This past week we marked Equal Pay Day and I reaffirmed my commitment to taking further steps to eliminate the wage gap and expand equality for women. I am proud that during my time in the Democratic-led Congress in 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill signed into law by President Obama. This bill reaffirmed a core American principle: equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, race, or background.
With women making up nearly half of the labor force and mothers increasingly serving as the primary or co-breadwinners for American families, the wage gap hurts families, businesses, and communities. Today, with women still earning an average of just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, more must be done to level the playing field for all workers, because equal pay is not simply a women's issue; it's a family issue.
Democrats are committed to taking further steps to eliminate the wage gap and expand equality for women. To meet these goals, President Obama established the Equal Pay Task Force and released the Equal Pay Task Force Accomplishments Report: Fighting for Fair Pay in the Workplace. The Equal Pay Task Force brings together the best expertise of professionals at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor and the Office of Personnel Management, who work daily to combat pay discrimination in the workplace. The report details the significant progress that the Task Force has made to fight pay discrimination -- including improving inter-agency coordination and collaboration to ensure that the full weight of the federal government is focused on closing the gender pay gap once and for all.
It is now time for the 112th Congress to enact the Paycheck Fairness Act to give new teeth to the Equal Pay Act and provide women additional tools to fight pay discrimination. America's women can't wait.