POLITICS

Alison Lundergan Grimes Calls Out Mitch McConnell On Fair Pay Claims

11/26/2013 01:27 pm ET | Updated Nov 27, 2013

Kentucky Secretary of State and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes' campaign criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for claiming he has worked for fair pay for women throughout his career, pointing out that her potential 2014 rival repeatedly voted against measures aiming to close the gender wage gap.

In an interview with the Associated Press published last week, a McConnell aide said the Republican was a longtime advocate for equal pay.

"As the father of three daughters, fair pay for women is more than a talking point for Sen. McConnell," campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said. "It's something he's worked to achieve his entire career by setting an example for others and promoting thoughtful policies to ensure talent overcomes bias."

However, as ThinkProgress pointed out Monday, McConnell voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act twice apiece.

Congress ultimately passed the Fair Pay Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in January 2009.

Talking Points Memo reports that Grimes' campaign highlighted those votes in a Tuesday memo.

"As Kentucky's first woman Senator, Alison Lundergan Grimes will continue being a staunch advocate for women and their families," Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton wrote in the memo. "She will seek common ground and work across the aisle for solutions that put Kentucky and our country back on the right track. The contrast with Mitch McConnell could not be starker."

Also on Tuesday, Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of the fair pay legislation McConnell voted against, announced her support for Grimes in the 2014 race.

"After my lengthy battle with pay inequity, I was honored and humbled to lend my name to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act—landmark legislation that makes it easier for women to file pay discrimination lawsuits," she wrote in a fundraising email for the Grimes campaign. "But this is only an important first step in closing the gender wage gap. Yet, Senator McConnell voted against it. Time and again, McConnell has made clear where he stands on issues important to women and their families: in the wrong."

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