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Trump’s Federal Reserve pick says there’s no need for any equal pay laws

April 29th, 2019 | ThinkProgress Staff

Since President Donald Trump announced last month that he would nominate conservative activist Stephen Moore for a seat of the Federal Reserve Board, Moore’s past record of tax liens, sexist columns, and contempt of court have been front and center. On Sunday, Moore stood by one of his most controversial views: his belief that there should be no laws to protect equal pay for women.

Moore has previously argued that girls should not be permitted to play sports with boys, that women should not be permitted to serve as referees, announcers, or even beer vendors at sporting events, and that pay equity for women athletes is nothing more than wanting “equal pay for inferior work.” In a 2014 National Review column, he wrote that, “The crisis in America today isn’t about women’s wages; it’s about men’s wages,” because if women earn more than men it might disrupt “family stability” and lead to more divorce. He has since characterized some of his writings as satire.

But asked about his criticism of equal pay on ABC News on Sunday, he stood by his view that government should do nothing to ensure that women are paid fairly. “This is is a sizzling economy,” he claimed. “The way to close the wage gap is by creating a healthy economy.”

“When it comes to wages and gender equity,” he reaffirmed, “I want that to be decided by the market. I don’t want government to intervene in those kinds of things.”

Shortly after taking office, Trump’s administration froze a key equal pay rule that had been established by the Obama administration. (On Thursday, a federal judge finally struck down this effort and ruled that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has until September to collect salary data by race, gender, and job title.)

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According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, the wage gap actually increasedslightly over the first year of Trump’s administration, going from an average disadvantage of $10,086 in 2016 to $10,169. Women earned just 80.5 percent in 2017, on average, of what men were paid. The coalition has not yet published data for 2018.

The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives passed a bill last month to reduce the gender wage gap, with 187 Republicans voting no and just 7 voting yes. The bill is unlikely to advance in the Republican-controlled Senate where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has dismissed it as “just another Democratic idea that threatens to hurt the very people that it claims to help.”

In 2010, Moore proposed increasing the tax rate on poor Americans from 10 to 15 percent to help pay for a tax cut for the rich  In recent years, Moore repeatedly admitted that he was “not an expert on monetary policy.”  The Federal Reserve Board’s chief role is to set the nation’s monetary policy.

This article was originally published at ThinkProgress on April 28, 2019. Reprinted with permission. 

About the Author: Josh Israel has been senior investigative reporter for ThinkProgress since 2012.

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