Congressman Pearce’s Book Reviews: Almost As Bad As His Anti-Women Votes

Congressman Steve Pearce attracted plenty of unwanted attention for the statement in his autobiography that a wife’s role in marriage is to “voluntarily submit” to her husband.

See some of the coverage from Congressman Pearce’s local outlets and from around the country for yourself:

  • Washington Post: GOP congressman’s book: ‘The wife is to voluntarily submit’ to her husband
  • Salon: GOP congressman: Wives should “voluntarily submit” to their husbands
  • Talking Points Memo: GOP Rep.: Wife Should ‘Voluntarily Submit’ To Her Husband
  • Huffington Post: GOP Congressman: Wives Should ‘Voluntarily Submit’ To Their Husbands
  • KOB-TV: “Congressman Steve Pearce is on damage control this morning about a book he recently released….”
  • KOAT-TV: “A New Mexico Congressman is taking heat over his new book….”
  • KRQE-TV: “New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce is in a spat with the Washington Post over an article about his autobiography and a quote having to do with a wife’s place in the marriage.”
  • Albuquerque Journal: Pearce book quote draws unflattering attention

Such out of touch comments are disturbing, but they are hardly a surprise coming from Congressman Pearce, who has a long record opposing pay fairness for women. Pearce has repeatedly opposed efforts to stop wage discrimination, including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2007.

“Congressman Pearce’s outdated ideas about women are made worse by his record of opposing equal pay for equal work,” said Matt Inzeo of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Congressman Pearce is too out of touch to understand the important role New Mexico women play in providing for their families and strengthening our economy.”


Pearce Voted Against Considering The Paycheck Fairness ActIn 2013, Pearce voted against consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would amend the Equal Pay Act to enhance remedies for people who experience pay discrimination on the basis of sex and ensure employers who try to justify paying a man more for the same job must show the disparity is not sex-based. The previous question was approved 226-192. A vote against the motion would have allowed for consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act. [H Res 146, Vote #97, 4/12/13]

  • …Which Would’ve Closed Loopholes Allowing Employees To Share Salary Info With Coworkers. The Paycheck Fairness Act would expand the Equal Pay Act to close certain loopholes and allow employees to share salary information with their coworkers. [Huffington Post4/11/13]
  • …And Would’ve Made it Easier for Women to File Lawsuits Against Employers Who Discriminate. The Paycheck Fairness Act would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who discuss or disclose salary information with their co-workers, and would make it easier for women to file class-action lawsuits against employers they accuse of sex-based pay discrimination. [Huffington Post4/11/13]
  • …And Would’ve Strengthened Available Remedies to Include Punitive and Compensatory Damages. The Paycheck Fairness Act strengthened the available remedies to include punitive and compensatory damages, bringing equal pay law into line with all other civil rights laws. [Huffington Post4/11/13]

2013: Census Data Showed Working Women Make 77 Cents To Every Dollar Men Earned. Recent Census Bureau data shows that full-time working women make 77 cents for every dollar men make per year. [Huffington Post4/11/13]

Pearce Voted Against Paycheck Equity. In 2008, Pearce voted against a bill that would lift the cap on compensatory and punitive damages that women may be awarded in wage discrimination cases. The bill would also require employers who contended that pay discrepancies did not result from discrimination to give an actual business reason for why female employees were paid less than their male counterparts. The bill passed 247-178. [HR 1338, Vote #556, 7/31/08; CQ Today¸7/31/08]

Pearce Voted Against the 2007 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. In 2007, Pearce voted against a bill to protect the victims of wage discrimination. The bill amended the 1964 Civil Rights Act to allow employees to file charges of pay discrimination within 180 days of the last received paycheck affected by the alleged discriminatory decision.  It also clarified that an employee is entitled to up to two years of back-pay if it is determined that discrimination occurred. The legislation was introduced in response to a May 29, 2007 Supreme Court ruling, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., a 5-4 ruling decried by civil rights activists. The bill passed 225-199.  [HR 2831, Vote #768, 7/31/07; CQ, 7/31/07]