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte would like you to believe that she’s made a serious effort to address the pay gap. In reality her “sham” bill was nothing more than a blatant attempt to look moderate in her tight reelection race.
Sen. Ayotte reintroduced the Gender Advancement in Pay (GAP) Act, which she said was “continuing my fight to make sure women and men receive equal pay for equal work.”
But her legislation seems little more than political theater. This is the second time this cycle that Ayotte, who’s in a tough reelection fight, has introduced a version of the GAP bill. Her bill only has a two percent chance of passing, and her recent efforts don’t exactly track with her record on the issue.
ThinkProgress said that the previous version of GAP and a previous bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, “look nearly identical.” But Ayotte voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act four times. She said in 2013 that the Paycheck Fairness Act wasn’t needed because existing laws covered the situation.
So where does this latest election cycle conversion on women’s rights come from?
As EMILY’s List Press Secretary Rachel Thomas told BNR, “This is just another thinly veiled attempt to cover up the fact that Kelly Ayotte has voted time and again against meaningful efforts to close the gender wage gap. Her sham bills won’t actually solve the problem, and they won’t protect her vulnerable seat come November. New Hampshire women are smarter than that.”
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Press Secretary Lauren Passalacqua agreed, telling BNR that “it’s a transparently political effort to distract from the fact that she’s opposed a basic economic policy that would boost women and families across New Hampshire.”
Ayotte also has a history of this kind of pseudo support for women’s rights. She previously introduced a bill to make many kinds of birth control available over the counter. Which sounds great, but the American Congress of OB-GYNs opposed it because it would make an end-run around ObamaCare and be more expensive for consumers.
These tweets say it all:
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)