On a partyline vote House Education and Labor this afternoon reported out H.R. 1338, the Paycheck Fairness Act, the gender disparity pay bill, or as Ranking Member Buck McKeon (R-CA) dubbed it, the “Trial Lawyer Paycheck Expansion Act.” Republicans offered numerous amendments, including one by Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, who sought to cap trial lawyer fees at $2,000 an hour. Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) led Democratic opposition to the amendment, saying they did not want to “clog the judicial system” or “punish” lawyers who settle cases quickly. Rep. McKeon did the math: An annual salary of $4 million a year.
Expect the bill on the House floor next week to prompt a partisanship-heavy debate on that old favorite, comparable worth, and its many anti-business manifestations. (How old? Here’s the 1997 version of the bill.)
UPDATE (4:30 p.m. – CW): Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao sent the committee a letter detailing the agency’s opposition to the bill and saying she would recommend a veto.