05.26.16

EQUAL PAY: Senate Passes Murray’s Resolution Calling On Equal Pay For Women In The Workplace, And On The Field

Murray presses Republicans to end pay disparity in U.S. Soccer, strengthen protections for all women by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act

 

Across the country, women on average earn 79 cents for every dollar a man makes; in Washington state, women earn just 77 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts

 

Murray: “In our country, women in the workplace, no matter where they live, no matter their background, no matter what career they choose, on average, earn less than their male colleagues.”

 

(Washington, D.C.)Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, spoke on the Senate floor before the Senate passed a resolution she wrote with Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and others urging U.S. Soccer to ensure that the U.S. women’s national soccer team is fairly compensated, and affirming support for equal pay for equal work for all women. The resolution was adopted in the Senate by voice vote.  

 

“I am extremely proud that my Senate colleagues have adopted this resolution—these are great words of support for women across the country,” said Senator Murray following the passage of the resolution. “Now, let’s back it up with action by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act! I am going to keep fighting for this legislation, so I urge all my colleagues to put partisanship aside, once again, and work to get this done.”

In March, five top female players filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team are paid significantly less than their male counterparts, despite the women’s team’s record of winning three World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals. Their complaint highlights the pervasive wage gap that women face. More than 50 years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, American women on average still only make 79 cents on the dollar.

In her remarks, Senator Murray cited how the U.S. women’s national soccer team, and women across the country and across professions, are paid significantly less than their male counterparts. Murray has consistently fought to help end the wage gap, in particular through the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would provide women with additional tools to identify and fight back against pay discrimination.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

 

“In our country, women in the workplace, no matter where they live, no matter their background, no matter what career they choose, on average, earn less than their male colleagues. The wage gap even extends to Olympic gold medalists and World Cup champions playing for the U.S. women’s national soccer team. So, today, I am coming to the floor to show support for the women’s national soccer team. And to affirm the sense of the Senate that we support equal pay for equal work for all women in our country.”

 

“…this isn’t just about the money. It’s also about the message it sends to women and girls across our country and the world. The pay gap between the men and women’s national soccer teams is emblematic of what is happening all across our country. On average, women get paid just 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. This is at a time when women, more than ever, are likely to be the primary breadwinner for their family. The wage gap isn’t just unfair to women. It hurts families. And it hurts our economy.”

 

“…today, we have a chance to show our support for women athletes and women in the workforce, who get paid less than their male colleagues. M. President, two weeks ago, I – along with 21 of my colleagues - introduced Senate Resolution 462 to make clear that pay discrimination is wrong. This resolution urges U.S. Soccer to end pay disparities and treat all athletes with respect and dignity. And it expresses our strong support to end the pay gap and strengthen equal pay protections. I am here to give the Senate the opportunity to take a stand with the members of the U.S. Soccer women’s team against the pay gap and wage discrimination and to support this resolution.”

 

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks: 

 

“Thank you, M. President.

“In our country, women in the workplace, no matter where they live, no matter their background, no matter what career they choose, on average, earn less than their male colleagues.

 

“The wage gap even extends to Olympic gold medalists and World Cup champions playing for the U.S. women’s national soccer team.


“So, today, I am coming to the floor to show support for the women’s national soccer team.

 

“And to affirm the sense of the Senate that we support equal pay for equal work for all women in our country.

 

“M. President, just last year, we all cheered on the women’s national soccer team as they beat Japan 5 to 2 to win the World Cup.

 

“In the past three Olympics, our women’s team has brought home the gold.

 

“Their team is ranked first in the world.

 

“But despite all of these tremendous successes, these players do not get paid on par with their male counterparts.

 

“Think about the young girls watching, who see these players at the top of their game valued less than men.

 

“And, M. President, these are some of the most visible athletes in the world.

 

“In 2015, 750 million people worldwide tuned in to watch the Women’s World Cup. And 25 million of those viewers were here in the U.S. 

 

“So this isn’t just about the money. It’s also about the message it sends to women and girls across our country and the world.

 

“The pay gap between the men and women’s national soccer teams is emblematic of what is happening all across our country.

 

“On average, women get paid just 79 cents for every dollar a man makes.

 

“This is at a time when women, more than ever, are likely to be the primary breadwinner for their family.

 

“The wage gap isn’t just unfair to women.

 

“It hurts families. And it hurts our economy.

 

“M. President, Carli Lloyd is a co-captain of the US women’s national soccer team.

 

“Last year, she scored three of the five goals in the final World Cup match.

 

“And a few months ago, she was one of the players who filed a wage discrimination case with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

 

“Shortly after the news of this case broke, Carli Lloyd said, “We are not backing down anymore.”

 

“I know my Democratic colleagues won’t back down in the fight for equal pay.

 

“And today, we have a chance to show our support for women athletes and women in the workforce, who get paid less than their male colleagues.

 

“M. President, two weeks ago, I – along with 21 of my colleagues - introduced Senate Resolution 462 to make clear that pay discrimination is wrong.

 

“This resolution urges U.S. Soccer to end pay disparities and treat all athletes with respect and dignity.

 

“And it expresses our strong support to end the pay gap and strengthen equal pay protections.

 

“I am here to give the Senate the opportunity to take a stand with the members of the U.S. Soccer women’s team against the pay gap and wage discrimination and to support this resolution.

 

“And if we pass this resolution today—then I hope Republicans will support equal pay for equal work for all American women with more than just words, and will work with us to pass Senator Mikulski’s Paycheck Fairness Act as quickly as possible.

 

“That is the bill that addresses the concerns we raise in this resolution—and I am hopeful we can get it done.

 

“Therefore, M. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee be discharged from further consideration of S.Res. 462 and the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration; that the resolution be read a third time and passed; and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate.”

 

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