Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX-15) announced that the nation would mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy signing the Equal Pay Act into law on June 10.
"When he signed it, President Kennedy stated that the Equal Pay Act of 1963 would mean "when women enter the labor force they will find equality in their pay envelope," said U.S. Rep. Hinojosa. "And yet, 50 years later, women still do not have equality in their pay. In 1963, women on average made 59 cents for every dollar earned by men. Today, women on average nationwide make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men and Latinas only earn 55 cents for every dollar a white male earns. Some say this is progress, I say it is not enough until the paychecks are equal."
Additionally, according to a new report from the American Association of University Women, the women in the congressional district of 15 of Texas still earn only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/04/Texas-Pay-Gap.pdf
Equal pay is not simply a woman's issue -- it's a family issue. Families increasingly rely on women's wages to make ends meet. When women bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of the families -- groceries, rent, child care, doctors' visits.
Congressman Hinojosa added, "The continuing 23-cents nationwide pay gap between what men and women earn highlights the importance of Congress finally enacting the Paycheck Fairness Act, of which I am a proud cosponsor. Over the past 50 years, the Equal Pay Act has never been updated. The Paycheck Fairness Act would update and strengthen the Equal Pay Act."
The Paycheck Fairness Act strengthens and closes loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, including by providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work and protecting employees from retaliation for sharing salary information with their co-workers.
Democrats have worked for years to enact the Paycheck Fairness Act. In 2008 and again in 2009, the Democratic-led House succeeded in passing the bill, but unfortunately in both Congresses, Senate Republicans were successful in blocking the measure.
"On this 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, with a significant pay gap still existing between men and women, let us all vow to work together until we have achieved an America where women are truly paid equal pay for equal work," said U.S. Rep. Hinojosa.