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Congressman John Kline quietly sabotages equal pay for women

Minnesota's Most Reprehensible Congressman (TM) is making women his final victim before leaving office next year.

Minnesota's Most Reprehensible Congressman (TM) is making women his final victim before leaving office next year.

Proof of a just God multiplied when Rep. John Kline, Minnesota's Most Reprehensible Congressman (TM), announced his retirement come January 2017.

Until then, his Capitol Hill powers remain strong as the chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which is where we now find him doing all and nothing simultaneously so women are kept on the far side of the gender pay ravine.

The Paycheck Fairness Act attempts to chip away at the fact that women earn less than 80 cents for every greenback a man takes in. The bill seeks to put gender-based wage discrimination on equal footing with discrimination of any other variety. It would also make it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees because they got busted talking among themselves about who gets paid what.

While this is hardly a panacea, closing the guy/gal income gap needs all the help available. Yet the bill languishes in a House subcommittee, where Kline's panel dispensed of it in November. He could resuscitate it with one phone call. But the grizzled obstructionist is choosing to do nothing, allowing the measure to die from neglect. 

As committee chair, Kline could return the dormant legislation front and center before his full panel. Eleven Democrats and 11 Republicans make the 22-member group. A simple majority vote could transport the Fairness Act to the full House.

But Kline isn't high on equal pay for women. The lawmaker's past arguments are steeped in GOP boilerplate doom: It'll bring heavier regulations to businesses, which will also face frivolous lawsuits that will descend like locusts.     

Apparently this doomsday speculation carries more weight that the truths we already know: Women in Kline's district earn just 79 cents for every dollar earned by a man. And the divide only widens as women age. On average, a woman who works full-time for 40 years will end up making $430,000 less than a man.