A picture of Representative Rosa L. DeLauro
Rosa D.
Democrat CT 3

About Rep. Rosa
  •     Providing for Consideration of H.R. 650, Preserving Access To
    Manufactured Housing Act of 2015, Providing for Consideration of H.R.

    by Representative Rosa L. DeLauro

    Posted on 2015-04-14

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    DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask Members to defeat the previous question so that the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern) can offer an amendment for the House to immediately consider the Paycheck Fairness Act.

    Three weeks ago, I reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act. My bill would finish the job started by the Equal Pay Act some 50 years ago. It would end pay secrecy across the board. It would require employers to prove that pay disparities are not based on gender, and passing the bill would give teeth to a very, very simple principle: men and women in the same job deserve the same pay.

    The Paycheck Fairness Act has passed the House twice already, with bipartisan support I might add. It has come just two votes shy of passing in the other body.

    President Obama has called on us to pass it. More crucially still, the American people know the importance of paycheck fairness.

    In October, a Gallup poll asked Americans to identify the top issue facing women in the workplace. Equal pay was, by far, the most common response among men as well as women.

    All across the country today, working families are in trouble. Their wages are stagnant. They are in jobs that just don't pay them enough to be able to pay their bills. They are struggling to heat their homes and to feed their children.

    Equal pay is a crucial part of the solution to this problem, since women are more than half of the workforce. Two-thirds of us are breadwinners for our families. Lower pay for women means less gas in the car, less food on the table, less money in the college fund, and less spending to support our economy.

    Today is yet another Equal Pay Day. What Equal Pay Day means is that it has taken 104 days for the average woman's earnings to catch up with what the average man made last year. That is exactly 104 days too long.

    Fifty-two years since the Equal Pay Act became law, a woman still only makes 78 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by a man. The gap has barely changed in over a decade.

    For women of color the disparities are wider still. Their Equal Pay Day will not arrive until May or June.

    Even in nursing, a profession that is more than 90 percent female, a study last month showed that men earned $5,100 more per year, on average, than women when controlling for education, experience, and other factors.

    Clearly, we must do more to close the gender pay gap. President Obama and the Department of Labor have shown the way by taking action to protect women who work for Federal contractors. It is now time that we in the Congress act to extend real, enforceable pay equity protection to all women.

    Equal pay for equal work is the right thing to do. It is the smart thing to do. It, in fact, would reflect what today's economy is all about with women being in the workplace overwhelmingly. It is time to make it a reality for all Americans, and I ask my colleagues to defeat the previous question.

    I thank the gentleman from Massachusetts.

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