Sen. Deb Fischer

Sen. Deb Fischer

WASHINGTON — Sen. Deb Fischer pitched bipartisan proposals for addressing pay equity and family leave during a Friday speech at the American Enterprise Institute.

The Nebraska Republican kicked off her talk by highlighting the anxieties of everyday Americans, including parents who work full time to make ends meet while raising their children.

“I am a firm believer in conservative principles and in limited government,” Fischer said. “I also think that Congress has a duty to promote policies that will make life easier and more flexible for American families.”

Republicans oppose pay discrimination and want to do more to tackle the problem, she said. But she criticized some Democratic proposals, which she described as too burdensome for businesses and ultimately ineffective.

Instead, she focused on the power of wage transparency — touting legislation aimed at allowing employees to discuss their compensation without worrying about employer retribution.

Fischer also discussed family leave policies, pointing to legislation she has offered with Sen. Angus King — an independent from Maine who caucuses with Democrats — that would offer tax incentives to businesses that voluntarily provide paid leave.

Those who favor aggressive government intervention say Fischer’s approach to such issues doesn’t go far enough, but she said her proposals can achieve meaningful change.

“And we can do it without punishing mandates or picking winners and losers,” she said.

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