On Equal Pay Day, we recognize the point in the year it takes a woman to make the same amount of money made by a man in the previous year. As families grapple with an uncertain economy, equal pay for equal work is about daily survival for millions.
This Congress has already taken action to strengthen economic security for women. We passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help ensure gender equity in pay, and I was proud to join President Obama as he signed it into law.
The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act also invests in the economic strength of women. It includes a number of key provisions that are essential for women and children — such as significant tax cuts for working women, major investments in health care, child care and early education, creation of hundreds of thousands of green jobs where women have new opportunities, support for small business owners, and crucial new investments to prevent teacher layoffs and other education cuts in states across the country. In addition, the Joint Economic Committee held a hearing this morning on the GAO's newly released report examining the gender pay gap in the federal government.
When a woman is not paid fairly, her entire family suffers. And when a woman is not paid fairly, it does not afford women the respect and equality that they deserve in a country that promises to strive for equal opportunity. The New Direction Congress will continue to put women and children first.