Tonight’s Senate Vote “Makes Painfully Clear That Some Lawmakers Are Not Serious About Ensuring Fair Pay for Women,” Women’s Leader Says

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“The Senate’s failure to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act tonight is a painful example of partisanship and baseless lies being used to justify blocking legislation that America’s women and families badly need. The vote makes painfully clear that, despite claims to the contrary, many lawmakers are not serious about ensuring women and men are paid equally in this country. It is shameful.

America’s women and families are fed up with elected officials who claim to care about their economic well-being but refuse to advance measures that would help. Any lawmaker who cares about fair pay and economic security should support the Paycheck Fairness Act. It is not a partisan issue to voters, as recent polling makes clear, and it should not be a partisan issue in Congress.

At a time when women make up nearly half the workforce and are the sole or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of households, making sure that women are not losing critical income is of paramount importance to women, their families and our economy. Today, women who are employed full time, year round in the United States still lose, on average, more than $11,600 annually due to a gender-based wage gap. For African American women and Latinas, the losses are much greater. The Paycheck Fairness Act would help close that punishing gap.

The Paycheck Fairness Act is common sense legislation to combat pay discrimination, plain and simple. It would prohibit employers from retaliating against workers for discussing their wages, recognize employers with good pay practices, and provide assistance to small businesses that need help adopting such practices. It would also create a negotiation skills training program for women and girls and enhance the ability of federal agencies to investigate and enforce pay discrimination laws.

The National Partnership for Women & Families commends the senators who stood up for women and families tonight by voting to advance this bill, and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D – Md.) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D – Conn.) for their tremendous, tireless leadership in championing it. It is long past time for all members of Congress to seriously address pay discrimination by voting for the Paycheck Fairness Act.”

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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