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Legislation would Modernize the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to Help Close the Wage Gap

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) criticized Republicans for their ongoing efforts to block America's women and their families from moving ahead. The latest example came today, when Senate Republicans voted to block the critical Paycheck Fairness Act from receiving the simple vote it deserves. This follows last week's unanimous vote by House Republicans against bringing the Paycheck Fairness Act to the House Floor.

"Today I joined with Lilly Ledbetter, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) and other colleagues to show our support for the Paycheck Fairness Act," said Rep. Edwards. "I was shocked to watch from the Senate Gallery as Senate Republicans joined their House Republican colleagues in standing in the way of equal pay for America's women and their families. Women still only earn 77 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by men. When women bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families -- groceries, rent, child care, and doctors' visits. Yet Republicans in both chambers continue to play partisan politics and America's women are paying the price. Equal pay is not simply a women's issue -- it is a family and economic issue. It is time Republicans stop this obstructionism and help our country and economy prosper."

Achieving equal pay for women has been one of the top priorities of Democrats. In January 2009, the Democratic-led 111th Congress sent to the President's desk the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- and it became the first bill signed into law by President Obama. This Act restores the right of women to challenge unfair pay in court -- but virtually all House Republicans rejected this critical measure for women.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide a much-needed update to the 49-year-old Equal Pay Act by providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work. The Paycheck Fairness Act would ensure women start receiving the same legal protections to protect against pay discrimination based on race and ethnicity.

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