Pelosi, White House recognize Equal Pay Day

Pelosi, White House recognize Equal Pay Day
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The White House and lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday recognized Equal Pay Day, holding events throughout Washington to shine light on the economic inequality faced by women.

“This Equal Pay Day, American women continue fighting to secure good-paying jobs and to provide for themselves and their families. Today, Democrats renew our efforts to ensure all women are empowered to succeed in our economy – because when women succeed, America succeeds,” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiYellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' Freedom Caucus presses McCarthy to force vote to oust Pelosi The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Tokyo Olympics kick off with 2020-style opening ceremony MORE (D) said in a statement.

“Nearly 60 years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, full-time working women still earn just 82 cents, on average, for every dollar a man earns, with the wage gap even larger for women of color," she added. "Equal Pay Day is a reminder that there is much more work to be done to make real the promise of equal pay for equal work."

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The House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday held a hearing to honor Equal Pay Day, which examined the “economic harm caused by longstanding gender inequalities, particularly for women of color,” a statement from committee Chair Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyHouse bill targets US passport backlog DOJ won't prosecute Wilbur Ross after watchdog found he gave false testimony NY progressive Bowman introducing 6B 'Green New Deal for Public Schools' MORE (D-N.Y.) read.

Witnesses at the hearing included Megan Rapinoe, U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team World Cup champion and equal pay advocate; Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance; C. Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Police Research; and Khara Jabola-Carolus, executive director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women.

“What we’ve learned and what we continue to learn is that there’s no level of status, and there’s no accomplishment or power that will protect you from the clutches of inequity. One cannot simply outperform inequality or be excellent enough to escape discrimination of any kind,” Rapinoe said in her opening statement.

“And I’m here today because I know firsthand that this is true. We’re so often told in this country that if you just work hard and continue to achieve, you will be rewarded, and rewarded fairly," she added. "It’s the promise of the American dream, but that promise has not been for everyone."

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She noted that despite the numerous accolades the U.S. Women’s National Team has received, players are still paid less than their male counterparts.

The Biden administration will recognize Equal Pay Day on Wednesday afternoon in a series of events at the White House and one in St. Louis.

President BidenJoe BidenBiden authorizes up to 0M for Afghan refugees Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe MORE and the first lady will host an event with Rapinoe and members of the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team to mark the day, and Vice President Harris will convene a roundtable discussion with female leaders of advocacy organizations, including Cecilia RouseCecilia RouseOn The Money: Inflation spike puts Biden on defensive | Senate Democrats hit spending speed bumps | Larry Summers huddles with WH team Larry Summers, White House officials meet to discuss Biden agenda Biden releases T budget that foresees decade of trillion-dollar deficits MORE, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Heather BousheyHeather BousheySpiking inflation weighs on Biden economic agenda The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - COVID vaccine developments Pelosi, White House recognize Equal Pay Day MORE, a member of the council.

Second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffJD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Bezos completes first all-civilian space trip, deboards in cowboy hat Tom Brady to Biden: '40 percent of the people still don't think we won' MORE is in St. Louis, where he will hold a listening session on gender equity in the workplace and hear from local residents about how the pandemic has affected their lives, their families and their careers. The event is part of the White House's effort to highlight the recently passed American Rescue Plan. 

Several lawmakers recognized the importance of Equal Pay Day this year in particular after studies found that the pandemic disproportionately affected women.

“Sadly, the challenges of the past year have inflicted a further, devastating toll on American women, with millions of women having lost their jobs and over 2 million being forced to leave the workforce entirely, including more than 1 million mothers, due to the lack of affordable child care,” Pelosi said in her statement.

Maloney echoed this sentiment, writing that the pandemic “exacerbated these persistent inequities,” adding that women of color were especially negatively impacted by these conditions.

“Women of color have borne the brunt of the pandemic’s impact, as they have experienced its compounded harms on both women and on communities of color,” Maloney said in a statement. “These harms aggravate longstanding economic discrimination and other barriers to economic equality, and raise concerns that women may be forced out of the workplace permanently."