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Sunday, April 6, 2014

New Obama order to lead midterm equal pay push

President Barack Obama is pictured. | AP Photo

At the White House Tuesday, President Barack Obama will sign two new executive actions on equal pay as Senate Democrats move for a show-vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act — launching Democrats’ first large-scale coordinated message effort ahead of this year’s midterms.

One of the new executive orders on Tuesday, Equal Pay Day, will prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their salaries — a move one White House official called “a critical tool to encourage pay transparency.”

Obama will also sign a presidential memorandum instructing Labor Secretary Tom Perez to create new regulations requiring federal contractors to report salary summary data to the government, including sex and race breakdowns. The hope, according to the White House, is that this will encourage other employers to submit data voluntarily, enabling more targeted government enforcement.

(Also on POLITICO: Obama's challenge: Don't blow it)

The president will bring Lily Ledbetter — namesake of the first bill he signed as president, expanding women’s ability to recover wages lost to discrimination — back to the White House for the signing event in the East Room on Tuesday.

And Obama will make a speech calling on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act — but, like the minimum wage raise for federal contractors Obama announced in his State of the Union in January, the...

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