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Claiming to stand for “working families,” Republicans in Congress voted down measures that would increase the minimum wage, protect gays and lesbians from workplace discrimination, broaden equal pay guarantees for women, and finally do something about mine safety four years after the Upper Big Branch disaster.

How was your Wednesday?

One committee alone, the Education and Workforce Committee in the House, shot down three of the big ideas, which were proposed as amendments to a GOP effort to kneecap unions. The chairman of that committee, Republican John Kline of Minnesota, dismissed his colleagues’ parliamentary maneuvering: “Today’s antics are further proof that Democrats have different priorities than working families.”

He must be referring to those working families that somehow have neither gays or women in them. Or people who make less than $10.10 an hour. Or people who work in mines.

Actually that’s not entirely fair, as it was the Senate, which is nominally controlled by the Democrats, that failed to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. And by “failed to pass,” we mean failed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

After Thursday, the House is taking the next two-and-a-half weeks off, and doesn’t return to session until the end of the month. Way to have a productively mean day. Excuse me. Way to protect working families from the dangers of a better life.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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