Lawmakers introduce bill to close gender pay gap

The Joint Economic Committee released a report on "Equal Pay Day" shows women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts, which affects women’s retirement incomes and results in reduced economic security for women during their retirement years.

“Every week the average American woman must work seven days to take home the same paycheck it takes a man only five days to earn. Sadly, this benchmark represents progress,” Reid said. 

The report finds that the median income for women age 65 and older is more than $10,000 less than the median income for men 65 and older: $15,209 compared with $25,409.  

“Progress in closing the pay gap has been too slow," said JEC Chairman Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyThe Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate Democrats press Trump Treasury picks on donor disclosure guidelines Pennsylvania school district turns down local businessman's offer to pay off student lunch debts MORE, (D-Pa.). "As this new JEC report shows, the pay gap has lasting and powerful effects on women’s income long after they have stopped working. As a result, women face retirement with lower incomes and less economic security.” 

Retirement income comes from multiple sources, including Social Security and pensions, where the benefits are linked directly to an individual’s earnings and savings plans where there is no direct link to earnings but the amount an individual can contribute is affected by how much he or she earns. 

The JEC report finds that women's Social Security benefits are 71 percent of men's and they aren't able to contribute as much to retirement-saving plans because of lower earnings. 

Another study released Tuesday shows that, on average, full-time working women in the United States are paid $10,622 less than their male counterparts, according to research by the National Partnership for Women & Families, in conjunction with the American Association of University Women (AAUW)

“Unless lawmakers and employers make eliminating the wage gap a priority once and for all, generations of women and their families are going to continue to suffer due to unfair pay and discrimination,” said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families.“That’s why the re-introduction of the Paycheck Fairness Act in Congress today is so important. This legislation is critically important to efforts to end wage discrimination and ensuring that working women are paid fairly."

The majority of working mothers in the United States make at least a quarter of their families’ earnings, and nearly 14.5 million households nationwide are headed by women, the report found. 

“This research proves that the gender pay gap is not simply a numbers issue or a women’s issue,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda Hallman. “It’s a bread-and-butter issue. It’s an everyday issue for people who are trying to support their families and provide for their futures. No more lip service, it's time to act.”

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