NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A bill designed to lower the pay gap between men and women in Tennessee failed for the second consecutive year in a House subcommittee with a vote along party lines.

Sponsor John Ray Clemmons, a Nashville Democrat, said the bill would have stipulated several conditions to base pay differences such as education, merit or seniority in an effort to cut down an 18 percent pay gap that he says exists between men and women in Tennessee.

Clemmons said the gap was even greater for African-American and Hispanic women.

Republicans like Rep. Susan Lynn of Wilson County argued last year, and again Wednesday, the bill was unnecessary because of federal laws.

She also said choices women make, such as staying at home or working part-time, is actually decreasing pay gaps.

After a short debate, the four Republicans on the House subcommittee voted against the measure with two Democrats voting for it.

Democrats say they will hold a press conference Thursday questioning why Republicans would oppose such a bill, but Rep. Lynn has said the bill would have helped lawyers like Clemmons make it easier to sue employers.Copyright 2016 WKRN. All rights reserved.