Floor Statement on Paycheck Fairness Act

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... solutions for american families. i reserve the balance of my time. the chairman: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from california. >> thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i'm pleased to yield to the distinguished majority leader, the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- the chairman: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. i must say to my friend on the other side of the aisle, i believe it's never the wrong time to do the right thing. and this is the right thing. my friend mentions trial lawyers. trial lawyers are in the business of redressing grievances. jurors and judges are in the -- juries and judges decide if it needs redress. trial lawyers raise the issue. judgments are not given by trial lawyers but by judges and juries. equal pay for equal work. when we put the principle as bluntly as that, i doubt that anyone in america would disagree. it's a basic ideal of fairness. is there a woman on this floor that believes they ought to be paid less than the men that they do exactly the same kind of work ? and why suggest the answer to that is no. whether they're staffers or members. i hope there's not a female page who watches these proceedings that believes that they are less valuable than the male pages that serve this house. they are equally valueed, irrespective of gender. the value of work lies in a job well done, not in the gender of the worker. but within my lifetime it was a radical notion for decades. it was perfectly acceptable for women to earn less simply because they were women. we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the integration of the armed forces just a few days ago. colin powell spoke and he indicated that he was too small to really remember the ramifications of that executive order, but he said to himself, how strange it would seem today to think that men and women would be segregated by unit and by housing because of the color of their skin. it is equally wrong to make distinctions of gender in payment for services. thanks to the hard work of generations of women advocates we've closed that gap from 61 cents back in 1963 to 77 cents on the dollar today. being 77% right is not enough. we need to be 100% right. we need to pay dollar for dollar for work performed. in fact, it depends on staying hidden. it depends on keeping women in the dark. because, of course, it's against the law not to pay equally. but if you don't know that you're being discriminated against, how can your grievances be redressed? in fact, the constitution of the united states says, as all of us know, that americans are guaranteed the right to petition the congress of the united states for redress of grievances. and yet we keep people in the dark as to whether or not in fact they are aggrieved. by now we have all heard of the lily case. she was a superviser at a tire plant in alabama and for years she was paid less than her male co-worker. i'd be interested if any member of this house is prepared to come to to this well -- to this well or stand at one of these microphones and say it was right to pay a supervisor that was a woman less than a supervisor who was a man. and if you do come to this well and say that, i look forward to debating you on that issue. but lily had no way of knowing that she was being paid differently. she didn't know the truth and by the time she found out, years after the discrimination began, the court said it was too late. time had run, statute of limitation's gone. insurance run out. ...