LILLY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT OF 2007--MOTION TO PROCEED--Resumed -- (Senate - April 23, 2008)
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Mr. OBAMA. Madam President, today too many women are still earning less than men for doing the same work, making it harder not just for those women but for the families they help support to make ends meet. It is harder for single moms to climb out of poverty, harder for elderly women to afford their retirement. That kind of pay discrimination is wrong and has no place in the United States of America.
This evening, we have a chance to do something about it. Passing this bill is an important step in closing the pay gap, something I helped to do in Illinois and something I have fought to do since I arrived in the Senate. I have cosponsored legislation to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work and to require employers to disclose their pay scales for various kinds of jobs. It is this information which will allow women to determine whether they are being discriminated against, information they often lack now.
In addition to passing this bill, we need to strengthen enforcement of existing laws. In the end, closing the pay gap is essential, but it is not going to be enough to make sure that women and girls have an equal shot at the American dream, which is why we are also going to have to work on issues such as sick leave and prohibiting discrimination against caregivers. If you work hard and do a good job, you should be rewarded, no matter what you look like, where you come from, or what gender you are. That is what this bill is about. That is why I am supporting this legislation and urge my colleagues to do the same.
I yield the floor.