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Republicans block bill on gender pay gap

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WASHINGTON — Republicans blocked a Senate bill Wednesday aimed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women, an election-year ritual that Democrats hope will help spur women to back them in this fall’s congressional elections.

GOP lawmakers said the measure could hinder employers from granting raises, or permitting flexible hours in exchange for lower pay, for fear of costly lawsuits. For Democrats, the bill was the latest stressing income-fairness they are pushing this campaign season, a procession that includes proposals to extend jobless benefits, boost the minimum wage and help students and families afford college loans.

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