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Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio split votes on equal pay vote

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday couldn't muster the votes to consider a pay equality bill that the White House and congressional Democrats say is necessary but Republicans decry as a show vote designed to taint them as anti-women.

The bill needed 60 votes to be considered; it got 52 votes from Democrats and independents. All Republicans in the Senate voted against it.

Florida's senators split their votes along party lines, with Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson voting for the proposal, and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio voting against it.

The Paycheck Fairness Act requires businesses to show that wage discrepancies between men and women are not based on gender. The measure also bans retaliation against workers who reveal their wages or try to get wage information from their employers.

Rubio called the legislation more about "scoring political points" than solving any problems. (And said his anti-union legislation, the Rewarding Achievement and Incentivizing Successful Employees Act should get a hearing.)

"If Senate Democrats want to address 'paycheck fairness', they can start by supporting the RAISE Act which would help workers earn more money by allowing employers to give them merit-based pay raises and bonuses without first having to clear it by union bosses," he said. "Instead, Senate Democrats refuse to even consider the idea and insist on denying hard workers the potential to earn more money for a job well done. Sadly, for them, government and union bosses should have more power than job creators when it comes to giving raises and bonuses to people that earn them."

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