For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2021
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement after the House passed H.R.7, the Paycheck Fairness Act:“I was proud to bring the Paycheck Fairness Act to the Floor today and work to secure its passage, as I did last Congress. This legislation is a critical part of Democrats’ effort to close the gender pay gap and ensure that women earn equal pay for equal work. While the House passed this bill in 2019, the Republican-controlled Senate at the time failed to do the same. I hope that will not be the case again now.
“In 1963, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, which required that men and women performing the same work be offered the same compensation. Today, in 2021, American women still earn, on average, just eighty-two cents for every dollar earned by men. For African-American women, that figure is just sixty-three cents, and Latinas see only fifty-five cents to the dollar. For women who work full time, year-round, the gender pay gap represents a loss of more than $400,000 over the course of one’s career. That is unacceptable and must be addressed.
“In 2009, when I was Majority Leader the first time, I brought the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to the Floor and helped send it to President Obama to be signed into law. At the time, that was seen as one step, alongside the reforms contained in the Paycheck Fairness Act. Now it is time to take that next step. This bill builds on the successes of the Equal Pay Act and the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by making it harder for businesses to hide the underpayment of women in their employ through nondisclosure contracts and by imposing new civil penalties for those who violate equal pay rules, among other beneficial provisions.
“I thank Chairwoman DeLauro for sponsoring and championing this legislation for so many years and working to secure its passage last Congress and again today. I also thank Chairman Scott for his work moving it through the Education and Labor Committee and to the Floor. I hope the Senate will take up this long-overdue legislation and send it to President Biden to sign into law and, at long last, make good on the promise contained in the Equal Pay Act after nearly six decades.”