Tester votes to close gender pay gap

As Rehberg opposes equal pay, his Senate allies kill legislation

BILLINGS, Mont. – Montana farmer Jon Tester voted today in the U.S. Senate to help close the wage disparity between men and women by supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act–a bill Tester cosponsored.

Tester’s efforts were blocked by the Senate allies of Congressman Dennis Rehberg, a longtime opponent of legislation promoting equal pay for equal work.

Women in Montana currently receive 73 cents on the dollar for the same work as men. Which is four cents below the national average of 77 cents on the dollar.

Montana women are well aware of Rehberg’s longstanding opposition to equal pay for equal work:

“With a total of four votes against both the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay and the Paycheck Fairness Act, Congressman Dennis Rehberg no longer believes he has to answer to Montana women who work to provide for their families, grow their businesses and build a strong future for Montana,” said Women for Tester Co-Chair Holly Kaleczyc. “In Montana we know a thing or two about hard work and we know it doesn’t matter if it’s a man or woman who gets the job done, thankfully Montanans have Jon Tester fighting for Montana values including equal pay for equal work for women and men.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act would give women the ability to address pay inequities in the workplace by fighting back against unfair pay practices.

In Congress Rehberg has voted a total of four times against the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, but has voted five times to increase his own pay–breaking a promise Rehberg made to Montanans that he never would increase his pay.*

He’s cast each of those votes after writing in the Great Falls Tribune, “I wholeheartedly support equal pay for equal performance.” [Great Falls Tribune, 4/25/07]

Jon Tester stood up for Montana women by passing the landmark Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009 despite Rehberg’s opposition.

* Paycheck Fairness Act [Vote 556, 7/31/08; Vote 8, 1/9/09; CQ Votes] – Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act [Vote 768, 7/31/07; Vote 37, 1/27/09; CQ Votes]