In an editorial in the Washington Post last week, Valerie Jarrett a senior advisor and assistant to President Obama for intergovernmental affairs, supported the act because she said it gives women "the tools they need to obtain equal pay for equal work."
Jarrett wrote: "Pay equity is an issue of fairness not just for women but also for employers who comply with the law and pay employees what they deserve. The current system rewards businesses that embrace sex-based pay discrimination as a cost-cutting measure and encourages a race to the bottom. The will right this wrong by rewarding businesses that set high standards and value their employees rather than taking advantage of them."
However, not everyone agrees that the "fair pay" is actually "equal pay."
Christina Hoff Sommers, a resident scholar at American Enterprise Institute, wrote in an editorial in the New York Times last week that the "Paycheck Fairness bill would set women against men, empower trial lawyers and activists, perpetuate falsehoods about the status of women in the workplace and create havoc in a precarious job market."
Sommers wrote that the act is flawed and "the problem is that while the debate proceeds, the bill assumes the answer: it would hold employers liable for the 'lingering effects of past discrimination' — 'pay disparities' that have been 'spread and perpetuated through commerce.' Under the bill, it's not enough for an employer to guard against intentional discrimination; it also has to police potentially discriminatory assumptions behind market-driven wage disparities that have nothing to do with sexism."
ABC News' Claire Shipman, Sarah Kunin, Daniel Arnall and the Associated Press contributed to this report.