Republican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) criticized Hillary Clinton’s support for equal pay laws as little more than a handout to the trial lawyer lobby.
Despite having a history of paying the female staffers in her Senate office far less than their male counterparts, Clinton has claimed to be in favor of laws that would mandate equal pay between the sexes.
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Graham said in an interview Wednesday that her stated proposal would never work and is purely politics. He also questioned how many people would want the federal government to set salaries throughout the nation.
"Equal pay is about creating lawsuit opportunities, it’s not about equality. It’s about creating more opportunities for a company to be sued—it is a talking point. It is a concept and it is a shallow concept. It is designed to make people aggrieved with no solution at hand other than more lawsuits," Graham said.
The senator questioned whether such efforts are the proper role of the federal government.
"Is it the government’s job to set salaries for people in this country? I would say the construct she’s proposing would never work; it’s all politics," Graham said. "How many Americans want the federal government to inventory salaries throughout the country. There are already laws on the books where you could sue somebody if you are being paid less because of your gender."
Clinton is "toying" with people by giving them hope when there is none, Graham said.
"The worst thing about this is you’re creating—you’re giving people hope—when there is none, you’re toying with people. Those who feel like, ‘I should be paid more,’ well the federal government is not going to come in there and give you more money but there is a process for you to sue if you feel you’re being aggrieved as an individual. Her solution is just to increase more lawsuits. When she talks about equal play and you flush it out, she’s toying with people."
The Washington Free Beacon previously reported that Clinton’s current equal pay rhetoric doesn’t quite match up to the history of what she paid employees while in the Senate.
While Clinton was a senator, she paid females in her office just 72 cents for each dollar paid to men.
"During those years, the median annual salary for a woman working in Clinton’s office was $15,708.38 less than the median salary for a man," the Free Beacon found in its analysis of data compiled from official Senate expenditure reports.
Clinton continues to champion equal pay on the campaign trail despite the discrepancy.