Update June 5, 3:10 pm: The Paycheck Fairness Act failed a procedural vote along party lines, 52 to 47, with two Independents joining Democrats in supporting the legislation. Without reaching 60 favorable votes, the Senate’s Democrats can’t defeat a Republican filibuster.
Democrats in the Senate are bringing the Paycheck Fairness Act to a vote today with strong support from the White House. The legislation, aimed at strengthening women’s ability to acquire equal pay in the workplace, is expected to fail due to Republican opposition.
Republicans, such as Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown argue that the bill would place excessive “burdens” on businesses and possibly even “lead to job losses.”
Mika Brzezinski, co-host of Morning Joe and author of Knowing Your Value, called the opposition “inane,” and struggled to make sense of it on her show today. (Video after the jump.)
“I think all you have to do is pay women as much as their male counterparts and you’re fine…why would someone have a problem with this?” she said.
“This is not an exotic idea. It’s common sense,” added Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, a guest on Morning Joe. “This isn’t something that is going to handcuff free enterprise.”
Brzezinski pressed Michael Steele, an msnbc analyst and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, to explain the GOP position. “It is simple,” she said. “It’s about our wallets. Michael Steele, I don’t understand.”
Steele tried to defend the Republican position as being “between a rock and hard place politically.”
“The reality of it is, in this political cycle, a lot of folks will see this as a way to back one party into the corner and nothing’s really going to change beyond the legislation,” he said. “Why wasn’t this one of the top agenda items when the president came to lay out his economic plan?”
Brzezinski fact-checked Steele on the spot.
“Oh c’mon. C’mon. He set up the White House Council on Women and Girls; he passed the Lily Ledbetter Act. [The council was] the first thing he did! You got nothing,” she told Steele.