Today, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) released the following statement after the Senate Republicans blocked consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act:
"Republicans today thumbed their collective noses at American women -- demeaning the fight for pay equity as "manufactured' and voting against the economic security of women and their families. This is another chapter on the war on women -- and one that gets to the heart of our economic challenges.
There is no denying that a pay gap exists today. When comparing the wages of women and men who have the same job, qualifications, education and backgrounds, women lose. Despite President Obama signing into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act when he first took office, women today still only earn 77 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by men. Women of color fare worse. African American women earn 68 cents and Hispanic women earn only 59 cents.
Equal pay is not simply a women's issue -- it's a family issue. Women are either the sole breadwinner or essential co-breadwinner in most American households today. When women bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families -- groceries, rent, child care, doctors' visits. Women face pay discrimination throughout their lives, and it follows them into retirement with lower pensions and Social Security benefits because they earned lower wages than they deserved.
Republicans used a filibuster today to block the Paycheck Fairness Act -- blocking the will of the majority of the Senate and the majority across the country. It is time Republicans stop opposing paycheck fairness and let us move forward to do what is right. Mitt Romney, who says he cares about jobs, should stand up for the women who do the jobs day in and day out and aren't fairly compensated. When our daughters and granddaughters enter the workforce, we must make sure that they earn the same as our sons and grandsons."