Debate Club

Should the Senate Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act?

Should the Senate Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act?

After battles over the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and the mandate by President Obama’s healthcare law that religious institutions cover contraceptives for employees, another storm is brewing in Washington over women-oriented issues. The Senate is expected to call a vote in the coming weeks on the Paycheck Fairness Act, an update on 1963’s Equal Pay Act, which made wage discrimination based on one’s sex illegal. With a reported 77 cents to the dollar pay gap between women and men, respectively, persisting nearly five decades later, the Paycheck Fairness Act is designed to help those who believe they are victims of gender-based wage discrimination by making wages more transparent, by requiring that employers prove that wage discrepancies are tied to legitimate business qualifications and not gender, and by prohibiting companies from taking retaliatory action against employees who raise concerns about gender-based wage discrimination. The bill, supported by the Obama administration, was passed by the House in January 2009 only to be stalled in the Senate in November 2010, and was reintroduced in both chambers in April 2011. Democratic National Committee Chair and Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently urged presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to take a stand on the bill, bringing it back into the political limelight and putting the pressure on Senate Dems to prioritize a vote on the legislation.

Proponents say that more must be done to close the pay gap between men and women, particularly with much greater participation by women in the workforce since the Equal Pay Act became law. Opponents say that the proposed new law misdiagnoses the problem, questioning the data cited by its supporters, and would unfairly harm small businesses as the economic recovery struggles to pick up steam. Should the Senate pass the Paycheck Fairness Act? Here is the Debate Club’s take.


The Arguments

#1
200 Pts
The Case Against the Paycheck Fairness Act

No – The Case Against the Paycheck Fairness Act

Christina Hoff Sommers Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

#2
103 Pts
Paycheck Fairness Act Is Based on a Misapplied Statistic

No – Paycheck Fairness Act Is Based on a Misapplied Statistic

Diana Furchtgott-Roth Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

#3
100 Pts
Paycheck Fairness Act Will Hurt Women

No – Paycheck Fairness Act Will Hurt Women

Sabrina L. Schaeffer Executive Director of the Independent Women's Forum

#4
77 Pts
Act Undercuts Protection, Choices Women Have in Job Market

No – Act Undercuts Protection, Choices Women Have in Job Market

Penny Nance President and CEO of Concerned Women for America

#5
-35 Pts
Pay Equity More Important Than Ever Before

Yes – Pay Equity More Important Than Ever Before

Sarah Jane Glynn Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress

#6
-48 Pts
Paycheck Fairness Act Is Sorely Needed

Yes – Paycheck Fairness Act Is Sorely Needed

Deborah J. Vagins Senior Legislative Counsel for the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office


Previous Topics

You Might Also Like


See More