On Equal Pay Day, Congressman Tim Ryan said more needs to be done to close the wage gap that still exists between women and men. In 1963, when women earned 59 cents for every dollar earned by a man, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act. Today, while progress has been made--the promise of equal pay has not become a reality. Today, women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and yet, families increasingly rely on women's wages to make ends meet.
In January 2009, Congress sent to the President's desk the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, becoming the first bill signed into law by President Obama. This bill restored the rights of women to challenge unfair pay in court, with almost all House Republicans voting against the bill.
"The Lilly Ledbetter Act is an historic advancement in the cause of income equity," said Congressman Tim Ryan. But there are too many examples that suggest that the fight is not over. Right here in Ohio--female State employees of Governor John Kasich are being paid significantly less than their male counterparts. It is essential that we provide effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work. Unfortunately, my Republican House colleagues are standing in the way of progress on this issue. As the son of a single mother, I know how hard the women in my District work--and they are entitled to fair and just compensation."
This year, Equal Pay Day falls on Tax Day, and I am also fighting for basic fairness in taxation. Too many women with modest incomes are still paying a higher tax rate than their well-paid bosses. That is why this week Democrats fought to enact the "Buffett Rule," which would insure that no household making over $1 million annually will pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay.
"I will do all that I can to strengthen the American family--and this includes women being paid equally for their work and all persons paying their fair share in taxes to support our nation," said Congressman Ryan.