Statement by Bob Edgar on today’s filibuster of the Paycheck Fairness Act

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  • Dale Eisman

Statement by Common Cause President Bob Edgar on Today’s Filibuster of the Paycheck Fairness Act

Whatever its merits, or its flaws, a bill drafted to help ensure that men and women who are doing the same job earn the same pay surely deserves a full hearing and careful consideration by the U.S. Senate.

But today, a determined minority of senators exploited the Senate’s filibuster rule to choke off debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act. The votes of just 47 of 100 senators were sufficient to send the bill to the scrap heap; the Senate gave itself just a few hours, much of that passed in silence, to consider whether it should even let the bill onto the floor for debate.

Sadly, this disgraceful outcome is simply the latest illustration of the need for new Senate rules that protect the minority’s right to debate and influence legislation but uphold the principle of majority rule. The Senate’s refusal to reform the filibuster is why Common Cause has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the filibuster rule; with today’s vote, the Senate has strengthened our case.