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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Debate on Paycheck Fairness Bill  CSPAN  April 16, 2021 12:42am-2:12am EDT

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blunt about why president biden should/two thirds of his infrastructure build. >> the house passed the paycheck service act by a vote of 217 to 210. it changed the law demanding people pay for equal work by requiring employers to specify reasons why a man would make more. of h.r. 7, the paycheck fairness act. when president kennedy signed the equal pay act of 1963, our country codified the basic idea that all workers should earn equal pay for equal work regardless of sex. regrettably, more than five decades later, and after the passage of the lily ledbetter fair pay act, that promise remains unfulfilled. today women continue to be paid on average 8 cents on the
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dollar compared -- 82 cents on the dollar compared to men. this is far worse for women of kohl who make less than white men and women. it exists across every sector regardless of education, experience, occupation, industry, or job title. a recent census bureau found -- study found that 38% to 70% of the gender wage gap is unexplained and likely due to discrimination. drawn out over a lifetime the persistant wage gap could cost a woman anywhere from $400,000 to $2 million. the impacts for both workers and their families often mean the difference between financial stability and perpetual hardship. the paycheck fairness act offers an opportunity to finally secure equal pay for equal work. the bill strengthens the equal pay act by bolstering workers' rights to discuss their wages with co-workers and making it easier for workers to join
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class action lawsuits. it enhances the enforcement tools available to the equal employment opportunity commission and the labor department. and more importantly, by closing loopholes for employer defenses and requiring employers to prove pay dismarities exist for legitimate job related reasons. the biden administration has issued a statement of administration policy in support of the bill. it states that ensuring equal pay is essential to advancing american values for fairness and equity. then it adds, the paycheck fairness act is a commonsense legislation that would strengthen the equal pay act and give workers more tools to fight sex-based pay discrimination. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to enter the statement of administration policy of h.r. 7 into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to join me in voting for the legislation. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my colleague for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in opposition to h.r. 7. the democrats' conveniently titled, painfully misguided paycheck fairness act, which should be called, the paychecks for trial lawyers act. we all agree on the fundamental principle of this bill. women should not be paid less than men for the same work. that is not up for debate. and for me it's never been up for debate. and for our country it hasn't been since 1963 when the equal pay act amended the fair labor standards act, making equal pay the law of the land. moreover, in 1964, title 7 of the civil rights act, codified nondiscrimination rules for employment making it illegal to
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discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. the question before us today is whether the democrats' paycheck fairness act provides any additional protections to women in the workplace. the answer is a resounding no. the united states is some of the most varied and come flex workplaces in the world. before the onslaught of covid-19, women were earning meritted paychecks in record numbers. according to harvard university analysis and numerous other studies, the differences in earning between men and women come down to choices made regarding careers and parenting. many working women take advantage of flexible work schedules to meet their diverse needs. a survey by pew found 70% of
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working mothers say a flexible schedule is extremely important. democrats aren't giving the full story when they talk about pay differences. women are making career choice that is are best for themselves and their families. limiting their freedom to do so is wrong. congress has no place in telling women their career choices are wrong. yet democrats are hellbent on telling all americans how to live their lives. how to spend their money. and now how to make career decisions. the paycheck fairness act is not a win for women in the slightest. it is a false promise that creates opportunities and advantages only for trial lawyers looking for easy payouts while causing irreparable harm to employers. by making it much easier to bring lawsuits of questionable validity against employers, trial lawyers will be able to force employers into
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settlements or trial for unlimited pay days from jury awards, lining their own pocket and dragging women through tedious, never-ending legal proceedings. in the united states, we believe in innocent until proven guilty. but this bill assumes otherwise. under current law, business owners can defend themselves from a claim of pay discrimination by proving that a pay differential is based on legitimate business related factors other than sex. h.r. 7 would radically alter this law, requiring that a business own ervins a judge or jury that the pay differential was -- owner, a judge, or jury that the pay differential was a business decision. this is an impossible for me to believe that will lead to
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unfairererererer to business owners because the pay differential must be absolutely essential to the business. h.r. 7 would also result in a flood of litigation in front of judges and juries who will devil into employ he -- delve into employer compensation decisions, even when the employer can demonstrate those decisions are based on legitimate business related reasons having nothing to do with the sex of the employee. fearing big government and liability risks that could lead them bankrupt, many business owners will likely implement ridged pay bans on models used by government and unionized businesses. this means workers will not be compensated on the basis of merit. this is the opposite of the american dream. as one columnist wrote, equality of opportunity, equality of opportunity not outcomes is the american ideal.
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on top of the legal jeopardy this bill creates for employers, h.r. 7 also mandates that business owners submit mountains of worker pay data to the federal government. this will pose significant threats to the confidentiality and privacy of workers' pay data. create a data stash which would be impossible to protect our interpret, and cost business owners more than $600 million annually. this bill purports to champion equality for women. yet it disregards the 40% of small businesses owned by women that will be forced to implement pay policies found in government-run workplaces and be stuck paying through the nose in compliance costs if this bill passes. even worse, h.r. 7 will severely limit workplace flexibility for women. many working women take advantage of flexible pay schedules to meet their diverse
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needs. yet this harmful legislation completely ignores this reality and threatens to take away the choices and freedom necessary for them to retain employment. we know employees prefer workable and flexible schedules. and now is not the time to limit those options for women who have been hit particularly hard by the covid-19 pandemic. should my democrat colleagues wish to discuss additional policies, which will foster the advancement of women in the workplace, we can consider legislation that safely reopens our schools and businesses, provides the flexibility and support to expand work-based learning programs, and create viable pathways that enable more individuals to reskill and build fulfilling careers on their own terms and promote career and technical education, to name a few. unfortunately, my democrat colleagues who would rather impose radical and unworkable
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policy under the guise of progress than find bipartisan solutions which foster environments where individuals are empowered to succeed and make the decisions that are best for them. i urge a no vote on h.r. 7. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlelady from massachusetts, the assistant speaker of the house, ms. clark. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. clark: thank you. in december american women lost 156,000 jobs, accounting for 100% of the jobs lost. and since the start of this bechtt, nearly three million women have been pushed out of the work force. women have borne the brunt of
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the economic crisis brought on by this pandemic, and gender pay inequality is at the root of the problem. more than five decades after the passage of the equal pay act, women still only make 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. that gap is even wider for women of color. by passing the paycheck fairness act today, we are correcting this injustice and ensuring that all people receive equal pay for equal work. let's be clear. this isn't a women's issue. pay inequity hurts children, families, and our entire economy. it's fundamental to our recovery and our ability to shot just rebuild to the status quo, but to build a just inclusive america for all. thank you. i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. good. >> thank you, ranking member fox. everyone supports equal pay for equal performance, and everyone is against gender-based wage discrimination. mr. good: this has been the law for nearly 60 years. when i entered the work force 30 years ago after college, wage discrimination was basically nonexistence. thanks to the law and the simple recognition of the value of a diverse work force. companies then as now simply assigned a starting salary based upon the position and paid that wage to everyone they hired. thereafter providing merit increases based on performance unlike what happens in union shops and government positions. do my democrat friends across the aisle base their staff salaries on gender or do they pay women less than men? or do they set salaries based
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on market conditions, qualifications, and experience? why do they assume less of private employers? we already have laws and protections that ensure fair pay and companies must maintain documentation demonstrating nondiscrimination in wages, performance evaluations, and merit increases. in fact, we are in a much stronger position today than we were 30 let alone 60 years ago. this legislation from the democrat party is just another attempt to insert themselves further into the workplace with a purported cure for a disease that doesn't exist. . democrats view employers, businesses, and job creators with disdain, leaving that left to their own devices they would seek to harm and exploit their employees. not to worry, big government to the rescue. or more accurately big democrat government, laying on more control, more
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to enrich their trial lawyer friends and increase liability for lawyers. the democrats will disingenuously cite discrepancies but won't cite discrepancies in pay for the same positions in the same industries. this bill adds more layers of burdensome and costly reporting requirements for businesses, estimated to cost about $6 humbings billion per year. costs which will be passed on to consumers in higher prices with no real benefit. it doesn't do anything to help women in the workplace but hurts employers, exposing them to greater liability and enriching the trial lawyer donors to the democrat party. it allows lawyers to litigate every decision an employer makes and bankrupt businesses to seek unlimited monetary damages. it makes it impossible to defend charges of gender based dis
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crimination. they would need to prove a termination isn't discriminative. leave it to politicians in washington to think they have the right to determine for employer what is is a business necessity. left to themselves businesses and employers tend to get it right. big government almost never gets it right. this bill is no exception. i urge a no vote. >> the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. >> i yield five minutes to the chair of the house appropriations committee, the gentlelady from connecticut, ms. delauro. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. delauro: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of the paycheck fairness act. it is legislation i have introduced never congress since 1997. since then, we have pushed and battled to strengthen the equal pay act of 1963.
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launched side-by-side into the fray to end pay discrimination and emphasize its impact on working families. i cannot tell you how difficult it has been to break through. men and women in the same jobs deserve the same pay. it's a principle we adhere to in this congress and i don't believe anyone would challenge it. the same is true of the u.s. military. last month we recognized equal pay to day on march 24. the day on which into the current year women must work to meet the wages earned by men in the previous year. the national committee on pay equity tells us at its lowest point in 1973, full-time working women earned a median of $56 -- of 56.6 cents to every dollar full-time working men earned. today women who work full-time year round are paid on average only 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. the gap exists in every state. regardless of geography,
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occupation, education, work patterns. and it is worse for women of color. latinas are typically paid 55 cents. native american women 60 cents. black women 63 cents. american women and her family an estimated $400,000 to $2 million. impacting social security benefits and pension. today, the issue and the environment have collided. this pandemic has brought out the depths of our problem, exposed existing inequality, threatened women's economic security and a -- at a disproportionate rate. women have lost more than five million jobs. as we seek to rebuild our
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economy, let us remember that the pay gap hurts not only women but also the families who depend on them. the paycheck fairness act is a bipartisan piece of legislation. has the support of every member of the democratic caucus. as well as three republicans. it would toughen the remedies in the equal pay act of 1963 to give american's working women the opportunity to fight wage discrimination and receive the paycheck they have rightfully earned. it would require employers to prove wage disparities exist for a job-realed issue, and facilitates workers participation in a class action suit. by now we are all familiar with the case of lily led better her bosses said, and i quote, their plant did not need women. women did not help. in fact they caused problems. a jury found that yes, lilly
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ledbetter had been discriminated against, awarded her $. million in back pay and damages which the supreme court eliminated. she received nothing. as it closed the courtroom door to all women. we, the congress, reopened that door with the lily led better fair pay act. it reversed the supreme court's decision. that was a court access case but it did not address the underlying issue of pay discrimination. president dwight d. eisenhower in 1956 in his state of the union address said, quo, legislation to apply the principle of equal pay for equal work without discrimination because of sex is a matter of simple justice. i earnestly urge the congress to move swiftly to implement these needed labor measures. when president kennedy signed the equal pay act into law nearly 5 years ago, he said, it is the first step. it affirm ours determination that when women enter the labor force, they will find equality
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in their pay envelopes. the paycheck fairness act is the next step. it simply brings the equal pay act into line with the remedies already available for those subject to other forms of employment discrimination. that is it. pure and simple. we passed paycheck fairness through this house in 2008. 2009. 2019. but now in the 117th congress, in which we welcome the most women in our history, we must get it into law. we have the opportunity to make good on that promise. that presidents of both parties have made. we need to seize that moment. it is time for us to say that the work that women do in our society today is valued and respected and the contribution that we make, if it is gd enough for the women in the house of representatives, then it is good enough for women all over the united states. with that, i ask unanimous consent to place into the record
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a letter supporting the paycheck fairness act by a broad coalition of organizations that promote economic opportunity for women. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentlewoman from michigan, ms. mcclain. ms. mcclain: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in opposition to h.r. 7, the paycheck fairness act. we don't need the government telling business how much they can pay their employees. let's not forget that it is business that has lifted us out of poverty. not the government. as a former businesswoman who has actually signed the front of paychecks, not just the back, what you do as an employee and
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what you produce as an employee matters. and what you produce should be reflected in your outcome, not your gender. do not, please, do not insult me as a woman by lowering the bar for me. and please do not insult me as a business owner for forcing me to lower the bar for my employees. outcomes and hard work is what leads to success. not your gender. gender discrimination is already against the law, thanks to the equal pay act. at a time when businesses are shutting their doors, due to the pandemic -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. mcclain: we should be creating jobs and incentivizing people to work. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is
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recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the chair of the subcommittee on work force protections, the gentlelady from north carolina, dr. adams. mrs. adams: thank you. i want to thank the gentleman for yielding and for his support and for the leadership on the committee. mr. speaker, i rise today as i've done for my entire career, from north carolina, from the north carolina house to the u.s. house in support of equal pay for equal work. it's 2021. women are still subject to unequal, unfair compensation in the workplace. this truth, this wage group, is at its worst for women of color, black women, for example, earn an average of 63 cents on the dollar compared to men. this issue persists in nearly every line of work regardless of education o, experience, or occupation or industry or job title. if you don't believe that data, take it from me, i lived it. the paycheck fairness act is an opportunity for congress to strengthen the equal pay act, to bolster the rights of working women and to put an end to the
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gender based wage disparity once and for all. we cannot continue to rob nearly half of our nation's work force of the wages they deserve, nor can we continue to force women to work far more to be paid fairly. mr. speaker i also wish to submit for the record a letter from the national partnership for women and families in support of h.r. 7. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is rk niced. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. fitzgerald. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. fitzgerald: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to h.r. 7. this bill is a solution in search of a problem. it does nothing to help employees. in reality, the bill would only boost paychecks for trial lawyers and not workers. h.r. 7 places unworkable, burdensome restrictions on employers and poses a threat also to worker privacy.
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even more, this bill would kill the christmas bonus by effectively prohibiting employers from paying end of the year bonuses to their employees. this hardly seems fair to an employee despite the title of the bill. republicans tried to strengthen the bill during the committee markup. my colleague, ms. sta fanic, offered an amendment that would have made commonsense improvements to the text but that amendment was rejected by democrats. i urge a no vote on the bill. we should not allow trial lawyer the burdensome restrictions to kill the christmas bonus. under the false guise of fairness. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. this bill will prohibit paying all the men a bonus and none of the women a bonus, although they produced equal for the business. i'd like to at this point yield one minute to a distinguished member of the committee on
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education and labor, the gentlelady from georgia, mrs. mcbath. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. mcbath: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the paycheck fairness act. i want to commend chairwoman delauro for her extraordinary efforts and commend chairman scott for bringing this timely policy to fruition. i am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the paycheck fairness act. i think most of us can agree that every american should equal -- should earn equal pay for equal work. this legislation takes meaningful steps toward ensuring that every american, regardless of gender, receives fair compensation for their work. we've seen over the course of the covid-19 pan democrat take essential workers are the life blood of our society. we've seen women on the frontlines in the hospital, in the classroom and at our central retail stores an it's time that all of these sheroes are compensated at the same rate as their male counterparts. i have a letter from the
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international brotherhood of teamsters urging passage of this legislation and highlighting the persistent wage gap between genders and i ask unanimous consent that this be included in the official record. the gender gap -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. mcbath: the gender gap is clear and the paycheck fairness act will address the disparity. not only will it help women in georgia but it will help families across the nation. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you mr. speaker. mr. speaker, proponents of h.r. 7 claim that despite current prohibitions against pay discrimination, female workers are still paid on average considerably less than male workers and as a result a pernicious wage gap exists. however, many studies have demonstrated that the gap is not
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necessarily the product of workplace discrimination. in fact this gap nearly disappears when factors such as hours worked per week, rate of leaving the work force and industry, and occupations are considered. a 2020 study by compensation software company pay scale found that when controlling for job title, years of experience, industry, location and other compensable factors, women earned 9 % as much as men. a 2009 study commissioned by the u.s. department of labor found a gender wage gap of between 4.8% and 7.1% when controling for economic variable between men and women. a 2018 harvard study found that the gap in tway pais between female and male bus an train
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operators working for the massachusetts bay transportation authority, mbta, can be explained by the workplace choices that women and men make, rather than other factors such as discrimination. the study found the earnings the study showed men worked 83% more overtime hours per year than the female operators. i want to point out that i am giving you facts here, mr. speaker. facts. these differences are not due to any differ work options faced by female and male operators. rather the study found that the female operators had a greater demand for workplace flexibility and a lower demand for overtime work hours than the male operators. pay discrimination is wrong.
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and already illegal. we probably cannot say that enough. but any new legislation to combat pay discrimination should be based on facts. facts. not supposition. not projection. and the facts seem to be sorely missing from this debate. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the distinguished member of the committee on education and labor, the gentleman from new york, mr. espaillat. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. espaillat: thank you, mr. speaker. before i begin i would ask for unanimous consent to enter into the record a letter from the equal rights advocate in support of h.r. 7. thank you, mr. speaker. it should offend every one of us that there remains a pay gap
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between men and women for the same work. women of color in particular, african-american women, latino women, native american women, aapi women are making as low as 52 cents, mr. speaker, for every dollar for the same job and work by a man. this is a travesty. let's make our communities stronger. let's make our economies stronger. in harlem, east harlem, northern manhattan, and the northwest bronx women of color are the majority of the workers. i can't go back home and say to them in my district that somehow they are working the same as men or maybe more, in many cases, and are making less. i support h.r. 7, the paycheck protection act, because we need to bring fairness into the discussion. let's make our communities stronger. let's make our economies stronger. gender-based pay discrimination
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should not be something we are still discussing now in 2021. the paycheck protection act will put everyone on the line to make sure that we are all doing our best to ensure fairness and equitable pay. closing the pay gap will make women -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. espaillat: mr. speaker, let's make our communities stronger. let's make our economy stronger. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the co-chair of the democratic women's caucus, the gentlelady from california, ms. speier. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. speier: mr. speaker, thank you. and to the chairman of the committee thank you for granting me this time. i would like to enter into the record a letter entitled
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support the paycheck fairness act written by leadership conference on civil and human rights. for a quarter of a century chairwoman delauro has been trying to get this bill passed. she's sick and tired. i'm sick and tired. the american women are sick and tired of being treated like second class citizens. imagine if the women here in congress were being paid 60%, 70%, or 80% of what our male colleagues were making. do you think we would put up with it? of course not. somehow the american women are expected to put up with that. you want facts? ask about the state of arizona, a woman paid less than her colleague because they decided that they would base her salary on what she was making before as opposed to the job at hand.
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we have a problem, members. this has been going on for way too long. it is time for us to fix it. for all the women and children in this country who want to be paid equally for equal work. so that they have money for childcare, rent, food, and education. and with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlelady from the district of columbia, previous head of the eeoc, miss holmes norton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. norton: i thank my good friend for yielding. mr. speaker, first i ask to place into the record a letter
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from the american bar association supporting passage of the paycheck fairness act. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. norton: i am pleased to strongly support h.r. 7, the paycheck fairness act. a critical -- critically important bill. as the first woman to chair the u.s. equal employment opportunity commission, i enforced the equal pay act. i particularly appreciate that h.r. 7 would bring long awaited strength to the e.p.a. i especially appreciate congresswoman rosa delauro, a great champion for equal pay, has included my pay equity for all act in h.r. 7, where i will focus today. the pay equity for all act would prohibit employers from asking a job applicant their salary history. even though many employers may not intentionally discriminate against applicants or employees based on gender, race, or
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ethnicity, setting wages based on salary history is routinely done in the workplace and can reinforce the wage gap. evidence clearly shows that members of historically disadvantaged groups often start out their careers with unfair and artificially low wages compared to their white male counterparts, and they are compounded from job to job. job and salary offers should be based on an applicant's skill and merit not salary history. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. norton: by assessing penalties against employees who ask applicants for their salary history during the interview process. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, h.r. 7 requires that the employer defense must
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be consistent with, quote, business necessity, end quote. a broad and ill defined term. we don't know how the courts will interpret this sweeping requirement, but we do know the dictionary says it means, absolutely essential or indispensable. how can an employer prove that any one factor determining employee pay could rise to the level to be necessary for the survival of the business? proponents of h.r. 7 will argue this phrase has been adopted from title 7 as amended by the 1991 civil rights act. but the phrase has spawned endless litigation because of its lack of clarity. anyone who thinks this concept is simple and can just be carried over from the title 7 is either naive or has been misled. further, the dupeous concept of
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business -- dubious concept of business necessity was developed over controversial so-called disparate impact analysis and cannot simply be slapped on to the equal pay act. especially where as mandated by h.r. 7 damages our are unlimited. in contrast under title 7, in disparate impact cases, damages are limited to back pay and benefits. with that i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from texas, mr. green. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. scott. mr. speaker, this bill is really about mothers and daughters who earn about 82 cents on a dollar for every dollar a man earns. it's about mothers and daughters who lose about $1
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trillion a year because of the wage gap. and for those men who don't have a really good reason to vote for it, it's about the fact that every woman gave birth to every man alive. so for all of the suffering we ought to vote for this bill because we are here as a result of some woman suffering for us. at this time i would like to place into the record a letter from the national committee on pay equality. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. green: thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. miss fongs: -- ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlelady from illinois, ms. schakowsky. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is now recognized. ms. schakowsky: thank you, mr. chairman, for yielding to me. this year marks the 58th
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anniversary of the equal pay act. and despite the goal to ensure the equality for women in the workplace, nearly 60 years later the pay gap still exists. women today on average make 82 cents for every dollar earned by a man. but for women of color, the disparity is worse. with black women making 63 cents on every -- on the dollar. aapi women making 60 cents. and latinas making 55 cents. this disparity is unacceptable and it is unfair. and let us continue -- let us come together right now to pass h.r. 7, the paycheck fairness act. when women get equal pay, our families and our entire economy will do better. and now i would like to put --
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submit for the record a letter from the united church of christ in favor of h.r. 7. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. schakowsky: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. allen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. allen: thank you, mr. speaker. we all agree that every american should be compensated for the quality of work and not face discrimination in the workplace based on their race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. that's why congress passed the equal pay act in 1963 and broader nondiscrimination laws under title 7 of the civil rights act the following year. however like those bills, h.r. 7 offers no new protections. it's simply a messaging bill to score political points. so what will the bill do? for job creators they can expect more lawsuits and more regulatory burdens. by limiting legal options for
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women by changing e.p.a. class action lawsuits from an opt-in system to a mandatory opt out system, h.r. 7 allows trial lawyers to pursue unlimited compensatory damages, making it nearly impossible for employers to defend against frivolous lawsuits. additionally, it requires employers to make intrusive data disclosures to the equal employment opportunity commission regarding the sex, race, and national origin of employees and for the first time the hiring, termination, and promotion data of those employees. ultimately posing a threat to the very workers' privacy. the cost to satisfy these requirements can total more than $600 million a year. we already have seen a number of small businesses forced to close this year because of covid lockdowns, and now my democratic colleagues want to impose more regulatory burdens on business that is were lucky enough to survive.
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thankfully my colleague from new york has a solution that will actually address pay discrimination and support women in the workplace. the wage equity act protection workers' privacy by encouraging voluntary pay analysis while bolstering women employment through the creation of a grant program for women in college or career and technical programs to provide negotiation skills education. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. can you tell us how much time is available on each side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia has 14 minutes left -- and a quarter left, 14 minutes and a quarter.
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the gentlewoman from north carolina has 11 1/2 minutes left. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the chair of the subcommittee on civil rights and human services, the gentlelady from oregon, ms. bonamici. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. bonamici: thank you, mr. chair. i rise in strong support of the paycheck fairness act. the equal pay act has been the law for more than half a century, but in 2021, equal pay for equal work is still not a reality for many women, especially women of color. this is an injustice to millions of working families. closing the wage gap is an economic imperative. last month, i was honored to chair the hearing on persistent gender-based wage discrimination. we heard witnesses describe the barriers to detecting wage discrimination and holding employers accountable. most importantly, we heard how the paycheck fairness act can address the problematic loopholes in the current law, empower workers to better detect and combat wage discrimination
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and create mek nechls for better pay -- mechanisms for better pay data. we can finally make equal pay for equal work a reality. i thank congresswoman delauro for her steadfast leadership, and i urge my colleagues to support this bill. mr. chairman, i request unanimous consent to enter a letter in the record in support of the paycheck fairness act from the american association of university women. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. bonamici: and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is now recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, another provision in h.r. 7 requires that in addition to proving business necessity, an employer must prove the business necessity accounts for 100% of the differential in compensation at issue. this is impossible to do. how can an employer explain slight differences in
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compensation based on educational level, experience, or quality of work on the job? this bill is going to make it impossible for employers to pay differentially on merit for anything? it is a bad bill, and we should not be passing it. i urge my colleagues to vote no, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is now recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, this nation has made far too little progress in the fight for equal pay in the workplace. in 2021, women who worked full time year-round are paid on average only 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. this adds up to over $400,000 in lost wages over the course of a
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woman's career. for women of color, the gender gap is a gender chasm with latinas earning 55 cents, black women earning 63 cents, and asian american and pacific islander women earning a mere 52 cents for every dollar paid to a white man for the same work. this bill will bring us closer to closing these gaps by ensuring equal pay for equal work. it would hold employers accountable for discriminatory practices, ease workers' ability to challenge pay discrimination, and strengthen the available remedies for wronged employees. i thank congresswoman delauro for her tireless advocacy on this issue and ask unanimous consent to enter this letter of support from the national women's law center into the record. i urge my house colleagues to adopt this -- vote for this package and close the gender wage gap once and for all. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is now recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i'll reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is now recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlelady from california, ms. lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. lee: thank you very much. first of all, let me thank the gentleman for yielding and thank you for your tremendous leadership to our speaker and for chairwoman delauro, for your persistent leadership for so many years, so many years. we must put an end to the wage gap and pay discrimination. let me tell you, the wage gap, as you heard for women of color is so much worse. i'm reminded today of our fannie lou hammer. i'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. black women earn 63 cents. indigenous 56 cents, white women earn 82 cents. aapi women are paid as little as 52 cents of every dollar paid to the white man.
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that is outrageous. i have a letter here from the equal pay today campaign urging members to support the bill. i ask unanimous consent that it be included in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. lee: let me finally say, because of this discrimination, women's social security benefits during their senior years are much lower than men. this injustice follows women throughout thank you lives. this issue impacts women, regardless of industry, education level, or political party. it's past time, it's so past time for congress to take action on this. i urge my colleagues to vote yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, h.r. 7 would create impossible conditions in which to operate for business owners, large and small. it would result in endless litigation in front of judges
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and juries who will delve into employer compensation decisions, even when there's been a showing that those decisions are not based on sex. alternatively, business owners will simply decide not to risk liability of unlimited damages, which could bankrupt them, and the end result will be the use of pay bans by employers. which imposes a government civil service model on the private sector. it will result in everyone in the workplace being compensated equally without regard to merit. this is a very broad goal of liberals in general. pay everybody the same and stifle innovation, stifle initiative, stifle anybody being
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different. this is the wrong thing for our country. that's not the way the united states of america operates. we value innovation. we value entrepreneurism. we value independent thinking. we don't want to crush everybody into thinking the same way. that's the way civil service works. that's the way the unions work. that's not the way it should be in private industry, which has made this country great. this bill stalls upward mobility, hurts all employers and employees striving to succeed on the job who want to be rewarded for their efforts. for these reasons and others, h.r. 7's provisions are unworkable and will benefit only trial lawyers, not innovative, hardworking workers.
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and with that i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is now recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. it's now my honor to yield one minute to the distinguished speaker of the house of the united states representatives, the gentlelady from california, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: and the gentlelady is now recognized. the speaker: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i particularly thank him for his leadership in bringing this important legislation to the floor of the house. this is about building back better with women -- with women, not stifling innovation and entrepreneurship, but reaping the benefits of all that women have to offer in our country. nearly -- mr. speaker, nearly 60 years ago, president john f. kennedy signed equal pay act into law. lauding it, and this is his quote, a measure that adds to our laws, another structure basic to democracy.
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today, i rise in support of a similarly momentous measure for our democracy, the paycheck fairness act, which will strengthen that law and reaffirm this pledge, equal work deserves equal pay. we all salute chairwoman rosa delauro, the guardian angel of this legislation, and so much of what democrats works for on behalf of women and families. chairwoman delauro is relentless introducing this bill in each of the last 13 congresses and securing bipartisan support and the support of the entire house democratic caucus. and now, because of her leadership, we have a chance for it to become law. many of us, with chair delauro at the helm, helped lead the charge for equal pay for many years now. 12 years ago, house democrats passed the lilly ledbetter fair pay act, to protect women's right to challenge unfair pay in
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the courts. we are proud that president obama made this bill the first bill he signed into law. you talked about it earlier, mr. chairman. exactly 10 years later when democrats retook the majority, we were honored to stand with lilly ledbetter, that courageous woman, as we took another step forward for equal -- for pay equity by again introducing congresswoman delauro's bill, the paycheck fairness act. and today in the house, congress led by over 120 women in the house, with an administration led by president biden, a long-term champion of women, and the first woman vice president, kamala harris, and with a record number of women in the cabinet, those are great advances for women. we will pass this landmark bill once more, send it to the senate and hopefully to president biden to sign into law. ok. so i'm a mother of four
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daughters. i don't know anybody who has a daughter, a wife, a sister, a mother who can say to them, you're not worth it. your time is not worth the time of your brother, your father, your whoever else. what father, brother, or son would not want the women in their lives to have equal pay? sadly, equal pay is not yet a reality in america. nearly six decades after the passage of the equal pay act, women working full time year-round are paid only 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. and for women of color, the disparity is even greater. it's almost sinful. 63 cents for black women. native hawaiian, pacific islander, alaskan native, 60 cents. latinas making 55 cents for every dollar for the same pay as
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men. equal work, equal hours, equal effort, but not equal pay. and this is not just about cents on the dollar. this pay gap can add up to about $400,000 in lost wages over a career. and what does that mean to a woman's pension? at the same time, the need for action has been accelerated by the pandemic which has worsened economic disparities to women. they lost a net 4.5 million jobs during the recession with losses disproportionately experienced by women of color. this unjust, uneven toll on women is expected to widen the wage gap by up to 5 percentage -- five percentage points. widen the gap by five percentage points, even as the recovery recovers -- the economy recovers. as the house passes this landmark legislation, let us
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stand proudly, unapologetically for what this does for the economy of our country. we continue to work to advance progress for women and families with strong support of president biden. the house democrats were poud to pass and send to the senate our vawa re-authorization, led by congresswoman sheila jackson lee, removing the arbitrary deadline of e.r.a., led by congresswoman jackie speier. and to have enacted the american rescue act, which is helping many women to return to the workforce. and we will continue this drumbeat of action, ensuring the senate passes the paycheck fairness act, and advancing legislation to strengthen women's access to childcare, health care, workplace safety, and more. and as we move forward to build back better, president biden's
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phrase for how we have job creation in our country, we can only build back better if women are central to that effort. advancing an economy in a country that works for all of the people in america, very important to america's families and america's children. with that i urge a strong and hopefully bipartisan vote on h.r. 7, the paycheck fairness act. fairness is an all-american quality. fairness for women is essential, because we know that when women succeed, america succeeds. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. i thank congresswoman delauro and mr. chairman scott for their leadership. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the -- a
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half 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> i thank dr. foxx very much. i appreciate the opportunity. mr. speaker, all americans, men and women, should be treated equally and receive equal pay for equal work. i happen to be the father of two daughters and i will do everything in this house to assure that that continues to be the case and is, in fact, the case. if this truly were an equal pay act, mr. speaker, i think many of us we would have a bipartisan initiative here. we would have bipartisan agreement. the problem is that's not what it is, mr. speaker. it goes well beyond dealing with equal pay. doctor muser: what it does is it provides equal pay to attorneys and trial lawyers as possible. and there lies the problem. once again we have what looks like legitimate legislation
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that sounds good and feels good, mr. speaker, yet when you look at the details, it's far left extremism which poisons the legislation and doesn't allow reasonable members like myself to be supportive. this isn't the first time. this occurs very often and it's the reason why we don't get things done nor do we get bipartisan cooperation. because cooperation is the way that we will achieve and complete bills of importance, particularly that are named equal pay for all. equality for all. that is what our goal is. it would be great if a bill like this had the substance that provided the ingredients which would end for equal pay. i yield back, sir. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr.
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speaker. i yield one minute to the distinguished majority leader of the united states house of representatives, the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman from virginia. the chairman of the education and labor committee for yielding. i thank him for his untiring work. no employer shall discriminate within any establishment in which such employees are employed between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex. that was passed by the congress of the united states. signed by the president of the united states. in 1963.
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a half century later, mr. speaker, the figures belie that promise. the figures are a sameful recognition of the -- shameful recognition of the emptiness of that promise. i know the gentlelady from north carolina. not well, but well enough. we served here for some period of time. i hope she will take it as a measure of positively. she is a feisty lady. she stands up for what she believes. and she is tough. all those are said lovingly. god help us if we paid her less than they paid every male member of this house.
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but we don't. we pay everybody the same. except i will admit the speaker and myself. perhaps i'm not quite as detached. but everybody else gets the same. the person who comes in the first day gets paid as much as the person who has been here 40 years like me. why? because it is the responsibility and duties that we perform that are being compensated. not our gender. now, in this bill and every other bill that has dealt with equal pay, however, let there be no mistake. clearly. i pay people in my office who have been there 10 years longer
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than i pay people who have been there the year, period. experience counts. as a lawyer when i ran my law office i paid people differently based upon their experience. their education, and other differentials. but not on the basis of gender. like the gentleman who spoke before me, i have one more daughter than he has, he had two, i have three. mr. speaker, they would not be happy today if their dad came to this floor and voted against this bill, i will tell you that. i don't know about the gentleman's daughters, can i tell you where my daughters would be. mr. speaker, i'm proud to bring the paycheck fairness act to the floor. as i did last congress. the legislation is a critical part of democrats' effort to close the gender pay gap and ensure that women earn equal pay for equal work. lily ledbetter did not get equal pay for equal work,
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period. unfortunately, she was prevented by the supreme court from making her case. we corrected that. the house passed a bill in 2019 but the republican-controlled senate failed to do the same. a bill just like this. many that was very disappointing. not only to those of us who have been working hard to close the gender pay gap in congress, but even more so to the tens of millions of women in the workshop anti-work force who deserve to take-home pay they have earned. this is not a gift. this is compensation based upon ability and contribution. not on gender. in america today a woman still earns on average just 82 cents to every dollar earned by a man. mr. chairman, has that been disputed on this floor?
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for women of color it's even worse. african-american women earn on average only 63 cents to the dollar while latinas see 55 cents. for the same work. for women who work full-time year-round, the gender pay gap represents a loss of more than, as the speaker just said, $400,000. that ought to be unacceptable to all of us. if we believe in equality. this disparity does not only hurt women, it disadvantages their entire families. with women's pay critical to household incomes. 2/3 of women are now either the primary breadwinner or co-breadwinner of their households. and women's earnings are the main source of income in more than four in 10 households, 40%. now, the gentlelady from north carolina knows full well that
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historically we have underpaid women because we thought the men were the breadwinners. they are the people who earn the money. they are the people who needed money so they could support their families. that is not true today. if it was ever true. those households ought not to be disadvantaged because women are paid less for the same work as their male counterparts. i mentioned in 1963 the promise we made as a nation. in 2009 when i was majority leader for the first time i was proud to bring the lily ledbetter fair pay act to the floor and help get it passed. i want to congratulate rosa delauro who was on the floor today, mr. speaker. she has been untiring and focused in her efforts to ensure that women were treated equally.
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and one of the best ways to treat people equally is pay them the same thing for the same job. the paycheck fairness act builds on the success by making it harder for businesses to hide the underpayment of women in their employ through nondisclosure contracts and imposing new civil penalties for those who violate equal pay rules among other beneficial provisions. now, this has been in effect for half a century. we haven't gotten there. do we need some, yeah, let's get it done, this is -- in 1963, we really meant it. so let's carry it out so when the bipartisan nonpartisan reports are made as to who is making what for the same job, it will come back men and women are getting the same pay for the same job with the same skills and the same skenority.
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-- seniority. i hope the senate will take up this long overdue legislation and pass it so president biden can sign it into law and at long last make good on the promise of equal pay act nearly six decades ago. i want to thank my friend as i just dade, rosa delauro, for the work she's done. i thank ms. delauro on behalf of susan, on behalf of stephanie, on beof ann, my daughters. on behalf of judy and ava and brooklyn and savannah. my three great granddaughters and my granddaughter. what she has done, what we can do will make a difference for them, their families, and our country. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized.
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ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i want to thank the majority leader for his compliments of me. when howard coble first introduced me to the republican conference here he said i was a feisty mountain -- feisty mountain woman from the blue ridge who goes bear hunting with a switch. i have cherished that description of me over the years. i am a feisty woman because i grew up extraordinarily poor and the majority leader is correct, i would not tolerate discrimination against me. i won't tolerate discrimination against anyone. i abhor discrimination. and i have. i'm also an italian american. i abhor that kind of discrimination. and have fought against that. i fought against racial
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discrimination. i doubt there are any people in this body that have fought more against discrimination against women than i have, or mentored more women than i have. however, the majority leader said something that made me think of the phrase, all things being equal. well, rarely are all things equal. obviously when all things are equal we want no discrimination. everybody to be treated the same. that's what i want. i have one child, a daughter. i have two grandchildren, a grandson and a granddaughter. i certainly don't want either one of them discriminated on the basis of anything. but, yes, mr. leader, 82 cents has been disputed. we hear the same old tired statistics, quote statistics, they are not accurate.
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so let's stop doing that. let's deal with the facts. h.r. 7 is not the answer to discrimination. it's going to make it more difficult for employers to create jobs and to pay women and everybody equally. we need alternatives and we have one. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. chairman, could i get the time remaining on both sides, please. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia has 9 1/4 minutes remaining. the gentlewoman from north carolina has 4 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. scott: thank you. mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the -- co-chair of the democratic women's caucus, the gentlelady from michigan, mrs. lawrence. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. lawrence: thank you, mr. speaker. it's beyond me in 2021 we are still having this debate on
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whether men and women are paid equally. i just want to say to my colleague on the other side, being a black woman in america i can tell you i do not feel that she has had the discrimination and the disrespect and the pay scale that women of color has experienced. during the brunt of this pandemic where women are in the forefront of being those who are frontline workers, the service industry, predominantly women, paycheck fairness corrects this injustice by allowing women to pay discrimination an hold employers accountability. . many in this chamber talks about levelling the playing field. let's do it by passing this bill. in america when you walk in the room as a woman you know you
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have overcome and you have work to do. and please don't continue to disrespect us by saying that everything is ok. in your world, it may be. but today we can correct that. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to direct their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i have never said everything is perfectly ok. i've said this bill is not the answer to what issues may still exist out there. mr. speaker, with that i yield one minute to the gentlewoman from iowa, mrs. miller-meeks, and applaud her for how she has handled herself in the past few months through all the turmoil and all of the challenges she has had. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. miller-meeks: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to enter
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in the record a letter from the national federation of businesses opposing h.r. 7. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. miller-meeks: thank you. i'm pleased to be able to introduce this as a small business owner myself. the nfib letter says h.r. 7 will add significant burdens to small businesses and potentially expose them to frivolous lawsuits. it will make pay differences difficult to defend in court, invite frivolous lawsuits against small business owners by allowing unlimited compensatory and punitive damages in equal pay lawsuits and significant increase small business paperwork burdens. moreover, the nfib letter says h.r. 7 will make it nearly impossible for a small employer to defend against claims where an alternative employment practice exists and could serve the same business purpose without producing the wage differential. the letter also highlights the significant paperwork burdens h.r. 7 will place on small businesses who do not have a human resources department, a full-time staff member in
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charge, or attorneys for reporting and compliance. having been a small business owner and supported by the small business owners and during a pandemic when it's so necessary to get our small businesses up and operating, i urge my colleagues to take these views of small business owners into consideration before they vote on h.r. 7. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentlelady from north carolina, ms. ross. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. ross: thank you, mr. speaker. this bill is not just about the past. it is about the future. gender-based wage discrimination exists in every state and in many industries. in the tech industry, which has a huge presence in my district in north carolina's research triangle, women typically make thousands of dollars less than men in the same roles. unsurprisingly, women in tech often leave the industry due to
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unfair compensation much to that industry's detriment. pay inequity follows women into retirement. women have on the average only 70% of the retirement income men have. one of the best ways we can help close the wage gap is through salary negotiation training, which was one of the key provisions of this bill. i'm thankful to groups like ladies get paid, and countless others working to empower women to help them advocate for their work. i urge my colleagues to support this bill for the sake of future generations. and mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to introduce this letter from the national coalition of jewish women. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: mr. speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield
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one minute to the gentlelady from missouri, ms. bush. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. bush: mr. speaker, on behalf of w -- wwca u.s.a., i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a letter in support. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. bush: st. louis and i rise in support of the paycheck fairness act. as a nurse, i earned about 60% of what my white male counterparts in the same position earned. i often imagine how many people in my district experience the same burdens like how much overtime and missing wages we could have accrued every single month. we've been chronically underpaid and chronically undervalued. i stood up to fight for underpaid nurses before, and i stand here today to fight for underpaid women, especially women of color everywhere. pay black, pay brown, pay
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indigenous, pay aapi women what we work. run us our money and run us our money now. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: mr. speaker, i'll reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlelady from pennsylvania, ms. dean. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. dean: thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you, chairman scott, for leading and for yielding. i rise in support of the paycheck fairness act. it's been more than five decades since the passage of the equal pay act of 1963. yet, a woman still earns only 82 cents on average for every dollar earned by her male counterpart. women of color fair much worse. the paycheck fairness act will ensure equal pay for equal work. it's just that simple and it's just that overdue. gender and racial pay gaps
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persists, and earnings lost to these gaps are felt even more during the covid-19 pandemic. this falls most heavily on women. the fairness -- the paycheck fairness act will update and strengthen the equal pay act to help close this gap. pay inequity not only effects women, it effects children and their family. we have made strides in the past. we know the issue of equal pay prevails -- exists. we must not pass this inequity on. i want my granddaughters, aubrey, ella, as well as my grandson, sawyer, to know that equal pay work is the norm. thank you, chairwoman delauro. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: mr. speaker, i'll reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlelady from michigan, ms. tlaib. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. tlaib: thank you so much.
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did you know that over 40% of mothers are sole or primary breadwinners for their families? it's been over 50 years since the equal pay act was signed into law. yet, the problems that preceded that legislation remain today. so it's time for the paycheck fairness act. across the country, women are paid 80 cents to the dollar that men are paid and the number is lower for women of color. native american women about 57 cents. latina women make just over 50 cents. the discriminatory wage gap is costing women thousands of dollars a year for doing the exact same work as their male counterparts. and i see this right here in my community, in my district where women are forced to longer hours, harder, just to make ends meet and put food on the table for their communities. my community is one of the poorest in the nation. the wage gap is one of the biggest factors for families who are really trying to get out of
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the cycle of poverty and get the support for their children so they can thrive. i'm grateful to my colleagues on the education and labor committee for bringing this long overdue legislation. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: i reserve, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman from virginia and thank him for his leadership, mr. speaker, and ranking member. according to the women's law center, a woman who works full time year-round would typically lose $406,280 over a 40-year
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career. this means the woman would have to work nine years longer than her male counterparts. 58 years after the enactment of the equal pay act, full-time working amounts to almost 20,000 dollars. they have children and overhead. we found that two million women lost their jobs during the pandemic. hispanic women earn 5 cents. -- 55 cents. african-american women 60 cents. it's time to pass the lilly ledbetter fair pay and also put the -- not to pass it but to put this paycheck fairness bill on the desk of the president's desk. it modernizes the equal pay act, which is what the lilly ledbetter bill did. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: with that i yield back and ask support of
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this legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: mr. speaker, i'll reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i'm prepared to close, and i'll reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, women in terms of employment and pay have made great strides in this country. when i was graduating from high school, basically, there were three open professions for women -- nursing, teaching, being a secretary. we've come a long way. we've also come a long way in terms of wages. do we have -- do we have ways to go in this country in terms of the way everybody thinks about people who are different from them? we certainly do. republicans and democrats both
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agree that pay discrimination is repugnant and illegal. i'll say it again and again. it's repugnant and illegal. despite misguided claims from the other side, this underlying principle is not up for debate. women should not be paid less than men for equal work. however, republicans are not in the business of passing radical and precryptive bills just to -- prescriptive bills just to get flashy headlines and score cheap political points. we are equally committed to promoting both fairness and strong policymaking, and when judged by these standards, today's bill falls woefully short. pay discrimination is illegal. you know, we really heard nothing about the inadequacies of the current law or the
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current processes. what we've heard is we need new legislation. republicans disagree with that. again, we want pay discrimination to be illegal, and we want any such indicateses -- cases to be treated seriously and to be looked at. this bill offers no new protection against pay discrimination in the workplace, however. and that's sorely lacking in this bill. h.r. 7 is nothing more than a trial lawyer payout at the expense of hardworking women. i urge a no vote, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this is a critical time to secure equal pay for equal work. over the past year, the covid-19 pandemic has driven over two million women out of the workforce. as women return to the workplace, strengthen equal pay will -- gender wage gap for years to come. mr. speaker, the -- we all know the discrimination exists. the fair pay act will allow victims the tools they need to combat and also close loopholes that allow employers to escape liability for discriminatory pay differences. today, we are talking about financial security for millions of families. 64% of mothers are either the sole family breadwinner or co-breadwinner. we cannot continue to allow gender-based pay inequity to rob all workers -- half of all
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workers and their families the wages they deserve. paycheck fairness act is our chance to help finally close the gender wage gap by reinforcing the equal pay act and strengthening protections for working women. the bill would ensure that gender equality on the job is not an aspiration but a reality. madam speaker, i ask our colleagu health and human servie
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