The legislation, spearheaded by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), aims to build on the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by protecting women from retaliation if they sue for equal pay. It would also narrow the criteria under which an employer can defend pay disparities and enlist the Department of Labor to help eliminate gender-based pay gaps. Beneath the effort is an ongoing debate as to why, as Census data shows, women earn 77 cents for every dollar men make. [TPM]

AGAINST LEDBETTER, will Republicans and conservatives continue to stand against women on pay equity?

On the politics of it, Democrats certainly hope so, because it would further solidify the right’s war against women, this time on the economic front.

Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act bill in November 2010, siding with corporations against women.