By Shane Murphy
Note: Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their authors and not necessarily those of Penn Dems as an organization.
Someone should really tell John Boehner and Mitch McConnell that it’s not 1955 anymore.
Congressional Republicans yet again stand in the way of basic social progress. On September 15, the Senate shot down equal pay legislation aimed to ensure that women make as much as men in the workplace when every single GOP Senator who showed up voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. This comes as Republicans have buckled down to block proposals that would implement a living wage, allow overburdened students flexibility in paying their loans, and ensure the coverage of women’s basic healthcare needs.
And this is not the first time Congressional Republicans have reminded us of their outdated world views.
Last year, many Congressional Republicans did their best to keep certain groups from even basic governmental protections. First, House and Senate GOP members (including McConnell) voted against the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, a law first signed by President Clinton in 1994 which grants federal resources to investigating and prosecuting violent crimes against women.
While conservative efforts to prevent women from having basic protections against abusers were thankfully unsuccessful, the GOP continued its 2013 tour de force by blocking the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which extends workplace protections to LGBTQ individuals, in the House.
It’s 2014. These basic principles are common sense. People who work full time shouldn’t be paid starvation wages. Students shouldn’t have their financial futures ruined because they wanted higher education. You should never lose a job because of who you are, and whom you love. Women should be the equal of their male counterparts in the workforce; they should be able to make their own healthcare decisions; and, though it’s unbelievable that this is still a debate, they shouldn’t have to live in fear of being physically and emotionally abused by men.
Congressional GOP, it’s time to get your act together. And if you don’t, it’s time to elect representatives who understand that this isn’t Don Draper’s America anymore. On Election Day this November, vote for the candidates that support basic rights and dignity – and keep ideas that belong in a Mad Men boardroom out of the halls of government.