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Paycheck Fairness Act: Reid calls on Romney to "step up"

The Paycheck Fairness Act aimed to set up a grant program to improve their salary negotiation skills, and offer protection for women filing gender discrimination suits.

paycheck fairness act fails senate vote june 5 2012Enlarge
The Paycheck Fairness Act which would have made it illegal for companies to retaliate against employees who asked about their colleagues' salaries failed in a Senate vote on June 5, 2012. President Obama and Senate Democrats were strongly supporting the bill. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Paycheck Fairness Act has divided politicians along party lines, as Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid called on Mitt Romney to step up and vocalize his support of the bill, The Hill reported

"He should show some leadership, in my opinion … and tell his fellow Republicans that opposing fair pay for all Americans is shameful," Reid said of the GOP presidential candidate, the Hill reported. "Instead, no one knows where he stands."

More from GlobalPost: Paycheck Fairness Act fails Senate vote

Romney has indirectly addressed the issue of pay equality in America, criticizing the Obama administration for failing to create a good economic environment for job creation, according to the Hill. He has stopped short of declaring an opinion on the bill, however. 

Reid's comments come amid other politicians' reactions to the bills failure in the Senate, which showed a deep divide between Republicans and Democrats. 

"It is a very sad day here in the United States Senate but it's a sadder day everyday when paycheck day comes and women continue to make less than men," said the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski, the Hill reported. "We're sorry that this vote occurred strictly on party lines."

The Act would have increased workplace protections for women, making pay more transparent and holding companies accountable for differences in pay between male and female employees, the Huffington Post reported

More from GlobalPost: What women really want: income equality

In 2010, women who worked full-time made 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts, a wage gap of 23 percent between genders, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Women earn less than men in virtually every single occupation, according to the IWPR.  

Over a lifetime, the lost income is estimated at between $400,000 to $2 million per woman, according to Mariko Chang, a former associate professor of sociology at Harvard and the author of "Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It." 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120605/paycheck-fairness-act-reid-romney-reactions