Friday, January 23, 2009

Sen. Alexander Backstabs Hutchison

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 today. He calls the bill a bailout for the trial lawyer industry.

That’s cute. In reality, it guarantees women access to the courts if they’re unfairly getting paid less than male co-workers.

Both Alexander and Sen. Bob Corker are hiding behind Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s amendment to the bill, which would’ve set a 180-day time limit for women to file a lawsuit after they discover pay inequality.

“I fully support Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison,” says Alexander.

One problem -- today Hutchison voted FOR the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, even without her amendment.

Oops. Sorry, Sen. Alexander. No political cover for you.

When her amendment failed, Hutchison voted with the Democrats rather than allow the law stand as is.

That’s called putting your country above your party.

Alexander and Corker couldn’t be bothered to do that. They’d rather let a bad law stand. It took them less than 24 hours to go from “fully supporting” Hutchison to accusing her of voting to bail out trial lawyers. Ouch.

Here’s my position – It’s a bad idea to knowingly block legitimate lawsuits out of fear of frivolous ones. Also, if the Lilly Ledbetter Act does turn out to spur frivolous lawsuits (which is pure partisan speculation at this point), you can always add a time limit later. The worst possible solution would be to just leave the bad law on the books.

Kudos to Hutchison for understanding that.

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