February 27, 2009 / Uncategorized

Kudos to five Republican supporters of fair pay


Editor’s note: We’re pleased to present this guest post from a college student who is starting a grassroots chapter of The New Agenda on her campus.

The Republican women and man who voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Act have proven that women’s issues should be everyone’s concern regardless of political affiliation. They are Senators Kay Hutchison from Texas, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. They recognized and understood that women deserve equal pay, so they crossed party lines to support women. Here is an overview of who they are and where they stand on the issues:

kayhutchinsonSenator Kay Hutchison graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1967 and gained her first experience in politics as a legal and political correspondent for a television station in Houston. This began a long career for her as she went from media correspondent to state representative and finally to Senator. She takes a moderate stand on abortion rights, supporting Roe v. Wade for the first trimester while opposing “partial birth” abortion, which she voted to ban. As a result, she has received criticism and condemnation from both pro-choice and pro-life groups. She is a strong supporter of NASA. In a 2006 poll conducted by The White House Project to identify top women contenders for president, Hutchinson was ranked fourth. She voted against the stimulus package.

Senator Olympia Snowe ranked last in The White House Project poll, but her presence on the list indicates she is also a powerhouse in politics. Both her parents died when she was a child, and enduring tragedy made her a stronger, more resilient woman. She began her career at the age of 26. According to VoteSmart, she is pro-choice and pro-gun control. She supported the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq following the September 11th attacks. She voted for the stimulus package.

Susan Collins
Senator Susan Collins appeared second on the White House Project’s ranking of women to be placed on a presidential ticket. She has supported the War on Terror. She has served on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs as well as the Committee on Armed Services. She is also pro-choice and supports gay marriage. She voted for the stimulus package.

Lisa MurkowskiSenator Lisa Murkowski assumed her role as Senator in 2002; she approved drilling for oil in ANWR and other places in the United States, and has worked alongside pro-life Governor Sarah Palin. Murkowski is pro-life and believes abortion should be a last resort, appropriate only in cases of rape/incest or to protect the mother’s health. She has received condemnation from pro-choice organizations. She supported the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan and believes Palestine should be recognized as its own independent state. She voted against the stimulus.

Senator Arlen Specter opposes gun control, is strongly pro-choice, and is in favor of the death penalty. He also supports gay marriage. Of all the senators listed here, he is the strongest supporter of the War on Terror. He also voted for the stimulus package.

These five Republicans, despite their varying views on numerous issues and their many points of disagreement with the Democratic party platform, all recognized that hard-working women deserve equal pay. They recognized that women’s rights should never be a partisan matter and broke ranks with their party to vote alongside the Democrats for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.


Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
The White House Project
The WISH List
Project Vote Smart
On The Issues

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  • Karen, thank you so much for sharing this post with us. These five Republicans deserve commendation for crossing party lines to do the RIGHT THING.

  • Halane Hughes

    Yes. It would not have happened without their support. Thank you.

  • Kevin

    This is very nice. The votes of these five, and other Republicans, will be needed to accomplish TNA goals with Congress. Very good practice to begin applauding politicians who take risks on behalf of women.

  • Just a note: the pictures of Collins and Murkowski are reversed….good article

  • Amy Siskind

    Thanks for contributing to our blog Karen.

    We need more young people involved in TNA to make it work! Thanks for starting a chapter for us too. Bravo!

  • Cynthia Ruccia

    It just goes to show you that regardless of party, women will join hands and support each other on matters important to women. Thanks so much for writing this post Karen!!

    If there was ever an argument in favor of women voting for women, this piece illustrates it. We women don’t agree on everything, but with more women OF BOTH PARTIES in the U.S. House and Senate, we can look forward to seeing more progress of this kind.

  • Thia, GA

    Great article Karen! As much as we yell at the politicians who don’t support women as part of their agenda, it is also important to remember to applaud the ones who do.

  • Ali

    This is really cool. As an independent and former democrat, I’ve long thought it does no good to demonized the opposition and romanticize one’s own party. It’s good to understand the ins and outs of both parties as well as individual candidates. I love seeing a list of five Republicans who voted for Lilly Ledbetter and it’s also interesting to note their record on other issues.

    Thanks, Karen!

  • Digger


    Thanks for this! And I echo again what others have already said… we need to recognize and applaud those who stand up for women’s rights, and not just call out the ones who don’t.

  • Thanks for the heads up!

    I am linking you in my own blogs today.

  • the pictures of Collins and Murkowski are reversed

    Whoops, formatting problem. Fixed now. Thanks!

  • Kathy in CA

    One subject I want to bring up (and it kinda/sorta relates to fair pay) is that the President’s tax increases are not fair. He has proposed tax increases for families making over 250k and singles making 200k. I would like TNA to put together a press release saying this is unfair to families and women in particular. It shows a bias particularly against women because men have been the larger paycheck earners, so it implies that women who make more than 50k earn to much and will put the family in a much higher tax bracket. It creates a social incentive for women to not make more than 50k. Granted, the tax brackets are net taxable income, but with all the Presidents proposals, families making over 250k will lose so much deductions, it won’t take much more in gross to net income at 250k.

  • Kathy in CA

    I should also note that I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. 250k is not considered wealthy.

  • Ali


    Obama’s tax plans are going to adversely affect many more including those who earn less than the 250K you mentioned.

    I hear your complaints about the Bay Area. I live in a New York suburb in a tiny apartment with my husband and daughter. We bought our apartment years ago which is now pretty much worthless and we cannot move. In our apartment complex there are many “upper-middle class” income earners raising two kids in tiny two bedrooms. I know we all would love to move but we cannot afford to do so. And this is the suburbs, not the city. This life that I live and my neighbors live is entirely not glamorous, yet Obama’s numbers would probably categorize us as living the high life. It’s ridiculous.

  • Kathy in CA

    So Ali – what can you and I do to expose this?

  • Ali

    Hi Kathy,

    I have no big ideas on this one. Taxes are not a very glamorous topic. People tend to be overly simplistic about taxes – either you are the Joe the Plumber, pull yourself up by your bootstraps / evil corporate greedy zillionaire OR the niave socialist / government bureacrat.

    I actually believe in spreading the wealth. But how to do so in a manner that is fair and affective should be the topic of discussion which is not very interesting to most people.

    In full disclosure, I am of the well under 200K population, but I am still going to get hit by Obama. I also know people in my neighborhood who are struggling to pay 25K a year in property taxes, mortgage payments (on very ordinary homes), babysitting fees of 15 – 20 dollars per hour, etc. etc. and probably earn somewhere around 250k. So I now have a bit of empathy for those who are seen as soooo rich by those who live in the midwest in lovely homes that cost less than 300k. Then there are those who made out during the housing bubble by flipping houses and can’t understand what it is like for someone who seems to earn a decent salary but has lost all savings due to the housing crash.

    Well, besides me posting images of my oh-so-glamorous apartment complex overlooking the highway in burbia or introducing everyone to the many “upper-middle class” families crammed into 2 bedrooms apartments I don’t have a lot of ideas.

    Perhaps the only answer is to talk, talk, talk or blog, or youtube or whatever ways we can communicate about this. But I also am of the mindset that once these various tax plans are initiated, a lot of people are going to hurt – people who didn’t think that they would. At this point there is really going to be a lot of discussion.

    What do you think? Any ideas?

  • Karen

    You’re welcome, Digger! Actually, your comment to an earlier blog post was what made me decide to write this article.

    I thought Senator Hutchison’s abortion stance was interesting… both pro-life and pro-choice groups hate her.

  • Anna from AK

    My senator is in there!!! Go Lisa!