Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released the following statement Wednesday after meeting with President Obama, White House officials and Congressional colleagues to discuss new steps to help women and families succeed in the economy. The meeting follows a previous bipartisan women of the Senate dinner hosted by President Obama at the White House where Gillibrand pressed the President for his support for her American Opportunity Agenda.
“Today’s discussion with President Obama was a great opportunity for all of us to focus on achieving our shared goals of empowering middle class families by ensuring women workers have a fair shot at earning their full potential in today’s workforce. Last year, when President Obama hosted the women Senators at the White House, he listened intently to common sense ideas for updating workplace policies that have not kept up with the changing face of the American workforce. I was pleased when he made this a priority in his State of the Union speech, and even more pleased that he continues to follow through and show great leadership.
“In the months ahead, I will continue working my hardest on an agenda that I put forward to strengthen middle class families and grow our economy. That means passing new legislation to create a self-funded paid family and medical leave insurance program – an earned benefit for every worker in America that can help more women keep their jobs and make families more secure, without adding one dime to the federal deficit.
“A growing economy and secure middle class also relies on making sure that hard work is rewarded with wages that can actually support a family. President Obama took the right action to raise the minimum wage for federal contractor workers to the level I am fighting for. But Congress must do its part this year and raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for the 28 million Americans who deserve a raise.
“None of these proposals are about what’s best for partisan politics for either side. With more dual income households and women serving as sole breadwinner than ever before, this is not a partisan issue, it’s about doing what’s right for American families. I hope that with President Obama’s leadership, and with Democrats and Republicans working together in Congress, we can bring America’s outdated workplace polices into the 21st century, and give middle class workers the security they deserve. Because only when every woman and family gets the opportunity they deserve to achieve their potential, can America achieve hers.”