Pelosi Remarks at Equal Pay Day Event
Contact: Ashley Etienne/Caroline Behringer, 202-226-7616
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Senator Patty Murray, Members of the Democratic Women’s Working Group and national organizations to mark Equal Pay Day and reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act. Equal Pay Day symbolizes the date when women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. Below is a transcript of the Leader’s remarks:
“Thank you very much Rosa! No, I do not co-sponsor bills but I do associate myself with important values and principles in our country and equality is certainly first among them.
“I’m honored to be here with you [Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro], with our distinguished Whip Mr. [Steny] Hoyer, Senator [Patty] Murray when she comes back, she comes from voting, Bobby Scott our Ranking Member on the Education and Workforce Committee, our Chair and Vice Chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, Lois Frankel and Brenda Lawrence. So many Members of Congress, so many Members of Congress, thank you for being here!
“Our special guests of course are Todd Lamonia, Lisa Maatz, Fatima Goss and Vicki Shabo. They’re our special guests who will tell the stories of why this is important.
“Let me just give a little bit of history. It has been 54 years since President Kennedy signed into law the Equal Pay Act, affirming a women’s right to equal pay for equal work. At the same time, our nation took what President Kennedy called ‘a first step’ to end the ‘unconscionable practice’ of paying women less than men for the same amount of work. President Kennedy said that.
“It is outrageous, in America, in 2017, that this injustice persists. As Rosa said, Equal Pay Day marks all the extra months that women have to work into this year, just to catch up to the average man’s work of last year.
“I just want to say this – I talked about history and President Kennedy – when history is written about equal pay for equal work, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro will hold a very special place in that fight. She has been intellectually on the forefront, a visionary, relentless, persistent, dissatisfied and determined that this will happen. It’s remarkable to work with her. And why? Because this gender pay gap disrespects women’s work, undermines families, robs their retirement and weakens our economy in our communities.
“Democrats have made supporting equal pay for equal work our first order of business. When President Obama took office, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 became the first bill – the first bill – that President Obama signed into law.
“Today, with the leadership of Congresswoman [Rosa] DeLauro and Senator [Patty] Murray – who has been such a champion in the Senate.
“Rosa talked about soccer and in so many areas, Senator Murray has been a wonderful, wonderful leader. And in a place where you need 60 votes, she has been a determined fighter. Rosa and Senator Murray are demanding action to unleash the full potential of women and working families – reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act. Thank you, Senator Murray. Thank you, Rosa.
“Together we are championing four pillars to unleash the full potential of America’s families, of which all of these folks have been a part: fair pay, work and family balance, affordable child care, and strengthened retirement security. With this agenda, we empower working parents, both women and men – this is about men, too, because it’s about families, to thrive and reach their full potential.
“Let us ensure that women and men and working families receive their fair pay and the bigger paychecks needed to move America forward. Thank you, Senator Murray, thank you for Rosa DeLauro, thank you to my colleagues and our guests today for moving America forward. And a person committed to moving America forward is our next speaker, our very distinguished Democratic Whip of the House, Steny Hoyer.
“Oh, now we’re going to go to Rosa… I was just filling in because Senator Murray and Rosa were the co-leaders of all this and Rosa was going to introduce him. What they have in common is their passion for equal pay for equal work. They demonstrate that on the Appropriations Committee. Senator Murray has been a champion for all of our values, who better to fight for the values of our country on the Appropriations Committee, to allocate resources where best needed to move America’s families forward than Senator Patty Murray. Our whole family was for Gonzaga, and they played beautifully, they played beautifully, but thank you, Senator Murray, even though, for being with us this morning. Thank you.”
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