Tuesday morning on "Morning Joe," Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) joined a panel including co-host Mika Brzezinski, NBC's Chuck Todd and former head of the RNC, Michael Steele. The discussion turned to the fact that the Senate is set to vote Tuesday on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to close the wage gap between American men and women. (The bill later failed to attain cloture in the Senate due to Republican efforts, effectively ending its chance of passing any time soon.) The act would give women in the workplace an avenue to challenge unfair pay practices and ensure that they get paid equally for equal work.
"This is not like an exotic idea. This is, I think, common sense," McCaskill said,"That we want to try to level the playing field in the workplace and if someone is unfairly being paid less for the same work, we want them to have the opportunity to right that wrong."
"I question the intentions of a lot of people who are voting against this," said Brzezinski, whose bestseller, Knowing Your Value, examines questions of inequality in the workplace.
Brzezinski asserted that if politicians want to get women's attention and win their support, they should vote for this bill.
"Michael Steele," she said, addressing the former RNC Chairman, "I don't understand. Help me understand why someone would vote against this at this time, especially."
Steele did his best to work around the question, saying, "Well...you know...again, you’re between a, a, a rock and a hard place politically. It’s one of those...those arguments that you want to be on the right side of it, obviously. But the reality is...what is the politics? What is the, what is the get? The reality of it is, right now, in this political cycle, as heated and as polarized as it is, a lot of folks will see this as nothing more than a way to back one party into the corner and there’s nothing that’s really going to change beyond the legislation."
"Aw, come on. Come on!" said Brzezinski, cutting him off. Steele asked why the White House hasn't done more for women, then tried to construct more political cover for Republicans before the host finally lost her patience and said, "There's just nothin’. You got nothin'."
Watch the video, which aired June 5, and is embedded via MSNBC, below: