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Media Invent Controversy about Mitch McConnell and 'Gender Pay Equity'

3:32 PM, Apr 8, 2014 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Over at Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur reports: "On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) dismissed the Democrats' all-out push for action on gender pay equity as a 'bizarre obsession' designed to blow 'kisses to their powerful pals on the left.'" The Chicago Sun-Times picked up the TPM report and is now running a story claiming that McConnell "went on an all-out assault against gender pay equity on Tuesday."

These reports are false. McConnell was referring to Harry Reid's "bizarre obsession" with the Koch brothers, not the issue* of "gender pay equity."

In remarks Tuesday, McConnell said that Reid "launched into another confusing attack on the Left’s latest bizarre obsession." McConnell specifically said he was referring to Reid's comments "yesterday," and Reid's comments yesterday focused on the Koch Brothers. See this April 7 press release: "Reid Remarks On Senate Republicans Ongoing Defense Of The Koch Brothers." 

“Senator McConnell was clearly referring to Reid’s latest rant about the Koch Brothers from the day before," McConnell spokesman Brian McGuire tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD in an email. "Anybody who tries to claim otherwise is simply making it up. Senator McConnell’s speech today mentioned Senator Reid’s speech from yesterday, which was devoted to an attack on the Kochs. In fact, McConnell referred to it as an attack. Clearly, if he was talking about the pay bill, he wouldn’t have described Reid’s speech about it as an 'attack.'" 

Indeed, it wouldn't make sense for McConnell to say that Reid attacked the issue of gender pay equity, but it would make sense to say that he attacked the Koch brothers. Here's a transcript of McConnell's speech today (relevant section in bold), which doesn't include any reference to "gender pay equity": 

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