**WATCH Senator Gillibrand’s Speech on the Senate Floor HERE**
Washington, D.C. – On Equal Pay Day, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today delivered a speech on the Senate floor urging her colleagues to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and close the wage gap.
Below are Senator Gillibrand’s remarks as prepared for delivery and video is available here:
“Mr. President, after another whole year, a very unfortunate milestone has once again arrived.
“Today is Equal Pay Day.
“This is the day in 2016, when the average woman, after all of last year and the first three months of this year, finally earns as much money as the average man did only during last year.
“So if you started the clock in 2015, the average woman had to work an extra 103 days to earn the same amount of money as a man.
“Imagine two people were both hired at a company.
“They both work hard, they have the same amount of experience, the same qualifications
“But they have one important difference: One of these workers is a man, and the other is a woman.
“As a result, they will not be paid the same.
“Right now, on average, for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes only 79 cents.
“That’s the average for all women. Many other groups of women have it even worse.
“Working mothers earn only 75 cents for every dollar working fathers make.
“African American women earn just 60 cents for every dollar a white man makes.
“And our Latina women have it the worst. They earn just 55 cents for every dollar a white man makes.
“The United States of America still doesn’t pay its men and women equally, and it’s unacceptable that in the year 2016, we are still fighting to fix this problem.
“Think about how this pay gap affects our families.
“More women than ever before are earning their family’s paycheck.
“Four out of every ten mothers are either the primary breadwinner in the family, or the only breadwinner in the family.
“And because of the pay gap, their children are getting shortchanged.
“Mr. President, we need equal pay for equal work.
“It shouldn’t matter if you’re a nurse, a lawyer, or even one of the best female athletes in the world.
“Just a couple of weeks ago, Hope Solo and the rest of the women’s national soccer team filed a federal lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation, over wage discrimination.
“I strongly support these women. They are doing the right thing.
“They are raising their voices about a serious injustice.
“And I urge all of my colleagues in this chamber to listen to these women.
“The women on our national soccer team are some of the most successful American athletes alive and even THEY have to deal with the pay gap.
“It is shameful, and it is inexcusable, that women are still paid less than men in this country.
“Mr. President, I urge everyone here to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.
“Let’s get with the times.
“Let’s finally make it illegal to pay our women less than our men.
“I yield the floor.”