Congresswoman Lujan Grisham: Current Wage Gap Discriminates Against Families

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) gave the following statement yesterday during a press conference in support of passing the Paycheck Fairness Act in the House of Representatives.

“I applaud the President taking action to bring transparency into many workplaces where pay disparities may have been obscured between male and female federal contractors. But we need more transparency for all women and their families through the Paycheck Fairness Act. The current wage gap for women is not just discrimination against a woman in the workforce, but discrimination against the entire family.”

Full remarks, as delivered, are below:

“I am delighted to be here. We heard from the Administration that tomorrow is a fantastic day, and today is a fantastic day.

I want to point out that it has been 362 days in this Congressional session that we have waited.

We have a discharge petition on the Floor. We have been working diligently to force a vote on this issue to finally end discrimination. It is that simple.

Rep. DeLauro filed that discharge petition and I’m hoping this is the culmination of getting that effort.

I’m forgetting to point out that there are 197 of us. My colleagues and I have all signed the discharge petition because women and their entire families have waited long enough.

The Paycheck Fairness Act is imperative for the very health of our families. The current wage gap for women is not just discrimination against that woman in the workforce, but discrimination against the entire family.

I know that you know these facts, but I think they are worth repeating over and over again until we get it righted.

Women lead two-thirds of American households, nearly 50% of the American workforce.

Women make 70 cents on the dollar for every dollar a man earns.

For Hispanic women in my state, a majority-minority state, that means they are making 54 cents for every dollar. It means that their whole families are unjustly penalized because of this discrimination.

In New Mexico, the yearly income for men is $41,000. For the same work, a woman earns $33,000, or even less for a Hispanic woman.

Let me put that in perspective. That’s $8,000. That’s a year’s worth of groceries for your family; a year’s worth of car payments for you and your family. That could be half a year of your mortgage, your rent. That’s an entire year of childcare, which women need in order to succeed in the workforce.

Equal pay for equal work shouldn’t be just a suggestion; it should be the law of the land.

House Republicans have fought us every step of the way on this bill, just as they fought us when we reauthorized VAWA last year.

Time is up. Let’s stop discriminating against women and their families. Let’s vote.”