Maryland's only Republican in Congress

Harris: equal pay enemy

Md. congressman seeks to undo pay and diversity reporting requirements

​By Charly Carter


With so much happening in the news, you may have missed that a few members of Congress, including our very own Rep. Andy Harris, are quietly working to undo all our recent gains to guarantee equal pay for equal work.

Equal pay for Americans should be non-negotiable — and shouldn’t be a debate at all here in Maryland. Yet even as we just observed Black Women’s Equal Pay Day and years of efforts to close the gap, black women in Maryland make just 69 cents on the dollar compared to men. Latinas make just 47 cents on the dollar, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

With a problem like that in a state with the fifth-largest African-American population in the nation, you’d think Maryland politicians would be clamoring to close the gap.

Instead, Rep. Andy Harris, a Republican from Maryland’s 1st Congressional District, is working to reverse pay equality legislation with a new amendment, “EEO-1,” that just passed through the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.

His amendment would end all meaningful reporting on unequal pay by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by ending pay and diversity reporting requirements for big employers and handicapping the commission's ability to punish discriminatory employers.

Losing that data would make it impossible to track the pay gap, allowing politicians like Dr. Harris to simply pretend it doesn’t exist.

What’s surprising is just how out of touch Dr. Harris is on this issue.

Just last year, Gov. Larry Hogan signed the Maryland Equal Pay for Equal Work bill into law, bipartisan legislation that lessened the pay gap and strengthened Maryland’s equal pay laws. The issue of equal pay is neither a Republican nor a Democratic issue in Maryland — it is about families putting food on the table.

And for black families across Maryland in particular, this issue is about the ability to thrive in the face of emergencies. The fact is that more than half of Americans don’t have the money to survive a $500 emergency without going into debt, as found in a study by Bankrate and reported in CBS News. And that is even more true for black families across Maryland and America, who face a staggering wealth gap: White families have on average seven times the wealth of black families, a result of generations of discrimination in employment, and even more so, housing.

The fact is, Marylanders of color simply cannot afford to make less — far too many black families across Maryland and our country are just one emergency away from financial ruin. Equal paychecks are the first step to rebuilding wealth, and essential to strengthening Maryland’s families in the face of the many emergencies that life inevitably brings.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s equal pay data collection helps to ensure that real progress is made toward closing race and gender pay gaps that have shortchanged too many Americans for far too long.

Andy Harris’ efforts are a threat to Maryland f


Andy Harris should take care of things at home!

John Fritze  Contact Reporter for The Baltimore Sun recently wrote,

“Andy Harris, whose congressional district includes Baltimore and Harford counties as well as the Eastern Shore — has emerged as what advocates for D.C. statehood describe as one of the most engaged members on the District of Columbia.”

“He seems to spend as much time on the District as I do,” quipped Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the Democrat who serves as the District’s nonvoting representative in Congress was quoted in the article.

So what is Harris spending his time on out of his district? The article states, Harris ”…has warred with District leaders over marijuana legalization. He has spearheaded an effort to roll back the District’s assisted suicide law. More recently he attempted to upend a city law dictating which types of wet wipes — as in, moist toilet paper — may be labeled ’flushable’.”

Harris needs to “wipe up” a few issues in his own district before telling others how too manage their areas.  Here are a couple of things to work on Andy.

Harris has defended President Donald Trump's plan to crack down on illegal immigration and cut funding for education, housing and other domestic programs.

What about Ocean City, MD’s future economy Rep. Harris? The Justice Department has announced that it is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA which brings in more than 100,000 students from foreign countries to the U.S. each summer, often to work in tourist destinations like Ocean City, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In a Washington Post article Gret Dominquez, front office manager at the Grand Hotel and Spa in Ocean City, MD. stated, “We wouldn’t be able to function and would probably have to shut down at least half of the hotel,” if the J-1 program is cut. The hotel employs about 100 J-1 students each summer.

Melanie Pursel, executive director of the Greater Ocean City Maryland Chamber of Commerce reported , Ocean City has typically about 4,000 workers that “come over”  around May or June and work for about three months.”

And, what are the Maryland citizens you represent, Mr. Harris, thinking about health care policy and reform.They say “…policymakers should find ways to provide insurance for all Americans. Allowing 41 million citizens to live without insurance is viewed as unacceptable. Engaging citizens in discussions about health care reform is critical in helping policymakers make use of public perspectives in legislating health care policies. If offered the opportunity, citizens can and will engage in deliberation around important issues.” We suggest you have more town hall meetings and listen your constants rather than vote on your personal beliefs.

Voucher programs Mr. Harris, take funds away from public school students needs. Unfortunately, as a Catholic you have publicly stated support for education vouchers for public or private school, including contributions to Catholic schools.    Voters are at odds with the Republican’s strong support of increased funding for private and religious school scholarships. A recent survey in Maryland showed that 68% of voters want education funding to be spent on existing public schools rather than private schools. Studies in states where vouchers have existed for years show no improvement for students academically.

Your “rubber stamp”is wearing out Mr. Harris!