Dems press for paycheck fairness bill on Equal Pay Day

Dems press for paycheck fairness bill on Equal Pay Day
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Democrats are reinvigorating their efforts to close the pay gap between men and women.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: Senators seek CBO input on preventing surprise medical bills | Oversight panel seeks OxyContin documents | Pharmacy middlemen to testify on prices | Watchdog warns air ambulances can put patients at 'financial risk' Senators ask CBO to review options for preventing surprise medical bills White House proposes limits on student loan borrowing as part of higher education reforms MORE (D-Wash.) reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act Tuesday to commemorate Equal Pay Day and hammered GOP leaders for refusing to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. 

Democrats insist they have the support to pass the bill with Republican support, but claim House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFormer Dem candidate says he faced cultural barriers on the campaign trail because he is working-class Former House candidate and ex-ironworker says there is 'buyer's remorse' for Trump in Midwest Head of top hedge fund association to step down MORE (R-Wis.) is unwilling to bring it to the floor. 

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“I believe more of our members would be supportive to pass it, but you can't vote for it if they don't bring it up,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said.

“It's a big injustice in our country, and for some reason they have decided they will continue to that injustice.”

At a press conference on the lawn of the Capitol, Pelosi called it “outrageous” that in 2017, women are still making less than men for the same amount of work. 

“Equal Pay Day represents all the extra months women have to work this year just to catch up to the average man's work last year,” she said. 

The bill, which DeLauro said she has introduced every Congress since 1997, has 197 Democratic co-sponsors and one Republican co-sponsor, Rep. Chris Smith (N.J.) 

Murray, who has taken up the issue after Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiBottom Line Listen, learn and lead: Congressional newcomers should leave the extremist tactics at home The Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi to reclaim Speakership amid shutdown MORE (D-Md.) retired last year, quoted her former colleague Tuesday: “It takes a lot of women and a few good men to get something done.”

Murray said millions of women around the world participated in the Women's March in January to stand up to the Trump administration and demand action on issues facing women.

“We showed this administration we cannot and will not be pushed aside overlooked or ignored,” she said. 

“Women in this country deserve respect, and it should start in the workplace.”

White House support for equal pay Tuesday came from first daughter and special White House adviser Ivanka Trump.

In a tweet, she said “#EqualPayDay is a reminder that women deserve equal pay for equal work. We must work to close the gender pay gap!"