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Jenkins, Wakefield differ on Paycheck Fairness Act
U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, on Tuesday said Democrats were being "condescending" toward women in their push for congressional approval of the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Jenkins, whose district includes Lawrence, said Republicans support equal pay for equal work. But she added, "Many ladies I know feel like they are being used as pawns, and find it condescending that Democrats are trying to use this issue as a political distraction from the failures of their economic policy."
Jenkins' comments drew a response from Margie Wakefield, of Lawrence, the likely Democratic candidate to challenge Jenkins in November.
"Many women continue to be paid, on average, 77 cents for every dollar the average man earns," Wakefield said. "This isn’t a women’s issue. It's an American issue. Closing the wage gap would cut the poverty rate in half for working women and their families and would add nearly half a trillion dollars to the national economy."
Wakefield said Congress should pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will probably be debated this week in the Senate.
The bill would impose on employers regulations aimed at ensuring women are not paid less than their male counterparts for the same work. Republicans say the legislation will lead to more lawsuits and that discrimination based on sex is already illegal.