A group of Democratic female senators on Wednesday declared war on the so-called “gender pay gap,” urging their colleagues to pass the aptly named Paycheck Fairness Act when Congress returns from recess next month. However, a substantial gender pay gap exists in their own offices, a Washington Free Beacon analysis of Senate salary data reveals.
Of the five senators who participated in Wednesday’s press conference—Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.)—three pay their female staff members significantly less than male staffers.
Murray, who has repeatedly accused Republicans of waging a “war a women,” is one of the worst offenders. Female members of Murray’s staff made about $21,000 less per year than male staffers in 2011, a difference of 35.2 percent.
That is well above the 23 percent gap that Democrats claim exists between male and female workers nationwide.
...A significant “gender gap” exists in Feinstein’s office, where women also made about $21,000 less than men in 2011, but the percentage difference—41 percent—was even higher than Murray’s.
Boxer’s female staffers made about $5,000 less, a difference of 7.3 percent.
...The employee gender pay gap among Senate Democrats was not limited to Murray, Boxer, and Feinstein. Of the 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus examined in the analysis, 37 senators paid their female staffers less than male staffers.
... Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) paid men $13,063 more, a difference of 23 percent.
Other notable Senators whose “gender pay gap” was larger than 23 percent:
•Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)—47.6 percent
•Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D., N.M.)—40 percent
•Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.)—34.2 percent
•Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.)—31.5 percent
•Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.)—30.4 percent
•Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.)–29.7 percent
•Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.)–29.2 percent
•Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.)—26.5 percent
•Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore)—26.4 percent
•Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa)—23.2 percent
...Sen. Murray has invoked the so-called GOP “war on women” in fundraising pitches for months. “Women are people. That should be obvious, but apparently it isn’t, at least not to extreme Republicans who see us as mere targets of their political strategy,” she wrote in May 10, 2012, campaign fundraising e-mail.