Legislating Equality

WFB Report on WH Pay Differential Sparks Outrage in Colorado Senate


Last week’s Washington Free Beacon report that women who work at the White House are paid an average of 18 percent less than their male counterparts has caused a firestorm that has reached all the way to the floor of the Colorado State Senate. Today, state Senators debated adding an amendment to SJR 035 that would formally denounce the gender-based pay disparity at the White House. The debate fell on Equal Pay Day, and the amendment received bipartisan support on the floor.

SENATOR BROPHY: I would like to talk about how bright the future is for women in this country. I want to talk about the fact that 61 percent…64 percent of the associates degrees are awarded to women, 61 percent of bachelors degrees are awarded to women, 63 percent of masters degrees are awarded to women, 58 percent of doctoral degrees are awarded to women, 58 percent of professional degrees are awarded to women. In other words, I think that the future for women who choose to work in this country is very, very bright indeed. But something has come to light over the last couple of weeks that I think we have to talk about here. And it is absolutely unacceptable to me, that women who work in the White House earn on average 18 percent less than the men who work in the White House. I think that is unacceptable. And so, that is what this amendment does, it points that out, “Whereas women who work in the White House earn 18 percent less than men who work in the White House.” And we add that in on page two of this resolution. And then finally, in the resolutions section, “Be it resolved that a copy of this joint resolution be sent to the White House to point out to them that the people of Colorado, through the legislature, find it absolutely unacceptable that President Obama would pay the women who work for him 18 percent less on average than the men who work for him.” I’d ask for an ‘aye’ vote on amendment 1.

PRESIDENT: Senator Aguilar

SENATOR AGUILAR: Thank you, Mr. President. And my guess would be that those wages were set by our federal government over time, and I agree we need to send this letter to the White House. And I think as soon as Michelle finds out about it, they’ll all be in good shape. So I would urge a ‘yes’ vote for this amendment.