The Paycheck Fairness Act, which was designed to combat wage disparity between men and women, failed to receive the 60 votes needed for passage in the upper chamber.
“Today, Senate Republicans overwhelmingly blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act – preventing it from even receiving an honest debate, let alone a simple yes-or-no vote,” Obama said in a statement.
Democrats are ramping up efforts ahead of the midterms to frame Republicans as out of touch with women. The bill had virtually no chance of making it through both chambers on Capitol Hill, but Democrats see the message as a clear political winner.
Obama on Tuesday signed executive orders banning discrimination against employees openly discussing their salaries and instructing the Labor Department to collect salary data based on gender.
Republicans counter that Obama is stoking a false “war on women” narrative and that measures are already in place to prohibit workplace discrimination.
In fact, the White House has been on the defensive over its claim that women make just 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. Conservatives say that statistic is both inaccurate and misleading and does not take into account the types of jobs women choose to accept.
However, Obama will clearly sound the drum on the issue in the weeks ahead.
On the GOP strategy, Obama said on Wednesday, “It’s harmful for our national efforts to rebuild an economy that gives every American who works hard a fair shot to get ahead.”