Today marks Equal Pay Day -- the day, more than three months into the year, when women's wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. As women across New Hampshire look at their paychecks, bank accounts, and family finances today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter calls on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and to continue working to close the wage gap that exists between women and men.
"Equal pay is not simply a woman's issue -- it's a family issue," Shea-Porter said. "New Hampshire families rely on women's wages to make ends meet, and when women are paid less than men for the same work, that affects their ability to pay their bills."
According to a new report from the American Association of University Women, women in New Hampshire earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.
Shea-Porter is a strong advocate for issues that are important to women and families. She was an original cosponsor of H.R.11, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which became law on Jan. 29, 2009, and she is an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would amend the Equal Pay Act to close loopholes that prevent women from fighting for equal pay.
"I am proud the Lilly Ledbetter Act has been enacted, but we need to do more," Shea-Porter said. "The Paycheck Fairness Act is equally important."
The Paycheck Fairness Act passed the House in 2008 and 2009, but Senate Republicans blocked the measure. Similarly, in 2012, Republicans in both the House and Senate voted to block the bill.
"In America, hard work should pay off. Congress can strengthen American families and ensure workplace fairness by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act. There is no reason to delay this common sense legislation," Shea-Porter said.