Democrats will bring to the Senate floor on Tuesday the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that is supposed to help close the wage gap between men and women.
The measure will fail, as intended, because at its core it is not so much a legislative vehicle as a political one intended to embarrass Republicans and help President Obama and congressional Democrats with female voters in November.
The bill, which needs 60 votes to clear procedural hurdles, faces almost certain defeat because most Republicans plan to vote against it. But Obama and Senate Democrats are hoping those votes will give them the opportunity to paint congressional Republicans as hostile to women’s interests.
The strategy is part of an increasingly common practice in Congress of moving legislation aimed solely at producing political results. For House Republicans, the strategy means votes to roll back parts of the Obama 2010 health-care reform bill or votes to highlight rising gasoline prices.