The Senate today passed an amendment backed by U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp that lays the groundwork for future passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. The amendment, included in the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Resolution, affirms that closing the wage gap between men and women is a budgetary priority for the Senate.
Today's support of equal pay for equal work signals the Paycheck Fairness Act has broad bipartisan support and could be passed in the coming months. Currently, for the same work, a woman makes on average just 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.
"We have made great strides in ensuring there is equal pay for equal work, but we are not there yet," said Heitkamp. "Today's vote is a great sign for the prospects of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Having a policy in place that rewards equal pay for equal work is not only the right thing to do, it is good economic policy."
Heitkamp is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill would empower women to negotiate for equal pay, close loopholes that enable discrimination and create better incentives for employers to adhere to laws that are already on the books. The Paycheck Fairness Act would also enhance outreach and enforcement efforts.