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Maryland Senators Pushing Equal Pay For Women

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In this March 8, 2012, file photo, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., is seen before a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. She's pushing the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File
In this March 8, 2012, file photo, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., is seen before a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. She's pushing the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate.

Maryland's Democratic senators are pushing legislation to help women get the same salaries as their male counterparts, but the bill faces an uphill battle in this divided Congress.

Even with the economy front and center on most voters' minds, women's issues continue to play an outsized role in this year's campaigns. Democrats continue to accuse Republicans of engaging in a war on women, and want to put them on record yet again about a touchy gender issue: pay disparity. Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski is helping lead the fight to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act — that would give females more negotiating power with their employers.

"Fourty-nine years ago, Lyndon Johnson passed the equal pay for equal work bill and women are still making 77 cents for every dollar a guy makes for the same job," says Mikulski. "So we think to commemorate this anniversary we're going to vote to close the loopholes and vote to make sure women get equal pay."

Polls show the GOP has lingering problems with female voters, which puts their conference in a difficult position when it comes to the Paycheck Fairness Act. Republicans blocked the legislation two years ago and it's unclear if any in their party are softening to the bill.

The Senate is scheduled to be in recess next week but the legislation is expected to come up for a vote when they return to Washington.

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