Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn said on Sunday that women "don't want" equal pay laws.
During a roundtable discussion on NBC's Meet The Press, former White House advisor David Axelrod asked if the Tennessee lawmaker would support a law promoting workplace gender equality. Blackburn responded:
"I think that more important than that is making certain that women are recognized by those companies. You know, I’ve always said that I didn’t want to be given a job because I was a female, I wanted it because I was the most well-qualified person for the job. And making certain that companies are going to move forward in that vein, that is what women want. They don’t want the decisions made in Washington. They want to be able to have the power and the control and the ability to make those decisions for themselves."
Blackburn voted against the 2009 Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a landmark bill for women's rights in the workplace. The law makes it easier for women to file wage discrimination suits against employers. She also voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2009.
Blackburn is hardly the only female politician to oppose laws aimed at discouraging the gender wage gap. In 2012, a new Paycheck Fairness Act failed in the Senate after receiving nay votes from Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).
The gender pay gap has expanded in recent years. In 2012, women earned approximately 80.9% of what men earned. According to a recent analysis, the average U.S. woman now stands to lose out on $443,000 over 40 years.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article referred to Blackburn as congresswoman from Texas. She is from Tennessee.
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