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Obama, Republicans battle over bill on pay equity for women

Published on Apr 9, 2014 6:28 AM
United States President Barack Obama gestures toward Lilly Ledbetter (left) before signing two new executive actions aimed at increasing transparency about women's pay during an event at the White House in Washington on April 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The White House and congressional Republicans blasted each other on Tuesday over equal pay in a battle for women's votes as Democrats try to hold the US Senate in the November midterm elections.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees for disclosing pay levels to co-workers and attacked Republicans for opposing broader legislation that would make the practice illegal for companies nationwide.

Republicans said pay discrimination was already illegal and predicted the Democrat-supported Paycheck Fairness Act would prompt frivolous lawsuits and discourage companies from hiring.

The Democratic-led Senate is set to hold a procedural vote on the measure on Wednesday but even if the legislation clears that chamber, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives appears likely to oppose it.

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