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The two labor/lawyer/grievance bills pass House

Following up on Walter's posts of the day, we note the both bills passed on mostly partyline votes, as expected.

The House first passed H.R. 12, the Paycheck Fairness Act, by a vote of 256-163. Roll Call No. 8.

It then passed H.R. 11, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The vote was 247-171. Roll Call No. 9. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held the gavel for part of the debate, a symbolic statement of the importance Democratic leadership placed in the bills.

House Republican Leader John Boehner issued a statement in response to passage, "Flood of Special-Interest Bills Begins in Newly-Expanded Democratic Congress." Excerpt:

Today's effort by the Democratic Majority is not about workplace discrimination; it's the first step in an effort to begin rewarding the special-interest allies who helped give the Democratic Party control of Washington. These bills do not reflect the priorities of the American people; they reflect the narrow interests of the powerful trial lawyer industry that last year used its ill-gotten war chest to help the current majority tighten its grip on power.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer sees it differently, obviously, issuing two statements praising passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act (here) and the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (here). I've got quite a few posts up on the bills over at Shopfloor.org. Legal arguments aside, it's indisputable that these bills will raise the marginal costs of labor, discouraging the hiring of new employees -- a strange priority for lawmakers during a time of recession and layoffs.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.