A picture of Representative Janice D. Schakowsky
Janice S.
Democrat IL 9

About Rep. Janice
  • Recognizing Frances Perkins

    by Representative Janice D. Schakowsky

    Posted on 2013-03-04

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    SCHAKOWSKY asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.) Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, 80 years ago today, Frances Perkins was sworn in as Secretary of Labor. This is Women's History Month, and Frances Perkins certainly made history.

    She was the first woman member in the history of the United States to be part of the Cabinet, and still holds the record as the longest serving Secretary of Labor. She brought us the Fair Labor Standards Act, giving working women and men fair wages, limits on overtime, and the right to organize. She was the architect of the Social Security Act.

    Frances Perkins helped bring us out of the Great Depression. And as we come out of the Great Recession, we need to ask what Frances Perkins would do today.

    She would fight to raise the minimum wage. Almost two-thirds of all minimum-wage workers are women. Many are the sole breadwinners for their families. She would defend Social Security against those who want to cut its very modest benefits.

    So today, we take time to remember Frances Perkins. Her message is still relevant today. Our Nation is stronger if we give working women-- and men--fair opportunities and treatment.


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