CREDIT: AP Photos/Susan Walsh
Tuesday afternoon, Mitch McConnell’s office clarified that he was referencing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) comments about the Koch brothers, not equal pay. “As is crystal clear to anyone who actually read or heard his remarks, Senator McConnell was referring to an ‘attack’ that Senator Reid had made the previous day on two private citizens who disagree with him,” McConnell spokesman Brian McGuire said in a statement, according to The Daily Beast. “Only someone who believes that Senator Reid was ‘attacking’ pay equity could conclude that Senator McConnell was doing so himself.” The original post is below.
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) honored Equal Pay Day — a day that symbolizes the amount of time it takes women to earn what men make in a year — by accusing Democrats and President Obama of a “never-ending political road show” that merely blows “a few kisses” to their voter base.
“Instead of focusing on jobs, he launched into another confusing attack on the left’s latest bizarre obsession,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Just think about that. The percentage of Americans in the workforce is at an almost four-decade low, and Democrats chose to ignore serious job-creation ideas so they could blow a few kisses to their powerful pals on the left.”
McConnell argued the fact that women still earn 77 percent of what men make should take a backseat to more serious Republican priorities. These priorities typically include building Keystone XL pipeline and repealing Obamacare (which Republicans have attempted more than 50 times).
Leading up to Democrats’ latest push for equal pay, Republicans have claimed that the gender wage gap is a “myth” and that it is “condescending” to discuss. But the reality is that women still earn less even when they achieve the same education and job level, with gender discrimination accounting for as much as much as 40 percent of their pay gap.
In the past, McConnell’s voting record against women has not stopped him from taking credit anyway. He once touted the Violence Against Women Act to women voters, although he opposed it in both 1993 and 2012. McConnell has also opposed both the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. And the very health care law that McConnell wants to repeal prevents insurance companies from charging women more and ensures contraception coverage.