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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1120, Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the previous question. Defeat of the previous question will allow the gentleman from Colorado to amend the rule to provide for consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act, an act that addresses the persistent problem of unequal pay in our economy.

It has now been 50 years since Congress passed the Equal Pay Act to confront the ``serious and endemic'' problem of unequal wages in America. President John F. Kennedy signed that bill into law to end ``the unconscionable practice of paying female employees less wages than male employees for the same job.''

But that practice persists today. Today, even though women are now half of the Nation's workforce, they are still only being paid 77 cents on the dollar as compared to men. This holds true across occupations and education levels. Don't let anyone fool you or tell you that if you hold constant for education and other areas that, in fact, there is no wage gap; it is just not true. A simple piece of legislation that says: men and women--same job, same pay. Those of us who serve in the Congress, men and women, all parts of the country, different education skills, different skill sets in general, we get paid the same amount of money. It's true in the military as well.

This week, we once again recognize Equal Pay Day, the day in 2013 when a woman's earnings for 2012 catch up to what a man made last year. Unequal pay not only affects women; it affects families all across the country who are trying to pay their bills, trying to achieve the American Dream, and are getting less take-home pay than they deserve for their hard work.

Everyone here agrees that women should be paid the same as men for the same work. That is what paycheck fairness is all about--same job, same pay.

It is why President Obama called for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act in the State of the Union address in January.

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Ms. DeLAURO. Because it is time for us to come together and take the next steps to stop pay discrimination--by putting an end to pay secrecy, strengthening workers' ability to challenge discrimination, and bringing equal pay law into line with other civil rights laws.

I urge my colleagues to defeat the previous question, support the Paycheck Fairness Act and unequal pay for good. Fifty years after the Equal Pay Act, it is finally time to give women the tools they need to ensure that they are paid what they deserve for the same day's work. What are we waiting for in this body?

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Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I would tell my colleague that, in fact, this body, under different leadership than this current majority, passed the paycheck fairness bill twice. It has to be done through the Congress; we have the ability to do it. I would suggest to my colleagues, who on the other side of the aisle would like to talk about pay equity for women, that they sign the discharge petition. We have 200 Members who are aboard. Let's get this bill out of the committee, onto the floor, vote for it as we did in the past, and send it to the Senate so that it could be passed there as well.

I thank the gentleman for yielding.

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