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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1406, Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Ms. DeLAURO. 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 and would help to make the bill before us a real boon for workers and families.

Today, women are now half of the Nation's workforce. They are still only being paid 77 cents on the dollar as compared to men. And this holds true across all occupations and education levels. And for women of color, the disparities are even worse.

Let's take this body, the U.S. Congress, the House of Representatives. We come from all over the country. We have different educational backgrounds. We have different skill sets and different philosophies. And yet, while we are all men and women here, we get paid the same amount of money. That is not true for most women in the United States of America.

The only other institution in which there is same job, same pay, men and women, is in the U.S. military

Less pay for women means less pay for the entire family at a time when millions are struggling to enter the middle class, give their children a chance at a better life, and achieve the American Dream.

That's what paycheck fairness is all about: men, women, same job, same pay. Fifty years ago, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act to confront this ``serious and endemic'' problem of unequal wages in America. President John F. Kennedy signed it into law to end ``the unconscionable practice of paying female employees less wages than male employees for the same job.''

Fifty years later, it is clear that we have more to do. If this majority really wants to show good faith towards workers and their families and women in this Nation, then what they will do is they will join us, and they will take the steps that are necessary to end unequal pay, put an end to pay secrecy, strengthen a worker's ability to challenge discrimination, and bring equal-pay law into line with other civil rights laws.

What they will do is they will abandon the legislation that will gut the 40-hour workweek and that will allow employers to cut employees' overtime pay in order to save money.

America's women and America's families have waited far too long for this institution to act. They're watching us now, and I urge this majority to do right by them at last and help us to end unequal pay for women in this Nation for good.

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