Cicilline Marks Equal Pay Day By Stressing Importance of Closing Wage Gap Between Women and Men

Apr 17, 2012 Issues: Fiscal Responsibility

Washington – U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI), who has co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act in the House, today called on House Republicans to help close the wage gap that still exists between women and men in the workforce.

“Nearly a century since suffrage was achieved, women continue to lag behind men in terms of compensation in the workplace.  It is unacceptable that women continue to earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men in the same position.  In many families, women have grown increasingly responsible for household income, and we must work to ensure that their pay keeps pace with their participation in the job market,” said Cicilline.

In January 2009, the Democratic-led 111th Congress sent to the President’s desk the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act – and it became the first bill signed into law by President Obama.  This Act, a great victory for women, restores the right of women to challenge unfair pay in court – but virtually all House Republicans rejected this critical measure for women.  Cicilline, who was sworn into office in January 2011, has continued to press for additional measures to protect equal pay for women.

“While the Lilly Ledbetter Act marked a significant achievement there is still more work to be done.  I am a proud cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would enhance the remedies available under the Equal Pay Act to better to better equip women fighting against wage discrimination.  Although the House Republican leadership has failed to consider this measure, I will continue to stand up with the other members of our state’s delegation to promote progress for Rhode Island women and their families,” added Cicilline.

This year, Equal Pay Day also falls on Tax Day.  Just as Cicilline is fighting to achieve equal pay for women in the workforce, he is also fighting for basic fairness in the tax code.  While women are struggling in the workplace with unfair pay, it adds insult to injury that many workers with modest incomes are actually paying a higher tax rate than their well-paid bosses.  That is why Congressman Cicilline, who authored a letter to Speaker Boehner last week urging the House to enact a “Buffett Rule,” today reiterated the importance of ensuring that multimillion dollar earners no longer pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle class Rhode Island families.