Durbin: If You Care About The Financial Security Of Working Families, Pass The Paycheck Fairness Act

On Equal Pay Day, Durbin delivered a speech on the Senate floor calling for pay equity for women

WASHINGTON – In observation of Equal Pay Day, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke on the Senate floor about the impact of the gender pay gap.  In his remarks, Durbin emphasized that pay inequality has long-term impacts on women’s ability to save for retirement, afford child care, or support their families.  Despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that mandated that women should not be paid less for their work than men, the pay gap continues to exist. 

“Today is Equal Pay Day in America... This is the day when the average American woman will finally earn as much as the average man did last year.  In other words, on average it takes women 15 and a half months to earn as much as men do in America in 12 months,” Durbin began.

“On average, women in America make 82 cents for every dollar a man makes.  This means that women who work full-time, year-round lose up to $400,000 over the course of their working lives,” Durbin said.  “The pay gap is even wider for women of color, who lose up to around $1 million over the course of their working lives.”

Durbin noted that when women are not fairly compensated for their work, it impacts a working family’s ability to make ends meet. Durbin applauded President Biden’s proposed budget as it included measures to support working families.

“While men’s wages rise throughout their lives, women’s wages rise more slowly – and the gap widens if they have children.  President Biden’s budget proposal contains a number of important measures that will help working families make ends meet.  It includes affordable child care – what a high priority that is for every working parent – and paid family and medical leave, so that women, who are also the primary caregivers in most families, don’t have to stop working to care for a loved one,” Durbin continued.

Durbin concluded his speech by calling on his Senate colleagues to take up the Paycheck Fairness Act and pass it without delay. 

“We need to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and finally give women the tools they need to hold employers accountable if they break equal pay laws… I want to thank my colleague Senator Murray, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in particular for her leadership on this issue.  We are committed to passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, and we need Republican colleagues to make it happen.  If they believe in fairness, as I think we all do, if you care about the financial security of working families, stand with us and let’s finally pass this bill,”Durbin concluded. 

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here. 

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.