April 23, 2008 / 10:57 PM / 10 years ago

Republicans block pay discrimination bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation to reverse a Supreme Court ruling that makes it tougher for workers to sue for pay discrimination.

Democratic presidential rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton interrupted their campaigns to return to the Senate to vote for the bill. The measure would lift tight time restraints to file claims that could expire before workers realize they were treated unfairly.

On a 56-42 vote, mostly Democratic supporters of the bill fell short of the needed 60 in the 100-member Senate to clear a Republican procedural hurdle and move toward passage of the bill.

The Senate action will likely kill the measure for the year.

Yet it is certain to be an issue in this November’s congressional and presidential elections, particularly among female voters sensitive to pay inequity between the sexes.

(Additional reporting by Richard Cowan)

Editing by Peter Cooney

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