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Public Statements

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

LILLY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - July 31, 2007)


Mr. ANDREWS. Madam Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.

Madam Speaker, I would urge our colleagues in both the Republican and Democratic Parties to vote ``yes'' in favor of this bill.

The opponents have raised two arguments. I believe both of them are wrong.

The first is that the bill repeals or eliminates the statute of limitations. This is not correct. What is, in fact, correct, is that once 180 days have passed from the final act of discrimination, the final tainted paycheck, then the plaintiff's claim would be barred.

The second argument that has been raised by the opponents of the bill is that there would be a flood of litigation and a flood of claims that would vex employers across the country.

This is not so. We are restoring the law as it has existed for more than three decades. During those three decades, there was no such flood or plague of litigation.

This conclusion is borne out by the Congressional Budget Office, which, in analyzing the costs of this bill, concluded that there would be no appreciable increase in the number of claims filed with the EEOC.

So, for these reasons and others, the arguments raised against the bill are invalid. Members should vote ``yes'' in favor of the bill.


Mr. ANDREWS. Madam Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Madam Speaker, this is a narrow bill that supports a very broad principle. The broad principle is that discrimination has no place in the lives of Americans.

This House has people working in it whose families came here who could not speak English but now their sons and daughters write the law. This House has people in it whose ancestors were brought here as slaves but now who write the law of the land. And this House has one person in it whose grandmother could not vote but who now is the woman who is Speaker of the House of Representatives. When we eliminate discrimination, great things happen in America. When we restore discrimination, America moves backwards.

This country is bigger and stronger than the worst thoughts of any bigot. Discrimination has no place in our law, no place in our hearts, and no place because of technicalities. Vote ``yes'' in favor of restoring this strong tool against discrimination.


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