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Public Statements

Statements On Introduced Bills And Joint Resolutions

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - March 27, 2007)

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Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, stroke is a devastating disease that affects young and old, women and men, regardless of their race or ethnic background. The physical, emotional, and financial toll of stroke on individuals and their families is enormous.

Fortunately, we have achieved major advances in the prevention and treatment of stroke in recent years that have reduced the high toll of death and disability. The Nation's investment in research through the National Institutes of Health has led to many of these advances, and it's tragic that so many stroke patients do not yet have access to these advances.

That's why Senator COCHRAN and I have introduced the bipartisan Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act in Congress, to help bring what we've learned in the laboratory to the bedside of the patient more quickly. Both Houses of Congress know the importance of this issue, and identical legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives. This bill is intended to become a national commitment to end the suffering from stroke. It will also be a promise that every American can lead a better and healthier life.

By Mr. KENNEDY (for himself, Mr. KERRY, Mrs. BOXER, Mr. HARKIN, Mr. LAUTENBERG, Mr. DODD, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mrs. FEINSTEIN, Ms. MIKULSKI, Mr. BROWN, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. SCHUMER, Ms. CANTWELL, Mr. BIDEN, Mr. LEVIN, Mr. MENENDEZ, Mrs. MURRAY, Mrs. CLINTON, Mr. FEINGOLD, Ms. STABENOW, and Mr. WHITEHOUSE):

S.J. Res. 10. A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to equal rights for men and women; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, it's a privilege to join my colleagues in reintroducing the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. Our strong commitment to equal rights for men and women should be clearly reflected in the Nation's founding document.

The ERA is essential to guarantee that the freedoms protected by our Constitution apply equally to men and women. From the beginning of our history as a Nation, women have had to wage a constant, long and difficult battle to win the same basic rights granted to men. That battle goes on today, since discrimination still continues in many ways.

Despite passage of the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s, discrimination against women continues to permeate the workforce and many areas of the economy. Today, women earn about 77 cents for each dollar earned by men, and the gap is even greater for women of color. In 2004, African American women earned only 67 percent of the earnings of white men, and Hispanic women earned only 56 percent.

Women with college and professional degrees have achieved advances in a number of professional and managerial occupations in recent years. Yet more than 60 percent of working women are still clustered in a narrow range of traditionally female, traditionally low-paying occupations, and female-headed households continue to dominate the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.

A stronger effort is clearly needed to finally live up to our commitment of full equality. The Equal Rights Amendment alone cannot remedy all discrimination, but it will clearly strengthen the ongoing efforts of women across the country to obtain equal treatment.

We know from the failed ratification experiences of the past that amending the Constitution to include the ERA will not be easy to achieve. But its extraordinary significance requires us to continue the battle to finally see it approved by Congress and ratified by the States. The women of America deserve no less.

I ask unanimous consent that the text of the resolution be printed in the RECORD.

There being no objection, the joint resolution was ordered to be printed in the Record

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