Senate Democrats

Democratic Senators Discuss Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Washington, DC—Democratic Senators Barbara Mikulski, Patty Murray, Blanche Lincoln, Debbie Stabenow, Amy Klobuchar, and Jeanne Shaheen joined Lilly Ledbetter and Marcia Greenberger, founder and co-President of the National Women’s Law Center, at a press conference today to discuss the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Senate Democrats are working to provide equal pay for equal work, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act ensures all Americans are paid the same wage regardless of their age, gender, race or ethnicity.

“We are here today to give the nation a wake-up call! Wage discrimination still exists because there are loopholes in our federal laws. We want to close the loopholes," Mikulski said. "Change in the federal law books means change in women’s checkbooks. We need to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It’s time for a new American revolution – we need to put on our lipstick, square our shoulders and fight together!"

Said Murray: “The Senate has a proud history of working across the aisle to pass civil rights laws.  And I’m proud that because of those laws my daughter now has the right to work in the same jobs – and achieve the same success – as my son. But we haven’t eliminated unfairness in the workplace.  I believe we should all fight long and hard whenever Americans are denied the ability to fight their rights.  And that’s why we’re here today.”

“In the workplace, it can be impossible for someone to know that they have been discriminated against until long after the fact,” Lincoln said. “The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is a straightforward bill that will level the playing field for all workers by ensuring employees are treated fairly under the law.”

Said Stabenow: “Last November, Americans cried out for change and a new era of bipartisanship and equality. Families across our country deserve nothing less from their elected officials, and I am proud to join with my fellow colleagues to pass this critical legislation that seeks to end pay discrimination and inequality.”

“Eleanor Roosevelt once said it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness,” Klobuchar said. “That is why it is important that the Senate pass this legislation – we need to light a candle and continue to shed light on this issue.’’

Said Shaheen: “I’m honored today to join Lilly Ledbetter and this group of inspiring women in support of the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I served on the New Hampshire Commission on the Status of Women in the 1980’s, women made 59 cents on the dollar compared to men. Today, they still only make 77 cents on the dollar. This is unacceptable. The fight for equality will not come with a single speech or a single piece of legislation, but the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is an important step in the long struggle toward justice.”

“Women from all over the country have told me how they are paid less for doing the same job as their male colleagues – and now there’s nothing they can do,” Ledbetter said. “Congress has the opportunity to restore the promise that the Supreme Court broke in my case and to protect women from pay discrimination by enacting the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.”

Said Greenberger: “The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would restore the law that existed in virtually every region of the country prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear and give women back critical tools they need to fight wage discrimination in court. Make no mistake, this vote matters to women, their families, and to all victims of pay discrimination. This is the time to stand up for what is right, for what is just, for what is urgently needed as people struggle to stretch their paychecks now more than ever.”