Nancy Pelosi Blames Republicans for a Wage Gap That ‘Robs Women of a Total of $403,440'
On Sunday, Democrats commemorated the 55th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act — by demanding further legislation against the gender wage gap. Citing aggregate and misleading statistics, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) essentially blamed Republicans for "robbing" roughly $400,000 from women over the course of their careers.
"Fifty-five years after the law was enacted, women still earn on average only 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man," Pelosi declared in a statement. "Today, this shocking wage gap robs women of a total of $403,440 over the course of their careers, making it much more difficult for millions of hard-working women and their families to pay their monthly bills for groceries, rent, child care, and health care."
Guess whom she blamed for this "robbery"?
"Instead of working with Democrats to close the wage gap and help lift up working families, Republicans have ignored this vital issue and cynically worked to give the American people a raw deal as they undermine the strength of the middle class," the Democrat leader argued.
Pelosi led Democrats in commemorating the Equal Pay Act, which President John F. Kennedy signed into law on June 10, 1963, and which explicitly outlawed sex discrimination in wages. The law indeed marked an important step forward, making it illegal for employers to engage in the kind of wage discrimination Democrats continue to accuse them of doing.
Pelosi also led her party in making the call for further legislation to close "loopholes" in the legislation, enabling the wage gap to persist. "To finally ensure the full promise of the Equal Pay Act for all American women, Congress must finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to strengthen and close loopholes in the 1963 law, and give women the tools they need to ensure they are paid fairly and equally to their male counterparts," she said.
Many other Democrats — even vulnerable liberal U.S. senators up for reelection like Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) — echoed Pelosi.
"It’s been 55 years since the Equal Pay Act became law, yet women across Montana know there’s more to do to make equal pay a reality," Tester tweeted. "Women deserve equal pay for equal work, and that’s why I’ll keep fighting to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act."
"The [Equal Pay Act] turns 55 years old today and I am proud to continue to stand up in support of fair pay. The [Paycheck Fairness Act] would bring us closer to the goal of pay equity and build upon the promise of the Equal Pay Act," Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) chimed in.