DNC Chair Slams Wis. Gov. Walker for Equal Pay Repeal

Apr 8, 2012 2:38pm

The Democratic National Committee chairwoman called out Republican Gov. Scott Walker today for repealing Wisconsin’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act, a law intended to lower the cost for plaintiffs suing employers for pay discrimination.

“He tried to quietly repeal the Equal Pay Act. Women aren’t going to stand for that,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The law allowed for victims to sue employers in state court which is often less expensive than filing in federal court.

The Republican controlled state Senate passed the measure in November, followed by passage in the state Legislature in February. Walker then repealed it Thursday.

“The focus of the Republican Party on turning back the clock for women really is something that’s unacceptable and shows how callus and insensitive they are towards women’s priorities,” the Florida congresswoman said.

National Republicans have yet to comment on the Wisconsin repeal but the Obama campaign has seized the opportunity to tie Walker’s law to Mitt Romney, who has argued that women voters in 2012 only care about pocketbook issues.

“Does Romney think women should have ability to take their bosses to court to get the same pay as their male coworkers? Or does he stand with Governor Walker against this?” Obama campaign representative Lis Smith said Friday.

Republicans have been accused of waging a war on women since speaking out against President Obama’s health care law that requires insurance companies to pay for female contraceptives.

Many religious employers objected to the rule so the administration carved out an exception for religious institutions. But Republicans, in turn, have characterized the battle as a fight for religious freedom.

But not all Democrats are convinced that the GOP is intentionally attacking women.  Rep Emanuel Cleave, D-Mo., who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, defended Republicans while on CNN’s “State of the Union,” saying that it would be “wrong” to accuse Republicans of waging a war on women.

“We have got to quit exaggerating our political differences,”  said Cleaver, who is also a Methodist pastor.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has been dismissive of attacks by Democrats, comparing their concerns to a “war on caterpillars.”

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