At a time when women in New Jersey make 79 cents for every one dollar earned by their male counterparts, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today called the Senate Republican filibuster of the Paycheck Fairness Act "another step backwards for women" and said, "if only Republicans worked as hard to protect women as they do filibustering, then we might have a chance of making real progress for women". The Paycheck Fairness Act failed to move forward by a vote, largely on party-lines, of 52 -- 47. Menendez's full statement is below:
"Once again, Senate Republicans are showcasing their talent for obstructionism. Since 9 out of 10 Americans support equal pay legislation, there really is no other explanation for their filibustering than a flagrant display of playing politics with women's paychecks.
"Just like cars need tuning and homes need fresh paint, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 needs to be updated to battle the persistent gap in women's wages. And not just so we can rightfully ensure equal pay for equal work. Women's wages are key to putting food on the families' tables and keeping roofs over their heads. When women's salaries are short-changed, so are families' incomes and our overall economy.
"We must ensure women, who make up nearly half the workforce, are able to speak up and fight for fair pay without losing their job. And we must encourage every woman graduating today to demand no less than equal pay for equal work in any job. Unfortunately, with this vote, Republicans have said loud and clear that today is not that day.
"I will continue fighting for New Jersey women so that their talent, education and hard work will be as equally valuable as that of men. That's why I voted for the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and that's why I will vote for equal pay for women every chance I get until the glass ceiling is lying broken at our feet and every woman can reach through it and grab that American dream."