The Paycheck Fairness Act Means Equal Pay for Equal Work
Women make this country run. We are business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians, mothers and more. Yet we still earn just 77 cents for every dollar our male counterpart makes.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was necessary to keep the courthouse door open for victims of pay discrimination, but we need the Paycheck Fairness Act to stop discrimination from happening in the workplace in the first place. By giving new teeth and a much-needed update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, this bill will help empower women to negotiate for equal pay, create strong incentives for employers to obey the law, and strengthen enforcement efforts.
I was so proud to lead the fight to ensure that we righted the wrong of a Supreme Court decision where Lilly Ledbetter, on behalf of American women everywhere, sued to be sure that she could get equal pay for equal or comparable work. The Paycheck Fairness Act picks up where the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act left off.
The Paycheck Fairness Act improves the remedies available for victims of discrimination and keeps employers from retaliating against employees who share pay information. It also increases education and training about wage discrimination so people know when they are being discriminated against and what they can do about it.
When the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, women earned merely 59 cents on every dollar earned by men. In the 47 years since then, we’ve come up to about 77 cents for every dollar that men make. It took us 47 years to get an 18 cent raise.
Times are changing. More women are in the workplace now. Women are also more likely to be the sole or primary source of income in households.
A wage gap is not the way to improve the health of a family or the health of our community. We need to make sure that the family budget is based on people being able to get paid for what they do, make work worth it and make compensation fair.
Earlier this week, I proudly cast my vote to end debate and move forward to a final vote on The Paycheck Fairness Act. We fell short on that vote by just two votes. I am very frustrated that a few Senators held up the Paycheck Fairness Act with a filibuster. This is an important bill that affects women, children and families. We need to reform the Senate, but we also need to reform the filibuster.
This fight is far from over. You can count on me to continue working to level the playing field for women in the workplace.
The Filibuster is an Outdated Rule – It’s Time for Majority Rule
I'm frustrated. The Senate's snail’s pace of getting things done is unacceptable. It seems that when all gets said and done, more gets said than gets done.
I was raised in a country where I thought the majority ruled. This is what I hear from the people of Maryland. Every single thing we want to do to help people is stopped by the filibuster. Job reform is stopped by the filibuster. Equal pay is stopped by the filibuster.
The filibuster means that in order to get something done you need 60 votes. It protects the rights of the minority. But it is not being used as intended. It’s a dated rule from another century. I’m done with it.
That’s why I’m a co-sponsor of Senator Harkin’s legislation to get us back on track with addressing the problems that Americans are facing everyday. Under this bill, the filibuster gets four strikes - and then the filibuster is out.
I believe in the principles of majority rule. That's why I joined this reform effort to say it’s time the majority ruled. That’s how our democracy works. Let’s break the gridlock and get the people’s work done.